Marci Drees, M.D., MS, hospital epidemiologist and medical director of infection prevention at Christiana Care Health System, is the first recipient of a new research award from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).
The $20,000 inaugural grant, called the SHEA Epi Project Award, seeks to advance research in health care epidemiology through the SHEA Research Network. The network is a consortium of nearly 200 hospitals collaborating on multi-center research projects that identify gaps in the health care epidemiology science base and address them by contributing data and expertise. Christiana Care participates in the network.
“It is a great honor to be the first recipient of the SHEA Epi Project award,” said Dr. Drees. “With increasing public concern over health care-associated infections, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the global spread of these organisms, it is vital that health care workers and the public know about effective infection control practices.”
Dr. Drees’ research focuses on defining variability of infection control practices for multi-drug resistant Gram-negative organisms. These organisms, which include Pseudomonas, Klebsiella and Acinetobacter species, are increasingly reported worldwide and can result in untreatable infections with currently available antibiotics.
These germs are not under national surveillance and resistance is more difficult to detect using standard laboratory procedures. As a result, individual facilities may have limited capability to detect antibiotic resistance and may employ a wide variety of measures to prevent or control them. Dr. Drees’ study will assess these factors among hospitals nationally and internationally to determine current practices and capabilities as well as prevalence of these pathogens.
“Dr. Drees’ proposal serves as an excellent example of the direction for future research to help further our understanding and approach to multi-drug resistant organisms,” said Jan Patterson, M.D., MS, SHEA president.
SHEA is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other health care professionals around the world with expertise in health care epidemiology and infection prevention and control. SHEA’s mission is to prevent and control health care-associated infections and advance the field of health care epidemiology.