The New Jersey Department of Health, in collaboration with the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgical Centers (NJAASC), will host the first annual Infection Control conference on Tuesday, February 26 in Kenilworth.
More than 200 health care professionals are expected to attend the sold-out conference, which will feature speakers presenting on a wide variety infection control topics.
“Infection control remains a problem across the American healthcare system, and we have seen significant consequences of that in New Jersey over the past year,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal. “We are taking steps to ensure that individuals responsible for day-to-day infection control practice are up to date with the best evidence.”
The NJAASC is a non-profit organization helping to advance the efforts of the state’s ambulatory surgery centers in the delivery of optimum patient care. They have provided several educational resources focused on healthcare-associated infection prevention.
The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Galloping Hills Country Club in Kenilworth. Assistant Commissioner Stefanie Mozgai, Health Facility Survey and Field Operations, members of the Department’s Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) team, and other members of the Communicable Disease Service will provide information on infection control deficiencies, reporting of breaches, handling outbreaks, patient notification and proactive approaches to infection prevention.
The Department of Health formed the ICAR team, comprised of epidemiologists and infection preventionists, to assist healthcare facilities in reducing the number of health- associated infections by assessing their infection prevention programs, providing educational resources and sharing best practices.
Last year, the team conducted training and assessments of infection control procedures at more than 60 healthcare facilities in the state including all of New Jersey’s pediatric long-term care facilities and University Hospital, following deadly outbreaks at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation and in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of University Hospital in Newark.
“For the people who are employed in this industry, infection control is something they think about every working minute of the day, and pride themselves on always maintaining a safe, infection free environment for their patients,” said NJAASC President Jeff Shanton. “We are proud to partner with NJDOH for this event and expand education for the state’s health care workers.”
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