Eight Ways Health Department Leaders Can Support Effective HAI/AR Programs to Advance Prevention Efforts in their Community

Posted on by Authors: Elizabeth Mothershed, M.S., Deputy Associate Director of State Strategy, DHQP, and Monica Payne M.S., Health Communications Specialist, DHQP, CDC

State and territorial health agency (S/THA) Healthcare-Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance (HAI/AR) programs play a critical role in spearheading prevention, detection, and outbreak response in their communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, HAI/AR programs led and supported healthcare infection prevention and control activities to help keep the public safe.

Several significant federal investments have been made to HAI/AR programs during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. To meet the requirements of these new investments, HAI/AR programs needed support from S/THA leaders and their partners. In response, last year, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) developed a report titled Eight Ways Health Department Leaders Can Support Effective HAI/AR Programs.

Headshot pictures of Erica Washington and Dr. Joseph Kanter. Both are smiling Erica is a black woman with shoulder length curly hair. Dr. Joseph has a stethoscope around his neck is a white male with brown hair that’s receding.
Louisiana HAI Program Coordinator, Erica Washington and Louisiana State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter

To further explore what this collaboration and support can look like, ASTHO recently hosted a 2-part interview series. The first was with Louisiana HAI Program Coordinator, Erica Washington and Louisiana State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. Through in-depth discussion, they sought to learn more about the successful strategies they implemented that helped to bolster the HAI/AR Program and COVID-19 response in their state. Dr. Joseph Kanter and Erica Washington also discussed how health agency leadership in Louisiana has supported HAI/AR program alignment and structure reassessment.

In the second interview, Kansas Health Officer, Dr. Joan Duwve, and HAI/AR Program Director Bryna Stacey highlight the need to build and sustain a robust public health workforce in public health and the HAI/AR Program. They also discussed the challenges and successes Kansas has faced related to HAI/AR Program staff recruitment and retention.

Headshot pictures of Bryna Stacey and Dr. Joan Duwve. Both are smiling, they are visually white women with glasses. One has shoulder length brown hair and the other has short white/grey hair.
HAI/AR Program Director Bryna Stacey and Kansas Health Officer, Dr. Joan Duwve

To further highlight the importance of interprofessional collaboration, CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion Deputy Associate Director of State Strategy, Elizabeth Mothershed, sits down with ASTHO for a Morning News newscast to discuss why the time is right for leaders to work together with HAI/AR Programs and build on experiences learned during the COVID-19 response.

Health departments can also work to advance partnerships and infection prevention and control practices in healthcare through coordinated efforts including:

  • Sharing state infection prevention and control guidance and policies with healthcare associations.
  • Creating task forces, workgroups, or strike teams that focus on improving infection prevention and control (IPC) efforts. In settings that provide medical and non-medical services, such as long-term care facilities (LTCFs). These teams have an opportunity to coordinate efforts and expand the impact of IPC programs by inviting key partners to the table, such as HAI leadership.
  • Encouraging coordination between federal, state, and local health agencies, Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN/QIOs), and state surveyors to identify LTCFs experiencing challenges and to focus on supporting them to build better infection control plans and surveillance.
  • Including healthcare, LTCFs, and other key partners in state and local preparedness and response planning.

For more information on building and sustaining strategic partnerships to advance HAI/AR Programs and activities, you can check out the following resources:

Authors: Elizabeth Mothershed, M.S., Deputy Associate Director of State Strategy, DHQP, CDC
and Monica Payne M.s., Health Communications Specialist, DHQP, CDC 

Posted on by Authors: Elizabeth Mothershed, M.S., Deputy Associate Director of State Strategy, DHQP, and Monica Payne M.S., Health Communications Specialist, DHQP, CDCTags

2 comments on “Eight Ways Health Department Leaders Can Support Effective HAI/AR Programs to Advance Prevention Efforts in their Community”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    Dears,
    Low-level populations have a risk of developing AMR due to a lack of awareness, follow-up and engagement with international authorities is demanding by which awareness is promoted. Thank you.

    BUENA TARDE
    LA PARTICIPACION DE EQUIPOS INTERDISCIPLINARIOS EN HAI/AR ES MUY IMPORTANTE
    DENTRO DE ESTOS EQUIPOS INTERDISCIPLINARIOS CLINICOS CON FORMACION EN ENFERMEDADES INFECCIOSAS, COMITES DE INFECCIONES Y EPIDEMIOLOGOS CLINICOS , ME PARECE FUNDAMENTAL, DEBIDO AQUE SON LOS QUE ESTAN EN EL PROCESO OPERATIVO DIARIO Y DEFINIEN EN ULTIMO LOS TRATAMIENTOS ANTIMICROBIANOS A UTILIZAR, POR LO TANTO CREO FUNDAMENTAL TENER EN CUENTAS ESTOS PROFESIONALES

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Page last reviewed: May 10, 2023
Page last updated: May 10, 2023