From Unaware and Unprepared to Safe Healthcare Advocates

Posted on by Carole and Ty Moss
Ty, Carole, and Nile Moss
From left to right: Ty, Carole, and Nile Moss

This blog is a part of a series that CDC launched to highlight the importance of patient safety by providing educational information and simple ways to help people stay informed on public safety topics. Read the blog below, authored by Nile’s Project founders Carole and Ty Moss, to learn more about the importance of preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

Many people are unaware of and unprepared for life-threatening, life-changing infections from bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This is what happened to our family in 2006 when our son, Nile Moss, contracted a life-threatening, drug resistant MRSA infection in our local hospital and died. This event was the start of our patient safety journey to ensure that others would have the life-saving health information they need to protect their families and not have to learn the hard way, as we had to.

What do you do as a patient, healthcare professional, or a family member when you find yourself in the care of and at the mercy of others? This is a question we wanted to answer when we created Nile’s Project.

As we began our patient safety work, we quickly learned that millions of patients enter hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the United States each year, and many of them contract infections while there. Germs can live on surfaces in healthcare like bed rails, blood pressure cuffs, surgical tools, and stethoscopes, and can easily get on hands or clothes and make people sick. With proper infection prevention actions like cleaning hands and disinfecting surfaces and equipment, these infections can be prevented.

Mosses meeting with former CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden.
From left to right: Carole Moss, Dr. Tom Frieden, and Ty Moss

In 2006, patients and the public were largely unaware of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and unprepared to protect their loved ones. We could not understand why the public had not been educated about preventable HAIs and the global threat of antimicrobial resistance. Consequently, we created partnerships with other patient and family representatives as well as infectious diseases experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) who had been working on many of these challenges for years. We also began working with individuals to share their stories and experiences with HAIs because these powerful stories raise awareness of important issues that could help save lives.

Our work continues today and is focused on increasing transparency, building health education and awareness campaigns, and making health care safer by sharing useful facts and solutions. We promote patient safety for the public by developing and sharing up-to-date educational information about preventable threats in healthcare, sitting on state and federal-level committees, encouraging patients and families to ask questions, and raising awareness about where the public can find educational information for themselves and their loved ones. We know we all have a part to play in preventing infections. We encourage patients and families to ask questions during healthcare encounters and learn where they can find educational information for themselves and loved ones, so they know how to be a safe patient.

Nile Moss
Nile Moss

Find reliable life-saving health information related to HAIs below:

Ty and Carole Moss are the founders of Nile’s Project. Nile’s Project was launched in 2007, just after the loss of Ty and Carole’s 15 year old son Nile Calvin Moss in 2006.

Posted on by Carole and Ty MossTags ,

7 comments on “From Unaware and Unprepared to Safe Healthcare Advocates”

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 ».

    Extraordinary post – this is exactly the very thing I was searching for. Will have all the more a nose around your site – gratitude for the motivation! Gratitude for imparting best data to us!!

    I applaud all the courageous work Carole and Ty have done and continue to do through the years since we lost Nile. They took a tragedy in our family and helped lead a movement to make sure this hidden patient safety issue doesn’t affect other families. Nile was a unimageable blessing in our lives and he inspires all of us to live our best lives each and every day.
    COVID masked the continuing problem of Hospital and Community Acquired infections; we now have to double-down on the fight to make everyone aware of the very real dangers of spreading these deadly infections.

    Thank you to the Moss family for their steadfast advocacy and focus on prevention and education throughout the years. They are a force to be reckoned with! The actionable resources shared above are excellent materials that members of the public can use to become more informed and engaged consumers of health care.

    As patients we must demand transparency and accountability in healthcare. Rates of many infections are at levels 5 years pre-pandemic, simply unacceptable! We deserve to know how safe the facilities are where we are seeking care. Just like you see an A-F rating on the window of your local restaurant when you go out to eat, we should see the same on the windows where we are seeking care. We can and must do better.

    I was saddened to see evidence that suggests COVID wreaked havoc on the progress of defeating the spread of other Hospital Acquired Infections. My nephew perished from MRSA infection he aquired during annual MRI and from the lack of urgency in his treatment when signs of sepsis prevailed. It is time to renew diligence in the cleaning protocols and enforcement of regulations. It is also time to update and inform patients on how to lower their risk of contracting infections while pursuing the benefits of medical care at our national hospitals Thank you for the concentrated focus on this web site.

    Ty and Carole have transferred their grief of losing Nile into positive activism. So much can be done when “ordinary” people (but there is nothing ordinary about these folks) take action to change the status quo. In CA, they pushed for landmark legislation to require reporting of hospital acquired infections — CA collects more data on these preventable infections than any state or federal system thanks to Nile’s Law. But unfortunately the public will have a hard time finding the details. We need more data experts to translate what the data tells us about hospital safety. We can only hope that CDC will someday become more proactive about transparency of the detailed information they hold on HAIs by focusing on informing the public about the where, what, how of these infections.

    Thanks for all the energy you all have invested in preventing health care associated infections…I remain true to my years of preaching about HAIs, dirty hospitals are hazardous to patients health.

    We miss the joy of Nile in our lives every day. Please share his story with those you care about. It could save a life ♥️💯🌈

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Page last reviewed: November 29, 2022
Page last updated: November 29, 2022