UNM Receives Patient-Safety Grant

NEWS RELEASE May 8, 2008 Contact: Luke Frank, Media Relations Manager 505/272-3679; 505/907-9525 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ALBUQUERQUE, NM - The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM HSC) is the primary grantee of a $50,000 Patient Safety Grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation. The grant will be used to fund a statewide collaborative project to reduce health-care-associated bacteremias caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in participating hospitals. The collaborative will operate under the guidance of an expert steering committee with representatives from the New Mexico Medical Review Association, the New Mexico Department of Health, the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology-New Mexico, the Infectious Diseases Society of New Mexico, the New Mexico Medical Society and the New Mexico Hospital Association. Because New Mexico’s healthcare system includes many small rural facilities and urban tertiary referral centers, adapting recommendations for control of MRSA across a spectrum of settings is one of the challenges the project hopes to address. The collaborative project will combine rural and urban healthcare efforts to establish baseline rates of MRSA bacteremias, and then reduce them by 40 percent. The project also aims to create community standards regarding infection control, communication, and educational guidelines for patients and healthcare providers. “We intend to use this grant to harness the energy and interest surrounding the MRSA problem to create solutions from within our own healthcare community appropriate to our unique setting and diverse populations,” offers Susan Kellie, M.D., MPH, UNM Hospital epidemiologist and administrator of the grant. The Cardinal Health Patient Safety Grant Program is designed to provide funding for programs that propose imaginative strategies to address challenges to quality healthcare. The goal is to promote creative thinking, therefore advancing innovation and improvement to patient care in general. For more information about UNM’s Health Sciences Center, please visit www.hsc.unm.edu.

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