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GOJO Scholarship

IPAC Canada and GOJO have partnered to provide a $6,000 scholarship (maximum $1500 per successful applicant) to eligible IPAC Canada members for the purpose of attending the 2020 IPAC Canada conference (Winnipeg, May 3-6, 2020). 

Scholarship criteria focusses on members who have demonstrated their dedication to hand hygiene and infection prevention and control education.

Award criteria and application form are currently under revision.  Please check back in Summer 2019.

2019 GOJO Scholarship Winners!

AZRA SHARMA BSc MSc is an Epidemiologist/Infection Control Practitioner at Providence Health Care in Vancouver. Azra has been a part of her team’s initiative of raising awareness of importance of patient/resident hand hygiene.  Stemming from numerous patient focus groups, they have implemented installment of patient hand wipes throughout the organization. As an Epidemiologist, Azra is continuously looking for improved ways to measure hand hygiene compliance.   Recently, she implemented an electronic hand hygiene auditing system, where ICPs use mobile application to record hand hygiene compliance.  The automation not only improved accuracy and efficiency, it also allowed for real –time feedback to unit staff/leadership on their performance.  

EWELINA DZIAK MSc CIC is the Senior Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) within the former Prince Albert Parkland Health Region (now referred to provincially as the ‘Saskatchewan Health Authority’) in Saskatchewan. Much time, effort and continuous support is given to the establishment and maintenance of a multifaceted, multidisciplinary hand hygiene program. The Infection Control department is involved in the careful selection and placement of hand hygiene products, taking into consideration skin integrity and point-of-care placement respectively. The robust program includes an educational component, the use of champions and role models, as well as patient engagement (i.e., using the help of volunteers). Hand hygiene audits take place twice a year with feedback successfully proving to improve overall hand hygiene compliance. The program, although routinely requiring the implementation of new techniques and interventions, has unequivocally seen some improvements in hand hygiene rates (i.e., 77% to 82% in 6 months).  Ewelina also incorporates and believes in the utilization of surveillance and epidemiology in an effort to optimize all strategic interventions to any and all programs within the continuum of care.

LORETTA ERHARDT RN is an Infection Prevention and Control Practitioners from the former Sunrise Health Region within the Saskatchewan Health Authority.  In 2016, Loretta and colleagues conducted an Environmental swabbing blind study at all acute and long term care units/facilities in Sunrise Health Region in conjunction with the local microbiology department to see where “bugs” were found most often and if those facilities/units with lower hand hygiene had more organisms present.  Loretta compiled the data, analyzed the results and presented the findings and conclusions at the 2016 Sunrise Health Region workshop. It was both interesting and informative and Loretta hopes to do a similar study in the near future, funding permitting. 

CRAIG PEARCE MSc is an Infection Control Practitioner at Foothills Hospital in Calgary.  He has developed a reputation at his site as the “hand hygiene expert”. In 2010 Alberta Health Services began hiring students to conduct hand hygiene reviews. For the first few years Craig mentored these students.  Following this, he developed a program to use both hospital volunteers and front line staff to conduct observations for their own workplace. As a result of this program, his site had over 300 hand hygiene reviewers at its height. In addition, he developed a train-the-trainer model that allowed units to become their own hand hygiene champions. Due to these programs I developed, his site lead the province in the number of hand hygiene observations for years. The hand hygiene rate is now nearing 90% compliance.

During this time, I developed and launched an “Ask Me” campaign. Staff was asked to actively engage in discussions about hand hygiene with patients. This was promoted through the use of buttons worn by staff as well as posters found throughout the hospital. The campaign raised awareness and spurred lots of discussion.  There was no funding to sustain the campaign although the legacy lives on in the learning and engagement created during that period. Recently Craig was part of the team that developed online training modules for hand hygiene reviewers in Alberta.