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Champion of Infection Prevention and Control Award

The Champion of Infection Prevention and Control Award will recognize IPAC Canada members who have demonstrated innovative initiatives to prevent infection, raise awareness, and improve the health of Canadians. The nomination may also be for lifetime achievement. The nomination may be made by a member of IPAC Canada or by a IPAC Canada chapter. Formal presentation of the Award will be made at the Opening Ceremonies of the Annual National Education Conference.

The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2024.

The winner of the 2023 Champion of Infection Prevention and Control Award

Suzanne Rhodenizer, RN, BScN, MHS, CIC

If you simply enter Suzanne Rhodenizer (Rose) into a search engine you will be inundated with her contributions to the infection prevention and control community. For almost 25 years, Suzanne has built a stealthy reputation as an expert leader and advocate for IPAC.” These are the words of Suzanne’s nominators for the 2023 Champion of Infection Prevention and Control, Kim Allain and Kathy Ellis. In their nomination, Kim and Kathy described Suzanne’s progression from a frontline infection control professional to a provincial IPAC consultant and eventually the Executive Director for Infection Prevention and Control Nova Scotia at the provincial government. More recently, she was the provincial director for MDR and is currently the Director of Clinical Planning & Interim IPAC Consultant within the Healthcare Infrastructure division of NS Health. She is renowned for her incredible critical thinking and sharp decisionmaking regardless of the role she has had. Even with her busy professional day jobs, she has always remained incredibly active within IPAC Canada and IPAC NS Chapter. Within the clinical setting, she held infection control and nursing leadership roles with the former South Shore Health. Suzanne has worked on a number of design and construction projects including the provincial Design Guidance Document for Primary Health Care Facilities for DHW and Ambulance Design Standards for CSA. Currently, she is co-leading a conjoint project with Department of Public Works and Nova Scotia Redevelopment to develop acute care design standards. In the past, she has worked on other large-scale endeavours, including her work moving the yardsticks on a national HAI surveillance repository in conjunction with PHAC, CNISP, CIHI and Healthcare Excellence Canada. Suzanne testified at the 76th meeting of the Standing “I Committee on Health where, with Jennifer Happe, she professionally represented IPAC Canada with grace and virtue as she clearly articulated the pressing issue of AMR in Canada. Suzanne was a key driving force for moving dots on a national surveillance data repository. During the COVID-19 pandemic her work with the National Advisory Committee on Infection Prevention and Control at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was crucial, demanding and time-sensitive in navigating the science to develop and continually evolve best practice recommendations. In addition to COVID-19, her expertise on this committee is also being used to inform updates to national EVD IPAC Guidance. In addition to her work on NAC-ICP, Suzanne was incredibly proud of her role as a Task Force Member of the IPAC Canada 2022 update of Core Competencies for ICPs. Published in September 2022, this essential resource outlines minimum skills, knowledge and abilities for ICPs. This is a foundational IPAC Canada document. Her advocacy and leadership during her time with the provincial government of NS led to the development of two important pieces of legislation: The Patient Safety Act which requires all acute care facilities to publicly report key IPAC and patient safety indicators, and the Quality Improvement Information Protection Act. These two Acts changed the landscape for quality improvement and patient safety in NS. In 2020, she was recognized with a Caring During Covid Award from NS Health for her work in co-leading a team of redeployed experts and MDR techs to establish an N95 reprocessing initiative. In April 2023, Suzanne received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for work during COVID-19 redeployment. Her academic background includes an RN diploma from the Aberdeen School of Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing from STFX, and a Master of Health Studies from Athabasca University. She is a past president of IPAC Canada and her chapter, IPAC Nova Scotia. She remains actively engaged in national activities with the organization including Hill Days and the Healthcare Infrastructure Education Committee and co-chair of the IPAC NS Education Committee.


Recipients of the Champion of Infection Prevention and Control Award

  • 2010 - Dr. Mary Vearncombe
  • 2011 - Marion Yetman, Pat Piaskowski
  • 2012 - Dr. Allan Ronald
  • 2016 - Jacqueline Hlagi
  • 2017 - Faith Stoll
  • 2018 - Dr. Michelle Alfa
  • 2019 - Merlee Steele-Rodway
  • 2021 - Dr. Theresa Tam
  • 2022 - Dr. Gwyneth Meyers
  • 2023 - Suzanne Rhodenizer