Vermont Awarded $860K Federal Grant to Track Healthcare-Associated Infections

For Immediate Release: November 16, 2009

Media Contact:
Dennise R. Casey, Office of Governor Douglas
(802) 828-3333

Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas announced today that the Vermont Department of Health was awarded a two-year $860,000 grant by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) that will enable the state to strengthen its healthcare-acquired infection (HAI) prevention activities.

“In 2007, Vermont was the first state in the nation to publicly report hospital-specific healthcare-acquired infection rates using the CDC’s reporting system, and this grant will help keep Vermont at the forefront of patient safety and quality improvement,” said Governor Douglas. “Continuing to improve our overall healthcare system is a key element of Vermont’s health care reform efforts.”

The grant award will be used to hire a State HAI Prevention Coordinator, develop a Vermont HAI Prevention Plan, enhance hospital collection and validation of HAI data, and provide comprehensive infection prevention training for health care workers. 

“These grant funds will allow us to more closely follow and study potential risk factors, track infection rates, and prevent possible infections from common sources of bacteria such as MRSA,” said Vermont Department of Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD.

A multi-disciplinary work group of public and private partners tasked with developing the Vermont HAI Prevention Plan met for the first time on Oct. 1, 2009. The group will meet bi-weekly until the Vermont plan is due to the CDC on January 1, 2010.  Partners include consumer representatives; the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care; the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems; the Vermont Health Care Association (representing long term care facilities); the Vermont Assembly of Home Health Agencies; and the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA).

The public reports on hospital infection rates can be accessed on BISHCA’s website at www.vthospitalreportcards.info.

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