A Soldier performs her duties in the COVID-19 ward

A Soldier performs her duties in the COVID-19 ward set up by the Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force at a hospital in Houston. Eighty-six Regional Health Command personnel – three of them from Kenner Army Health Clinic at Fort Lee – supported the recent mission.

Kenner Army Health Clinic is promoting International Infection Prevention Week, an annual observance set for Oct. 18-24 this year. IIPW is organized by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

“Infection Preventionists” are among those on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle; therefore, the theme of this year’s observance is “We Love Our IPs” who use their training and skills to make sure everyone – health care staff and patients – are doing the right things to prevent the spread of germs.

KAHC will be engaging the community by creatingdisplays in the pharmacy waiting area and main entrance. At these locations, there will be information hand-outs, games and giveaways. Kenner is asking everyone – healthcare personnel, patients and families – to celebrate IPs and the infection prevention and control community for their bravery and expertise in the fight against COVID-19.

“We want to engage our community with this important awareness campaign that emphasizes the ways in which patients, families and health care providers can all work together to keep beneficiaries safe,” said Deneen Archer, patient safety/infection preventionist at Kenner.

The IIPW observance was established in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control has spearheaded the effort to highlight the importance of infection prevention among healthcare professionals, administrators, legislators and consumers.

Over the years, this week of recognition has vastly expanded to every corner of the globe. Observing IIPW is an opportunity to bring awareness to patients, which promotes safer healthcare practices and reduces the threat of healthcare-associated infections.

There are free downloadable resources and activities for patients and families, as well as fact sheets on infection prevention basics and more, on the Infection Prevention and You website, www.apic.org/infectionpreventionandyou.