November 30, 2007 05:00 ET

Global Needlestick Prevention Group Honors Award Recipients as It Marks 6th Annual International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month

SOUTH JORDAN, UT--(Marketwire - November 30, 2007) - ISIPS, the first international sharps injury prevention group, announced that seven recipients are being honored for reducing sharps injuries with a Sharps Injury Prevention Award with an additional 22 recipients receiving honorable mention awards. These awards are part of the International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month activities being commemorated during December, 2007 starting with World AIDS Day, December 1st.

A number of very worthy individuals were nominated for the ISIPS 2007 International Sharps Injury Prevention Awards. Nominations were reviewed by a nominating committee, comprised of representatives from Terumo Medical, Covidien, Inviro Medical, BD, Retractable Technologies Inc., Owen Mumford, Medical Device Manufacturer (Thailand), Managing Infection Control magazine and the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS). We are grateful to these organizations for sponsoring the awards this year.

We thank those individuals that have made a difference in getting the message of sharps injury prevention to healthcare workers and employers around the globe. We owe a debt of gratitude to those that have provided a healthier climate for healthcare workers and others.

The ISIPS 2007 Sharps Injury Prevention Awards have been given to honor six individuals who have demonstrated creative, consistent contributions to the field of needlestick prevention. The ISIPS 2007 International Sharps Injury Prevention Award recipients are:

Gail J. Callas, BSN, RN, MS

Gail began her quest for improved staff and patient safety in the form of finding a fully retractable device to be utilized at CCPN. She soon realized that finding the device was the easy part -- getting staff and physician buy-in to such a change was much more difficult. "Change itself is the greatest challenge in sharps safety prevention," she states. Larry Culp, CMRP, manager of CCPN group purchasing, said, "Through persistence and a desire to make the workplace safer for both children and caregiver alike, CCPN's needlestick rate for 2006 and year-to-date 2007 is an outstanding 'zero' percent!"

Carol DiGiacomo, RN

Carol is the director of human resources/employee health for Southern Ocean County Hospital in Manahawkin, N.J. where she has been employed for the past 31 years. "This past year Carol has lead the way for the changes that have occurred regarding safety needles in all areas of the hospital," explains one of her many nominators. "She reports monthly on the problems and has committed herself to the safety of all staff. Her efforts have paid off; the evidence is in the number of sharps injuries for 2007."

Jan Elovitz Cothron

Jan serves as manager of health compliance for the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Since 1998 Ms. Cothron and her team have conducted nearly 300 seminars for employers and employees on the hazards of bloodborne pathogens and sharps injuries for a variety of healthcare, allied health and other professions affected by the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. "Ms. Cothron and her team are very proactive state-based OSHA employees; leading the charge against sharps injuries with a program aimed at reducing all sharps injuries in their state by 10 percent over five years," states Dr. Michael Sinnott. "They are setting a trend for other OSHAs to follow."

Nancy L. Hughes, MS, RN

During the past three decades, Nancy has served others as director of occupational health in a hospital system with 10,000 employees, as an employee health nurse and HIV clinical nurse educator, as an inpatient nurse manager and staff nurse, as well as a clinical nursing instructor. Currently director of the American Nurses Association's (ANA) Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Ms. Hughes is responsible to lead the occupational and environmental health initiatives and interests for ANA, an organization representing the interests of 2.9 million registered nurses in the United States. This important work includes the "Safe Needles Save Lives" program that provides resources to and works with nurses across the country to significantly reduce needlestick and sharps injuries.

Angela K. Laramie, MPH, ARM

Angela is an epidemiologist with the Sharps Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project in the Occupational Health Surveillance Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). As coordinator of the Sharps Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project, she developed and implemented a system for hospitals to record and report sharps injuries among staff members. The system has achieved 100 percent compliance each year since its inception in 2001 and has produced several annual reports, as well as a special topic reports on sharps injuries among physicians in training.

Gina Pugliese, RN, MS

Gina has helped shape the practice of infection prevention and safety for workers and patients with more than 130 publications, a third of them addressing worker safety and reduction of risk of occupational bloodborne pathogen exposures, including needlestick prevention. Currently the vice president of the Safety Institute, Premier Inc., Ms. Pugliese is the editor of the organization's Safety Share Newsletter and popular publicly accessible Safety Web site that maintains extensive resources and tools on patient, worker and environmental safety, including a special Web site on sharps safety. "Gina has led every major U.S. initiative on Sharps Injury Prevention since the 1980s -- publishing, hosting conferences and continues to 2007 with her major support of CDC sharps injury prevention programs," states epidemiology consultant, Judene Bartley.

Thomas J. Shandera, RN, MPH, CIC

A registered nurse since 1972, Thomas has worked as an infection prevention and control coordinator for 14 years. For the past six years he has been the patient safety officer at Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine, a 100-bed not-for-profit acute behavioral and chemical dependency hospital. Mr. Shandera explains that his most rewarding experience working toward sharps safety was placement of sharps disposal containers in all public bathrooms at Acadia Hospital. "Our hospital treats more than 700 outpatients daily with methadone or suboxone," he explains. "All of these patients struggle with chemical dependency; many with intravenous substance use." "Due to Tom's hard work, proactive approach and passion for what he does we had no bloodborne pathogen exposures in the year of 2006," states April Giard, vice president and chief nursing officer, Acadia Hospital.

Honorable Mentions

Nominations for this year's awards have been truly outstanding. We would like to recognize the following individuals for the contributions they have made. It is through their efforts that the healthcare work environment continues to improve in the many areas impacting safe sharps practices. Please join us in congratulating the 2007 Sharps Injury Prevention honorees.

--  Patricia Bastedo, RN, BSN, CDE, Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic,
    Clifton Springs, N.Y
--  CSR Department, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt
--  Caroline Galeon, RN, BSN, PHN, CIC, - VA Northern California Health
    Care System (VANCHCS).
--  Robert Geddes - PROdesign Australia
--  Jack Griffin and Kristine Heiser, RN - St. Peter's Hospital, Albany,
--  Nancy Kester, RN, MSN - OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford,
--  Rodney Kobylarz, Health ED, and Kathleen Weidner, RN - Hamilton
    Township Division of Health in Hamilton Township, N.J
--  Michael Korn - The Royal College of Art in London, England
--  Jan Largess, RN, BSN, COHN-S, Southeast Alabama Medical Center -
    Dothan, Ala.
--  Juantita Marshall, RN, BSC, CWCP, Thompson Health -Canandaigua, N.Y
--  Gregg Moore and Kathy Moss, RN - Prince William Hospital in Manassas,
--  Cindy W. Owens, RN, BSN - home Health Agency - Jackson, Miss.
--  Patricia Rochford, BA, RNC, BC - Maimonides Medical Center - Brooklyn,
--  Linda Schoolcraft - Fairview Hospital - Cleveland, Ohio
--  Ron Shaw - Laboratory Sciences of Arizona
--  Stephanie Taijeron, RN, Health Services of the Pacific, Home Care and
    Hospice, Guam
--  K. Umashankar - PATH, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
--  Michael A. Valigosky, MSOH - University of Toledo Medical Center,
    Toledo, OH
--  Gertie van Knippenberg-Gordebeke, RN, ICP - consultant, Holland
--  Valerie Waite, RN, AAS, N.J. Veterans Memorial Home, Paramus, N.J.

Special Honorable Mentions

We recognize the following individuals for the contributions they have made to sharps safety in the micropigmentation or permanent cosmetic industry. Special Honorable Mentions have been issued to those involved in education and practice in this new industry. Those receiving special honorable mention certificates include:

--  Ruth Swissa - Let's Face It, Agoura Hills, CA
--  Marjorie Grimm, Faces by Design, Santa Clara, CA

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