Weiss Hospital Preventionist Named 2013 Hero of Infection Prevention

Therese Antony, RN, CIC, Honored for Reducing Hospital’s Total Knee Infection Rate to Zero CHICAGO (May 20, 2013) — Therese Antony, RN, CIC, Infection Preventionist at Weiss Memorial Hospital, has been named a hero by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). The organization recognized Antony (pictured right) as an individual on the frontline of infection prevention and credited her with producing innovative programs that help save lives.

Weiss is a destination center for total joint replacements. Each year, it performs 5,000 orthopedic procedures – many which are complex revision surgeries and limb salvage.

Antony, a registered nurse and certified infection control practitioner, joined Weiss in 2010 and quickly gained the trust of orthopedic surgeons, fellows and residents, influencing them to utilize best practices to prevent Surgical Site Infections (SSI). She began making home visits with patients and identified hygiene issues, which helped drive the orthopedic program skin antisepsis program prior to joint replacement. Collaborating with the Chair of Surgery and the Medical Director for the Chicago Center for Orthopedics, the program infrastructure continued to expand to include surveillance and monitoring of several other standards of practice and optimizing patients’ health prior to surgery. Antony’s implementations successfully fought the contagious staph bacteria known as MRSA in Weiss’ orthopedic population and reduced the total knee infection rate to zero.

In response to the prestigious award, Antony expressed her appreciation for her coworkers: “It’s so nice to be recognized, but this is really about our Weiss team. Everyone here cares about quality care for our patients and wants to do the right thing. They enable us to implement best practices.”

“Infection in a joint can be limb or life threatening to a patient,” said Lynette Wilkos-Prostran, RN, MSN, ONC-VP of Perioperative Services at Weiss. “As an infection preventionist who actively wages the war on health care-associated infections, Therese is the golden resource to our orthopedic program and hospital.”

In her three years at Weiss, Antony has recommended several continuous improvements regarding best practices to meet compliance and the Surgical Care Improvement Program standards. She also advocated to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention with recommendations for risk stratification of total joint replacement surgery.

Antony’s standards for excellent quality care have also been recognized nationally by the Joint Commission, which named Weiss a “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures.” Separately, she was credited for positively impacting the Orthopedics program at the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses (NAON) 2012 Congress, highlighting best practices in eliminating SSI.

Antony officially will be honored as a hero at APIC’s Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida June 8-10. With more than 14,000 members nationwide, APIC is the leading professional association for infection prevention specialists. The group drives safe patient practices to avoid healthcare-acquired infections in the U.S. and around the world.

For more information contact:
Weiss Public Relations
(773) 564-7285