SHEA-APIC Partnership in Prevention Award
The Infection Prevention and Control (IP&C) Department of the National Guard Health Affairs in Saudi Arabia (NGHA) was the 1st Partnership in Prevention Award recipient of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) presented to Dr. Hanan Balkhy, Executive Director of IP&C by Drs. Neil Fishman and Cathryn Murphy, presidents of SHEA and APIC, respectively on 18 March 2010 at the Opening Plenary of the Fifth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
SHEA-APIC awarded their First Partnership in Prevention award to NGHA as it has notably become one of the fastest growing healthcare institution in the Gulf Region that had prioritized infection prevention and the elimination of healthcare-associated infections in the Kingdom and throughout the regions. The IP&C Department in NGHA serves as headquarter for the Gulf Cooperation Council – Center for Infection Control (GCC-CIC) and has also been designated as the WHO Collaborating Center for Infection Control since 2009. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Guard Health Affairs was among the first seven countries to sign the WHO's "Clean Care is Safer Care" pledge in 2005; launched year-round Hand Hygiene Campaigns; published an Infection Prevention & Control Manual; and steered all seven GCC countries to be active members in this global initiative of patient safety.
SHEA’s President, Dr. Neil Fishman, commended NGHA for its exemplary commitment to bring about dynamic change and progress that made tremendous impact on the entire Middle East region in terms of improving and sustaining infection control practices. Cathryn Murphy, PhD, RN, president of APIC, hailed the sincere dedication of NGHA in “educating healthcare workers, influencing infection control practices, and developing and improving the infrastructure needed to truly make an impact on reducing HAIs.” Dr. Hanan Balkhy acknowledged all the accolades and credited the accomplishment of the IP&C team to a strong cohesiveness of the team and strict adherence to multistakeholder collaborations to bring about quality patient care and safety.
Since 2010, the seed fund award has grown in proportion to sponsor at least two infection control practitioners yearly to actively attend the annual SHEA and APIC congresses. The APIC Saudi Chapter formalized initially with 37 membership base in 2011 and has now increased to 156 member stronghold from all over the Kingdom and other GCC-CIC member states. The leadership of the National Guard Health Affairs never wavered in its support and commitment for the elimination of healthcare associated infections and the provision of resources for quality patient care and safety.