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UMF Opens Nominations for National Hygiene Specialist® Excellence Award

Nominations are open for the 13th annual National Hygiene Specialist® Excellence Award, which acknowledges the crucial role of environmental services (EVS) departments in reducing preventable healthcare associated infections (pHAIs). Sponsored by UMF Corporation, the award aims to spotlight EVS staff, the essential healthcare workers who too often are overlooked when it comes to controlling pHAIs such as MRSA, C. diff., hepatitis, COVID-19, and more. Nominations are open through April 30, 2022.

“Each year, 1 in 25 hospitalized patients will get a pHAI, an infection resulting from the care they receive, and an estimated 75,000 patients will die,” said UMF CEO George Clarke. “We established the National Hygiene Specialist Excellence Award more than a decade ago to celebrate EVS workers, who serve as a first line of defense in preventing pHAI spread. After more than two years of a global pandemic, they have remained steadfast in their commitment to deliver an essential service throughout hospitals, long-term care centers, and other healthcare facilities.”

EVS staff are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting patient rooms, operating rooms and common areas throughout healthcare facilities. They are integral to enterprise-wide multimodal infection prevention and control. According to the CDC, to keep patients safe, healthcare facilities must maintain a clean environment and minimize the presence of pathogens, which can result in significant morbidity and/or mortality. Cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces is fundamental to reduce pHAIs. EVS staff, and hygiene specialists, in particular, lead the charge in ensuring this happens properly throughout healthcare facilities.

Added Clarke, “EVS departments, especially hygiene specialists, play such an important role in keeping patients safe from infection. The National Hygiene Specialist Excellence Award is an opportunity to recognize their critical contributions.”

EVS managers are encouraged to nominate dedicated staff members for the award. The award recipient will receive an all-expenses paid trip for two, including airfare, to South Beach, Fla. Nomination forms, available at https://bit.ly/3liHmmh, should be submitted by April 30, 2022.