Russell N. Olmsted, MPH, CIC

Worker Safety Advocate Receives Carole DeMille Award

Russell N. Olmsted, MPH, CIC, of Ann Arbor, Mich., has been named the 2009 recipient of the Carole DeMille Achievement Award by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). APIC presents the annual award to an infection preventionist who best exemplifies the ideals of Carole DeMille, a pioneer in infection control. The award will be presented at the APIC 36th Annual Educational Conference and International Meeting, June 7-11 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

"We are proud to honor Russ with this award," said Christine J. Nutty, RN, MSN, CIC, APIC 2009 President. "He is an innovator in infection prevention and an advocate of patient and worker safety at the local, state, national, and international level. Russ exemplifies and practices the principles epitomized by Carole DeMille--professionalism, expertise, contribution to enhancement of infection prevention, mentorship skills, and a level of productivity in research that benefits our entire profession."

An infection preventionist for more than 26 years, Olmsted is epidemiologist in Infection Control Services for St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor and a member of a national Catholic health care network, Trinity Health, headquartered in Novi, Mich. Since November of 2006, Olmsted has been a member of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. He also chaired the External Peer Review Panel of the National Healthcare Safety Network and served as the editor of the NHSN Panel Proceedings and Final Recommendations in 2008. With backgrounds in biology/microbiology and healthcare epidemiology, he has developed interest in the impact of environment of care on health care-associated infections and is representing APIC on the Facility Guidelines Institute's Healthcare Guidelines Revision Committee 2010 edition of FGI's Design and Construction Guidelines.

As a long-time APIC member and leader, Olmsted served as a board member, editor of the 1996 APIC Text and is currently associate editor and member of the editorial board of the American Journal for Infection Control. He served as editor of the APIC News, became a member of APIC's Continuous Quality Improvement Task Force, and was the first chairperson of the APIC Information Technology Committee.

Olmsted is past president of the Michigan Society for Infection Prevention & Control and led a state-wide task force to conduct a peer review of data mining technology on behalf of the Michigan Health and Safety Coalition. Currently, he collaborates with other infection preventionists to develop tools and present information to the Michigan Health & Hospital Association's Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality to reduce blood stream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia to zero. He continues these efforts with a current Keystone initiative focusing on hand hygiene and enhancing appropriate use of urinary catheters. He also serves as affiliated faculty for the University of Michigan's Patient Safety Enhancement Program that is studying adoption of evidence-based practices to prevent HAIs in U.S. and VA hospitals.

The late Carole DeMille was among the founders of APIC who later became an internationally recognized authority in the developing field of hospital infection control. She was known for her vision and optimistic approach to present-day infection prevention methods. The award was established in her honor in 1979, following her death.

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