Infection prevention program receives grant

Community Medical Centers was one of 34 nationally to win a grant from Cardinal Health to improve patient safety at its three hospitals. Community was selected from more than 700 hospital, clinic and health system applicants for a $35,000 grant for Community’s new patient-focused infection prevention program.

“The purpose of the patient focused infection prevention program is to put more of our time and resources in infection prevention practices at the patient's bedside,” explained Colleen Strom, Community’s vice president of quality, regulatory and risk management. “We will provide our caregivers with infection control experts and the tools they need to allow them to always do the right thing to promote patient safety.”  

It’s hoped the program will decrease hospital costs by improving patients’ recovery times, decreasing the use of antibiotics and providing a safer environment, Strom said. The grant money will be used at Community, she explained “to redesign our infection control program so that there is even greater emphasis placed on preventing infections from happening while the patient is in our care.”

The Ohio-based Cardinal Health, Inc. manufactures medical and surgical products and is one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Cardinal Health chairman and CEO R. Kerry Clark announced $1 million in grants to various hospitals at a briefing at the National Press Club on “Quality as a Path to Improving the Cost of Health Care in America.”

More than 10% of the nation’s hospitals applied for the grants. In choosing recipients, Cardinal Health looked for projects that respond to a clearly identified, high priority safety issue; collaborative programs; projects that apply new thinking and approaches to development of solutions; model programs that can be replicated at other organizations and demonstratable and sustainable measures to ensure that improvements last over time.

“I believe the health care industry can use quality improvements as a strategy to achieve lower costs and provide safer care for our citizens,” Clark said. "Fixing health care is not a simple task, but we have it within our control to take simple steps that can have a dramatic effect.”
In addition to the corporate commitment to patient safety, the Cardinal Health Foundation has provided more than $10 million for significant health care initiatives since its inception in 2002. Many of these have a special focus on patient safety.

This story was reported by Erin Kennedy. She can be reached at