Healthcare Surfaces Summit Welcomes New Board Members and Announces President Elect

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Minneapolis, MN – The Healthcare Surfaces Summit has had a big year already.  At the August 20-21, 2018 Healthcare Surfaces Summit (HSS) in Bloomington, Minnesota, they added two new board members and elected Dr. Matthew Hardwick as the President-Elect.

Dr. Hardwick is a thought leader in the field of infection prevention in the healthcare environment of care and is an expert in antimicrobial surface technologies. He is excited about putting his over 20 years of academic research experience to work for the HSS, after current President Darrel Hicks concludes his two-year term. Hardwick says, "It is such an honor to be elected President-elect of the Healthcare Surfaces Summit. The work we do, with its focus on the fundamental interactions of pathogens and healthcare surfaces, will have immediate and lasting impacts on everyday environmental service best practices, how healthcare environments are built, and how we interact with our healthcare environment."

Mary Millard is the only healthcare associated infection (HAI) survivor living with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the world. With no preexisting conditions, this perfectly healthy woman went into a hospital for a procedure and left with an infection that would forever alter her life. Millard, a native of North Carolina, brings a powerful and sought-after national speaker and advocate to help HSS raise awareness about the role surfaces play in the transmission of pathogens that cause HAIs. Millard is the one in 25 patients that acquire an HAI each year. She is an advocate of research, prevention and safety. After joining the HSS Board, Millard said that “We have a strong and direct mission and mandate to connect industries for working on the multi-pronged approach to the problem of infections.”

The HSS Board of Directors also welcomed Dr. W. Curtis White. Since 1962, he has been an unrivaled success as an industrial microbiologist. White has invented over 50 patents, developed, and commercialized industrial antimicrobials and other surface modifying chemistries.  He is active in standards and trade organizations throughout the USA and abroad and published over 250 trade and technical publications in his field. 

“The continued validation that the awareness and attention to surfaces as sources and transfer routes of pathogenic microbes is an underappreciated reality and deserves efforts to understand and remedy. Furthermore, seeing the energized commitment of the wide range of healthcare professionals at the Summit and the ever focusing of the HSS work-products provide for optimism and pathways for real change.” White accurately sums up the reason behind the HSS with this quote.

The Healthcare Surfaces Summit is a cutting-edge collaboration of leaders, representing a comprehensive view of all sectors contributing to healthcare facilities. By no means a conference, this think tank platform convenes once a year to report and develop action plans for each Initiative Group to carry on work throughout the year.

The HSS initiative groups are loyal to their mission - to reduce preventable infections through collaboration of industry, academia, science, regulatory, and service sectors by interrupting the transmission of surface-related pathogens in healthcare.

In just three years, the Summit has developed multi-year plans, commissioned research, contributed to standards and pursued educational initiatives long overdue.  To learn more about the Healthcare Surfaces Summit and how you and/or your organization can get involved, visit: www.healthcaresurfacessummit.org.