Global Needlestick Prevention Group Honors Award Recipients as It Marks the 4th Annual International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah--()--Nov. 22, 2005--ISIPS, the first international needlestick prevention group, announced that six recipients are being honored for reducing sharps injuries with a Sharps Injury Prevention Award with an additional 34 recipients receiving honorable mention awards. These awards are part of the International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month activities being commemorated during December, 2005 starting with World AIDS Day, December 1st.

A number of very worthy individuals were nominated for the ISIPS 2005 International Sharps Injury Prevention Awards. Nominations were reviewed by a nominating committee, comprised of representatives from Terumo Medical, Tyco Kendall Healthcare, Ritract Medical, BD, Retractable Technologies Inc., B. Braun, Managing Infection Control and the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS). We are grateful to these organizations for sponsoring the awards this year.

We thank those individuals that have made a difference in getting the message of sharps injury prevention to healthcare workers and employers around the globe. We owe a debt of gratitude to those that have provided a healthier climate for healthcare workers and others.

The ISIPS 2005 Sharps Injury Prevention Awards have been given to honor six individuals who have demonstrated creative, consistent contributions to the field of needlestick prevention. For complete information on the recipients go to

The ISIPS 2005 International Sharps Injury Prevention Award recipients are:

Brian French

Brian M. French, RN, MS, BC is a professional development coordinator, The Knight Nursing Center for Clinical and Professional Development, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston. As a member of the interdisciplinary Needlestick Reduction Task Force since its inception in 2000, his team of educators work collaboratively with others to evaluate and implement the safest, most clinically effective and cost effective sharp safe products for patients and staff. The committee's collaborative efforts have resulted in a steady decline in injuries and exposures from the highest risk products through product choice and comprehensive educational initiatives.

Dr. Robyn Gershon

As an occupational health and safety researcher with more than 15 years of experience in conducting complex occupational health research studies, Dr. Robyn Gershon, Associate Professor, Principal Investigator, WTC Evacuation Study, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, has spent the past 20 years studying and working on identifying the risk factors for needlestick injuries. Her work has included studies of devices as well as behavioral and organizational factors. Dr. Gershon's studies have been important in showing work stress as a predictor for why healthcare workers do not adopt precautions relating to protective devices. She has developed Participatory Action Teams to develop worker-centered approaches to reduce needlesticks, a challenge she finds greatly worthwhile. "Working directly with front line healthcare workers and being able to appreciate their enthusiasm and interest in protecting themselves and reducing their risk is a rewarding experience," she says.

Renee Gould

An Advanced Practice Nurse in the Medical Services Division, Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Ms. Gould's responsibilities include quality and safety improvements, and standards development. Ms. Gould has spoken on sharps injury prevention and safety products for a wide range of audiences, from local Rotary Clubs to the Governor of Iowa's Needlestick Study Group. She educates staff on the products available to reduce their risk of injury.

Renee Gould is often called upon as a consultant to others, both inside and outside the hospital. For her dedicated service in sharps injury prevention, Ms. Gould received the Improving Your Workplace Award from the University of Iowa in 2001 for: "being instrumental in evaluating, disseminating, educating and supporting the use of safety products to decrease needlestick work-related injuries through the implementation of sharps safety products."

Susan Loomis

Susan Loomis, MSN, RN CS is often described as being ahead of the curve in recognizing the safety issue associated with sharps long before other organizations became aware. "As a leader and advocate on sharps safety, Susan has been tireless in informing staff and negotiating for funds to obtain safety devices," her nominator says. "She is superb in communicating to staff at all levels in the organization and involves staff in reviewing and selecting products. Because of her leadership, inclusion and rigor, sound product choices were made." Ms. Loomis serves as the Director of Occupational Health Services for Partners Healthcare System in Boston. As a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Needlestick Reduction Task Force, she has assisted with the role of developing the task force's mission and objectives. This task force serves a crucial role in mitigating risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogen. Ms. Loomis has been active on the task force in the development of data systems to capture and analyze exposure variables, measure outcomes related to needlestick reduction activity and assist task force members with promotion and publication of task force activity.

Elizabeth Maccario

Elizabeth Maccario, RN, BSN, has been involved in needlestick prevention since 1999. As an Infection Control Nurse at the VANYHarbor Health Care Facility, Brooklyn Campus, she has been involved in all aspects of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act. An active member of the Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Prevention Committee, Ms. Maccario gives lectures on needlestick prevention to new residents and interns monthly, and includes it in monthly new employee orientation. In addition to needlestick injury prevention, emphasis is placed on the steps to take during a needlestick injury including the importance of reporting the incident and demonstration of safety devices. An active member of the Commodities Standards Committee, Ms. Maccario participates in the trial, evaluations and decision making for the final selection and implementation of a device. She goes out of her way to find a safety device when the current one is not well liked. She has conducted numerous trials on new safety devices utilizing input of all direct care givers in order to obtain the safest products. As a result of these efforts, there has been an on-going decrease in needlestick injuries at the Brooklyn Campus over the past three years.

Becky McKinney

As the Infection Control Manager for St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., Becky McKinney has been a nurse for more than 26 years. "I have been working in Infection Control for the past 11 years, and I love my job," says Ms. McKinney. "With responsibility for surveillance, education, tracking, trending and assorted other tasks that seem to fall under infection control, my job can be quite interesting." Ms. McKinney organized the Sharps Injury Prevention Group (SIPG) which is comprised of front-line healthcare workers to analyze sharps injuries, review sharps injury prevention products and recommend solutions/products for trial or use. "Ms. McKinney has worked tirelessly with purchasing to get products in house as they have become available over the years," explains her nominator. "She teaches about the safety products in orientation and encourages all associates to use the safety products available."

"I feel very honored to have been nominated and selected as an award winner," Ms. McKinney states. "I would like to acknowledge this is not something that was done all alone. We had administrative support to purchase safety devices, excellent follow-up through our Personnel Health Department--Linda Pickard, Roxanne Bagby and Pat Little, long hours of training and retraining by Paula McCullough and tireless record entry by Pat Fulk, our assistant."

Honorable Mentions

We recognize the following individuals for the contributions they have made to sharps safety. For their respective efforts they have been awarded honorable mention certificates:

-- May Alabado

May Agnes Alabado is the Assistant Director of Nursing at The Moorings of the Presbyterian Homes in Arlington Heights, Ill.

-- David Alexandrou

After graduating from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2001 with a bachelors degree in nursing, David N. Alexandrou, RN, BSN, has worked in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Fla.

-- Baptist Hospital East, Safer Sharps/Exposure Prevention Committee

Members of the multi-department team include: Patsy Adams, Tony Bohn, Laurie Bliven, Pam Brown, Beth Browning, Cathy Dougherty, Trish Ferris, Sandy Haile, Bonnie Henle, Diana Huber, Janet Kaiser, Pam Kayrouz, Janice Lattus, Nancy Montfort, Charlotte Mudd, Valinda Petri, Jacqui Reynolds, Nicole Seraphine, Mary Margret Spann, Larry Spear, Dottie Strother and Anita Taylor.

-- Barry Berler

In 2000 Barry Berler, an avid entrepreneur and inventor, revolutionized the safety syringe industry upon submittal of the first of three patents pertaining to the innovative SafeTip syringe.

-- Lisa Black

Lisa Black, RN, from Reno, Nev. was occupationally infected with HIV/HCV through an occupational needlestick injury in 1998. Since her dual seroconversion, Ms. Black has spoken extensively about her experience in the United States, Europe and Asia. She also has been instrumental in the success of state and national needle safety and worker's compensation reform legislation.

-- Charlotte Cruz

As Housekeeping Manager for Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill., Charlotte Cruz and her team are dedicated to safety in the hospital as they make sure the sharps containers.

-- Clare Edelmayer

Clare Edelmayer, RN, MT (ASCP) , MS, CIC, has been the Infection Control Coordinator at Doylestown Hospital in Doylestown, Pa. since 1991.

-- Lynn Gove

Lynn Gove, RN, CIC is the Director of Infection Control for AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, N.J. Ms. Gove graduated from Misericordia School of Nursing in Philadelphia in 1964. She has worked in various capacities in the nursing profession entering into the field of infection control in 1979.

-- Dr. Dietrich Grabis

As president and COB of ITG-Medical in Road Lodi, Calif., Dr. Dietrich Grabis invented one of the most advanced retractable safety syringe devices, receiving three patents and FDA approval.

-- Robin Haag

A champion of safety throughout her 30 year career as a nurse, Robin Haag is currently the president of APIC Chapter 13 and is the Director of Infection Control and HIV Services at Coney Island Hospital, a New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation 350-bed acute care facility located in Brooklyn, N.Y.

-- Kristine Heiser

As a founding member of the Safety Device Task Force at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, N.Y, Kristine Heiser, RN has been chairperson of the committee since 2003. She was the first point-of-care nurse to chair the multidisciplinary committee.

-- Wendy Hess

As Director of the Infection Control Division at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J., Wendy Hess has been at the forefront of sharps injury prevention for many years.

-- Deborah Hodapp

Working in Cardiac Telemetry at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill., Deborah Hodapp, RN, is conscientious in her efforts for sharps injury prevention, setting a good example for both new and experienced staff.

-- Andy Hu

Andy Hu has successfully developed several devices with unique safety and low cost features to prevent sharps injuries. These devices include: Auto Retractable Safety Scalpel, Vacuum Operated Auto Retractable Safety Syringe, and Vacuum Operated Retractable IV Catheter.

-- Dr. Yvan J. F. Hutin

Dr. Yvan J. F. Hutin is a World Health Organization (WHO) Medical Officer stationed as resident adviser for the India Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP) of the National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. As part of his public health career, he worked in Burkina Faso (West Africa), in Uganda (East Africa) and at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland where he was in charge of the secretariat of the Safe Injection Global Network (SIGN) alliance.

-- Dr. Amandua Jacinto

Dr. Amandua Jacinto has worked for 18 years as a doctor in rural Uganda in both clinical and management positions, and has been medical superintendent at general and regional referral hospitals in Uganda. In 1999, Dr. Jacinto was appointed the Commissioner for Health Services (Clinical Services) in the Ministry of Health of Uganda. With the challenge of safety in health services, the ministry has formulated an Infection Strategy from which Safe Injections Policy and Guidelines have been developed. Uganda has now changed to the use of syringes with re-use prevention features in the Curative Services.

-- Patricia Jagoe

As OR Clinical Manager at WakeMed Health and Hospitals Raleigh Campus, Patricia Jagoe, RN, BSN, CNOR, oversees a 22-room OR at the hospital's Level II trauma center located in Raleigh, N.C.

-- Satish B. Kaipilyawar

Dr. Satish B. Kaipilyawar, Senior Program Manager, leads the PATH Andhra Pradesh (AP) Partnership office in Hyderabad, India. In his role, Dr. Kaipilyawar leads injection safety work, including coordinating sharps disposal systems and disseminating experience nationally. He has designed, introduced and implemented use of safety boxes resulting in reduction of accidental needlestick injuries for healthcare workers serving the population of 80 million in Andhra Pradesh.

-- Patty Laird

In addition to her role as Nurse Manager of a 42-bed Surgical Medical Care Center at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind., Patty Laird, RN, MSN, OCN, has worked diligently as leader of the hospital Needleless Team since 1999.

-- Ann Lewis

Ann Lewis, RN, ICP at Genesis Medical Center-Illinois Campus in Silvis, Ill. has worked with various teams over the years to select safety devices to meet employee needs.

-- LifeCare Hospital Team

Lynette Smith, RN, BSN and Infection Control Coordinator; Leilani Mallare, BN and Manager of Education; and Nancy Gagorik, RN, CRNP and Employee Health coordinator have worked collaboratively utilizing a transdisciplinary approach to implement a Zero Needle Stick injury culture at LifeCare Hospital of Pittsburgh.

-- Lorna MacKinnon

Lorna MacKinnon is Infection Control Nurse at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, Maine.

-- Colleen McKinney

Colleen McKinney leads the IV team and heads the charge for reducing needle sticks at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill.

-- Fran Pagen

Fran Pagen is the Nursing Program Specialist, Communicable Disease, at Sarasota County Health Department in Sarasota, Fla.

-- Michael Poole

As chair of The Poole Organisation in Jersey in the Channel Islands, Michael Poole was involved with the development of the Auto Disable Syringe with the World Health Organization, Unicef and the White House from 1991 to 1993.

-- Linda Rose

As a 23-year employee with SSM St. Mary's Health Center in St. Louis with over 2,500 employees.

-- Lynda Ruckman

Lynda Ruckman, RN, MS, COHN-S, is the Director of Employee Health Services and Chair of the Occupational Exposures Committee (OEC) at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.

-- Lillian Salerno

Lillian Salerno serves as a Health Policy Advisor in Washington D.C.

-- Cameron Schmidt

Chairperson of the Needlestick Prevention Committee at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

-- Kay Stauffer

She has served as the Infection Control Practitioner at Shands AGH in Gainesville, Florida for 10 years.

-- Dorothy Thomas

She has been a champion for patients and staff in supporting the needleless environment at the Miami Children's Hospital in Miami, Fla.

-- Elaine L. Watson

Elaine L. Watson, RN, CIC, has been an Infection Control Nurse with the VA Western New York Healthcare System for the past 24 years.

-- Lisa Weber

Lisa Weber, RN, BSN, has worked at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill. for the past six years.

-- Susan Wilburn

Susan Wilburn, MPH, BSN, RN, is a Nurse Consultant with a specialty in occupational and environmental health.

For information about the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society call 801-280-8797, email, or access


ISIPS, South Jordan
Ron Stoker, 801-280-8797


ISIPS, South Jordan
Ron Stoker, 801-280-8797