FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 21, 2021
VDH Awards $6M Grant to VCU Health System to Strengthen Infection Prevention and Control Capacity in Virginia
A new Virginia Infection Prevention Training Center will be established to build and strengthen the state’s infection prevention and control workforce and reduce infections in all types of healthcare settings.
(RICHMOND, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) awarded a $6 million grant to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System to establish a statewide infection prevention training center. The new Virginia Infection Prevention Training Center, to be designed and implemented by VCU, will work in tandem with healthcare facilities and public health to strengthen infection prevention and control expertise and provide universal infection prevention and control training to frontline providers.
“VDH is excited to utilize COVID-19 federal funding to address a previously recognized need for comprehensive and sustainable infection prevention and control training in Virginia,” said Laurie Forlano, D.O., MPH, deputy director of the VDH’s Office of Epidemiology. “Partnership with VCU, a nationally recognized leader in infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship, will ensure the success and longevity of this initiative.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed major gaps in knowledge around infection prevention nationally, particularly in nursing homes and other long-term care settings,” said Michael Stevens, M.D., interim hospital epidemiologist at VCU Medical Center and co-principal investigator of the VDH grant. “Our goal is to give practitioners in Virginia the knowledge and skills to prevent as many infections as possible. This means better, safer care for patients throughout the Commonwealth.”
The Virginia Infection Prevention Training Center will provide in-person and interactive online training to thousands of healthcare providers and learners across Virginia. The training courses will include evidence-based infection prevention and control practices that can be applied across the healthcare continuum.
“Everyone plays a role in infection prevention, especially with highly transmissible COVID-19 variants on the rise,” said Michelle Doll, M.D., associate hospital epidemiologist at VCU Medical Center and co-principal investigator of the VDH grant. “We will teach beginner-, intermediate- and advanced-level courses and the introductory classes will be open to anyone working in a healthcare setting interested in infection prevention.”
By establishing the Virginia Infection Prevention Training Center, VDH and VCU aim to create a sustainable resource for training and education for all frontline healthcare workers in the Commonwealth for years to come.
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About VCU and VCU Health
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls nearly 30,000 students in 238 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-three of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Tappahannock Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and MCV Physicians. The clinical enterprise includes a collaboration with Sheltering Arms Institute for physical rehabilitation services. For more, please visit vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.