- Which Industries need Infection Preventionists?
- A Day in the Life of Infection Preventionists
- Additional Resources
In this three-part series, ActivePure Medical's own infection preventionist, Caitlin Stowe, interviews peers about their engaging and vital profession. We last shared Caitlin's interview with Regan Wagner, MPH and John Patrick Delano, MPH, CIC. You can find those interviews here.
Which Industries need Infection Preventionists?
In Part One of this series, we explained that infection preventionists (IPs) are the healthcare workers responsible for preventing the spread of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) caused by human and environmental factors.
Infection preventionists (IPs) are specially trained professionals, leaders, educators, and collaborators from diverse backgrounds, including nursing, public health, laboratory, and allied health fields.
IPs play a vital role in ensuring patient and healthcare worker safety in multiple healthcare environments including:
- Healthcare Systems & Hospitals
- Long-term Care Facilities
- Public Health Agencies
However, they are also critical in non-healthcare environments, such as:
- Correctional & Detention Facilities
- Healthcare Manufacturers (including ActivePure Medical)
A Day in the Life of an Infection Preventionist
Part Two will focus on three infection preventionists who work for non-healthcare (or healthcare support) environments, including the interviewer herself—ActivePure Medical's own Caitlin Stowe.
- Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Medical Liaison – Caitlin Stowe, MPH, CPH, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC
- Director, Clinical Solutions & Content Equity – Mackenzie Weise, MPH, CIC
- Clinical Science Liaison – Holly J. Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC
The Interviewer: Caitlin Stowe, MPH, CPH, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC
Caitlin Stowe, MPH, CPH, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC
Caitlin has worked in infection prevention and control roles for the past twelve years and has worked in the healthcare industry for more than twenty. She has been with ActivePure Medical for a little over a year and has led our clinical studies and furthered the evidence-based science behind ActivePure Technology.
Before joining ActivePure Medical, Caitlin was the clinical affairs research manager for PDI Healthcare, where she played a significant role in developing an evidence-based science strategy for the post-market portfolio, initiating over 20 studies in two years. Stowe also assisted with evidence generation for product development and designed multiple professional training programs.
Examples of Caitlin's Work:
- Infection Control Today Interview – Q&A: Approaches to disinfection in COVID Era
- To Make Matters Worse: Health Disparities and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Caitlin has been an adjunct faculty member at South College in Knoxville, Tenn., teaching undergraduate biostatistics, health science research, and epidemiology courses. Stowe graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Florida. She earned her master's degree in public health specializing in global communicable disease and has a graduate certification in infection control from the University of South Florida. In addition to her multiple certifications in infection control, public health, and health quality, she will attain her Ph.D. in health science from Nova Southeastern University in 2023.
Mackenzie Weise, MPH, CIC
Mackenzie Weise, MPH, CIC
Mackenzie Weise, MPH, CIC is the Director of Clinical Solutions & Content Equity at Wolters Kluwer Health in Washington, D.C. She has been with the company for four years but has a long history in infection prevention and control.
“… Health technology isn't going anywhere so there's a huge need for our voices to help bridge gaps and translate real-life workflows into various business and product development languages.”
Mackenzie has been an epidemiologist for 14 years and an IP for nine. We're thrilled to have her share what a day in the life is like outside of the typical healthcare space.
Q&A with Mackenzie Weise, MPH, CIC
“The most effective IPs are also disruptors or in other words, people who can interrupt processes, help prevent undesirable outcomes, change culture, and advocate for the health of others.”
- What is a typical day like?
- Supporting product development efforts (testing/evaluating, planning, educating, etc.) to provide effective hospital surveillance software which helps IPs maximize their efficiency and impact.
- Reading to remain on top of the latest epi/IP research, guidance, and news to provide up-to-date subject matter expertise internally and externally; this helps to guide best practice.
- Helping to ensure company efforts, products, and content are inclusive, equitable, and accessible.
- What is the best part about your job? Operating in a technology space where I'm able to help ease surveillance burdens for IPs today as well as visualize and help to plan for further advancement in the future.
- What characteristic does someone need to be an IP? The most effective IPs are also disruptors or in other words, people who can interrupt processes, help prevent undesirable outcomes, change culture, and advocate for the health of others.
- What trend do you expect to see more of in the future for infection prevention and control? I expect to see further advancements in the technology space to greatly decrease labor-intense, manual efforts as well as revolutionize IP workflows to be mostly preventative versus reactive.
Holly J. Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC
Holly J. Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC
Holly J. Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC is the Clinical Science Liaison for PDI Healthcare. She is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has been an infection preventionists for over ten years. She has been in her role at PDI for five. You can read her impressive bio on PDI's clinical spotlight page: Meet Holly.
“I have always had an interest in microbiology, infectious diseases and the interplay of the two on population health.”
Her areas of expertise include
- Microbiology & Infectious Disease Transmission
- Infection Prevention
- Patient Safety & Healthcare Quality
- Safety Culture
- Public Health, Vascular Access
- Environmental Disinfection
- Performance Improvement
Her education offerings can be found online and include 1 CE credit courses like Hand Hygiene in a Healthcare Setting.
Q&A with Holly J. Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC
“…it is critical to embrace being a perpetual learner.”
What is a typical day like?
The beauty of being a clinical science liaison/infection preventionist is the dynamic nature of our jobs. We never know what we may encounter in any given workday.
What is the best part about your job?
Given the dynamic nature of the role, it is critical to embrace being a perpetual learner. I enjoy reading the scientific literature and guiding people to evidence based (best) practice with the end goal of patient safety and good clinical outcomes.
What characteristic does someone need to be an IP?
Of the many, many characteristics needed and required, being an active listener and effective communicator is definitely at the top from my experience.
What trend do you expect to see more of in the future for infection prevention and control?
Acutely, given the impacts of the pandemic on healthcare, I believe a return to basics approach to bundled interventions to prevent HAIs is paramount. More long term, I believe out-sourced surveillance and predictive modeling may start to dominate the landscape. Also, a more intentional alignment of infection prevention with healthcare quality and patient safety.
Many infection prevention companies, like ActivePure Medical, offer infection prevention education content. One of our interviewees, Holly, authored a great guidebook titled, I'm New to IP: Now What? A Guidebook to the First Year, worth 1 CE Credit.
Join us next month for Part Three, where we will interview two additional IPs while discussing IP job titles and salaries.
If you are one of ActivePure Medical's healthcare partners, we work as an extension of your infection prevention team. Whether you have an on-site IP or not, our team is ready to help.
Contact us today for a free evaluation of your infection prevention efforts.
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