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Infection Control

Hygiene specialist release 3.18

March 18, 2011
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Award is a Component of UMF Corporations PerfectCLEAN® Hygiene Specialist Program

SKOKIE,IL., – UMF Corporation, a leader in developing high- performance infection prevention products for the healthcare and hospitality markets, today announced that Janet Altman, a hygiene specialist at Benewah Community Hospital in St. Maries, Idaho, is the recipient of the first annual Hygiene Specialist™ Excellence Award. The award is part of the company’s new Hygiene Specialist program focused on training, education and ongoing reinforcement of infection prevention “best practices” for Environmental Services and Infection Prevention professionals.

Nominated by her Environmental Services Manager, Eula Needham, Altman was honored for her outstanding skills and diligent efforts at maintaining the hospital’s hygiene standards to help prevent the spread of of Hospital Associated Infections (HAI’s). Janet has been working at Benewah Community Hospital in St. Maries, Idaho for 17 years and was named a lead housekeeper in 2010.

“We believe that housekeepers are the first line of defense in preventing (HAIs) and providing a safe patient environment. Reducing the risk of HAIs isn’t about one job classification or one department; it’s an effort that must involve everyone,” said George Clarke, UMF Corporation CEO. “Through her actions and dedication, Janet Altman has made Benewah Community Hospital a safer place. We’re pleased and proud to recognize her as our first award recipient. Through this award and the Hygiene Specialist program, we hope to elevate awareness and remind all involved of the importance of incorporating environmental hygiene best practices into their facilities.”

In addition to the recognition, Altman received a week’s vacation to South Beach, Florida that included airfare and accommodation for two on the world-famous beach. Janet was selected from nominees across the country.

“Janet is always willing to help with quality improvement and continuously looks for ways to meet patient needs and gain a better understanding of their concerns. She has excellent work skills and motivates others. As a team player, Janet routinely steps up when we’re short-staffed,” said Eula Needham, Environmental Services Manager. “She is goal-oriented and embraces new programs and initiatives with a positive attitude. This award is well-deserved.”

Designed to raise the bar on providing a safe patient environment and reduce HAIs, the sixth leading cause of death in the USA according to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control, UMF’s Hygiene Specialist program reinforces the critical need to combine environmental and hand hygiene programs. The program also stresses infection prevention as an organizational priority. The Hygiene Specialist Program includes training components such as best practices for effective infection prevention, in-service education and effective hygiene management in patient rooms and all other areas of the hospital.

“Preventing HAI’s is critical to the health of patients and the financial health of the hospital,” said Clarke. “Most facilities focus on the result (of HAI) rather than addressing one of the primary sources - environmental surfaces. Implementing a hand hygiene program, spending significant dollars on hand sanitizer and disposable gloves is of little value if the first surface touched by the caregiver is contaminated. This program provides motivational tools and opportunities for Environmental Services staff to help them focus on providing a cleaner, safer patient environment.”

About Benewah Community Hospital
Currently undergoing a major expansion, Benewah Community Hospital is a 19-bed rural hospital in St. Maries, Idaho that provides a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic care to residents of Benewah, Kootenai, Shoshone and St. Maries counties. It is a county-owned, non-profit, critical access facility focused on the healthcare needs of local and surrounding communities.

About UMF

Founded in 2001, Chicago-based UMF Corporation is the only company in North America that designs, develops and manufactures high performance micro-denier fibers on a commercial scale. UMF’s products are marketed under the PerfectClean® brand. Committed to "cleaning up the environment, one room at a time," PerfectClean products are based on patented technology that combines antimicrobial chemistry with innovative, proprietary and patented fiber design and production. PerfectCLEAN products are used extensively by leading acute care hospitals, long term care facilities, hotels and universities.

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