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Published on June 24, 2016

CCHC Director of Infection Prevention
Receives Highest Honor from Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology

Cape Cod Healthcare is pleased to announce that Georgia (Gigi) Dash, RN, MS, CIC, Director of Infection Prevention for Cape Cod Healthcare, has been honored with the 2016 Carole DeMille Achievement Award by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

The award, which was presented to Ms. Dash at the opening session of the APIC’s 43rd Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC on June 11, was given to her “for her global contributions to the field of infection prevention,” according to a APIC press release. The award is given annually to an infection preventionist (IP) who best exemplifies the ideals of Carole DeMille, who was a pioneer in the field.

“Gigi has dedicated decades to making healthcare safer for patients around the world and we are truly honored to recognize her leadership with this award,” said APIC 2016 president Susan Dolan, RN, MS, CIC, in the APIC press release. “She is an innovator, a seasoned adviser and an advocate, focusing her efforts on furthering several generations of IPs and the entire field of infection prevention.”

Ms. Dash has been an active APIC member for more than 40 years and was past president of the association in 2002. She served on the board of directors in 1998-99. During her presidency, she helped lead the first Patient Safety Symposium co-hosted by APIC, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“She played a critical role providing guidance and recommendations to the CDC related to public reporting of healthcare-associated infections and worked on many other advisory panels, including those for The Joint Commission and the state of Pennsylvania,” the press release continued.
Other accomplishments over her career include infection control advisor for the West Dorset District Health Authority in England in 1991 and lecturer in Japan for the U.S. State Department. She continues as a reviewer of Japanese hospital infection prevention standards.

She began her career in Philadelphia at Albert Einstein Medical Center where she became the Medical Center’s first Nurse Epidemiologist, and the second nurse in Philadelphia to fill that role. In 1970 she took the first training course offered by CDC in Surveillance, Prevention and Control of Hospital-Acquired Infection. She later earned a Master of Science degree in Community and Preventive Medicine from the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

She has been director of infection prevention at Cape Cod Healthcare since 2007.

“We were thrilled to see Gigi receive the highest award from the most respected organization in the field of infection control and prevention,” said Michael K. Lauf, president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare. “Her meticulous attention to detail and her incredible commitment to preventing infections in our hospitals, outpatient centers and doctors’ offices have made her an invaluable resource not only to Cape Cod Healthcare, but to this community. The people of Cape Cod were extremely fortunate when Gigi chose to continue her career on Cape Cod. Her level of knowledge and expertise does not come along every day, and our patients, staff and region are better – and safer - because of her.”

Ms. Dash said the most significant change she has seen in the field of infection prevention during her 40 years of practice is the commitment by infection preventionists, physicians and staff to the idea of achieving zero hospital-associated infections. This was followed by development of evidence-based practices that were hard-wired into patient care to reduce hospital-associated infection.

At CCHC, this has been achieved through the “Journey to Zero” program which has seen zero central line-associated bloodstream infections in the ICU’s /CVICUs, and zero ventilator-associated pneumonias for multiple years at both Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital.

“The greatest reward for me has been the opportunity to be a part of the journey and to work for and with physicians and staff who are truly committed to infection prevention,” said Ms. Dash.

Media Inquiries

All media inquiries should be directed to Robin Lord, Director of Communications.

Phone: 508-862-7891

Cell: 774-236-9602

rlord@capecodhealth.org