APIC announces recipient of award for outstanding service, dedication to infection prevention profession

Ruth Carrico, PhD, RN, FSHEA, CIC, of Louisville, Ky., has been named the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Carole DeMille Achievement Award by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). The award, which will be presented at APIC’s 39th Annual Educational Conference & International Meeting, June 4-6 in San Antonio, is given annually to an infection preventionist (IP) who best exemplifies the ideals of Carole DeMille, a pioneer in the field.

“Ruth is a passionate teacher and charismatic speaker who continuously shares her knowledge with others,” said APIC 2012 President Michelle Farber, RN, CIC. “Her work to educate, mentor, and support the infection prevention community is extraordinary. Her leadership will have a lasting impact on our profession, and we are honored to recognize her with APIC’s highest award.” 

An infection preventionist for 20 years, Dr. Carrico is an associate professor at the School of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Louisville. Prior to teaching, Dr. Carrico was director of the Infection Control department at University of Louisville Hospital. While there, she restructured the program so it had a transdisciplinary focus and included a broad-scoped liaison approach.

Dr. Carrico’s prolific research has influenced the practice of infection prevention and has focused on many areas of public health including infectious diseases transmission, emergency preparedness, and immunization. Her book on the nation’s first drive thru immunization program became a guide for others as they investigated the potential for mass immunizations in the event of a bioterrorism attack or disease outbreak within a community.

She is currently a member of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow program, and serves on several boards, including the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, the Kentucky Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, and the Kentucky State Regional Infection Prevention and Epidemiology Program. Dr. Carrico has also served the local APIC Kentuckiana Chapter 42 in many capacities, including secretary, treasurer, and president. She also has served on the national APIC Board of Directors and the Nominating and Awards Committee. The author of more than 50 publications, Dr. Carrico was a key leader in the evolution of the APIC Text of Infection Control and Epidemiology, a highly valued online resource for infection prevention.

Dr. Carrico is also clinical advisor to the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE), who is partnering with APIC on a joint educational campaign titled “Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients: Leaders in Infection Prevention and Environmental Services working together for better patient outcomes.”

At the APIC 2012 Annual Conference, Dr. Carrico will deliver two sessions: Monday, June 4 at 3 p.m., “One Stick at a Time: A Toolkit for an Effective Healthcare Personnel Immunization Program;” and June 5, at 3 p.m., “Prolonged Use of Respiratory Protection: How Does it Affect the Healthcare Worker?”

The late Carole DeMille was among the founders of APIC who later became an internationally recognized authority in the developing field of hospital infection control. She was known for her vision and optimistic approach to present-day infection prevention methods. The award was established in her honor in 1979, following her death.


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