St. Mary’s Medical Center Infection Prevention Team Wins Award

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – As the U.S. healthcare system was under the brunt of the coronavirus, Erin Minnerath, Tiffany Martens and Angie Silva worked hard to keep St. Mary’s staff and resources intact by applying resources and infrastructures initially intended for the study of extremely dangerous diseases for the new coronavirus.

The Association of Infection Control and Epidemiology Professionals presented the team with the 2022 Infection Prevention Heroes Award early Monday morning.

Minnerath, infection prevention manager and supervisor of the special pathogen assessment program, said: “We were uniquely prepared because of the work we had recently done before the pandemic to prepare for an infectious disease in serious consequences like Ebola.” The medical infrastructure and personnel originally in place to study Ebola made it easy for the team to refocus on the novel Coronavirus, giving them a substantial advantage.

After grooming and training their colleagues at St. Mary’s, the team expanded their reach to seven other facilities on the West Slope and the Denver metro area.

“This recognition honors the importance and dedication of the work we do for the well-being of our patients and the community,” said Michelle Shiao, Chief Nursing Officer. “We are fortunate to have such a team of innovators who continue to lead the charge with this critical work.

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