Don’t Let the Germs Get Under Your Skin: Preventing Infections in Rural Hospitals

Time: 9:00 AM


HSHS St. John's Hospital Prairie Heart Institute
Dove Conference Center
619 E. Mason, Springfield, IL 62769
Thursday, June 1, 2023, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 


This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $824,375 with 0% financed with non-governmental resources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

There is no fee to attend. Lunch is not included.

Register Online

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) decreased at hospitals nationwide between 2014 and 2017. Yet, COVID-19 led to dramatic reversal in successful efforts to reduce patient harm, with significantly higher incidences of some HAIs between 2019 and 2021. Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) increased 47% and 19%, respectively, at their highest in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A complimentary, one-day IHA workshop will focus on preventing CLABSIs, CAUTIs and multidrug-resistant organisms specifically at Critical Access Hospitals. Subject matter experts at the national, state and local levels will discuss using HAI data to focus hospital efforts and will offer practical infection prevention strategies.  


 9 a.m.

 Welcome and Introductions

 Christina Boyd, MPH, CPHQ
 Jenny Winkler, MPH, CIC, CPPS
 Illinois Health and Hospital Association

9:30 a.m.

 Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Strategies

 Katlyn White, MPH, CIC
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 Topics covered:

  •  How hospitals can use their HAI data to guide prevention efforts
  • Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) Strategy
  • Newly available infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) tools
  • High-level prevention strategies for CAUTIs, CLABSIs and Clostridioides difficile infections including training, audits, feedback and other strategies applicable to infection prevention programs
 11:30 a.m.  Lunch (on your own)
 12:30 p.m.

 While We Were Masking…COVID-19’s Impact on Illinois HAIs and Infection Control Practices

 Mary Alice Lavin, MJ, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC
 Angela Tang, MPH
 Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)

 Topics covered:

  • State HAI data
  • IDPH experiences with small, rural and Critical Access Hospitals
  • How IDPH can serve as a resource to support hospitals
1:30 p.m.  Break
1:45 p.m.  Stories from the Field
 Hospitals will share successes related to a specific infection prevention topic. 
2:45 p.m.  Break
3 p.m.

 Using Quality Improvement Practices to Make Change

 Christina Boyd, MPH, CPHQ
 Jenny Winkler, MPH, CIC, CPPS
 Illinois Health and Hospital Association

This session will provide an overview of the improvement model and how this methodology can support the implementation of infection prevention interventions.

3:45 p.m.

 Wrap Up

 Christina Boyd, MPH, CPHQ
 Jenny Winkler, MPH, CIC, CPPS
 Illinois Health and Hospital Association

4 p.m.  Adjourn


This program will help participants:

  • Use healthcare-associated infection data to guide infection prevention efforts.

  • Identify practical strategies small and rural hospitals can utilize to prevent healthcare-associated infections.

  • Discuss successful infection prevention interventions implemented by peer hospitals.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for Critical Access Hospital staff who are responsible for or support their hospital’s infection prevention program.


Christina Boyd, MPH, CPHQ
IHA Director, Quality, Safety and Health Policy
Boyd has over 14 years of experience in hospital associations, working to advance quality and health outcomes in Illinois hospitals. In her current role, Boyd is responsible for leading and coordinating quality and patient safety initiatives to support the implementation of improvement processes and improve member performance. She is the lead for various federal, state and local quality improvement projects, as well as the topic lead for patient and family engagement and EMS operations and policy development. 

Mary Alice Lavin, MJ, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC
Consultant, Hektoen Institute of Medicine
Lavin supports healthcare facilities in prevention and control of multidrug-resistant organisms as a grantee to the Illinois Department of Public Health. With more than 37 years of experience in infection prevention and control, she has worked in a variety of settings leading and supporting efforts to reduce the risk for infection and create a safe environment of care.

Angela Tang, MPH
CRE Project Director/Epidemiologist, Illinois Department of Public Health
Hektoen Institute of Medicine
Tang has been an epidemiologist with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance (HAI/AR) Program for nine years. Her work includes managing and analyzing data from the XDRO Registry, a collaboration between IDPH, Medical Research Analytics and Informatics Alliance, and the Chicago CDC Prevention Epicenter focused on extensively drug resistant organisms (XDROs); enhancing statewide multidrug-resistant organisms surveillance and information exchange; and providing support for HAI/AR outbreak investigation and response. Tang was previously a Public Health Prevention Service Fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working on HAI prevention for the New Mexico Department of Health and serving as a community health educator with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua.

Katelyn White, MPH, CIC
Epidemiologist, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In her current role, White serves as a lead for the implementation of the Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) Strategy, assisting partners across the nation in their HAI prevention efforts, and the lead trainer for the Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) tools. She provides education, tool development, direct technical assistance, as well as facilitates collaborations between partners.

Jenny Winkler, MPH, CIC, CPPS
IHA Senior Director, Quality, Safety and Health Policy
With over 14 years of experience in healthcare, Winkler has extensive knowledge and expertise in the areas of infection prevention, patient safety, quality improvement and project management. Through IHA’s Institute in Innovations in Care and Quality, she works with hospitals to support and enhance their patient safety and quality work.