Why are R01 NIH Grants Such a Big Deal?

by Erica Mitchell | November 15 2019

The National Institutes of Health is the largest public funder of biomedical research around the globe. This support has led to life-saving treatments as well as an ever-growing body of research that paves the way to future breakthroughs. NIH funding comes in the form of grants, of which there are dozens of types. In today's post, we'll look at just one type of grant and why it is so important to research in infection control and prevention.

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C. Diff: The Perfect Storm

by Erica Mitchell | November 13 2019

You are a patient in the hospital, recovering from a surgical procedure. You are put on antibiotics to prevent infection, and everything seems fine. That is, until you begin to get sick. Not from your surgery, but from abdominal pain, fever, cramping, and terrible diarrhea. Your doctor informs you that you have become infected with Clostridium difficile. Now you are not only trying to recover from your surgery, you are also trying to fight off the leading cause of hospital-acquired infection death. How did this happen? What is C. diff doing to your body? Today we’ll explore the disease that has hospitals and long-term care facilities desperate to find solutions: Clostridium difficile colitis.


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Honoring Our Veterans With Quality Health Care

by Erica Mitchell | November 11 2019

Today is Veteran’s Day, a day to celebrate the dedication and sacrifice of those Americans who served our country as a member of our armed services. One of the best ways to honor our veterans is by ensuring that their return to civilian life is healthy and successful. A significant part of that healthy transition is the benefits available through the Veterans Health Administration, or VA, both through compensation and health care services. Today we will explore the history and future of this health services provider, and well as some of the challenges and achievements it has faced over time.

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Clostridium difficile: An Introduction

by Erica Mitchell | November 6 2019

C. diff, or Clostridium difficile, is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped, anaerobic, endosporic, toxigenic, opportunistic, bacillus. Its scientific description makes it sound like a pretty standard bacteria. But this bacteria "causes almost half a million illnesses in the United States each year" according to the CDC. November is C. diff Awareness Month so stick with us all month to learn more about this microorganism and the unique attributes that make it so lethal. Today’s post will explore the basic definition of Clostridium difficile. First, let’s unpack that long list of terms mentioned above.

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Pathogens: Some Tricks, Some Treats

by Erica Mitchell | November 1 2019

This week we celebrate Halloween, a holiday to get spooked by supernatural creatures for one night of the year. For those of us working in the world of infection control, there's enough spookiness lurking in the microbiome to give us nightmares every night. In today's post, we'll look at some of the creepiest microorganisms and see that some of them share traits with Halloween's classic characters.

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