Spotlight on Dr. Charles Richard Drew: Father of the Blood Bank

by Erica Mitchell | February 28 2022

The neighborhood school blood drive is one of those events that is so common, so American, that it has just become a part of our national landscape. However, the blood donated at those events goes on to save millions of lives every year. The system of collecting, preserving, storing and transporting blood to hospitals around the country and the world is possible due to the pioneering work by Dr. Charles Richard Drew, a medical hero born into a country that tried everything to stop him from succeeding. But just as he dodged linebackers on the fields of Amherst on his way to scoring touchdowns, Dr. Drew would make it through many more obstacles to change the world.

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Dr. Jane Hinton: Co-Developer of Mueller-Hinton Agar

by Erica Mitchell | February 23 2022

Pasteurization. Gram stains. Petri dishes. Bunsen burners. The science world is replete with processes or equipment named for their esteemed inventors. One such invention, Mueller-Hinton agar, is a growth medium critical to susceptibility testing of antibiotics. In today's post, we'll look at one half of the scientific team who co-developed this important medium, Dr. Jane Hinton.

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Spotlight on Dr. Marilyn Hughes Gaston

by Erica Mitchell | February 18 2022

On a sunny day in the early 1950s a young girl, the daughter of a medical secretary and a waiter, witnessed a terrifying event. Her mother collapsed and began bleeding, right in the middle of the family home. The girl's terror and panic were magnified by her knowledge that the family did not have a car to get her mother to medical care miles away, nor health insurance to pay for it once they arrived. On that day, the young girl decided she would become a doctor, and not just any doctor - a doctor for everybody, regardless of race or income. In today's post, we'll see what impact this momentous day had on American health care as we learn about that young girl who would become Dr. Marilyn Hughes Gaston.

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Presidents and Pathogens

by Erica Mitchell | February 16 2022

Less than a century ago, in a world without antibiotics and limited treatments for infections, the leading causes of death were infections - pneumonia or flu, followed closely by tuberculosis and gastrointestinal infections. Everyone knew someone who had died from one of these infections, and most families had experienced the tragedy of losing at least one young child to infection. No one was spared this very human experience, not even United States presidents. In today's post, as we learn about how pathogens impacted the lives of our presidents, we'll get a better picture of just how pernicious infections were just a short time ago.

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Black History Month: Spotlight on Nurses

by Erica Mitchell | February 11 2022

Any and every day is a good day to celebrate nurses! These hard-working healthcare professionals keep the medical field moving, providing in-person patient care, monitoring, and treatment. The COVID pandemic has brought their importance into clear focus: As the pandemic swept the nation over multiple waves, it was nurses that took on the bulk of the impact as they cared for patients and their loved ones. Today's post gives us an opportunity to celebrate not only nurses, but also Black History Month, by spotlighting the role black nurses have played in our nation and our future.

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What if Hospitals were Scored Like Winter Olympic Sports?

by Erica Mitchell | February 9 2022

The 2022 Olympics are underway and we will watch so many performances by talented and determined athletes from around the world. The speed, agility, strength, and stamina of these young men and women is obvious. Less obvious are the complex rules and scoring for the 15 winter sports and their 109 medal events. In a way, the complicated rules and scoring might remind someone of the complicated algorithms for hospital scoring! Taking this idea a little further, we wondered... What if hospitals were scored like Winter Olympics sports?

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Black History Month: Leaders in Microbiology

by Erica Mitchell | February 2 2022

As Black History Month begins, we want to take some time to celebrate the countless contributions by African-American physicians, scientists, researchers and advocates in the world of infection control and prevention. In today's post, we'll highlight 5 leaders who made a enormous scientific contributions to the field.

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