The First Peoples: First In Modern Medicine

by Erica Mitchell | November 11 2022

One of the most universally-recognized impacts from the colonization of North and South America is the horrific de-population of indigenous peoples due to the myriad diseases brought by Europeans colonists. Some exposure was accidental, some was weaponized, but all exposure led to massive loss of life counted in the millions. In today's post, we want to highlight a health topic that is often overshadowed by this tragedy: The First Peoples' approach to medical care had made significant advances compared to European practices, many of which have been rediscovered only within the last century.

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Native American Microbiologist Dr. Kat Milligan-McClellan

by Erica Mitchell | November 4 2022

The community of EOS Surfaces respectfully acknowledges the Chesepioc, Nansemond and other peoples of the Powhatan Tribes as the original stewards of the land, taken by conquest, on which our plant now stands. We thank their descendants for their forbearance and for the opportunity to produce a material that brings protection and healing to so many using a material from the land itself, copper. 

Far above the Arctic Circle there is a remote Alaskan town known as a hub between ocean and inland shipping with only 3,000 permanent residents. Kotzebue, or Qikiqtagruk to its indigenous Inupiaq peoples, has a long history of serving as a transportation and gathering hub, with inhabitants dating back centuries using the port to trade furs, seal-oil, and fish. Today, this small town is known for more than just being the "Gateway to the Arctic," but also the hometown of the first Alaskan Native to hold a PhD in Microbiology, Dr. Kat Milligan-McClellan. In today's post, we'll learn how her indigenous roots inform her current research into our gut microbiota.

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Length of Stay and Infection: How To Get Patients Out of the Danger Zone

by Erica Mitchell | September 12 2022

No one wants to stay in a hospital any longer than they have to. We all have an innate desire to get back to the comfort of our homes and begin the process of returning to normal activities. Some of us may not realize that there is also a very real, scientific reason for leaving the hospital as soon as possible: The longer a patient is in the hospital, the greater their chances of getting a hospital-associated infection (HAI), and once a patient has an HAI, they tend to stay longer in the hospital. It seems like a lose-lose scenario for everyone involved. It's just in everybody's best interest to reduce HAIs to not increase LOS, and shorten LOS to reduce HAIs. In today's post, we'll see how healthcare facilities are working to accomplish this dual goal.

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The Top 4 Things Patients Want

by Erica Mitchell | August 1 2022

Think back to the last time you or a loved one was a patient in a hospital or healthcare facility. What things do you remember most? Is it the stress about health and recovery? Maybe you remember the frustration of trying to get answers or understanding what was going on? Or perhaps you remember a constant worry about whether the hospital was clean enough to prevent an infection? If any or all of these are familiar, you are not alone. A recent study investigated what patients consider the most important aspects of a quality hospital, and as this post will reveal, how infection prevention is their top concern.

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The Patient and HAIs: Impact and Engagement

by Erica Mitchell | August 4 2021

Two interesting studies examine the patient's perspective in hospital acquired infections. The patient experience happens to be an overlooked area in research, despite the valuable insights that these individuals can provide. In today's post, we'll look at what these two important studies reveal about the patient's personal experience and how to engage the patient more in HAI research.

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A Child Is Born: Remembering Our Tiniest Patients

by Erica Mitchell | December 28 2020

Most babies are born healthy. Delivered in a hospital, a birthing center, a home, or even a stable, they are bundled up, fed, loved, and go on to grow up with few or no complications.

In those cases where a newborn arrives with a medical condition that requires treatment, however, these tiny patients face greater risks than any adult or even an older child. One of the greatest risks faced by newborn patients is getting an infection. In fact, hospital-acquired infections are one of the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality in neonatal intensive care units.


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When Your Bacteria Colonies Get Hostile: That's An Infection

by Erica Mitchell | September 30 2020

There is a good chance that you have Staph - Staphylococcus aureus - on your body right now. In fact, it is estimated that 25-30% of us carry Staph on our skin or in our nose all the time. But a quarter of us are not sick, suffering from the symptoms of a Staph infection. What's the deal? It comes down to colonization vs. infection.

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How clean is your Hospital Room?

by Erica Mitchell | July 22 2020

When we enter a hospital room as a patient, we are seeing the room at its cleanest. The room has just been scrubbed down during what is called "terminal cleaning," the rigorous cleaning that takes place after one patient is moved in preparation for the next patient to move in. However rigorous this cleaning procedure (and studies indicate that up to 60% of hospital rooms are not cleaned properly), there will be residual contamination by infectious pathogens. In a dynamic process of contamination and recontamination, after cleaning and through cross-transmission, germs stick around and continue to make patients sicker.

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Black History Month: 5 Health Care Highlights

by Erica Mitchell | February 28 2020

The history of African-Americans health care is replete with stories of both tragedy and triumph. From the horrific conditions of slavery, through the centuries leading to the Civil Rights Era, to today's freedoms and hopes, our nation has been formed and transformed by our shared experiences. Today's post shares just a few of those experiences that focus on health care. Join us as we explore how extraordinary challenges and obstacles impacted both access to health care and opportunity in health care professions, and how the work continues today to achieve equality.
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How Hospital Scores Are Generated: An Overview

by Erica Mitchell | February 26 2020

Have you ever wondered how hospital scores are created? As we have explored in previous posts, there are a number of organizations and companies that publish hospital scores and ranks for the consumer, in an effort to help individuals make educated choices about their healthcare while also making medical facilities more transparent about their successes and challenges (to varying degrees of success). But where do these scores come from?

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