South Carolina Receives Approximately $1.14 Million in Federal Funding to Help Strengthen Safety for South Carolinians in Healthcare Settings
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2020
COLUMBIA—The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced that the state has received approximately $1.14 million in federal funds to strengthen the safety of patients and healthcare workers at healthcare settings. The funding is part of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative aimed at helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in U.S. healthcare facilities.
The CDC launched the comprehensive infection control program, called Project Firstline, this week. The $180 million program features new training for staff in hospitals, outpatient clinics, dialysis centers, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities to prevent healthcare-associated infections.
“This will greatly increase our capacity across the state to respond to COVID-19 and other infections in healthcare settings,” said Dr. Abdoulaye Diedhiou, director of DHEC’s Division of Acute Disease Epidemiology.
The supplemental COVID-19 funding received by South Carolina will support infection prevention and control training via Project Firstline that will allow DHEC to get additional infection control capacity across the state to address the growing demand, particularly from long-term care facilities. The program will also help build capacity in healthcare facilities across the state.
Project Firstline will provide frontline healthcare workers the training they need to protect themselves and patients. When patients enter a hospital or other healthcare facility for treatment, the last thing they want – or need – is to pick up a new infection while there.
“We have highly skilled, dedicated infection preventionists at DHEC and at our healthcare facilities who are doing great work, but we need more capacity and expanded training,” Dr. Diedhiou said. “The point is to increase the amount of education, awareness, and expertise necessary to make sure healthcare workers and patients know what to do to prevent infections and keep themselves healthy.”
Project Firstline will bring infection control training to frontline staff in South Carolina across all disciplines (nurses, housekeepers, doctors, physical therapists, etc.) and types of healthcare facilities (acute care hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient settings, ambulatory surgery centers, etc).
In addition, Project Firstline, which will reach millions of frontline U.S. healthcare workers, offers short training modules, townhall discussions, and tele-mentoring to provide healthcare workers with the most up-to-date science and reasoning behind today’s infection control practices.
In announcing the new program, the CDC noted that “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed gaps in infection prevention and control knowledge and practice in healthcare settings nationwide.”
The federal agency also said that with the arrival of flu season it is critical that every healthcare worker “has the knowledge and the resources necessary to confidently apply the infection control principles and protocols needed to protect themselves, their facility, and their communities.”
Visit the CDC’s website for more information about Project Firstline.