World MRSA Day to Fight Against Denial and Inaction

CHICAGO, June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The MRSA pandemic continues to be a major public health threat and crisis along with other antimicrobial-resistant pathogens and must become a top political priority worldwide. This year marks fifty years that MRSA emerged into the world.

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World MRSA Day, October 2 and World MRSA Awareness Month is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against MRSA, healthcare-acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance while increasing awareness, improving education, and emphasizing the importance of prevention through active detection and isolation (ADI).

The 2011 global theme "The MRSA Epidemic – A Call to Action" brings critical attention to the public health crisis.  MRSA Survivors Network urgently pleas for the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations (UN), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to finally recognize the MRSA pandemic and set up a worldwide surveillance program and strongly recommend pro-active implementation of ADI to control MRSA in healthcare facilities worldwide.

"It's up to all of us to help stop the spread of MRSA worldwide in humans, animals, in the environment and in our food supply," states Jeanine Thomas founder of World MRSA Day and MRSA Survivors Network. "So many people still do not know what MRSA is, how it is transmitted, prevented or treated and this includes healthcare and agricultural workers. We need more compassionate behavior towards people and animals. Many MRSA victims face financial hardships, permanent disability and now some are becoming homeless."

Recent data show that the treatment of MRSA bacteremia caused by strains of MRSA with slightly lower susceptibility to vancomycin (MIC>1 ugm/ml), which are increasing frequently, are associated with higher morbidity, mortality and treatment failures. "The time for widespread implementation of ADI for MRSA at U.S. healthcare facilities is now," states Ms. Thomas. This is reinforced by recent multi-center studies at both the Veteran's Administration (150 hospitals) and throughout the HCA system that have yet again documented that through implementation of ADI, MRSA rates can dramatically reduce, not just in intensive care units, but hospital-wide. If we are to really believe in patient safety, all healthcare facilities with endemic MRSA should fully implement ADI. In the era of paying for performance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (including the CDC) should be mandating that if ADI works to prevent and control MRSA in 150 VA hospitals, that all U.S. hospitals should implement the same program, reducing MRSA rates, improving patient safety and most importantly, saving lives.

MRSA Survivors Network, the prominent global non-profit organization was the first to raise the alarm about the MRSA epidemic in the United States and launched their global MRSA awareness campaign by founding and organizing the Chicago World MRSA Day kickoff event in 2009.  To help raise awareness, MRSA Survivors Network has produced with True Productions the first non-profit public service announcements (PSA's) for general MRSA awareness with Mr. Rob Stafford of NBC Chicago and NBC Dateline and will air on NBC Chicago stations and also can be viewed on MRSA Survivors Network's YouTube channel. Downloadable posters, web banners and a brochure are available at the World MRSA Day web site.

The third annual World MRSA Day global kickoff event at Loyola University Stritch of Medicine will be held on October 1, 2011 and will broadcast live via web stream on MRSA Survivors Network's and official sponsor's websites.  The program begins at 10:30 a.m. with a Remembrance Ceremony and prayer by Reverend Henry Soles, senior chaplain for the Chicago Bulls basketball team to remember and honor all of those who have lost their lives to MRSA around the world. The event is open to the public.

Sponsors are: Tec Labs, Roche, Pfizer, Loyola University Health System and media sponsor NBC5 Chicago.  

Keynote Speaker is Dr. William R. Jarvis of Jason & Jarvis Associates LLC, a world-renowned MRSA expert and formerly with the CDC. Rob Stafford, anchor of the NBC Chicago evening news and contributing correspondent for NBC Dateline is the emcee. Dr. Jorge Parada, Associate Professor of Medicine and Infectious Disease Specialist at Loyola University Health System also will be presenting and MRSA survivors and their family members will speak and share their personal stories. Music is provided by Tracy Jackson and the King of Glory Tabernacle Choir. At the end of the event there will be a 30 minute seminar for those in the community who want to learn more about MRSA, how to get involved, raise awareness and become a "MRSA Survivors Champion" in their own community.

Award Ceremony - MRSA Survivors Network announces their 2011 awards and will honor recipients during the October 1, 2011, event: Barry M. Farr M.D., Emeritus of UVA is recipient of the "Humanitarian Award" for his outstanding work, dedication and service to raising awareness and preventing MRSA infections. "Man of the Year" award recipient is Loren G. Miller, M.D. M.P.H., Associate Professor of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine and investigator of CA-MRSA treatment and prevention at the Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and 'Woman of the Year' is Illinois State Representative Patti Bellock. The "Public Service" award is presented to the Veterans Administration Health System for their exemplary dedication to patient safety in preventing MRSA infections. Loyola University Health System will receive the "Hospital Leader Award" for their dedication in reducing MRSA infections using ADI.

MRSA Survivors Network's European alliance partner, MRSA Action UK will be holding and participating in events throughout October, World MRSA Awareness Month in England. Other U.S. events are taking place in Altamont, Illinois with MRSA Missions and in Salt Lake City, Utah with other organizations still in the planning stage.  MRSA Survivors Network urges community and faith–based organizations, schools and healthcare facilities worldwide to get involved and help to raise awareness by planning an event.

Monica E. Oduber, an artist from Aruba has created the first MRSA painting "Starseed" to draw attention to the MRSA epidemic. She plans to create a series of paintings and exhibit them worldwide to raise awareness for MRSA.

For further information on how your company or organization can become an official sponsor, volunteer or donate, contact MRSA Survivors Network at jthomas@mrsasurvivors.org,  630 325-4354 USA or visit us at www.Twitter.com/MRSAsurvivors or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/MRSASurvivorsNetwork.  

SOURCE MRSA Survivors Network



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