FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2016
Contact: Kristy Weinshel / kweinshel@shea-online.org / 703-684-1008 

SHEA Comments on UN Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance

U.S. infectious disease experts active in international discussion on tackling antibiotic resistance

ARLINGTON, Va. (September 21, 2016) – The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) applauds the General Assembly of the United Nations for convening the High-level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance today in New York.  SHEA remains a committed partner to addressing this significant public health challenge through programs and conferences that encourage international learning and collaboration. Keith Kaye, MD, MPH, SHEA vice president, will participate in the one-day meeting to add to the dialogue, as an infectious diseases clinician and researcher at an academic healthcare system in the United States.

“Resistance doesn’t adhere to national boundaries or the need for a visa.  Worldwide, we must continue to improve health and healthcare outcomes through the judicious use of antibiotics and infection prevention,” said Keith Kaye, MD, MPH. “We all must sound the alarm on this issue and work with our global partners to advocate and advance strong policies that further antibiotic development while strengthening antibiotic stewardship strategies to protect the efficacy of the antibiotics we have access to today.”

Antimicrobial resistance presents a significant public health challenge to every country that can only be solved through joint prioritization of the issue across the healthcare continuum and geographic boundaries by governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and academic institutions.  SHEA has been a longtime advocate for antimicrobial stewardship programs and interventions to help guide prescribers’ understanding of when antibiotics are necessary, when antibiotics should not be used, and what the best treatment choices and strategies are for a particular patient.  Paired with basic infection prevention methods, such as hand hygiene, we can halt the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections and healthcare-associated infections such as Clostridium difficile.

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SHEA is a professional society representing physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world with expertise and passion in healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. SHEA's mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections, improve the use of antibiotics in healthcare settings, and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA improves patient care and healthcare personnel safety in all healthcare settings through the critical contributions of healthcare epidemiology and improved antibiotic use. The society leads this specialty by promoting science and research, advocating for effective policies, providing high-quality education and training, and developing appropriate guidelines and guidance in practice. Visit SHEA online at www.shea-online.org,www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.