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HAIs are estimated to cause more than 100,000 deaths in the US each year. Fear of HAIs has led to the overuse and ineffective use of disinfectants and improper utilization of cleaning chemicals. A recent study of 36 hospitals by Dr. Phillip Carling looked at the use of a tracer solution to identify high touch surfaces in a hospital that had not been thoroughly cleaned as a means of evaluating cleaning effectiveness. In 2007, a Lancet study found that nurses and cleaning staff have some of the highest levels of work-related asthma—thought to be due in part to exposure to cleaning chemicals and disinfectants. The utilization of “green” cleaning chemicals and equipment has the potential to reduce worker and patient chemical exposures, while some products—such as microfiber—may decrease cross-transmission of harmful pathogens. By re-examining the way we clean as well as what we clean with (products and equipment), we can improve the effectiveness of cleaning, while concurrently increasing standardization and reducing the inappropriate use of chemical cleaners and disinfectants. A case study of the cleaning program at Seattle Children’s Hospital will highlight current successes in this arena.


activeion The safest, most sustainable way to clean.


  • Highlight risks to patient safety from improper cleaning and HAIs while underscoring concerns about worker and patient exposures from the inappropriate use of toxic chemicals and equipment for cleaning and disinfection purposes
  • Define methodology for determining appropriate level of cleaning/disinfection for certain areas/surfaces within the hospital setting based on threat from particular pathogens and the CDC’s new Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008—including defining “high touch” surfaces.
  • Discuss cleaning effectiveness and potential application of Dr. Philip Carling’s tracer studies.
  • Identify product categories where third-party certified or environmentally preferable cleaning products or equipment can be implemented with little to no risk to infection control procedures.
  • Demonstrate through hospital case study how reexamination of cleaning/disinfection processes and focus on environmentally preferable cleaning products/equipment help prevent HAIs while minimizing risk to frontline workers and patients from chemical exposures.


Cecilia DeLoach, Practice Greenhealth
Telephone: 888-688-3332
As Senior Manager of Sustainable Operations at Practice Greenhealth, Cecilia has more than 11 years experience working with hospitals and health systems across the country to develop customized sustainability programs that emphasize responsible purchasing practices, green building design and construction and a reduction in both the volume and toxicity of hospital waste—including programs to minimize regulated medical waste, reduce hazardous waste and maximize recycling. Cecilia coordinates the Sustainable Operations Workgroup for the Global Health and Safety Initiative and recently co-chaired the revision of the Green Guide for Healthcare’s Operations Section where she spearheaded the Environmental Services and Chemical Management subcommittees. In her previous role as State Partnership Program Coordinator, Cecilia took the lead on developing a national infrastructure to support state-level programs that assist hospitals in implementing environmental initiatives. Cecilia has a BS in Environmental Science, an MBA focused on healthcare administration and corporate social responsibility from The George Washington University, and is a certified healthcare environmental manager. She is based in Practice Greenhealth’s Arlington, VA office.

Judene Bartley, MS, MPH, CIC, Epidemiology Consulting Services, Inc.
Judene Bartley is vice president of Epidemiology Consulting Services in Beverly Hills, Michigan, and is a clinical consultant for the Premier Safety Institute. She is also an active member of several safety and infection control advisory boards, including Hill-Rom, ECRI CHEM, and JCAHO’s Committee on Healthcare Safety. In addition, since 1993, she has been a member of the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) task force for revising the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities and serves on the current AIA Guidelines Steering Committee. She is also the American Society of Healthcare Engineers’ (ASHE) official liaison with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and assists ASHE in the development of educational programs. Bartley earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, a master’s degree in biochemistry, and a master’s degree in public health (epidemiology). During her 25 years in healthcare, she initiated comprehensive epidemiology programs in several major university-affiliated tertiary-care hospitals. Her 16 years at Detroit Medical Center included an administrative position in regulatory compliance, with responsibility for agency surveys, quality management, epidemiology, employee health, and safety programs. Bartley is a frequent consultant for federal, regulatory and healthcare agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Hospital Association on safety and infection control-related issues. She is an active participant in national and state patient safety initiatives and committees and has authored more than 60 publications, with an emphasis on patient safety associated with sharps management, medical waste, and construction issues.

Mitch Birchfield, MBA, CHESP, Seattle Children’s Hospital
Mitch began his career in healthcare in the late 70’s as an OR suite cleaner at Virginia Mason a Seattle regional adult hospital; promoted from within as a Housekeeping Supervisor(1985-1991. In 1992, he was the Purchasing,Facility and Safety Manager for Seattle Children’s Home. In 1994 he was offered a position as the Facility Director for the Bush School. In 1995, he started his present job as Environmental Services Director and subsequently obtained a second title as Hazardous Materials Manager at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle. Mitch has a Master’s Degree in Health Management from the University of Phoenix, and Bachelors in Business from Washington State University (Seattle University Campus). He maintains 40-Hour Haz-Mat certification and maintains memberships in local networking organizations including the International Executive Housekeeping Association (IEHA)Puget Sound Chapter, Health Environmental and Laboratory Professionals (HELP), and the King County Medical Industry Waste Roundtable (MIRT). Mitch also belongs to ASHES, where he was recognized as a certified healthcare environmental services professional. Mitch lives with his wife and two children in a small city called Mountlake Terraceabout 12 miles north of Seattle. Mitch says “At Children’s we profoundly impact the lives of kids we treat everyday as leaders we have both the burden and the privilege to preserve our vision and legacies, and to create new legacies that promote best practices, and that genuinely address complex issues that includes using renewable products, adopting sustainable practices and methods, and regularly evaluating our environmental footprint.”

Joan Heath, RN, BSN, CIC, Seattle Children’s Hospital
Telephone: 206-987-1329
Joan graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. For the next 20 years she practiced as a staff nurse in a variety of settings from a 50 bed rural hospital to an 850 bed teaching hospital. After spending several years as a nursing instructor, she entered the field of infection control and prevention in 1995, beginning in the long term care setting and moving to acute care in 1998. She obtained her Certification in Infection Control in 1999 and has managed the infection control program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, a 250-bed free standing pediatric tertiary care and academic medical center, since 2001. Joan has been a member of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology for greater than 10 years and has recently served on the Washington State Expert Scientific Panel formed to develop recommendations regarding management of antibiotic resistant organisms and on the Washington State Ambulatory Surgical Facilities Stakeholder Group. She has authored or co-authored multiple publications in the field of infection control and epidemiology. Joan lives with her husband, a retired naval officer, in a small town north of Seattle.

Webinar speakers have no financial or other interest in the sponsoring company and the sponsor has had no input into the content of the presentation.

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