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Governor Pete Ricketts Proclaims November 18-24 Antibiotic Awareness Week in Nebraska

Front row, left to right: Dr. Tom Safranek (State Epidemiologist, NE DHHS), Dr. Janine Fromm (Executive Medical Director, NE DHHS), Governor Pete Ricketts, Felicia Quintana-Zinn (Interim Deputy Director, NE DHHS), Dr. Maureen Tierney (Head of HAI/AR Team, NE DHHS), Dr. Ishrat Kamal-Ahmed (HAI/AR Epidemiologist, NE DHHS), Dr. Philip Chung (Pharmacy Coordinator, NE ASAP), Sarah Hunter (Projects Coordinator, NPA), Dr. Marcia Mueting (Vice President of Professional Affairs, NPA).Back row, left to right: Dr. Amy Schmidt (Nebraska One Health and iAMResponsible), Mara Zelt (Nebraska One Health and iAMResponsible), Kate Tyner, RN, CIC (Infection Preventionist, NE ICAP), Margaret Drake, MT, ASCP, CIC (Infection Control Specialist, NE ICAP & NE DHHS), Dr. Ming Qu (Administrator, Epidemiology and Informatics, NE DHHS).

The CDC designates November 18 to 24 as Antibiotic Awareness Week.  Antibiotic Awareness Week is an annual observance in the United States and around the world to promote the importance of using antibiotic appropriately as a mean to minimize unwanted effects from antibiotic therapy such as adverse reactions, Clostridioides difficile infections and antibiotic resistance.

In recognition of this annual observance, Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation on November 4 in the State Capitol designating November 18 to 24 Antibiotic Awareness Week in Nebraska.  Dr. Maureen Tierney, the head of the Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance (HAI-AR) Team within Public Health at the Nebraska DHHS, delivered a brief statement during the signing ceremony.  She remarked that antibiotics are critical and life-saving tools for combating common and serious infections but at least 30% of outpatient antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily.  Dr. Tierney explained that a number of different partners in Nebraska are improving the way healthcare professionals, farmers, veterinarians and other professionals in the livestock and agricultural industries are using antibiotics.  These partners include the Nebraska Infection Control Assessment and Promotion Program (ICAP), Nebraska Medicine, CHI, Great Plains Quality Improvement Network, Nebraska Pharmacist Association (NPA), Nebraska One Health, and the Nebraska Antimicrobial Stewardship Assessment and Promotion Program (ASAP).

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