The Sun Shines On…

This month we shine a light on Sunshine’s Infection Prevention Team, MariCris Nee, RN, CPN, MSED, and Natalie Neu, MD, MPH, whose partnership at Sunshine began in 2016.
MariCris is Sunshine’s Director of Education and Infection Prevention and Dr. Neu works at NY-Presbyterian Hospital as a Board Certified in Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist. They both work closely with Medicine and Nursing to prevent, identify and manage potential infections at Sunshine. With the children’s safety and health as their top priority, the Infection Prevention Team’s goals are to educate and train staff in evidence-based prevention strategies, decrease the number of infectious outbreaks in the facility, collect data to monitor types of infections and any possible patterns, and provide education to parents. MariCris and Dr. Neu’s expertise in the prevention and treatment of pediatric infectious diseases has proven to be an essential tool in caring for our precious children. As Dr. Neu explains, “Infections are serious for this medically-fragile population, so new information and trends in epidemiology are very important for everyone to know about. Led by our fabulous team leader MariCris, the team makes sure that everyone is aware of what infections are occurring in the facility and how the staff can be part of diagnosing and stopping the spread of infection. In addition, MariCris is very diligent about keeping families informed about how infection control is working at Sunshine to keep their children safe and free from infection.” 
This team is continuously brainstorming new ideas and looking for opportunities to improve the program in order to provide the best and most effective practices for the Sunshine children. One example of this is MariCris and Natalie’s Antibiotic Stewardship program. The goal of Antibiotic Stewardship is to ensure that the children are prescribed the right antibiotic for the right indication and for the right length of time. 
Both MariCris and Dr. Neu find their work gratifying and feel that they work well as a team to support one another. MariCris shares, “One of the most rewarding parts of being on the Infection Prevention Team is the personal growth I have gained. I have learned so much and I get to see the impact of our work when an infection rate decreases and an outbreak is contained. Natalie has been a helpful resource and I know I can look to her for guidance and support.” Natalie shares MariCris’ sentiment, “MariCris has been an amazing advocate for infection control. She is always thinking about our next project and how we can lower our antibiotic use or our infection rates. Most importantly, MariCris and the staff are warm and welcoming. They are wonderful to work with due to their openness to ideas and their heartfelt desire to have the children’s experience at Sunshine be the best it can be.”
In addition, MariCris and Dr. Neu have been chosen by Heart Trust, Inc. to work as Infection Prevention consultants in Egypt. 
Sunshine is lucky to have this magnificent team to keep our Sunshine family healthy.
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