Wednesday, June 23 @ noon EDT
Healthcare facilities, including hospitals and long-term care centers, have been associated with cases and outbreaks of Legionella pneumonia. This makes these types of settings especially important for implementing water management programs, and some regulatory and accreditation bodies in the U.S. are, or will be, requiring such programs to prevent illness in patients and residents. What does such a water management program look like for controlling Legionella in healthcare settings? Learn about the Veterans Health Administrations experiences with implementing Legionella prevention programs at hundreds of healthcare buildings across the country, including a description of the national policy (VHA Directive 1061) and practical lessons from program implementation.

Speaker: Shantini D. Gamage, PhD, MPH
Shantini D. Gamage, PhD, MPH is the Associate Director at the National Infectious Diseases Service (NIDS) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Central Office, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She has served as an epidemiologist in NIDS since 2006, focusing on translating science into infectious diseases policy and guidance for VHA healthcare facilities nationwide.  She has a special focus on water-associated pathogens, and has been involved with VHA Legionella disease prevention policy, data analysis, and outreach to facilities. Dr. Gamage also provides subject matter expertise on Legionella prevention in healthcare settings to external committees. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Windsor, Canada (Biology), a Master of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Food Microbiology & Safety), a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati (Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology) and a Master of Public Health degree from The Ohio State University. Dr. Gamage is also a Volunteer Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases.


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