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Surgical Conference on Best Practices for Sterilization Hosted by Rochelle Community Hospital

The surgical department at Rochelle Community Hospital was the host of an educational conference entitled, “Best Practices for Sterilization and High-Level Disinfection in Healthcare Facilities” held on August 27, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church in Rochelle. Vendors from various companies were also on hand to share the latest medical devices on the market.

The Northwest Illinois Chapter of the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM) presented the event which was open to all surgical professionals in the region. RCH surgical employees formed this new chapter of IAHCSMM for the Northwest region of Illinois one year ago to unite surgical professionals and share concerns and/or challenges monthly at RCH. There are only two other chapters in Illinois.

Attendees were treated to two top notch speakers. Vivian Watson is a retired Registered Nurse who now serves as a consultant after 50 years in the nursing practice. She served on the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Board of Directors, AORN Ombudsman and is the recipient of AORN’s prestigious Jerry G. Peers Award and AORN’s National Mentorship Award. Vivian recently published her biography “A Passionate Journey-Overcoming Adversity”. Her quick wit, stories and passion for people charmed the audience.

Chuck Hughes, was the keynote speaker. Chuck has worked over 30 years in the manufacturing industry in areas of research and development, regulatory affairs, microbiology, marketing and sterilization training. He is a corporate member of numerous organizations, including the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the Central Surgical Association (CSA) where he contributes to writing standards. He is also the recipient of many awards, including the Award of Honor from IAHCSMM and an Acknowledgement for Exceptional Service and Dedication from IAHCSMM. He currently is the Vice President of an Infection Prevention consulting service.

Chuck’s vast knowledge in the subject of sterilization and infection control was evident in the first few minutes of his presentation.  He presented a wealth of information regarding various methods of sterilization, equipment and policies and welcomed a variety of questions.

Approximately 35 people were in attendance included surgical personnel from Rockford Health Systems, OSF St. Francis-Peoria, UnityPoint Health Methodist Hospital-Peoria, Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center and hospitals from Wisconsin and Iowa.

One attendee summed up her experience by saying, “Vivian was delightful - inspiring, encouraging, very knowledgeable, informative and challenging. Chuck is a top notch speaker with so much information to challenge and encourage us in bringing better and best practices to our facility. Thank you to Rochelle Community Hospital and staff.”

For more information about the local IAHCSMM Chapter, please contact Warren Judge, President at 815-562-2181, ext. 1140.


Pictured, left to right:  Chuck Hughes, Keynote Speaker; Nicole Wojczynski, Surgical Technologist & IAHCSMM Chapter Secretary; Warren Judge, Surgical Technologist & IAHCSMM Chapter President; Velimir Kuzmanovski, Surgical Technologist & IAHCSMM Chapter Treasurer; Rhonda Marks, BSN, RN, RCH Surgical Services Manager & IAHCSMM Chapter Vice President; and Vivian Watson, RN, Nurse Consultant and Author.

Janet Stewart

RCH Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator