Tampa General Hospital’s Infection Prevention Team Receives 2021 APIC Heroes Award for Outstanding COVID-19 Response | Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General Hospital’s Infection Prevention Team Receives 2021 APIC Heroes Award for Outstanding COVID-19 Response

Published: Jun 11, 2021

By Tampa General Hospital


The hospital is recognized for innovations in training and disinfection practices to adjust to a new and rapidly changing pandemic.


Tampa, FL (June 11, 2021) – Tampa General Hospital announced today that its Infection Prevention Team received the 2021 Heroes in Infection Prevention Award in the Infection Prevention and Control Operations category from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). APIC is the leading professional association for infection preventionists. The hospital’s entire infection prevention team was recognized for quickly and effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to the team award, Benjamin D. Galvan, infection preventionist at Tampa General, was also recognized as an emerging leader for 2021. Galvan is awarded for his work as a project manager on three separate performance improvement initiatives focused on hospital cleanliness, hand hygiene compliance and innovation.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Tampa General’s infection prevention team provided:

  • Training on personal protective equipment (PPE) for the clinical teams’ safety.
  • Dissemination of hygiene and disinfection practices to every hospital department, including non-patient care units. 
  • Educational resources, including video modules, and tip sheets.
  • New processes were developed and implemented on proper usage of PPE, safe transportation practices for COVID-19 patients, and correct mask usage.
  • On-going communications to ensure that TGH team members were apprised of real-time changes and CDC guidelines.

These resources were readily available on Tampa General’s internal infection prevention website and were continually updated hospital wide as new guidance and information became available. 

“Infection prevention and control has always been a critical part of any hospital’s quality and care,” said Dr. Laura Haubner, senior vice president and chief quality officer, Tampa General Hospital. “In 2020 with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, our infection prevention and control team was hit with a rapidly changing and difficult situation that required them to be both focused and flexible. They went above and beyond to provide innovative ways to protect our patients, team members and physicians and I am so proud of their heroic efforts.”

To advance this essential work, Tampa General created two new infectious disease teams to assist with the COVID-19 response, as well as any future infectious diseases.  Through a generous donation, the hospital opened the Global Emerging Diseases Institute (GEDI), the first institution of its kind in Florida, to treat patients suffering from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. A collaboration between Tampa General and USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the team includes expert physicians and clinical team members from both organizations who support the institute’s care, ranging from inpatient clinical care and outpatient clinics, to teaching and research.

During this global pandemic, Tampa General also launched the TGH Prevention Response Outreach (TPRO) program, which provides infectious disease expertise and recommendations to community organizations. TPRO works in collaboration with dozens of organizations to ensure they are protecting both their employees and patrons. In addition, TPRO helps to manage their day-to-day operations within strict safety protocols. TPRO’s clients include some of the largest companies and organizations in Tampa Bay and beyond, from the Florida State Senate to the Florida Aquarium, to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Hillsborough County Public Schools.

“The Heroes award is especially meaningful because it recognizes the commitment shown by the infection protection team during extraordinarily challenging circumstances,” said Kimberly Atrubin, director of infection prevention for Tampa General. “The timely education and training the team provided gave us the opportunity to work across all hospital departments as well as into the community. Through this process, we formed strong and lasting relationships, and I am very grateful to APIC for this recognition.” This is the first time Tampa General received the APIC Heroes award as a team.


Tampa General Hospital, a 1007-bed non-profit academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 Best Hospitals, and one of the top four hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 19 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track.  As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost.  For more information, go to www.tgh.org.