North Mississippi Medical Center infection control nurse Julie McCord received an award from the Association for Professions in Infection Control and Epidemiology for her outstanding contribution and service at the group's conference in June.McCord
was lauded for her
efforts to get the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to reconsider extra rules on infection control for tuberculosis.She
began working on the issue in 1999 and the rule was withdrawn this year.
With help from U.S. Rep.
"I learned you can have an impact," McCord
said."They really did listen."
Infection control professionals use guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control
to prevent the spread of tuberculosis, a highly contagious respiratory disease, McCord
said.The proposed OSHA regulations would have layered extra requirements on top of the CDC recommendations that would have done little if anything to prevent the spread of TB, McCord
"We didn't need more costly standards," McCord
also brought a personal perspective to the issue.Her
mother died in 1995 from complications caused by procedures used to treat her
tuberculosis during the 1950s.
"I told (the congressional committee) if I thought for one minute that this rule would prevent even one case of TB, I wouldn't be sitting here," McCord
Jetting off to Washington, D.C., meant that McCord
needed a lot of support on the home front from the hospital and her
"Without that, this would not have been possible," McCord
was able to apply the things she
had learned during her
work on the TB rule to a personal matter, getting the proper services for her
son Connor, 6, who is autistic.
"It inspired me to take action," and ask for help for her