Combating a Silent Killer is Topic at CPH Lunch & Learn

Did you know that hospital acquired infections (HAI) kill more people per year than breast and prostate cancers combined? And that, during any hospital stay, a patient has a 5% chance of contracting an HAI? Moreover, despite the best efforts of hospitals and healthcare personnel to clean and prepare pathogen-free facilities, nearly 30% of patient rooms may harbor one or more infectious bugs on high-touch surfaces/areas.


“As these statistics indicate, healthcare associated infections are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the U.S.,” explained Abhishek Deshpande, MD, PhD, guest lecturer at the Nov. 17 Lunch & Learn symposium hosted by the College of Public Health. “There are multiple infectious viral and bacterial outbreaks annually as well as a large burden related to C. difficile, MRSA and CRE infections in U.S. hospitals each year,” he added. “Public health students need to be aware and ready to guide plan-preparedness activities for hospitals and cities.”


Dr. Deshpande’s area of research focus is infection control and infectious disease epidemiology, with an emphasis on Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) with the overall goal of reducing the burden on healthcare systems and preventing hospital acquired infections.


“My overall interest is inspired by the prevalence of these diseases worldwide. My specific interest is in determining how to prevent healthcare associated infections by addressing the significant evidence gaps in our understanding of the mechanisms of transmission and disease process. I believe there is opportunity to reduce the impact of the burden these diseases create on humans and the healthcare system,” he said.


Now on staff in the Department of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Cleveland Clinic and an Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Deshpande came full circle to speak to students at the College of Public Health. A graduate of Kent State’s School of Biomedical Sciences in 2010 (PhD, Cell and Molecular Biology), he was advised by CPH’s Dr. Christopher Woolverton during his Master’s program and served as a TA for Woolverton’s microbiology lab course. 


Watch full presentation