EMS World and The Krah Corporation (dba activTek Health Solutions) announced Aug. 30 that Kim Fawcett, flight nurse for Northern Arizona Healthcare Guardian Air, has been named the winner of the 2020 Krah Corporation Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) Scholarship Award.
As a full-time flight nurse for Northern Arizona Healthcare’s emergency/critical care medical response system, as well as serving as an active member in public health for both national and foreign populations, Fawcett is a seasoned clinician with over 13 years’ experience in direct patient care in emergent and critical care facilities. Her program safety initiatives for patient and crew safety during the COVID-19 pandemic have made her an integrative part of the multiple specialty operations in her hospital system.
Fawcett also served as a health resource in Rwanda and a direct patient care responder in Sierra Leone during the 2015 Ebola crisis.
The mission of the Krah Corporation Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Scholarship Award is to honor an EMS professional or volunteer who has raised the bar of infection prevention to include the highest standards of practice and has been instrumental in reducing the risk of patients and fellow workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nominees must have at least 5 years of active EMS service; have significantly aided in the conception and development of infection prevention and control methods during response to the COVID-19 pandemic; have continually contributed and incorporated innovative strategies and tools to enhance the level of infection prevention within the station and in the field; have strengthened EMS awareness and support of infection prevention strategies; and have demonstrated leadership and willingness to train others on infection prevention practices within EMS.
Fawcett will receive a commemorative award and a full core program conference registration for EMS World Expo Virtual 2020, scheduled for September 14–18.
“It is no surprise that when the COVID-19 pandemic became a part of our daily lives, Kim was one of the first to begin to send reliable resources to all her teammates at Guardian Air, as well as within the Northern Arizona Healthcare system, to improve knowledge sharing and initiatives for clinicians to self-educate,” read Fawcett’s nomination statement. “And when the COVID-19 pandemic was clearly going to affect not only the Northern Arizona community, but also our service center of the Havasupai, Navajo Nation, Hopi, and other American Indian and Indigenous communities, Kim was one of the first to not only fill holes to ensure our aircraft was staffed, but also to work closely with the critical care, emergency care, and public health departments to ensure she was able to disseminate information regarding the appropriate PPE to have.”
Fawcett led initial and continuing education on how to use PPE and to use spotters, designated changing areas, and processes for preventing infection. She dedicated hours outside of her primary position to go to hospitals to teach proper infection control and self- and patient protection. She produced videos, handouts, pamphlets, in-services, and impromptu hands-on demonstrations and Q&A sessions.
Fawcett also helped staff testing centers and answered phone calls from clinicians, educators, managers, and centralized staff daily.
“Due to her hard work and sincere dedication, to this date not one member of this specialized aeromedical emergency/critical care flight medical program has been infected with COVID-19,” according to her nomination statement. “Her team is leading the region in transports of patients from overwhelmed facilities to specialty services throughout the states—safely, effectively, and with compassion.”
"What an honor to present this scholarship award to Kim," said Beth Krah, owner and CEO of The Krah Corporation. "We are so proud of everything she's done, even prior to COVID-19, to focus on mitigating the risks of infectious diseases within EMS. There were almost 100 submissions to review and our team was blown away with the many stories of selfless sacrifice to help their teams and patients stay safe during this unprecedented time, and we look forward to many years of continuing this new tradition for The Krah Corporation."