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NMMRA Employees Co-author National Infection Prevention and Control Peer-reviewed Journal Article Highlighting Statewide MRSA Collaborative

Two New Mexico Medical Review Association (NMMRA) employees – Anne Timmins, MPH, BChD, project manager, and Carlene Brown, MPH, CPHQ, director of patient safety – were featured as co-authors, along with lead author Susan Kellie, MD, MPH, associate professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Medicine, in an article titled, “A Statewide Collaborative to Reduce Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Bacteremias in New Mexico.” The article appears in the April 2011 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, a national peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care.

The article details work achieved by the New Mexico MRSA Collaborative in a project running from July 2008 through June 2009 when the UNM Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC) partnered with NMMRA and 12 rural and urban acute care hospitals and one long-term care facility in the state. It also reports the decrease in the rate of hospital-onset bacteremias by 40 percent as a result of the collaborative.

“Working with NMMRA and this group of health care providers to reduce MRSA through this statewide collaborative project has been a truly rewarding experience,” says Dr. Susan Kellie. “The enthusiasm created by everyone working together and sharing ideas to improve patient care was exemplary.” 

“Dr. Kellie, the collaborative participants and NMMRA’s patient safety team are all to be congratulated,” says Dan Jaco, NMMRA chief executive officer. “The national recognition that this statewide effort has now received as a result of the prestigious publication of this work asserts the significant contributions that everyone has made in reducing MRSA in the state. It also provides added impetus as infection control work continues in New Mexico through projects now underway that are aimed at reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections and clostridium difficile or C. diff.

“A collaborative model was successfully used to engage a diverse group of hospitals in a rural state to produce measurable improvement and sustained changes in processes of care,” the article concludes. The article also describes the collaborative process, interventions, barriers and lessons learned.

The New Mexico MRSA Collaborative was initially funded through a Patient Safety Grant awarded to UNMHSC from the Cardinal Health Foundation. The Cardinal Health Patient Safety Grant Program is designed to provide funding for programs that propose imaginative strategies to address challenges to quality health care. The goal is to promote creative thinking, therefore advancing innovation and improvement to patient care in general. Additional funding to support the project was provided by NMMRA as part of MRSA work in its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) contract.

The copyrighted journal article can be accessed online and purchased for $20 plus tax at