“Pressing” the Issue of C. diff Awareness

Posted in Patient Safety, Press Coverage by on May 21st, 2013

Over the past couple of weeks, The Peggy Lillis Memorial Foundation (PLMF) has raised significant awareness of clostridium difficile (C. diff) Newspaperinfections through a host of media outlets. As we gear up for our 4th Annual FIGHT C. DIFF GALA on October 18,  I wanted to take moment to recap all the exciting coverage our work has generating for this public health crisis.

First, on April 30, an excellent Associated Press report on the growth of sanitation products designed to kill “superbugs” included a reference to PLMF, and two quotes from yours truly. I was most pleased that the piece ends with the me noting that is healthcare institutions aren’t clean, they can create more health problems than they’re solving. You can check out the full article here, “Hospitals See Surge of Superbug-Fighting Products.”  I was also pleased to see our friend from the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Cliff McDonald quoted.

The following week, our latest editorial “The revulsion about feces: Get over it” was published on the influential KevinMD.com blog. Originally titled “Talking Shit (Why We Should)”, the piece resulted from my increasing frustration with the pervasive cultural shame that (most) Americans have when it comes to their bowel movements and products. I’ve never been shy when it comes to bodily functions and Mom raised us to be able to talk about our bodies pretty much shame free. Much like gay men had to become comfortable with the discussing the intricacies of sex to combat AIDS, to really fight C. diff infections we’re going to have to get comfortable talking about our shit.

Finally, right before Mother’s Day, Dr. Denice Hilty – a member of our National Advisory Council – had an op-ed published on Women’s E-news. The article, “On Mother’s Day Let’s Talk More About Her Health”, not only communicated our desire to refocus Mother’s Day on the key role women play in their families and the public’s health, but also raised awareness of C. diff among an audience that we haven’t previously engaged.

Much more important than this coverage being a feather in PLMF’s cap, is the urgent need to raise much more public awareness of C. diff and build a larger movement to begin to roll back the death toll.

Our gratitude to these outlets for covering this epidemic and helping us to amplify our voices.

Please share one or all of these pieces with your family and friends, to help us spread the message.

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