The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today announced the formation of the APIC Health Equity Fund to help underwrite the cost of infection prevention and control (IPC) tools and resources for underserved U.S. communities.
The focus of the fund for the first three years is a scholarship program for critical access hospitals. A joint effort among APIC, APIC Consulting Services, and the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC), the Critical Access Hospital Scholarship is an IPC capacity-building award for under-resourced critical access hospitals. Each hospital selected will receive:
- Up to 150 hours of free IPC consulting services
- 2 free APIC memberships + Chapter memberships for two years
- 2 free subscriptions to APIC Text for two years
- 2 free certification prep courses
- 2 free a-IPC or CIC certification exams
- Access to the APIC Policies and Procedures Library for two years
- Membership in APIC’s new CAH virtual network
- 2 free APIC Annual Conference registrations for two years + travel
Each year, for three years, three critical access facilities will be awarded. Nine facilities will have completed the program by December 2026. The total value of each scholarship is $50,346.
Critical Access Hospital is a designation given to eligible rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Critical access hospitals are located more than 35 miles from another hospital and have 25 or fewer acute care inpatient beds.
“Critical access hospitals often serve as the foundation of rural healthcare delivery systems and frequently struggle with adequate staffing and the high cost of specialized resources and training,” said 2023 APIC President Pat Jackson, RN, MA, BSN, CIC, FAPIC. “We are very excited that through this initiative we will be able to provide these facilities with IPC mentoring, opportunities for IPC education and certification, policies and procedures development, and performance improvement activities.”
The application period for the Critical Access Hospital Scholarship opens in late August. Applications will be due by September 30. Awardees will be notified in October.
APIC received financial support from Clorox Healthcare and CS Medical to help launch the APIC Health Equity Fund and the Critical Access Hospital Scholarship program.
Founded in 1972, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is the leading association for infection preventionists and epidemiologists. With more than 15,000 members, APIC advances the science and practice of infection prevention and control. APIC carries out its mission through research, advocacy, and patient safety; education, credentialing, and certification; and fostering development of the infection prevention and control workforce of the future. Together with our members and partners, we are working toward a safer world through the prevention of infection. Join us and learn more at apic.org.