The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 4, 1998
May 4, 1998
VOL. 27, NO. 33


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Hopkins Hospital receives grant to study hospital infections

The Johns Hopkins Hospital's Office of Infection Control and Epidemiology has been awarded $272,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the first year of a variety of three-year studies, including suspected links between the number of hospital nurses and the rate of bloodborne infections acquired by patients. The office expects to receive additional funding for each of the following two years.

The grant establishes Hopkins as one of eight Centers for Excellence in Health Care Epidemiology and Infection Control, or Epi Centers, designed to improve control of infections caused by bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms, especially those resistant to drugs. Each center will study different aspects of the problem.

The Hopkins grant will cover research involving The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of Maryland Hospital and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Baltimore.

"Each year in the United States, there are almost 2 million infections acquired by patients after they are hospitalized, and 88,000 [of those patients] die," says Trish Perl, director of the Office of Infection Control and Epidemiology. "The work of the Epi Centers should greatly increase our understanding of this problem and suggest solutions." Perl's group also will study the extent of patient recovery from these so-called nosocomial infections; which patients are likely to suffer long-term consequences; and costs associated with them.

The other Epi Centers are Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Boston; McGuire Veterans Affairs Hospital, Richmond; Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; Miriam Hospital, Providence; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago; and the University of Iowa City.
--Marc Kusinitz

Hopkins medical students participate in gun exchange

Each year, nearly 500 gunshot victims are brought to Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment. Hoping to reduce that number and make Baltimore households and streets safer, Hopkins medical students who are part of Physicians for Social Responsibility have been participating in an exchange called Teddy Bears for Guns.

This year's exchange took place Saturday as part of an annual Crime Prevention Fair co-sponsored by the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, the Baltimore Police Department, Johns Hopkins Corporate Security Services and the Hopkins Department of Community Services.

So far more than 100 guns have been turned over to authorities during the Teddy Bears for Guns exchanges.

NFLC awarded $1.4 million grant for evaluation of international education

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a five-year, $1.4 million grant to the National Foreign Language Center at SAIS to develop and implement an evaluation system for a broad range of area studies and foreign language programs in higher education under Title VI of the Higher Education Act and the Fulbright-Hayes programs.

"The Title VI and Fulbright programs have played a critical role for 40 years in developing this nation's expertise in foreign languages and area studies. We at the National Foreign Language Center are honored by this unique opportunity to contribute to the continuing effectiveness of these essential programs," says David Maxwell, NFLC director. "Since many of us connected with the NFLC have been grateful beneficiaries of the Title VI and Fulbright programs," he added, "this is a rare opportunity for us to repay, if only in part, a collective debt."

The International Education and Graduate Program of the U.S. Department of Education made the award to the nonprofit research and policy institute because of a federal mandate for rigorous assessment of all federally funded programs by the year 2002.

"The scrutiny engendered by this mandatory evaluation process is heightened in the case of Title VI and Fulbright Hayes by the current tendency to reevaluate the focus of international education programs in light of the end of the Cold War," Maxwell said. "As a result, Title VI and Fulbright-Hays have come under increasing scrutiny."

The NFLC project will establish a Web-based, independent, free-standing system to help evaluate the programs, the legislative compliance of the programs and the effectiveness of the programs in addressing national needs for intercultural communications competence.

The project will be co-directed by Richard D. Brecht, deputy director of NFLC, and Gilbert W. Merkx, director of the Latin American Studies Institute at the University of New Mexico.

Maxwell said that the entire project is designed to be as open and participatory as possible, eliciting imput from the relevant constituencies at every stage of the process. It will be overseen by a national advisory board with representation from the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Congress. The data collection and evaluation system will be designed by a project directorate of senior scholars in evaluation and international education and a task force of representatives of the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays community.