The Carolina Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (CASP) honored five collaborators with Super Steward Awards. Kevin Alby, PhD, Mildred Kwan, MD, PhD, Jesica Mangum, PharmD, Melissa Miller, PhD, and Michael Phillips, MD were among the award recipients. CASP created the awards in 2022 to recognize colleagues’ efforts to champion stewardship in their settings.
“The extent of CASP’s reach would not have been possible without their efforts. CASP values those contributions and created the awards to recognize individuals’ efforts that surpass expectations,” said Nikolaos Mavrogiorgos, MD, CASP medical director. He, along with Lindsay Daniels, CASP pharmacy lead, and Zachary Willis, CASP pediatric director recognized the first cohort of awardees.
Melissa Miller, director, and Kevin Alby, associate director, of the UNC Medical Center Clinical Microbiology Lab both received an award. “Dr. Miller’s leadership in the micro lab has been instrumental to the work of antimicrobial stewardship for many years. She is an outstanding team member and champion for antimicrobial stewardship,” according to her nominators.
Alby’s nominators described his “exceptional support to our program and is always willing to share his knowledge and expertise. He is a fantastic teammate, always helpful, approachable, and willing to contribute to many multidisciplinary efforts to improve patient care.”
Mildred Kwan’s co-leadership with CASP’s Renae Boerneke, PharmD on their penicillin allergy assessments project was recognized with an award. Their partnership began with a 2020 Institute of Healthcare Quality Improvement scholarship to develop a process for evaluating penicillin allergies and, where proven safe, update patients’ charts so they may receive narrower-spectrum antibiotics if needed in the future. Last year, the two began working towards expanding the project to inpatient areas.
Kwan, a director of quality improvement within UNC School of Medicine’s Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, has been an integral partner in developing the protocols and training programs for penicillin allergy assessments. She has also assisted in implementing policies and procedures that lead to improved therapies for Medical Center patients.
Family Medicine Inpatient Pharmacist Jesica Mangum was an early supporter of CASP’s antibiotic time-outs project, now in its fifth year. Her nominators attest that “Dr. Mangun has been instrumental in the success of the antibiotic time-outs. Her partnership on iterating the Epic tool is just one example of her willingness to work side-by-side with the project team to make the project even better.
Michael Phillips, a pediatric surgeon at UNC Children’s, has consistently supported pediatric stewardship interventions starting with pediatric appendicitis several years ago and more recent efforts to prevent surgical site infections. His nomination statement describes an ally who brokers understanding and builds support for stewardship interventions that involve challenging the status quo. “When it comes to identifying a Super Steward, there is no question that Dr. Phillips fits the bill. He consistently encourages the stewardship mindset among his peers and those he trains and teaches,” his nominators shared.
David Weber, MD, MPH, UNC Medical Center acting chief medical officer, and Emily Sickbert-Bennett, PhD, CASP administrative director, shared words of thanks to honorees for being steadfast supporters of antimicrobial stewardship. “Partners including the Super Stewards help CASP achieve its complementary purposes: slowing antimicrobial resistance, a WHO top global health threat, and improving patient care,” Weber said.
“Through your efforts, our Carolina Antimicrobial Stewardship Program is strengthened tremendously,” Sickbert-Bennett added.