Following my graduation from IU in 2015, I immediately pursued a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. My background and education in human health and disease fueled my interest for infectious diseases and I wanted to apply that knowledge to help improve the public's health. As such, I spent several years as an infectious disease epidemiologist where I specialized in antimicrobial resistance and infection prevention in the healthcare setting.
Alumni Spotlight - DJ Shannon
After gaining this invaluable experience, I transitioned to Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis to be an Infection Preventionist. Little did I know, a short twelve months later I would be dealing with a pandemic on the frontlines. The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for us all, but particularly for those of us in healthcare. The pandemic hasn’t changed my job, rather intensified it. My role as an Infection Preventionist is to ensure the practices at my hospital keep patients, staff members, and visitors safe and free from harm and infections.
In my position, I specialize in critical care, antimicrobial resistance, and device-associated infections. I collaborate with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and others to ensure that the care we provide is as safe as possible and minimizes the risk of infection. Specifically, I see patients in the ICU, observe healthcare worker practices, analyze data to identify infection trends, educate staff and patients, and develop hospital level policies; all to uphold patient safety.
Infection Preventionists are often in difficult positions trying to answer questions with no "right" answer. As such, I am forever grateful for the knowledge gained during my undergraduate education. I find myself applying everything from content knowledge to my skills in interdisciplinary work that I learned through HUBI on a regular basis. This foundation undoubtedly helped me to confidently work through the daily challenges as presented by my professional career.