Infection Prevention Workforce Challenges and Opportunities

Sarah Smathers, MPH, CIC, FAPIC
Sarah Smathers, MPH, CIC, FAPIC is the System Director of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Sarah serves on the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Board of Directors. She has recently served as Chair of the Public Policy Committee for APIC and previously served as President of the Delaware Valley/Philadelphia APIC Chapter. Sarah is a member of the APIC Infection Prevention Academic Pathway and has a passion for growing the next generation of infection preventionists. She is an Affiliate Faculty and co-founder of the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Certificate and Infection Prevention Master of Science at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health. In 2020, she joined the Public Health Steering Committee to establish the first county health department for Delaware County, PA, where she resides. She is also a member of the Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS) Infection Prevention Advisory Group and recently served as the APIC liaison to the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). Sarah is certified in Infection Control and an APIC fellow with a special interest in infection prevention program development.   

Brief Description
The roles and responsibilities of Infection Preventionists (IPs) have dramatically evolved due to increasing emerging diseases threats, shifts in healthcare systems and changing regulatory requirements. This presentation will provide strategies to support the increased demand for infection prevention and control including career development, building a business case, and showcasing value. We will also discuss how IPs can continue to find and foster joy in work.


  1. Describe how to recruit, train, and retain the next generation of infection preventionists.
  2. Review strategies for building the financial business case for infection prevention.
  3. Define approaches for showcasing your infection prevention program.