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Catholic Eldercare Recognizes Antibiotic Awareness Week in Minnesota

Governor Dayton has proclaimed that Minnesota will recognize November 13-19 as Antibiotic Awareness Week. Antibiotic Awareness Week, observed nationally by the CDC, is an opportunity to raise awareness about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of responsible antibiotic prescription.

Observing Antibiotic Awareness Week is part of Minnesota’s efforts to fight the spread of antibiotic resistance and improve patient safety by supporting antibiotic stewardship in our local communities and healthcare facilities.

As a healthcare provider, Catholic Eldercare is committed to using antibiotics responsibly year-round. Everyone from our community leaders to each medical provider on staff supports this commitment and pledges to follow best practices for prescribing antibiotics. 

In March, Catholic Eldercare established an Antibiotic Stewardship Team (AST). They have created an Antibiotic Stewardship Program (ASP) according to best practice guidelines, which aims to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics to treat infections and reduce adverse events associated with improper antibiotic use. As part of the program, the AST has developed new policies and provided education to staff, families, and providers on antibiotic stewardship. 

Antibiotic resistance is currently one of the most serious public health concerns in the United States. Every year, two million Americans become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. At least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these antibiotic-resistant infections, and many more die from complications.

The over-use and prescription of antibiotics is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed drugs in modern medicine, and yet as much as 50% of those prescribed are not needed or will not be optimally effective as prescribed. The continued spread of antibiotic resistance risks returning us to a time when simple infections were often fatal. 

At Catholic Eldercare, we promise to do our part to combat the spread of antibiotic resistance. But you have a role to play in antibiotic stewardship too! Learn what you can do at cdc.gov.