Surfaces matter in preventing HAIs. Join us! 

Join HSI for a free collaborative virtual event that brings together industry, academia, science, regulatory, and healthcare service sectors to explore issues that are crucial to reducing the transmission of pathogens via contaminated surfaces.

Our goal is to build bridges and share information to and from all areas of expertise to help facilitate changes in support of community and public health.

Sign up now! These events are free and will be held virtually.

The information gathered from all roundtable discussions will be presented to the HSI Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board members during our 2022 Strategic Planning session.

Please note that Roundtable Discussions are limited to 35 attendees.


Soft Surface Contamination & Filtration

Presenter: Bill Purdy, Co-Founder and CEO of Spry Therapeutics
Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM ET – 1:00 PM ET

Soft surfaces can play a key role in microbial transmission. In the case of a pillow or mattress, microbes trapped within the soft material can become aerosolized in many ways, such as laying on them or adjusting them to prop a patient up. Because pillows and mattresses move throughout the healthcare setting, these soft surfaces pose an often-ignored risk for microbial transmission. In this presentation, you will learn more about this issue and learn of solutions to prevent patient risk.



Mitigating the Infection Risks of Soft Surfaces

Moderators: Bill Purdy, Co-Founder and CEO of Spry Therapeutics
Sharon Ward-Fore, Infection Prevention Advisor, Metrix
Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Time: 1:15 PM ET – 2:15 PM ET

Soft surfaces, such as pillows and mattresses, can pose serious risk for transmission of microbes that cause deadly infections. Join us for a robust conversation to discuss this topic in detail, such as current infection prevention guidelines regarding soft surfaces and existing hurdles to mitigating risks. We are looking to address these issues together, so please come with your concerns, questions, and potential solutions!



Case Study – Surface Disinfection Incompatibility Creates Potential Patient Risks Every Day: Focus on Medical Devices

Presenter: Barbara Strain, Principal of Barbara Strain Consulting LLC
Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM ET – 1:00 PM ET

Surface disinfection compatibility is not a new issue, but it hasn’t yet gotten the attention it needs. The Healthcare Surfaces Institute (HSI) and the Association for Healthcare Value Analysis Professionals (AHVAP) collaborated on a recently released case study detailing a costly surface disinfection incompatibility issue experienced by a large U.S. hospital with a particular medical device used for patient care. This presentation will show what we found in our investigation and our recommendations for addressing these problems.


Surface Disinfection Incompatibility Issues

Moderators: Barbara Strain, Principal of Barbara Strain Consulting LLC
Jesiska Tandy, Lead Material Science Engineer, Metrex Research
Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021
Time: 1:15 PM ET – 2:15 PM ET

Join us for a roundtable discussion on surface disinfection compatibility issues. We will identify the two major gaps we’ve discovered in addressing this problem and present them to the group for discussion. Please bring your thoughts around the hurdles that exist and ideas for potential solutions.


Disparities in Terminology and Definitions & Their Impact in the Healthcare Setting

Moderator: J. Darrel Hicks, BA, MESRE, CHESP, CMIP, Principal of Darrel Hicks, LLC
Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM ET – 1:00 PM ET

Have you ever noticed how different words have many different meanings based on who you are talking with? Some of those words are: clean, disinfected, sanitize, porous, non-porous, soft surface, hard surface, and the list goes on. During this roundtable discussion, we will identify terms that have many meanings and identify how these change outcomes in the healthcare setting. We will identify the top five most-misunderstood terms and begin to discuss how we can get everyone on the same page.


Spaulding Classification of Non-Critical Surfaces – Is it Time for a Change?

Moderator: Sharon Ward-Fore, Infection Prevention Advisor, Metrex
Date: Thursday, December 9, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM ET – 1:00 PM ET

In 1938, Earle H. Spaulding devised a strategy for disinfection and sterilization based on patient-care items and equipment classification. Spaulding believed the nature of disinfection could be understood if instruments and items for patient care were categorized as “critical, semi-critical, and non-critical” according to the degree of risk for infection when using specific items.

Since that time, there has been significant research providing a much clearer understanding of the ways microbes are acquired and transmitted and the Institute believes the designation of non-critical items needs to be reevaluated and quite possible how they are cleaned and disinfected.

This is a moderated discussion where we will discuss the designation and identify if and how this may need to be changed, based on scientific research that supports the claims that “non-critical” items DO support microbial acquisition and transmission.

Our Presenters and Moderators 


Darrel Hicks, LLC

Darrel Hicks began his career in the management of housekeeping services in 1981 and retired in 2014 as the former Director of Environmental Services at a 500-bed, award-winning hospital in the United States. He is the owner/principal of Darrel Hicks, LLC offering B2B consulting, webinars and seminars, and facility consulting services related to cleaning and disinfection. Hicks is nationally recognized as one of the subject matter experts in infection prevention and control as it relates to cleaning. He has written and published numerous articles in professional and healthcare-related journals as part of his commitment to providing a cleaner, safer, and healthier indoor environment. In 2010, Hicks authored “Infection Prevention for Dummies,” a 43-page, pocket-size book on the role that proper cleaning and disinfection plays in saving lives and the bottom line.

Bill Purdy

Co-Founder and CEO of Spry Therapeutics

For the past 30+ years, Bill Purdy has worked within the healthcare industry to introduce groundbreaking, affordable products to improve patient care. The proprietary technologies and products he’s developed have not only helped patients and caregivers for years, but have also raised the standards of medical care throughout the US – specifically when it comes to caregiver safety and infection control. Most recently, Bill co-founded Spry Therapeutics – a medical device company that develops products to address the issue of soft-surface contamination within hospitals, creating a safer care environment for both patients and staff.

Sharon Ward-Fore

Infection Prevention Advisor, Metrex

Sharon Ward-Fore, MS, MT(ASCP), CIC, FAPIC, serves as Metrex’s Infection Prevention Advisor. Sharon’s team relies on her clinical expertise for infection prevention guidance and support when developing new surface disinfectant solutions. Her areas of expertise include special pathogens training, personal protective equipment selection and training, emergency preparedness, surgical services, disinfectants and cleaners, and environmental services. She also focuses on medical device material compatibility with surface disinfectants.

Barbara Strain

Barbara Strain Consulting LLC

Barbara Strain, MA, SM(ASCP), CVAHP is an independent healthcare value consultant specializing in new, emerging, and disruptive technology and established medical modalities. She spent more than 20 years as the Director of Value Management at the University of Virginia Health System. Earlier in her 40-year career, she focused on clinical laboratory operations, microbiology, disinfection, sterilization and infection control in provider hospital organizations. She is a founding member and past president of the Association of Healthcare Value Analysis Professionals (AHVAP) and serves its Board Strategic Liaison.

“My experience in coordinating hospital device introduction and assuring they are safe for patient care motivates continued participation in assuring industry is responding to identified needs.”

Jesiska Tandy

Lead Materials Science Engineer, Metrex Research

Jesiska Tandy currently leads the materials compatibility program. Her team focuses on chemical compatibility of materials commonly found in healthcare settings, and works closely with universities, polymer companies, medical device companies, and end-users to identify the gaps and develop robust solutions. They are dedicated to tackling compatibility issues and strive to deepen understanding in this area.

“I’m very excited to be working on this important and complex subject alongside experts of different backgrounds. Bringing all the stakeholders together will enhance our understanding of one another’s point of view and produce a solution to improve patient care.”

Healthcare Surfaces Institute

Healthcare Surfaces Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; all donations are tax-deductible. Copyright © 2023 Healthcare Surfaces Institute. All rights reserved. Surfaces Matter™ is a trademark of Healthcare Surfaces Institute. 

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