University of Providence Adjunct Faculty Member and Curriculum Designer Shares Her Story Battling Some of the First Cases of the Novel Coronavirus in the U.S.
The Providence health system was one of the first health facilities in the United States to encounter a positive COVID-19 case. Good thing Rebecca Bartles, University of Providence’s Infection Prevention and Epidemiology Adjunct Professor, was there to lead the charge for Providence hospitals.
Bartles life’s work has been researching and fighting infectious diseases. She leads the 51-hospital Providence Health system in infection prevention and epidemiology and has faced the challenge of protecting doctors and nurses from the coronavirus. Back in March of 2020, Bartles told the New York Times of the shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and was wary of what it would look like if hospitals weren’t able to get the needed equipment.
Fast forward to today, with the help of Providence’s Hundred Million Masks Campaign, Bartles was able to take initiative to keep health professionals safe. She recounts the experience to Fierce Health, “Making and disinfecting personal protective equipment for our healthcare workers and creating production lines at furniture manufacturing plants to have enough masks to keep doctors and nurses safe … not in a million years did I ever dream I’d be spending time doing that. We had no other choice. It did not feel good.”
The University of Providence is fortunate to be guided by the leadership and expertise of Rebecca Bartles. She was one of the primary curriculum designers for the Master’s Program in Infection Prevention and Epidemiology at the University of Providence. She continues to offer her expertise as an adjunct faculty member for two courses in this Master’s program; Introduction to Epidemiology (MSI 501) and the Principles and Epidemiology of Infectious Disease (MSI 510).UP’s Infection Prevention & Epidemiology Masters’ Program is recognized by The Association for Professionals in Infection Prevention and Epidemiology (APIC) as a “model program.” APIC is the national professional organization for Infection Preventionists and Epidemiologists. Rebecca Bartles is a member of this organization, and is involved in a sub-group that advises curriculums across the country.
For more information about Rebecca Bartles, check out her conversation with Fierce Health about the challenges and learnings from 2020 ― fighting the spread of COVID-19.