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Nominations are open for the 12th annual National Hygiene Specialist Excellence Award, which acknowledges the contribution of environmental services (EVS) departments in healthcare facilities across the United States. 

Sponsored by UMF Corporation, the award recognizes EVS staff, essential workers who have served on the frontlines for more than a year in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nominations are open through July 31, 2021.

"As the world enters the second year of the global pandemic, the National Hygiene Specialist Excellence Award has taken on even more importance," said UMF CEO George Clarke. "We established the award to celebrate the EVS workers who daily serve as a first line of defense in preventing the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Over the past year, more than ever before, they risked their health and lives to deliver an essential service throughout hospitals, long-term care centers and other healthcare facilities as the world fought COVID-19."

Responsible for cleaning and disinfecting patient rooms, operating rooms and common areas throughout healthcare facilities, EVS staff are an integral part of enterprise-wide multimodal infection prevention and control. One of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's top recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. EVS staff – and hygiene specialists, in particular – play a crucial role in ensuring this happens properly throughout healthcare facilities.

"COVID-19 has helped shine a much needed light on these workers who are crucial to preventing the spread of infection in healthcare facilities," added Clarke. "As we start to see an end to the pandemic with promising vaccine rates across the country, EVS staff will continue to play a major role in preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which infect one in 31 hospital patients on any given day. We are honored to celebrate the vital work they perform to ensure safe healthcare environments."

UMF Corporation is encouraging EVS managers to nominate dedicated staff members for the award. The award recipient will receive an all-expenses paid trip for two, including airfare, to Miami Beach, Florida. Nomination forms, available at https://bit.ly/3liHmmh, should be submitted by July 31, 2021.