Chair File: Together We Have the Power to Stop Infectious Disease Threats

Since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the U.S. nearly 10 months ago, our hospitals and health systems have learned so much about how to slow down the spread, care for patients and help them recover.

Now, as COVID-19 cases surge nationwide, we must ensure that all our front-line teams have the training, information and resources they need. Armed with the right infection control and prevention tools, these heroes will help contain the resurgence, mitigate spread and prepare us for a future health care crisis.

Project Firstline is a new national training collaborative developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with guidance and support from leading health care organizations, including the AHA. It offers expert guidance through a series of practical tools designed to help all front-line health care workers respond to the threat of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases with speed and efficiency, while also safeguarding their own health.

From Q&A sessions to expert video commentaries to technical training modules, health care professionals will learn the “what” and the “why” of infection control — emphasizing the science and reasoning behind it. The goal of the program is simple: help improve patient outcomes with effective infection control practices.

To help ensure Project Firstline is a comprehensive resource, the AHA Center for Health Innovation will also develop a wide variety of companion pieces on infection control and prevention, including webinars, case studies, thought leadership articles and other digital tools.

Working together with other program partners — including the American Nurses Association, National Association of County and City Health Officials, the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as state, local and territorial health departments — we can help make infection control and safety a priority across the field so patients receive the highest quality of care.

Project Firstline couldn’t come at a better time. Though recent news of vaccine development is promising, continued COVID-19 surges are stretching hospitals to capacity and health care workers to breaking points.

The AHA will keep you informed as new resources and tools become available. In the meantime, we invite you to visit AHA Project Firstline to learn more, and reach out to to let AHA know how Project Firstline can further support front-line staff.

Together we have the power to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious disease threats.