And now for something completely different….

I always assume that in any highly intelligent, over-educated, opinionated group of people (my people!), there will be Monty Python fans…so I’d like to use John Cleese to change the subject and post a shameless plug.

As many of you (but not enough) know, the SHEA Education and Research Foundation sponsors a scholarship program for people who are interested in getting specialized training in developing, managing or improving antibiotic stewardship programs.  The funds to support the scholarships come from a campaign that was the brain child of the brilliant Dr Judy Guzman- Cottrill.  She founded the now annual “Race Against Resistance”.  SHEA members sign up as fund raisers and most of them raise money around their participation in a local 5K, marathon, triathlon, or bike race between the SHEA spring meeting and IDWeek in October.   In the first two years of the program, the racers raised about $35,000 and sponsored 6 scholarship recipients to attend training courses. This year, the illustrious Dr David Calfee agreed to coordinate the program, as well as being a fundraising team member himself.

So I have three requests for the readership of this blog.
1. Be sure your trainees, junior faculty, and members of your local stewardship team KNOW about the availability of these funds.  If you are a trainee, junior faculty, on a stewardship team or thinking about starting or joining a stewardship team, apply yourself for scholarship funds and come along t0 the SHEA spring meeting or another training course, courtesy of the foundation. We are hoping to provide more scholarships this year and next so we need more people to apply for the funds!

2. Donate!  The more money raised, the more people we can sponsor.  The more people trained in antimicrobial stewardship, the better!  There is a team of 12 brave and true SHEA members who have committed to raise money for this cause.  Head on over to the website and pick your favorite, pick the underdog, pick the one who has the best picture, or no picture, and donate a few dollars to their cause. Only one month left until IDWeek, where the winning fundraiser will be recognized at the SHEA business meeting!

Here’s the shameless part.  Yes, I am one of the fundraising team.  “But Hilary,” you may be thinking, “I’ve never seen you run a step! Or swim, or bike….in fact you hate to exercise! What happened?”  Well, I’ll tell you.  I asked David Calfee why this program wasn’t open to a wider range of skills than just athletic abilities?  I believe I mentioned two of my best skills: drinking wine and reading books.  It seemed wrong to ask people to donate in support of my drinking more wine so…. I started a Speed Reading Race Against Resistance!  I committed to reading at least 8 books per month between the SHEA Spring Meeting and IDWeek – and to prove I’m keeping my end of the bargain, every month, I am posting short reviews of every book I read that month. You can find the reviews for May, June and July here (click on “Updates”).  If you donate, the page update with book reviews is sent right to you! And I even came up with a slogan, “Let’s show the runners, reading pays off!” 

Which brings me to my last request:
3. Start thinking now of what skills you have that could be leveraged into a Race Against Resistance Team. Next year I’d love to see more reading teams, walking teams, knitting teams, Pokemon Go teams, yoga teams, and cooking teams, in addition to the athletic teams, raising more money, to give more scholarships, to train more people in stewardship, to see fewer cases of C diff. 

Because really, even though we may argue about how, we’re all committed to the same cause: keeping patients and providers safe and healthy. 

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