Amy Kilroy’s role as an Infection Preventionist at UP Health System – Marquette can bring new and unique challenges on a daily basis. From talking with patients to meeting with medical directors, Amy is always working on the best ways to educate the public and practice proactive measures to ensure the best safety measures possible for UPHS – Marquette.
What is your title?
I am a certified Infection Preventionist.
How long have you been employed with us?
I’ve been working at UPHS – Marquette for four years.
What is a typical day like for you?
My typical has gone out the window as we prepare for COVID patients. Right now I check the CDC and State of Michigan websites first thing in the morning to see what’s changed. I look for the current number of COVID cases and any new recommendations as the outbreak evolves. My goal is to make sure the facility is as up to date as possible while we plan and prepare for what could be a large number of contagious patients. My job has always been to make sure everyone has what they need to prevent infections within the healthcare system. Right now people need to know how to identify someone at risk for COVID and the flu, and how to use personal protective equipment the right way at the right time. I’ve been communicating daily with the health department, our sister hospitals, and medical leaders in the community as we plan and tweak our response to the outbreak. Everyone is working together on this challenge, both inside and outside the hospital.
Should people be worried about coronavirus?
It’s important to be cautious but there is no reason to go panic. This disease spreads in a similar way to the flu so the same prevention measures can be used. Wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, stay away from people who are ill, and stay home if you become ill. Clean your workspace and home regularly, disinfect frequently touched objects like keyboards and doorknobs. If you do feel like you need to see your doctor or go the emergency room to be evaluated for infectious disease, call ahead and let them know your symptoms and if you’ve been around others who were recently ill. These heightened tactics such as hospitals and nursing homes with reducing visitors and limiting large crowds is a smart way to cut down on transmission or viral infections. If the world took these steps for seasonal flu, there would be far fewer people getting sick each winter and spring.
What is something about yourself that might surprise others?
I like to make stained glass art in my spare time. My favorite things to make are window panels with local landscapes like the ore dock, pictured rocks or grand island. It’s tricky but I just love the way light goes through the colors and textures of the glass. It’s very rewarding.
What is your favorite part about working here at UPHS?
The best part is all of the different people I get to work with. There are so many talented, wonderful and passionate people working here.