Dr. Cliff McDonald’s Bio:
Cliff McDonald, MD, is a former officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service and is currently the Senior Advisor for Science and Integrity in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC. This division seeks to protect patients and healthcare personnel and promotes safety and quality in healthcare delivery systems. Examples of activities include programs for addressing antimicrobial resistance, healthcare-associated infections, and other adverse events affecting patients and healthcare workers. Dr. McDonald is an expert in Clostridium difficile, an antibiotic resistant bacterium.
Dr. McDonald graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Michigan State and an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the University of South Alabama, following which he completed a fellowship in Medical Microbiology at Duke University. Past positions have included Associate Investigator at the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan, where he helped develop an island-wide surveillance system for antimicrobial resistance, and Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Louisville, where he worked as a hospital epidemiologist in infection control. He is the author or co-author of over 75 peer-reviewed publications, is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and American Society for Microbiology.
People getting medical care can catch serious infections called health care-associated infections (HAIs). While most types of HAIs are declining, one – caused by the germ C. difficile* – remains at historically high levels. C. difficile causes diarrhea linked to 14,000 American deaths each year. Those most at risk are people, especially older adults, who take antibiotics and also get medical care. When a person takes antibiotics, good germs that protect against infection are destroyed for several months. During this time, patients can get sick from C. difficile picked up from contaminated surfaces or spread from a health care provider’s hands. About 25% ofC. difficile infections first show symptoms in hospital patients; 75% first show in nursing home patients or in people recently cared for in doctors’ offices and clinics. C. difficile infections cost at least $1 billion in extra health care costs annually.
*Clostridium difficile (klah-STRID-ee-um DIFF-i-seel)
Dr. Cliff McDonald