Tenn. doctor receives top honors for role in meningitis outbreak - WKRN News 2

Tenn. doctor receives top honors for role in meningitis outbreak

Posted: Updated: Sep 11, 2013 7:34 AM CDT
Dr. Marion Kainer Dr. Marion Kainer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A Tennessee doctor is receiving top honors for proactively saving hundreds of lives during last year's fungal meningitis outbreak.

On Tuesday, the White House honored epidemiologist and infectious diseases physician Dr. Marion Kainer as a Champion of Change.

Champions of Change are distinguished leaders who help communities focus on prevention and public health.

Dr. Kainer was recognized for her leadership role in identifying the contaminated steroid injections linked to the outbreak.

She aided in rapidly creating a communication and tracking system to monitor all of the infections nationwide.

Dr. Kainer and her team helped save lives by not only identifying the cause of the outbreak, but also by helping track down every single affected patient to ensure they got the treatment they needed as fast as possible.

She currently serves as the Director of the Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Program at the Tennessee Department of Health.

During the 2012 meningitis outbreak, 153 people in Tennessee got sick and 16 died.

Nationwide, the infection spanned across 20 states with 750 people infected, causing a total of 64 deaths.

The contaminated steroid medicine was made by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

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