Name: John Coia

Job title and institution: Professor Emeritus, Institute for Health Research (IRS), University of South Denmark (SDU)

Year you started IPC: 1993

How long have you been a member of HIS?  Since 1993


  • What was your route into IPC?   

As a Registrar/Senior Registrar in Glasgow Royal Infirmary I was very inspired by the work of colleagues in IPC, particulary Dr Dugald Baird (ICD) and Evonne Curran (ICN). My initial interest was on research aspects, but subsequently as my career developed, I also became involved in practical infection control issues, and in my first consultant post in Edinburgh I got my first ICD post.

  • Why did you decide to become involved with HIS? (please try to weave in what benefit HIS has had on your career/development)

I was attracted to IPC because it provided the opportunity to work with a wide range of different personnel and staff groups (not just doctors and nurses), and I was fascinated by the challenges that had to be addressed to provide a safe patient environment, which would minimise the risk of acquiring an HAI during their healthcare journey. HIS was a very valuable source of learning and training resources throughout my career, and I was very proud to receive my Diploma in Hospital Infection Control many years ago! I have been fortunate enough to serve as an elected member of HIS Council on two previous occasions, and I have also had the opportunity to serve on a number of HIS guideline development groups, most recently as the lead for the revised MRSA guidelines. I am very pleased to continue my association with HIS as a Trustee.

  • Are you involved in any HIS society committees, working parties or focus groups?

I am an active  member of the HIS guideline development committee.

  • Why is IPC an exciting field to work/study in?

There are still a number of challenges in IPC, and those challenges change and evolve as the procedures, technologies and environment for the provision of healthcare changes and evolves. IPC involves a huge range and interface of different personnel groups, different scientific, engineering and design disciplines, and provides the opportunity to work with a wide range of colleagues to make a real difference in providing the best possible environment to prevent patients from acquiring an HAI.

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