Regional Medical Center Infection Preventionists Earn State Awards from Professional Association


From left: Deborah Rider, MPH, BS, MLT(ASCP) and Wanda Summers, MS/IT

Deborah M. Rider, Associate Director of Infection Prevention at the Regional Medical Center (RMC), and Wanda Summers, RMC Infection Control Program Coordinator, recently received top honors for their accomplishments in infection prevention. 

Rider was named Infection Preventionist of the Year at the 35th annual meeting of the S.C. Palmetto Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) held last month in Columbia. This award is given to an APIC member for major accomplishments in clinical practice, education, research or service made during the previous calendar year.

Summers, a regional director with the APIC chapter, received the association’s Blazing New Trails Award. It is given to a chapter member who greatly impacts a specific area of work or activity that supports the chapter’s vision and strategic plan. She was also selected as the chapter’s president-elect for 2018.

Both Rider, an Orangeburg resident, and Summers, a native of Elloree, were nominated for the awards by their peers and received commemorative plaques.

Rider, who has been employed at RMC for 42 years, has worked in infection prevention and control for eight years. She has been a member of APIC for eight years. “I was surprised and excited to receive the award. I was humbled that I was chosen from among so many other infection preventionists throughout the state,” Rider said.

In her nomination, Rider is described as infection preventionist that consistently monitors and stays abreast of new guidelines and regulations that may be on the horizon for infection prevention.  “Her sharing of knowledge and quick attention to issues at hand has made a huge impact throughout the organization and potentially prevented further exposures or infections,” her nominator stated.

Rider’s efforts to make sure clinical and non-clinical hospital employees know how to protect themselves and their patients from potential exposures to various diseases were highlighted in the nomination.

As an infection preventionist at RMC, Rider leads integration of prevention activities in hospital departments, manages identification of infectious disease processes, conducts surveillance and epidemiologic investigations, educates hospital personnel, and serves as a liaison with local, state and federal health agencies.

In her nomination, Summers was described as a leader in organizing and supporting infection prevention efforts in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties and across the state. “Wanda is the epitome of professionalism as she sets high standards for herself and her work. She is always brainstorming ways to improve patient care in her hospital, community, professional organization and her state in relation to infection prevention,” her nominator stated. Summers was lauded for her board service, and her efforts to provide educational opportunities for chapter members and enhance communication.

“I was shocked and honored to be chosen for this award. I was glad to know that others felt I was doing a good job in my roles within the chapter. It is a privilege to be able to serve in my local chapter and an honor to receive this award,” Summers said. 

Summers, who has been employed at RMC for 18 years, has been a member of APIC for five years.  She has worked in infection prevention and control for six years. Some of her responsibilities as an infection preventionist at RMC include monitoring and maintaining data on all hospital-acquired infections; serving as a liaison with local, state and federal agencies regarding all reportable infectious diseases; and educating new hospital personnel about infection prevention and control.


About the Regional Medical Center

The Regional Medical Center (RMC) healthcare system includes a 286-bed, acute-care hospital certified by The Joint Commission, and 22 primary care and specialty care practices. It is also certified by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center and designated as a Level III Trauma Center by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). RMC is clinically affiliated with MUSC Health, South Carolina’s most nationally recognized and comprehensive academic medical center, to further enhance select healthcare services for patients in the region.

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