Queen’s offers Canada’s first Infection Prevention and Control Master’s program

IPAC Canada and Queen’s University have partnered to provide specialized training in infection prevention and control (IPAC) through a new IPAC track in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program.

According to a release from the university, COVID-19 has demonstrated the clear need for health professionals with expertise in infection prevention and control (IPAC). This knowledge can be the difference in preventing or stopping the spread of infections in healthcare and workplace settings.

The new IPAC track was launched in January 2022 as part of the Queen’s MPH program. It delivers specialty training that provides students with the technical expertise and leadership to keep patients, employees and the public safe, according to the release.

“We are excited about this new initiative with Queen’s University to further expand specialized skills, knowledge and expertise in infection prevention and control to continue to protect Canadians and our communities,” said Zahir Hirji, President of IPAC Canada, a multidisciplinary member-based association committed to public wellness and safety by advocating for best practices in infection prevention and control (IPAC) in all settings.

Queen’s Health Sciences is breaking new ground in embedding IPAC-specific training in their graduate program, the university stated.

“The partnership with IPAC Canada is a wonderful opportunity for Queen’s University to be front-and-centre in the provision of expert training for the next generation of IPAC professionals,” said Dr. Bradley Stoner, Head, Queen’s University Department of Public Health Sciences.

The first of its kind in Canada, the IPAC track combines foundational graduate-level training in public health competencies with technical training and experiential learning in infection prevention and control, according to the release.

Queen’s said that Master of Public Health students who elect to pursue the IPAC track complete three specialized courses taught by experienced experts in IPAC, health quality, and medical microbiology. Students also complete a 400-hour IPAC-specific practicum with a host organization.

Infection Prevention and Control Professionals (ICPs) are increasingly in demand in hospitals, long-term care facilities, congregate settings, public health agencies and other workplaces, according to the release. Their core role is safety across the continuum of care to help prevent infections by developing policies, evaluating procedures, and educating staff, patients and residents on IPAC best practices.

According to the release, the IPAC track also allows existing IPAC professionals to broaden and enrich competencies and advance their career in new leadership roles.

“This exciting opportunity is the product of the vision and dedication of faculty who have worked throughout the pandemic to protect public health and strengthen the training of infection control professionals,” said MPH Program Director Dr. Erica Weir.

For more information, including eligibility requirements and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Queen’s MPH program website: https://phs.queensu.ca/graduateprograms/master-public-health.

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