Providence Special Pathogens manager featured at international conference

June 2, 2023 Providence News Team

Providence Special Pathogens Manager Christa Arguinchona is sharing her infectious disease expertise and passion for preparedness with a global audience.

Christa leads the Providence Special Pathogens Program at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, a highly trained, multi-disciplinary team that ensures we are prepared to treat high consequence infectious diseases, keeping our community safe. 

The program includes the special pathogens unit (SPU), which is a state-of-the-art isolation unit equipped to care for patients who have, or are suspected of having, high consequence infectious diseases, such as Ebola. It is one of only 13 federally designated units of its kind in the country. It was activated early in the pandemic when COVID-19 was still known as an emerging pathogen. 

The National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) asked Christa to represent the NETEC and the Regional Emerging Special Pathogen Treatment Centers (RESPTCs) at the International STAKOB Meeting in Berlin, Germany in May. STAKOB is a permanent working group of competence and treatment centers for high consequence infectious diseases in Germany.

Christa was joined by Caroline Persson, Denver Health RESPTC program director, to present on their experiences working within these unique biocontainment units. The conference was a great opportunity to collaborate with international partners, including experts from Norway, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, France, and the Netherlands. 

Christa will continue to develop these relationships as a member of the NETEC International Workgroup, participating in planning and regular international global rounds. 

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