As the first APIC Chapter, APIC New England has an impressive history.

This anecdotal account tells the history of APIC-NE as compiled by Barbara A. Goldrick, RN, MPH, PhD, CIC. Barbara was one of the early Infection Control Professionals in the U.S. and was influential in the creation of APIC New England.

Carole DeMille from Massachusetts General Hospital, along with Betsy Pantelick from Yale New Haven, Pat Lynch and others, who were known as the “Dirty Dozen,” met in 1969 at the CDC training program (1200G) for nurse epidemiologists. It was this group of pioneers who were instrumental in the development of the role of the infection control professional (ICP).

In 1972, a Steering Committee, including the “Dirty Dozen,” met in Raleigh, North Carolina, to plan an organization for people involved in infection control. In three days, initial officers were selected and the Association for Practitioners in Infection Control (APIC) was founded. Pat Lynch, APIC’s first president, served two terms (1972, 1973) and Carole DeMille served as president for two terms (1975, 1976).

In 1974, Carole DeMille, along with Betsy Pantelick, Shirley Bradley and other ICPs in New England became the architects of APIC-New England, APIC’s first chapter. Carole DeMille was the first president of APIC-NE. Carole developed cancer and passed away in 1979.

APIC-New England planned and sponsored the APIC Educational Conference held in Boston in 1978. What a conference it was! It also was the last national APIC conference completely planned by a chapter (We were a hard act to follow).

In 1980, APIC-New England contributed $1,000 to APIC to initiate the first Carole DeMille Lectureship, which was awarded to Thomas Merigan at the APIC Educational Conference in 1980. The award was changed to the Carole DeMille Achievement Award in the 1990s. The Carole DeMille legacy continues each year, with an award at the APIC annual conference.

APIC-New England also pressed APIC for a referendum on certification in1980. Later that year, the APIC Certification Association (APICCA) was established. In 1981, APICCA contracted with a professional testing company to conduct the first analysis of infection control practice. It determined eligibility criteria for certification, and developed a recertification plan. In 1982, APICCA changed its name to the Certification Board of Infection Control (CBIC).

What a history!