March 13, 2023

Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center Recognized for Antimicrobial Stewardship Due to Medication Administration and Safety Protocols

Left to right: Punit Gupta, M.D., division chair of Infectious Disease; Mona Nashed, Pharm.D., coordinator of Clinical Pharmacy; Vinit Gupta, M.D., infectious disease; Arturo Pascual, M.D., infectious disease; Beverlyann Collins, R.N., director of Infection Prevention and Control

Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center has been recognized as a Silver Level Antimicrobial Stewardship Recognition Program award recipient by the New Jersey Department of Health.

Antimicrobial stewardship programs set appropriate use standards in place for the prescription and use of antimicrobials, medications used to prevent and treat infections such as antibiotics. These programs help improve patient outcomes, reduce the risk of infection spreading and reduce the risk of patient resistance to antimicrobials. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.8 million antimicrobial-resistant infections occur each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result.

“The Mountainside Medical Center antimicrobial stewardship team has been working extremely hard to improve our clinical outcomes and medication safety protocols while reducing our patients’ risk of antimicrobial resistance,” says Valerie Allusson, MD, chief medical officer at Mountainside Medical Center. “I am extremely proud of the efforts of this team and the achievements they have accomplished.”

The New Jersey Antimicrobial Stewardship Recognition Awards is a voluntary incentive program that encourages healthcare facilities to submit stewardship materials in concordance with CDC’s Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship, a set of key principles to guide efforts to improve antibiotic use and advance patient safety and improve outcomes. These include the complexity of antimicrobial use, reporting, tracking, and education in addition to the variability in healthcare facility size and types of care require flexible programs and activities.

Mountainside Medical Center’s antimicrobial stewardship team works closely with the organization’s infectious disease physicians to set a multi-pronged approach in place regarding antimicrobial usage. This approach includes having staffed clinical pharmacists in the emergency room, optimizing dosing regimens for antimicrobials and providing pharmacy consults for dosing and monitoring of certain antibiotics that require precision when dosing.  

“Without the support of such a great team involved in every step of the patient journey, from the emergency department to admission and discharge, we would not be where we are today,” shares Mona Nashed, Pharm.D., co-leader of the antimicrobial stewardship team at Mountainside Medical Center. “We realize that antibiotics are truly a finite resource, and we need everyone’s help to make sure that we keep these resources for future generations.”

Mountainside Medical Center was also recognized as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Recognition Program award recipient in 2020 and 2021. To learn more about the hospital visit

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