24, 2003 -- Janine Jagger, Ph.D., was concerned about safety long
before child seats and air bags for cars became legal requirements.
Her early work on prevention of brain injuries was published in
government reports and Consumer Reports, as well as in the academic
press starting two decades ago.
was one of the first to realize how critical would be the prevention
of infection among health care workers when the AIDS epidemic first
started in the early 80s. Early on in the epidemic she invented
a new way to resheath a needle within a syringe to protect the person
giving an injection to someone with a blood-borne infection. She
went on to design EPINet, the Exposure Prevention Information network,
which has been published as a software program in numerous languages
and designated as the manual of choice for operating room nurses.
Jagger, Becton Dickinson Professor of Health Care Worker Safety
in the division of Geographic
Medicine at the University of Virginia since 1996, and a faculty
member since 1978, has been honored with a MacArthur "genius"
award. She has been far ahead of the curve throughout her career,
working out ways to educate those at risk of injury or infection
and to prevent occupational exposure to disease.
was present in the White House when President Clinton signed the
Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act into law in 2000. She was
named Henderson Inventor of the Year by the Universitys Patent
Foundation in 1996, and she has received numerous other honors.
The MacArthur Award brings her work to national prominence.
worked in Africa in 1974 during her graduate training in the Graduate
School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. Now she
plans to use the financial support she will receive from this latest
award benefit healthcare workers in developing countries. She hopes
to enhance her collaborative work with healthcare providers, particularly
in Ghana, to reduce their exposure to deadly infectious diseases
by reducing their use of injectible medications and by making available
devices for the containment of injection waste to reduce accidental