The AHA today participated in a White House forum on ways to improve responsible antibiotic use, where more than 150 stakeholders committed to help thwart the public health and national security threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The AHA and six national partners last year released a toolkit to help hospitals and health systems develop and enhance their antimicrobial stewardship programs. Representing AHA at the White House event was Roberta DeBiasi, M.D., chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and professor of pediatrics and microbiology, immunology and tropical medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine. Hospital and health system representatives at the event included Jonathan Perlin, M.D., president of clinical services and chief medical officer for Hospital Corporation of America and AHA chairman. In related news, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a $20 million competition to develop rapid point-of-care diagnostics to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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