U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week: Human Health Spotlight

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U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week

November 20, 2023

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Stewardship quiz? You betcha!

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CDC’s Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship offer providers and facilities a set of key principles to guide efforts to improve antibiotic use which advances patient safety and improves outcomes.


These frameworks are offered for a variety of healthcare settings and complement existing guidelines and standards from key healthcare partners.


Which of the following settings are these Core Elements available for?


A. Hospitals

B. Nursing Homes

C. Outpatient Facilities

D. Resource-Limited Settings

E. Health Departments

F. All of the above


The answer is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Antibiotic Awareness Week

Improve Antibiotic Use, Improve Health Equity 

Every year, CDC and partners like MDH recognize USAAW to raise awareness and share information on the importance of improving antibiotic and antifungal use. Any time antibiotics or antifungals are used—in people, animals, or plants—they can cause side effects and contribute to antimicrobial resistance. The USAAW observance is aligned with World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week (WAAW) during the same week.

This year, CDC is focusing on the connection between appropriate antibiotic and antifungal prescribing and use and health equity. Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health. Health inequities resulting from less-than-optimal antibiotic or antifungal prescribing practices may impact health outcomes, and result in an increase in antimicrobial resistance or adverse events in some populations.

Join us November 18-24 as we recognize the importance of improving antibiotic and antifungal prescribing and use, improving health equity, and slowing the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Learn how you can take action this week and the rest of the year.

Visit the MDH U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week webpage to find resources, register for webinars, subscribe for updates, and more.

Improve Antibiotic Use, Improve Health Equity


Go Purple for USAAW

On Friday, Nov. 17, several Twin Cities landmarks (Lowry Avenue Bridge, I-35W Bridge, Capella Tower) lit up purple for the "Go Purple" USAAW campaign. This annual campaign highlights a commitment, nationally and in Minnesota, to use antibiotics appropriately.

I-35W Bridge and Lowry Avenue Bridge with purple lights

"Go Purple" to show your support for improving the use of antibiotics. You can:

  • Wear purple and post pictures to social media encouraging your followers to improve antibiotic and antifungal use.
  • Bring purple to your online presence: Share Go Purple and USAAW messages to your organization’s website, wear purple when on camera during online meetings and share why you are wearing purple.

Share pictures on your social media, tagging #GoPurpleforUSAAW, #AntimicrobialResistance or #USAAW23.

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Antibiotics in Minnesota: Human Health Spotlight

Antibiotic Use and Stewardship in Minnesota Report

MDH has published an inaugural report, Antibiotic Use and Stewardship in Minnesota: 2023 Update on Progress and Opportunities, which summarizes outpatient and hospital measures to describe the state of antibiotic use and stewardship in Minnesota. This report is intended to provide actionable insights to inform stewardship activities and outlines several areas of opportunity for improvement in outpatient antibiotic prescribing at both the state and health care facility level. MDH encourages stewardship champions and teams within health care facilities and/or health systems to review the report and consider how the data and recommendations can inform their stewardship program initiatives.

  • Mirroring the national trend, outpatient antibiotic prescribing rates in Minnesota decreased during 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and rose again in 2021. Early data from CDC indicate 2022 prescribing was back to pre-pandemic levels, but Minnesota-specific data are not yet available.
  • Minnesota’s top 10% antibiotic prescribers by volume were responsible for 34% of the total antibiotic volume prescribed in 2019. These prescribers were most commonly family medicine providers.
  • During 2018–2019, Minnesota health care providers prescribed antibiotics in 16% of acute respiratory infection cases where antibiotics were not needed. This includes 60% of acute bronchitis diagnoses. Targeting improvement to diagnoses where antibiotics are not likely to help could prevent hundreds of thousands of unnecessary prescriptions annually.

Read the report online: Antibiotic Use and Stewardship in Minnesota: 2023 Update on Progress and Opportunities (PDF)

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Newly Relaunched Long-term Care Honor Roll

The Minnesota Department of Health invites health care organizations to apply for recognition of their commitment to antibiotic stewardship through the Minnesota Antibiotic Stewardship Honor Roll.

The Honor Roll was designed to recognize antibiotic stewardship programs and the associated organizational commitments to improving antibiotic use and prescribing practices.

This program aims to:

  • Encourage AS commitment from the highest level of administration to prescribers and caregivers,
  • Share AS activities with health professionals and the public, with the aims of highlighting new ideas and encouraging facility-to-facility engagement,
  • Provide incentive for AS program improvement in individual facilities and statewide through mentorship, and
  • Publicize the importance of antibiotic responsibility.

Long-term Care Facilities can apply to our newly relaunched Antibiotic Stewardship Long-term Care Honor Roll.

Acute Care and Critical Access Hospitals can apply to the Acute Care And Critical Access Hospital Honor Roll.

For more information, email Health.Stewardship@state.mn.us.

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Stories of Antibiotic Use and Resistance

Lauri Hicks, DO

Director, Office of Antibiotic Stewardship, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How does your work involve issues of antibiotic use?

I lead CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship. Our office works across the spectrum of human health care (doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) to improve how antibiotics are used. We measure antibiotic use so that we know where we need to target our efforts. Additionally, we work with partners to implement programs and practices and educate the general public and healthcare providers.

Lauri Hicks, DO

How has antibiotic resistance or antibiotic use affected your work?

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about the problem of antibiotic resistance and what I can do to improve how we use antibiotics. I recognize that improving antibiotics is one piece of the puzzle to address antibiotic resistance, in addition to infection prevention, vaccines, and new drug and diagnostic test development.

What worries you most about antibiotic resistance as a professional and person?

I especially worry about whether my son will have antibiotic options for treatment of infections in the future. I worry about my aging parents and their increasing need for health care and whether they will be exposed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. I worry about whether existing or new “nightmare bacteria” (antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are resistant to virtually all available antibiotics) will escape our infection prevention efforts and become more widespread in hospitals and the community.

Visit our Stories of Antibiotic Use and Resistance webpage for more on this and other stories. 

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Webinars and Podcasts

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 

Nov. 20, 2023 | Core elements of antibiotic stewardship for health departments

Listen: Hot Topics in Pharmacy Practice Podcast

International Pharmaceutical Federation

Nov. 21, 2023 | 6 a.m. CT webinar

Register: New roles of pharmacists in antimicrobial resistance: Fungal disease management

Quiz Answer!

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F. All of the above

CDC recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” approach to optimize antibiotic use for all settings. The complexity of medical decision-making surrounding antibiotic use and the variability in facility size and types of care in U.S. health care settings require flexible programs and activities.

Visit CDC: Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship for more information.

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