Board Member Spotlight- Matthew R. Ellis, MPH, CIC, REHS

The board member spotlight showcases an OSAP board member monthly to allow you to get to know OSAP's leadership better and to recognize our board members' outstanding contributions to the field and the organization. For the October 2021 spotlight, meet OSAP Association Board Treasurer Matthew R. Ellis, MPH, CIC, REHS. 

Why did you join OSAP?

I joined OSAP, immediately following my first Boot Camp attendance, as an opportunity to maintain current competence in dental specific infection prevention and control guidance and standards. OSAP continues to foster a family community learning environment unlike I have found in another professional organization.

Matthew Ellis

What is your favorite part of OSAP's boot camp?

I enjoy the energy of the many participants' first exposure to infection prevention and control best management practices. Healthcare personnel's early exposure to evidence-based practices and competency development are proven strategies for risk mitigation and in supporting safe quality care. OSAP Bootcamp is routinely the impetus for champions within the field.

What do you do day-to-day in your current job?

I am the Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator within the Indian Health Service Division of Patient Safety and Quality Assurance. I coordinate infection prevention quality improvement processes with the aim to reduce healthcare acquired infections, support accreditation and regulatory readiness, and lead capacity-building efforts across the health system.

What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started in the dentistry/infection control industry?

Build a network of trusted infection prevention/control mentors and colleagues. Conduct a self-assessment with key infection prevention and safety areas and target those areas of need with competency development and strategic growth opportunities.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

My wife and I have a 10-year-old daughter and a Golden Retriever puppy. We enjoy exploring the Pacific Northwest and we spend significant time supporting my daughter's horse riding activities. I am a University of Kentucky athletics (super) fan and a college football/basketball enthusiast in general.

Who has been the most influential person in your career?

There are countless leaders and colleagues that have influenced me. I have been fortunate to work for, and alongside, so many amazing people. CDR Celeste Davis (USPHS retired), Ms. Eve Cuny, Dr. Gary Brown, Ms. Patty Montgomery, CAPT Dr. Miles Rudd (USPHS retired), and Major Dennis Faulker, US Army have all been instrumental in my professional growth and leadership development.

What is the most important skill you have developed in your career?

Servant leadership, with an aim to provide service to others, is the most effective approach for engaging my partners and stakeholders within the environment of patient care.

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