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Legionella in Healthcare Settings: When Risk Becomes Reality

Legionella is ubiquitous in water. Despite its widespread existence in both nature and the built environment, serious disease of humans from Legionella is relatively uncommon. Higher risk individuals, for example those who are older or immune compromised, can develop severe infection and die from legionellosis. A single case of possible healthcare-acquired legionellosis in a healthcare facility merits swift action, given the risk that may be posed to other residents/patients. Actions may include limiting access to potable water, water testing for Legionella, water treatment to reduce Legionella burden, and point-of-use and systemic risk mitigation interventions for plumbing. Preparedness, including a robust Water Management Plan, is critical to enable a timely response to a case of Legionella in a healthcare facility. This PHO Rounds will outline the immediate response to, as well as long-term risk mitigation strategies for Legionella using a case study from The Ottawa Hospital, and discuss the limitations and considerations of our Water Management Plan.

Intended audience: Facilities/maintenance services/water system operators, Healthcare facility staff (IPAC practitioners, facilities services, directors of care, etc), public health units, public health practitioners, clinicians (primary care, long-term care, retirement care, hospitalist, etc.), environmental hygienists

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  •  Recognize factors that promote Legionella persistence in healthcare settings
  • List (at least) 3 key steps to mitigating the risk of Legionella in your facility
  • Describe 3 limitations of Legionella testing (in people or in the environment)
  • Develop practical plans for a presumed healthcare-acquired Legionella case or outbreak in your facility

Présentateur(s): Ronald Drummond, P. Eng, CEM, FMP; Jessica Fullerton, MSc, CIC; Kathryn Suh, MD, FRCPC, CIC

Ron Drummand has dedicated his career to the efficient operation, renewal, and long-term maintenance of building infrastructure. Ron’s experience stretches throughout North America, in both the private sector and the public service, as a mechanical engineer, design-build contractor, energy and facilities manager, and healthcare executive. Since 2022, Ron is the Executive Director – Capital Projects and Facilities Management for The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), where he leverages his passion for energy management and people-centred leadership to help drive positive patient outcomes by increasing hospital infrastructure resiliency, sustainability, and environmental performance.

Jessica Fullerton is the Regional Infection Control Healthcare Facility Design Program Manager, based out of TOH. Jessica Fullerton specializes in health care facility design and construction, focusing on design elements to help prevent the spread of infection. Jessica has provided Infection Prevention and Control expertise on a wide range of acute care, rehabilitation, ambulatory care, community health, and long-term care projects. Her passion lies in bridging the gap between health care design and how this can positively or negatively influence the care and safety of patients.

Dr. Kathryn Suh
has been an infectious diseases and infection control physician at TOH since 2006, and is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. She was previously the Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control at TOH (2014-2021) and returned in early 2023 as an IPAC medical consultant to TOH. At the provincial level, she has previously served on PIDAC/PIDAC-IPC, is Chair of the Testing Strategy Expert Panel, and was a longstanding member and subsequently Co-Chair of the now defunct OHA/OMA/MOHLTC Communicable Diseases Protocols Surveillance Committee.

Avis de non-responsabilité

The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Grand Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Grand Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact events@oahpp.ca


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or events@oahpp.ca.

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Publié le 21 mai 2024