CDC Project Firstline Overview

Project Firstline, the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) national training collaborative for infection control, is a comprehensive infection control program designed to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases in United States healthcare settings. Project Firstline aims to provide foundational and practical knowledge directly to frontline healthcare personnel and the public health workforce engaged in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. Project Firstline emphasizes the “why” behind infection control actions so that no matter the level of a participant’s varied experiences, backgrounds, and work environments, they have the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions to keep themselves, their coworkers and their patients safe. In this session, participants will learn how to use CDC Project Firstline materials to facilitate a training at thier hospital. 


This material was prepared by Compass HQIC Network a Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Views expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the official views or policy of CMS or HHS, and any reference to a specific product or entity herein does not constitute endorsement of that product or entity by CMS or HHS. 12SOW Compass HQIC Network/Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor – [0446] – 02/22/2024.

Target Audience

Infection Preventionists, Quality Leads, Hospital Staff Leaders

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the need for initial and ongoing infection control education
  • Identify which types of training are available based on education goals
Course summary
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Jess Danko, MS, RRT, LTC-CIP

With a broad background in healthcare leadership, education and clinical care, Jessica Danko is equipped to share a vast array of knowledge and expertise that contribute to quality healthcare and infection prevention. Previous work as a Registered Respiratory Therapist provides an understanding of clinical infection prevention practices from a different perspective and scope, which enhances the education she shares. Danko obtained her certification in infection prevention for the long-term care setting in the fall of 2022. Her leadership, clinical knowledge, and education in addition to this specialized certification are utilized in speaking engagements and educational writings and trainings throughout her work. She is the lead of the South Dakota Project Firstline and a Program Director for the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care.


Loretta Fitzgerald, BSN, RN

Ms. Fitzgerald joined KFMC Health Improvement Partners (KFMC) in 2022 as a Quality Improvement Consultant. In her current role as Quality Improvement Consultant -  Infection Control, Ms. Fitzgerald provides clinical support, infection prevention support to KFMC customers. Ms. Fitzgerald works with members of the project team, advisory committees, healthcare delivery personnel, and community stakeholders. Ms. Fitzgerald’s nursing, infection prevention and quality improvement experience provide a strong background for supporting infection prevention improvement efforts across all settings. 


Rebecca Sime, RN

As a program manager on the South Dakota Project Firstline (SD PFL) team, Rebecca’s focus is on providing relevant infection prevention and control training to healthcare workers in every setting and at every skill level. Rebecca is a Registered Nurse with knowledge and expertise in the operating room, the emergency department, critical access hospitals, dialysis and long-term care.

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