A very wise gentleman once told me: “Why we do something is most often as important as how we do something”
My career in the world of national and international high-level disinfection had heightened my awareness of the very real dangers of hospital-acquired infections, but didn’t quite prepare me.
History and evolution of CURIS
My experiences were showing me that products on the infection prevention and control market didn’t address the needs of many settings and situations. The sizes, the costs, the unreliability, the toxic chemicals trading one issue for another, were all highlighting the inadequacies inherent in battling a rapidly emerging threat. Based on the factors I was witnessing and feedback from customers, we sought to create something to fill those gaps. Thus began our CURIS journey.
As we worked on the design and development of the CURIS fogger, our oldest daughter (a senior in high school) who had been diagnosed with a cholesteatoma and had undergone some pretty serious surgeries, began to experience increased pain, loss of balance, headaches, weakness, and weight loss. No doctor (and there were plenty of doctors) could isolate the cause.
After months of research and tests, we finally received a diagnosis. A resistant staph infection had infiltrated her inner ear canal and exacerbated her issue. This staph diagnosis led to multiple rounds of antibiotics and began months of getting a little better only to have chronic ear infection symptoms return with a vengeance.
As we worked to help her regain her health, one nagging question remained with me: How, where had she been exposed to this staph? Finally, we narrowed it down and determined she had contracted it in the weight room where she worked out each week.
The guilt and frustration was almost overwhelming. I should have seen what was happening. That’s my field! I see it everyday! It would have been as simple as disinfecting the space where she been working out. I’d let her down. That very hard realization pushed me forward toward the next stage of our CURIS journey.
Focus on the rise of Community Acquired Infections.
For years, I acknowledged the inevitability of drug resistant infections in our community settings, but was shocked by the prevalence of MDRO’s (multi-drug resistant organisms) found in schools, buses, airplanes, etc.
With traditional methods of disinfection becoming less effective and people becoming more chemically sensitive, there had to be a better way. The goal: To fully eliminate germs in any space, while providing a sustainable and eco-friendly delivery system. How could I possibly spare others the horror we had experienced?
I knew we had to combine our original design and functional capabilities with something that could be used fairly easily. From operational design to advancing how this very important information could be tracked and utilized was imperative because it was apparent that infection prevention and control is not a one-and-done challenge we face. This invisible threat would be an issue we’d face for decades to come.
This was the wish list I sent to our developmental team:
• Hospital-grade disinfection
• Go anywhere size without sacrificing power
• Reliably consistent treatments
• Thorough treatments
• Record and track information to determine trends
• Documentation to help create better practices
• Functional in multiple settings
• Reduce human error and cross contamination factors
• Decrease the use of harmful/toxic chemicals
As I’ve shared our experience with others, I am struck by just how often resistant infections are affecting families. And as we see pathogens moving between the community and healthcare settings, we will witness increases in these infections resulting too often in deadly sepsis.
We will continue to learn of germs strengthening and becoming more resistant on a global basis to vaccines, disinfectants, and antibiotics, and our resolve to provide a feasible defense will also strengthen.
How She’s Doing
I am happy to tell you our daughter is doing well as she wraps up her freshman year in college and she recently had an implant that will allow her to hear again in that ear. And, while she still deals with periodic challenges related to the staph infections, she is much more aware of the threats out there and the necessary precautions she can take. She has even expressed an interest in microbiology, hoping to draw on her knowledge and experience to help others.
For everyone we care about: That’s why we do what we do
I, we, are committed to making a difference in how our community-based Environmental Services can prevent, respond to, and control infections and the pathogens invading the spaces they are responsible for.
Rising infection rates and drug-resistant infections will continue to be a threat and we will remain focused on offering innovative solutions to address them.
CEO, CURIS System
“Why we do something is most often as important as how we do something”