Infection Prevention

The Infection Prevention Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center works to identify and reduce the risks of infection in our patients and staff. We conduct infectious-disease surveillance and implement effective infection-prevention measures throughout the organization. The goal of the Infection Prevention Program is to maintain the safest possible environment for patients, caregivers and staff through a multidisciplinary team approach.  

COVID-19 Information

At Fred Hutch, our patients' health and safety are our top priorities. We have thorough safety measures in place to protect you, your caregivers, and our staff. 

For updated information on COVID-19 as it relates to our clinics and community:

Learn more about COVID-19

Infection Prevention Activities


The infection preventionists use a surveillance system for tracking infections among our patients. Trends in infections are plotted and analyzed in real time, and patient data and risk factors are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals. The team works together to identify opportunities for improving patient care and to develop an improvement plan.  

Infectious Disease Outbreak Investigation

Any unusual clustering of infections in the Fred Hutch patient population or staff is investigated in order to identify potential exposures. Recommendations are then made to prevent the spread of infection.


The Infection Prevention Team provides consultative services to patients and staff regarding infection control and prevention measures.


The Infection Prevention Program provides education to patients and staff regarding key topics, including:

  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette 
  • Prevention of infectious disease transmission in a health care setting
  • Flu prevention

Planning for Emerging Threats

The Infection Prevention Team works in collaboration with local public health departments to plan for emerging infectious disease threats, including antibiotic-resistant infections and pandemic influenza.

Immunotherapy team coordinator and previous Fred Hutch patient, John Masembe, explains why the flu shot protects patients as well as your loved ones.

Chris, a Fred Hutch retired stem cell transplant RN and flu shot nurse volunteer explains why the flu shot is so important to create "herd immunity" to keep our patients, caregivers and staff healthy in our clinic.

Infection Prevention Team

  • Steven Pergam, MD, MPH, Infection Prevention Medical Director
  • Salma Walji, BScN, RN, MPA, Infection Prevention Program Manager
  • Michelle Swetky, MPH, CIC, Infection Preventionist
  • Maria Everett, Program Coordinator

Infection Prevention Committee

The Fred Hutch Infection Prevention Committee consists of representatives from specialty areas throughout Fred Hutch. The committee meets monthly to evaluate policies, review current infection-prevention protocols and discuss current concerns.