November 30, 2022

Member Spotlight: Judith Guzman-Cottrill

Dr. Judy Guzman-Cottrill

Judy Guzman-Cottrill, DO, is a Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases at Oregon Health and Science University. She is the Director of the Pediatric HIV Program at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. In 2015, she established a private infection prevention consultancy, Infection Prevention Consulting of Oregon, LLC. She received her medical degree at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. She her completed residency at Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital, and her fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Northwestern University and Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Why Pediatric ID? I was lucky to have a great mentor during my pediatric residency, Dr. Julie Stamos. She was instrumental in leading me to the same fellowship training program she had at (now) Lurie Children’s Hospital. I admired the way Dr. Stamos took care of patients, and I also loved the multi-disciplinary nature of infectious diseases.

ID touches every aspect of healthcare, and managing complex patients is very collaborative. I like being involved in the care of children all over the hospital: from ambulatory clinics to the intensive care units. It is never boring. Also, I vowed to choose a specialty that would never require overnight in-hospital call after pediatric residency!

Where have you taken you ID focus? My career focuses on healthcare epidemiology and preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAI), specifically focusing on the intersection of clinical facilities and public health partnerships. For over seven years, I have worked in a hybrid role. Involved in clinical pediatric ID at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and in my faculty work at OHSU, but I also serve as a contractor on the Oregon Department of Health’s HAI program. Not everyone is aware that all 50 state Departments of Health have a dedicated HAI prevention program.

I spent much of 2020-21 serving as a senior health advisor on our state’s public health COVID-19 response unit. My scope of work went beyond HAI prevention, including K-12 school infection prevention guidance, school-based COVID-19 testing programs, and MIS-C surveillance. I like to think of myself as a bridge between clinicians and public health partners. It’s very fulfilling work. I love it.

What is a recent development or achievement in your career? I am the Curriculum Director for the Leaders in Epidemiology, Antimicrobial Stewardship, and Public Health (LEAP) Fellowship Program. This is a CDC-funded one-year Fellowship award that supports the training and development of early-career ID physicians interested in building careers collaborating between academic healthcare and public health agencies. The LEAP Fellowship involves experiential training in public health work, hospital epidemiology, and antimicrobial stewardship. The fellowship is co-sponsored by PIDS, IDSA, and SHEA. I encourage Pediatric ID fellows and junior faculty to consider applying for the 2023-24 academic year!

What do you enjoy most about being a PIDS member; what keeps you renewing your membership? PIDS is not only a professional society, PIDS is a home base of lifelong friends and colleagues. I have found mentorship through PIDS, numerous opportunities to further my career, and now mentoring pediatric ID fellows who are interested in a hybrid career in clinical ID and public health.

The recent IDWeek PIDS Foundation Dinner in Washington, D.C. reminded me how lucky I am to be a member of the PIDS community. It was a wonderful night celebrating our field and re-connecting with so many colleagues after two years of virtual conferences. I brought a pediatric resident to the Foundation Dinner for networking opportunities, as he is interested in pursuing an ID fellowship. At the end of the event, he smiled and said, “Wow, this was such a fun night. Peds ID are my people!” I couldn’t agree more!

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