Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)
Director of Epidemiology, Stewardship and Infection Prevention, Department of Medicine
Dr. Belinda Ostrowsky is the Director of Epidemiology, Stewardship, and Infection Prevention. Dr. Ostrowsky acts as the healthcare epidemiologist for Montefiore Health System, overseeing surveillance and reporting of healthcare-associated infections alongside Audrey Adams, RN, MPH, CIC, and her team of infection preventionists. Dr. Ostrowsky serves as the unified director of Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention and Control. Working with Patient Safety, Performance Improvement and Quality, she leads the charge in meeting the expanding needs of our complex healthcare climate.
Dr. Ostrowsky completed a medical degree at SUNY Stony Brook, internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic, an infectious diseases fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. She served as an Epidemiology Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), addressing issues relating to healthcare acquired infections, resistance and related issues. As an EIS officer, Dr. Ostrowsky led two years of a multi-state infection control initiative (32 healthcare facilities, acute and long term care facilities) to control vancomycin-resistant enterococcus. Her initiative became a model for regional cooperatives and the subject of her first-authored article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. Ostrowsky was Director of Communicable Diseases and STD/TB at the Westchester County Department of Health prior to joining the Montefiore Einstein faculty in 2008 to initiate and direct its multi-campus Antibiotic Stewardship Program (ASP). The Montefiore ASP expanded to Wakefield and the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in 2013. The multidisciplinary ASP team promotes judicious antimicrobial prescribing to improve patient outcomes, avert adverse events such as C. difficile, and stem ongoing antibiotic resistance. Some novel ASP programs include decision-support tools adapted from national guidelines and tailored to local microbiology, and smartphone prescribing apps for prescribers at all levels. The ASP is a multidisciplinary effort with strong support from the Department of Medicine and from Montefiore leadership. The ASP has shown an increase in appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions and reductions in the volume of antimicrobial use, C. difficile rates, and antibiotic resistance. The ASP recently received funding from the United Hospital Fund to pilot ASP in the adult ambulatory setting along with family medicine and internal medicine champions. Dr. Ostrowsky served as an integral part of Montefiore’s outstanding response efforts to emerging infections such as Ebola and Legionella. She transitioned to her current position in 2016.
Together with her team, Dr. Ostrowsky has developed a program that has become a leading model in the New York City area, and for which she (and the team) have been recognized regionally and nationally. In 2010-2013, she led a CDC/ AHRQ study on the impact of ASP on C. difficile that lead to the publication of a national toolkit.
Dr. Ostrowsky is a Fellow of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Society of America (IDSA), and a member of Einstein’s Leo M. David Society (recognized for distinguished, caring and committed teaching of medical students). She is on the planning committee for the 2016 SHEA national meeting and will co-chair the 2017 meeting.
More Information About Dr. Belinda Ostrowsky
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USA Today interviews Dr. Belinda Ostrowsky about rapid detection tests for Ebola that are in development.