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Moravian College Alumna Janine Jagger ’72 Named MacArthur Fellow

(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) — The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named Moravian College alumna Janine Jagger ’72, one of 24 MacArthur Fellows for 2002. Jagger is an epidemiologist and a leader in the design and dissemination of means and strategies to protect health care workers from the transmission of bloodborne diseases. She will receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years.

The MacArthur Foundation award is intended to nurture those individuals who are a source of new knowledge and ideas, have the courage to challenge inherited orthodoxies and to take intellectual, scientific, and cultural risks. For twenty-five years, the MacArthur Fellows Program has been a vital part of the Foundation’s efforts to recognize and support individuals who lift the human spirit, illuminate potential, and shape our collective future.

Each year in the United States, more than half a million health care workers are stuck by contaminated needles and other sharp medical devices, resulting in major psychological and physical trauma. In landmark research, Jagger proved that injury risk was related to specific device design features, thereby reorienting the debate about protecting health care workers from changing their behavior to improving the design of the devices they use. In 1985, she and her associates designed some of the first needlestick protective devices recorded by the U.S. Patent Office. In the early 1990s, she developed the Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet), which is now used in some 1,500 hospitals. Her research and analyses guide design engineers in their efforts to improve the safety of medical devices. Her surveillance system is employed in countries around the world. As director of the International Health Care Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Jagger is now focusing her attention on applying the lessons learned domestically to increase protection for health care workers in developing countries.

Janine Jagger received a B.A. (1972) from Moravian College, an M.P.H. (1974) from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. (1987) from the University of Virginia. She has been affiliated with the University of Virginia School of Medicine since 1978 and currently serves as Research Professor of Internal Medicine and directs the International Health Care Worker Safety Center. Her honors include the Distinguished Inventor Award (1988) from Intellectual Property Owners, the President’s Award (1989) from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Henderson Inventor of the Year Award (1996) from the Univ. of Virginia Patent Foundation, and an Excellence in Research Award (1998) from the Assoc. of Operating Room Nurses.

Since the inception of the program in 1981, six hundred and thirty five MacArthur Fellows have been named. No one may apply for the Fellowship, nor is there an interview process. To be considered, a person must be nominated by one of several hundred nominators appointed each year. Nominators, who serve anonymously, are chosen across many fields and challenged to identify people who demonstrate exceptional creativity and promise. A 12-member selection committee, whose members also serve anonymously, meets regularly throughout the year to review nominee files, to narrow the list, and to make final recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.