Hilary Babcock, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine Infectious Disease, School of Medicine
Dr. Babcock is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and Medical Director of Occupational Health (Infectious Disease) for Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s Hospitals. She provides consultation and advice on occupational health policies and procedures for Barnes-Jewish and St Louis Children’s Hospitals and also consultation and counseling to healthcare workers regarding vaccinations and regarding prevention and management of exposures to potentially contagious diseases in the course of their work. She also teaches medical students, residents, and infectious disease fellows through coursework, didactic lecture series, and clinical experiences.
Dr. Babcock's two main areas of interest are occupational health, specifically related to healthcare workers, and diabetic foot infections. She has studied needlestick injury rates and preventive measures among healthcare workers. and also the clinical presentation of influenza among hospitalized patients to better define clinical criteria for screening and isolation. She is currently studying potentially modifiable risk factors for diabetic foot infections, specifically osteomyelitis, and exploring new measures of treatment success in these common and devastating infections.
What opportunities do you see for interdisciplinary collaboration on public health initiatives in the future?
"Diabetes is increasingly common in the community and identifying ways to mitigate its impact is an important area of public health. Diabetic educators, endocrinologists, infectious disease specialists, social workers, and clinical psychologists can collaborate on improving care delivery and uptake in the community. Improved monitoring decreases the risk of complications such as foot infections. Early identification of risk factors for progression to osteomyelitis would also be helpful. Biomedical engineers and radiologists could also provide important contributions to these efforts. Occupational health efforts are fostered by collaboration with engineers and ergonomics specialists to prevent injuries. Vaccination efforts among healthcare workers have been extended to the surrounding community and to families of healthcare workers. These efforts can be enhanced by collaboration with pharmacists, clinical psychologists, specialists in health communication, and local health departments."