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Center for Antimicrobial Utilization, Stewardship, and Epidemiology (CAUSE)

CAUSE is the antimicrobial stewardship program of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Its main charge is to optimize the utilization of antimicrobial agents. CAUSE was developed in February 2000 as a joint program of the Section on Infectious Diseases and the Department of Pharmacy. More information about antimicrobial stewardship, including rationale and purpose, can be found HERE.

Program goals and objectives   

  1. Improve patient outcomes through improving the utilization of antimicrobial agents
  2. Reduce the proportion of antimicrobial-resistant organisms in the hospital and community
  3. Utilize pharmacodynamic principles to optimize antimicrobial dosing
  4. Reduce adverse drug events and antimicrobial administration errors
  5. Reduce hospital costs
  6. Utilize continuous quality improvement principles to study and enhance the way antimicrobials are prescribed 


The main personnel involved with CAUSE are described below:

Medical Director – The Medical Director of CAUSE is a board-certified infectious diseases physician with considerable experience in antimicrobial therapy and epidemiology.  He is responsible for overseeing all CAUSE activities. 

CAUSE Staff – In addition to the medical director, CAUSE staff includes 3 infectious diseases pharmacists, an infectious diseases physician, the Microbiology Lab Director, the Health System Epidemiologist, and the ID pharmacy resident.

 CAUSE staff 2016 (2)

Left to right: Jim Johnson PharmD, Dustin Carr PharmD (former ID pharmacy resident), Elizabeth Palavecino MD, Chris Ohl MD (Medical Director), Vera Luther MD, Werner Bischoff MD PhD, Jim Beardsley PharmD, and John Williamson PharmD

CAUSE Advisory Board – The CAUSE Advisory Board (CAB) serves as a panel to provide expert opinion from diverse medical practices throughout the medical center on matters involving antimicrobials.  They provide medical staff oversight of CAUSE and function as a subcommittee of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee for antimicrobials.  Current CAB members include the CAUSE medical director; CAUSE staff members; the director of clinical microbiology laboratory; health system epidemiologist; and physicians from the sections of pulmonary/critical care, internal medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, oncology/BMT, hospitalists, and pediatric infectious diseases.

Click THIS LINK to view the organizational relationships of CAUSE.


Quick Reference

Christopher Ohl, MD
CAUSE Medical Director

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Last Updated: 04-07-2017
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