Two healthcare professionals in surgery

Jessica Danko shared her knowledge and expertise on the topic of infection control in respiratory therapy practices on June 21, via a Webinar hosted by Great Plains QIN. Danko has a wealth of knowledge in respiratory care and healthcare management. Her systemic approach to quality healthcare initiatives and delivery are valuable in her work with COVID-19 patient care, employee engagement, treatment delivery and infection prevention.

Danko raised and explored several questions throughout her presentation, such as…..are you delivering the respiratory treatment correctly and completing infection control practices every time? Is appropriate care taken with each and every treatment delivery? Do constant interruptions that put you behind schedule, lack of help or staffing shortages force you to skip a step to save time? Is the required extra Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) being worn correctly every time? It is easy to get in a hurry and skip a step for the sake of ease and time. After all, what is it really going to hurt? What could skipping infection control practices lead to? Is there harm in doing so? Access the Webinar recording for answers and solutions to these questions and more.

Access the Recording

Insights from Jess Following the Webinar

What is the single most important takeaway from the information shared on the importance of infection control? Infection control practices offer one avenue of protection that is needed to deliver the best outcomes when working in the healthcare setting. In looking at infection control and respiratory treatments, hand hygiene introduces an enormous opportunity to ensure that the healthcare clinician is protecting themselves, but also those that they are caring for. Eliminating the germs on the hands, prior to touching any respiratory devices, presents an opportunity to stop the spread of germs that can directly affect the lungs.

How do you recommend ensuring staff/healthcare providers teams and organizations are aware of these infection control best practices and are in compliance? The best way to engrain infection control practices into the culture of healthcare teams and organizations is through education. Highly visible educational items, such as those available through SD Project Firstline, give constant reminders of how infection control can protect everyone. Free videos, classes and site visits also can be highly beneficial to understanding where the use of infection control practices may be breaking down within a healthcare setting. For more information on any of the educational items or opportunities we have available, visit us at

Jess DankoJessica Danko, MSHA, RRT
Program Manager – South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care | Project Firstline South Dakota

A 2014 graduate of Dakota State University’s Respiratory Care Program, Jessica expanded her knowledge in multiple dimensions of Allied Health by obtaining a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in 2016. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Administration with focused specialties in Healthcare and Long-Term Care Administration in 2021. She is an active member of the AARC, SDSRC, and SDHCC.