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October 28, 2010

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

For Immediate Release

October 27, 2010 | WASHINGTON D.C.

Contact: Anne Prince

National Minority Quality Forum Launches Atlas That Maps MRSA “Super Bug”

Atlas Shows Hot Spots of the Deadliest of Infectious Diseases

Gary A. Puckrein, Ph.D., CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, and Gary Doern, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert in clinical microbiology and antimicrobial resistance, today launched the National MRSA Atlas ( Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, causes significant infections throughout the U.S. with mortality rates of up to 20 percent in certain settings. Further, MRSA affects certain populations disproportionately. Because of its clinical significance and its antimicrobial resistance profile, MRSA has been referred to as the “super bug.” The National MRSA Atlas graphically depicts the prevalence of this “super bug” across the United States.

“We believe the national MRSA Atlas ( will help those on the front lines of MRSA to more effectively calibrate prevention and treatment efforts through use of the MRSA map. Health care practitioners can use the MRSA map to pinpoint ‘super bug’ hot spots and thereby direct resources where they are most needed,” stated Gary Puckrein, Atlas developer and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum.

Dr. Gary Doern, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, and fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Infectious Disease Society of America, noted that, “notwithstanding the clinical importance of MRSA, it has been a largely silent epidemic. Mapping the spread of MRSA is an important step in localizing MRSA, raising awareness in high impact areas and tailoring prevention and treatment efforts to that particular locale. Now that we know where the problem is, we can improve early diagnosis and treatment in the hardest hit communities.”

The National MRSA Atlas is the most recent Internet-based disease map resource developed by the National Minority Quality Forum. Dr. Doern added that the MRSA Atlas will specifically, “help those on the front lines combating MRSA, to direct infection-control efforts to reduce the burden of the disease and prevent antimicrobial resistance among hospitalized patients.” By logging onto the web site,, map users can examine data by age, gender, race and ethnicity and can also overlay federal and state legislative districts on top of county data. The MRSA Atlas shows that 90 percent of MRSA occurs in just five percent of the counties in the United States.


About The Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-partisan, independent research and education organization. The vision of NMQF is a health services research, delivery and financing system that provides quality and effective health services to the biodiverse American general population of the 21st century. NMQF helps assure that national and local quality improvement initiatives are informed by scientific evidence, and place a priority on the quality of care and patient outcomes in all populations.