Dr. Bill Rutala is the Director and co-founder of the Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology and a Professor for the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine. He was the Director of Hospital Epidemiology, Occupational Health and Safety Program at the University of North Carolina Hospitals for 38 years before retiring in May 2017. He is a retired Colonel with the U.S. Army Reserve and is certified in infection control. He has been an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (a former member of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee [HICPAC], 1999-2003), the Food and Drug Administration (a former member of the General Hospital and Personal Use Devices Panel), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel on Antimicrobial Research Strategies for Disinfectants) and the Federal Trade Commission. Dr. Rutala is a member of various committees on the local, state, national and international level as well as several professional societies including the American Society for Microbiology, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America. He serves on the editorial board of the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and The Journal of Hospital Infection. He has more than 600 publications (peer-review articles, books, book chapters, brief reports) in the fields of disinfection and sterilization (to include several guidelines such as the CDC Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities), and the epidemiology and prevention of healthcare-associated infections. Dr. Rutala has also been an invited lecturer at over 370 state, national and international conferences (in over 40 states, 35 countries) and has testified twice before the U.S. Congress. Dr. Rutala earned his Bachelor of Science degree in science from Rutgers University, his master's degree in microbiology from the University of Tennessee, and both his master's in public health and doctorate in microbiology from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health.
His contributions to infection prevention have been acknowledged by professional organizations with the following awards: Carole M. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award (APIC, 1999), Lowbury Lecture (Healthcare Infection Society, Scotland, 2002), Hygiene Medal (Rudolf Schulke Foundation, Germany, 2013), Larson Lectureship Award (APIC, 2012), SHEA Lectureship (SHEA, 2012), Barr Distinguished Alumni Award (UNC School of Public Health, 2012), Kelsey Lecture (United Kingdom, 2001 and 2012), Crawford Award (lifetime achievement, OSAP, 2008), and Favero Lectureship (APIC, 2009). Dr. Rutala is the only person to have a “named” award in his honor from the two international infection prevention professional societies in the US…APIC (William A. Rutala Research Award) and SHEA (William A. Rutala Scholarship).