Mara Cranis, MPH, CIC

Location: West Bloomfield, MI

Company/Organization: Trinity Health St. Mary Mercy Livonia

Title: Infection Prevention Specialist

First certified: July 2022

1. Why did you choose a career in infection prevention and control?

My passion is in public health, infectious disease epidemiology, patient safety, and how these worlds intersect to prevent the spread of infections within healthcare settings. Not only is a career in infection prevention and control important, but it also provides opportunities for growth, and is ever evolving with emerging and reemerging diseases. What really drew me to infection prevention was the variability of the job. You come into work thinking you are going to do one thing, but by the time you leave, you have done a million other things not on the schedule.

2. What advice would you give someone who is interested in an infection prevention and control career?

I strongly recommend that those interested in pursuing a career in infection prevention job shadow to really understand the day-to-day life of an infection preventionist.

3. What does being a CIC mean to you?

Being a CIC represents a commitment to continual improvement of infection prevention and control practices, and patient and healthcare personnel safety, as well as a sense of competency, career growth, and professionalism.

4. What was the best studying method for you when preparing for the initial certification examination?

I used a variety of study materials including the APIC Certification Study Guide and APIC text.

5. What advice would you give someone pursuing certification?

Take practice exams and study the answers. Then use the exam to determine which areas are your weakest and target your studying.

6. How do you stay up-to-date on infection prevention and control practices?

I stay up to date on infection prevention and control practices by participating in APIC and other educational webinars, as well as attend national and local conferences.

7. Are you part of an APIC or IPAC Canada chapter? If so, would you recommend it to others?

I am a member of APIC and the APIC Great Lakes local chapter. I highly recommend joining APIC and becoming a member of your local chapter as it is a great space for networking and sharing ideas with other infection preventionists.

8. How was the CIC helped you grow professionally and in your career?

Obtaining my CIC has allowed me to grow professionally by representing a commitment to evidence-based practice. It is also a great addition to your resume when looking for senior positions in infection prevention and control.

9. Are there any CIC stories that keep you up at night? This can be related to the examination or a specific patient story that stands out.

I started my professional career in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. With the morbidity and mortality burden of COVID-19, ensuring the safety of healthcare personnel and patients is something that will always be on my mind.