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Sigma in the news   

Sigma names Dr. Stijn I Blot as 2019 Episteme Award recipient

Supported by the Baxter International Foundation, the prestigious award recognizes Dr. Blot’s research on the global prevention and management of severe healthcare-associated infections in critical care patients.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) has named Stijn Blot, PhD as the 2019 recipient of the Baxter International Foundation–supported Sigma Episteme Award. Established in 1989, the Episteme Award is bestowed upon a nurse who has contributed significantly to nursing knowledge development, application, or discovery that resulted in a recognizable and sizable benefit to the public. Dr. Blot is being honored for his work on clinical epidemiology of healthcare-associated complications in critically ill patients.

Dr. Blot is a research professor at Ghent University in Flanders, Belgium and is an honorary professor at the University of Queensland (Australia). His varied background enables him to bridge distinct disciplines and interpret clinical data with the cross-collaboration necessary to advance healthcare around the world. He is the editor of multiple works, author of 40 books and chapters, and is responsible for 290 publications indexed in the Web of Science, adding to an h-index of 57. Dr. Blot is also a 2015 Sigma International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame inductee.

Dr. Blot is dedicated to improving patient safety on a global scale, producing groundbreaking work that addresses the common complications and adverse experiences in critical care. His most recent work discovered a link between chlorhexidine oral care, an oral antiseptic used to prevent pneumonia, and a significant increase in mortality risk among hospitalized patients who are exposed to the chlorhexidine oral care. The findings of his most recent study have resulted in a call for reconsideration of a practice recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the American Thoracic Society/Infectious Diseases Society of America.

“Dr. Blot’s groundbreaking work on the prevention and management of healthcare-associated infection in the critical care field has provided a significant, worldwide impact on patient safety and care,” said Sigma President Beth Baldwin Tigges, PhD, RN, PNP, BC. “I congratulate Dr. Blot on being named Sigma’s 2019 Episteme Laureate and I applaud his innovative work advancing patient health and safety around the world.”

“Advancing acute care for critically ill patients is a key component of Baxter’s work each and every day,” said Verónica Arroyave, executive director of the Baxter International Foundation. “Innovation in this space would not be possible without the contributions of dedicated experts in the field. We’re honored to support Sigma in its recognition of nurses like Dr. Blot.”

As Episteme Laureate, Dr. Blot will be the keynote speaker at Sigma’s 45th Biennial Convention, where he will be presented with the Episteme Award. The convention will be held in Washington, DC, USA, 16-20 November 2019. Convention details can be found at

About Sigma

The Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. Founded in 1922, Sigma has more than 135,000 active members in over 90 countries and territories. Members include practicing nurses, instructors, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and others. Sigma’s more than 540 chapters are located at more than 700 institutions of higher education throughout Armenia, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States, and Wales. Learn more at

About the Episteme Award Sponsors
Every day, Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who depend on our products, and in the communities where our employees live and work. The Foundation helps advance Baxter’s mission to save and sustain lives by partnering with organizations around the world to increase access to healthcare for the underserved, develop the next generation of innovators who will lead the way in advancing healthcare and to create a positive, long-lasting impact in communities globally. For more information, please visit our Corporate Responsibility page.