Our Work

Drugs, vaccines, and medical devices improve our health and save lives. But there are many challenges to ensuring that we have an adequate supply of safe medical products available for all who need them. COMPASS is focused today’s pressing global public health needs: antibiotic resistance, emerging infectious disease threats, and safety of the drug supply chain.

Learn more about some of our Projects

National Capital ROAR Coalition – Region Organized Against Resistance 

Antimicrobial resistance is one of today’s most pressing public health threats. In an increasingly globalized world, resistant organisms flow continuously across borders and through communities. Individual hospitals cannot address this challenge alone. COMPASS founded and leads a coalition of health care and public health organizations in the National Capital Region dedicated to combating antibiotic resistance. While national policies and attention are increasing, there are also grassroots efforts needed at the local level, where innovative action tailored to local challenges is possible.

Learn more about National Capital ROAR Coalition.

Assessment of Antibiotic Stewardship Efforts in Long-term Care Facilities 

The widespread misuse and overuse of antibiotics in nursing homes is a major factor driving resistance. Antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed medications in nursing homes. Up to 70% of residents receive one or more courses of systemic antibiotics in a year, and studies have shown that 40-75% of these prescriptions are inappropriate or unneeded. Now, under new federal requirements, nursing homes nationwide are implementing antibiotic stewardship programs to improve the use of these drugs and protect patient health. To learn more about what local nursing homes are doing and what kind of support they might need, COMPASS and the ROAR coalition have partnered with the District of Columbia Department of Health as they assess infection prevention and control practices at D.C. facilities. COMPASS developed a deep dive survey covering perspectives, practices, and goals of antibiotic stewardship in long-term care, and is visiting facilities to talk with staff members who do this work day to day. This in depth and in person approach is allowing us to get a truer sense of the realities and challenges nursing homes face. As part of this effort, we are compiling resources for staff members to use as they develop their facilities’ stewardship programs, and working with the health department and other local partners to develop community activities to address challenges that nursing homes have identified as high priority.

Learn more about our Antibiotic Stewardship Efforts in D.C.

Global Mapping of Antibiotic Resistance 

Despite increasing surveillance efforts, there are major gaps in our understanding of antimicrobial resistance rates and trends worldwide, particularly in geographic areas with weak public health and medical infrastructures. Paradoxically, such areas are likely at especially high risk to engender and be impacted by resistance due to factors such as over-the-counter antibiotic availability, gaps in sanitation and infection control, and limited resources to treat resistant infections. COMPASS has been awarded an Armed Forces Health Surveillance grant to create a global map of carbapenem resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE), one the most worrisome and difficult to treat resistant pathogens. This project mines diverse sources for all available relevant data, including not only surveillance and scientific literature but also data not included in typical analyses, such as open source data and information from laboratories and health care facilities. We also evaluate data quality so that in addition to providing a more complete picture of CRE worldwide, this project will lay the groundwork for determining the utility of diverse data types in understanding the spread of antimicrobial resistance. 


Mitgang, E. A., Hartley, D. M., Malchione, M. D., Koch, M., & Goodman, J. L. (2018). Review and mapping of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Africa: Using diverse data to inform surveillance gaps. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 52(3), 372-384. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2018.05.019