Theresa Haley ‘86 Prepares & Protects VA Hospital VA Infection Preventionist & Former Volleyball Student-Athlete KEEPS Patients, Staff SAFE with Measures

Throughout the Fall, The University of Scranton sports information office will be profiling former Royal student-athletes who are on the front lines in the battle against the spread of COVID-19. Our fourth profile features Theresa (Kozlusky) Haley, a 1986 graduate former volleyball letterwinner.

The 1982 University of Scranton Volleyball Team, who advanced to the MAC Playoffs in Theresa Haley's freshman season.

During any students undergraduate and postgraduate studies, they learn of situations that may come about in their prospective careers that will test their knowledge.

For Theresa Haley, it seems she’s prepared for over 30 years for the moment in time we are experiencing in 2020.

The then Theresa Kozlusky's yearbook photo from 1986.

A former volleyball student-athlete and 1986 graduate with a degree in Medical Technology from The University of Scranton, Haley went on to earn a Certification in Infection Prevention and Control (CIC).

With this in tow, she eventually worked her way up to a position as an Infection Preventionist at the Lebanon VA Medical Center in Lebanon, PA, where she serves as an expert on practical methods of preventing and controlling the spread of infectious disease. The hospital, as every VA does in the country, serves military veterans and is a part of the largest integrated health care system in the country, consisting of 170 medical centers.

As you can imagine, Haley’s life since March has been as busy.

Haley, who serves as the Infection Preventionist at the VA Medical Center in Lebanon, PA, enjoys a day at the lake pre-COVID.

Right from the start of the pandemic, Haley and her team at the Lebanon VA went to work outfitting the hospital to prepare for the worst - a COVID outbreak in the community.

One of Haley’s main responsibilities from the start was re-purposing a former intensive care unit into a “respiratory isolation unit" to treat potential coronavirus patients. The unit was equipped with an anteroom where staff members clean their hands and don protective equipment, including a mask that has an air filtration system. The unit is set up for negative pressure, which means the air goes through a filter before being released out of the environment.

In a photo taken by the Lebanon Daily News in March, Haley shows and explains what a PAPR system does to reporters at the Lebanon VA Hospital.

In June, Haley also helped the hospital install new air filtration units in areas where isolated patients would stay to protect both patients and hospital staff from an outbreak. The units use UV-C light treatment technology to automatically and continuously treat the air and reduce harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi on settled surfaces.

While Haley’s hospital is still experiencing community transmissions and cases as they arrive at the hospital, the measures put in place from the start have solidified that the Lebanon VA is as safe of environment as possible for staff, doctors and patients. The pandemic has also solidified the importance careers such as Haley’s truly have in our lives.

“COVID has magnified the importance of all infection prevention strategies,” she said. “It really has shown us all how the basics are truly life saving.”
Haley and her husband take a selfie at a Hershey Bears game. They look forward to cheering on the Bears again once the pandemic ends.

If you are a former University of Scranton student-athlete who has been on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 and would like for us to tell your story, please fill out our questionnaire here.