By Paul Levy

First Posted at Not Running a Hospital on 5/5/2013

Paul Levy, Host of (Not) Running a Hospital

Paul Levy, Host of (Not) Running a Hospital

As I headed to BWI airport early Friday morning, my seatmate turned and asked if I was staying on the flight to connect to Louisville, to watch the Kentucky Derby.  “No,” I replied, “I’m going to Maryland to watch the real thoroughbreds in action.”  A quizzical look was the response.


I was headed to a meeting of MedStar Health’s Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality and Safety, convened by Dr. David Mayer, Vice President, Quality and Safety.  With strong suport from the system’s CEO and Board, David is leading a system-wide effort to make the Medstar hospitals the best in the nation for quality, safety, and transparency.  He decided to enable a strong voice for the patients and has recruited the ultimate dream team for the PFAC.

Here’s the list:

Michael Millenson (photo at right)
Patty Skolnik (photo at right, with Michael)
Armando Nahum
Victoria Nahum
Martin Hatlie
Rosemary Gibson (top photo)
Carol Hemmelgarn (top photo, with Rosemary)
Sorrel King (below, left)
Helen Haskell (bottom photo)

Those of you who have been following this field know that this is the Who’s Who of internationally acknowledged experts in patient advocacy.  Sadly, many of the group came to this field because of family tragedies, loved ones killed by preventable medical errors.  They have channeled their grief into a commitment to help others avoid what they have been through.  In so doing, they have also become experts in process improvement, root cause analysis, behavior science, and the like.

David put the group through their paces, with an extensive and intensive agenda.  They, in turn, did the same for David and his team, asking probing and difficult questions and making programmatic suggestions to enhance the MedStar effort.  This is no rubber-stamp body!