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Seton Hall University

Special Event on Sept. 17 – “How to Save a Life: Speaking Up to Prevent Medical Errors”  

Medical errors are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Josie King Foundation, whose founder, Sorrel King, will speak at Seton Hall University on September 17th as part of the School of Health and Medical Sciences' Interprofessional Perspectives Speaker Series.

The Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS) is hosting a special event, "How to Save a Life: Speaking Up to Prevent Medical Errors," on Wednesday, September 17, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Walsh Gymnasium on the university's South Orange campus. This free event is open to the public. Advanced registration is requested at www.shu.edu/speakingup.

Sorrel KingThe event is part of SHMS' Interprofessional Perspectives Speaker Series and will feature inspirational speaker Sorrel King, the mother of Josie King, who died when she was just 18 months old due to preventable medical errors. Sorrel is the author of the book Josie's Story: A Mother's Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe (2009, Atlantic Monthly Press) and the founder of the Josie King Foundation, which supports innovative patient-safety programs to prevent others from dying or being harmed by medical errors.

Medical errors are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Josie King Foundation, and 98,000 people die each year as a result. In 2001, young Josie King died in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland – where she was being treated for severe burns and was just two days away from going home – due to a preventable medical error: the combination of misused narcotics and dehydration, which led to cardiac arrest. "She died from a breakdown in the system. She died from a breakdown in communication," Sorrel King has said, referring to her experience, during Josie's final hours, interacting with various healthcare professionals about Josie's worsening condition and treatment.   

Sorrel King & JosieSHMS is hosting this special event on September 17th in order to create greater awareness about the importance of teamwork across the healthcare professions and the importance of communication among all individuals involved in a patient's plan of care – the healthcare professionals, the family members and care-givers, and the patients, themselves.   

"If we're part of the patient-centered care model, we need to speak up, we need to inform ourselves and we need to become part of the solution," says Genevieve Pinto Zipp, PT, EdD, Professor in the SHMS Department of Interprofessional Health Sciences and Health Administration and Chair of the SHMS Task Force on Interprofessional Education. "It can be as simple as keeping your eyes open, when you or a loved one is in the hospital, for example, and not being afraid to speak up with the healthcare professionals and to ask questions."

"How to Save a Life: Speaking Up to Prevent Medical Errors" is the second annual event in SHMS' Interprofessional Perspectives Speaker Series. SHMS emphasizes the importance of interprofessional education (IPE), which brings together students, faculty, clinical partners and alumni from the allied health professions in order to learn about, learn from and learn with each other. This interprofessional approach to health sciences education leads to effective collaboration among practitioners and, ultimately, improved health outcomes for patients and communities.   

For more information about the event and to register to attend, visit www.shu.edu/speakingup. Questions? Contact Lori Riley, Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Special Events at SHMS, at lori.riley@shu.edu or (973) 313-6077.   

About the School of Health and Medical Sciences at Seton Hall University
In response to society's rapidly-changing healthcare needs, the School of Health and Medical Sciences combines the expertise of Seton Hall University with the resources of affiliate hospitals and clinical sites to provide exemplary academic and clinical training in two distinct divisions: graduate education in health sciences and administration, and post-medical school residencies and fellowships. The School's emphasis on interprofessional education prepares healthcare leaders of tomorrow to focus on patient-centered care and to make a difference in patients' lives and their communities.

Categories: Health and Medicine

For more information, please contact:

  • Margaret McCorry - Seton Hall University Media Relations
  • 862-250-7371
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