Patient Paralyzed Due to Medical Error Joins Panel on Hospital Transparency From a Legal Perspective

Irvine, California

Jack Gentry has made a life of helping others.

As a former police officer with numerous departmental, city and statewide commendations for life-saving, Gentry was active and used to giving himself to help others.  After 37 years of dedicated community service, he looked forward to a hard-earned life of retirement with his wife and children.

But, in the summer of 2013, Gentry’s life would be forever changed.

A routine operation to repair a bulged disc quickly turned life-altering, leaving Gentry paralyzed from the neck down.

“I went into the hospital a patient and I became a victim,” explained Gentry.

Becoming a victim of medical error is not unusual. Although patient safety has been seen as a priority for years, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States taking more than 200,000 lives annually. But it was how the hospital, MedStar Health, responded to Gentry’s error that was highly unusual and what they hope becomes the model across the United States.

The hospital used AHRQ’s Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) process, a timely, thorough, and just way when unexpected events cause patient harm. The process allowed Gentry’s doctor to apologize to him and his wife before contacting the hospital administration to seek help for the family. According to Gentry, the hospital then provided financial, medical and emotional support. MedStar Health’s support allowed Gentry to get early intervention that was not covered by his insurance, which allowed him to regain use of his hands.

But hospital transparency in the age of litigation is highly unusual as many hospitals and clinicians fear legal ramifications. The Patient Safety Movement is pleased to present a panel on Hospital Leadership: Transparency from the Legal Perspective at the World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in Huntington Beach, California on January 18, 2018. This panel will share unique perspectives from the hospital, patient and legal perspectives.

Joining Gentry on this global panel will include:

Moderator: David B. Mayer, MD, Executive Director, MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety – Dr. Mayer is responsible for overseeing the infrastructure for clinical quality and its operational efficiency for MedStar and each of its entities. Dr. Mayer also designs and directs systemwide activity for patient safety and risk reduction programs.


  • Mike Durkin, OBE, MBBS, FRCA, FRCP, DSc, Senior Advisor on Patient Safety Policy and Leadership, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London – Dr. Durkin was the NHS National Director of Patient Safety from 2012-2017. He has led performance and clinical governance reviews in the UK and overseas.
  • Peter Lachman, MD, MPH, MBBCh, FRCPCH, FCP (SA), FRCPI, Chief Executive Officer, International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) – Dr. Lachman was a Health Foundation Quality Improvement Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in 2005 and developed the quality improvement program at Great Orman Street Hospital in London where he was the Deputy Medical Director, leading patient safety improvement. Prior to joining ISQUA, Lachman was a consultant pediatrician at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Now, Lachman is the Lead International Faculty at the RCPI in Dublin. At RCPI he co-directs the Leadership and Quality program to develop clinical leads in quality improvement.
  • Allen Kachalia, MD, JD, Chief Quality Officer and Vice President for Quality and Safety, Brigham Health; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School – Dr. Kachalia oversees Brigham Health’s inpatient and ambulatory quality and safety initiatives. As a trained lawyer, his research focuses on how the law affects medical care, particularly how liability system reform and the disclosure of medical error relate to the quality and safety of healthcare.
  • Jon Schochor, JD, Senior Managing Partner at Schochor, Federico & Staton, PA, – Mr. Schochor focuses primarily on representing clients in cases relating to medical malpractice, negligence, class action litigation, and has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek. Mr. Schochor is a skilled trial lawyer and litigator who seeks to provide his clients with the highest level of legal representation.

Media Contacts
Irene Mulonni, PR for Dolphins, [email protected] | (858) 859-7001