Patient Safety Panel to Discuss a Paradigm Shift in Hospital Safety

Irvine, California

Eleven years ago, patient safety advocate Carole Hemmelgarn experienced a parent’s worst nightmare. Not only was her 9-year-old daughter Alyssa diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but within 10 days while receiving treatment in a hospital, Alyssa died from a sequence of preventable medical errors.

Unfortunately, Hemmelgarn is not alone and medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Now a professor in master’s degree programs in patient safety, Hemmelgarn joins a team of expert panelists at the 7th Annual World Patient Safety, Science and Technology Summit to discuss the leading causes of preventable in-hospital deaths and a new way of thinking about safety. The panel is called “Leading Causes of Preventable in-Hospital Deaths” and takes place on January 19 at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa.

Moderated by world-renowned patient safety champion Dr. Peter Pronovost, the panel will examine the flipside of how patient safety is typically viewed. Instead of a Safety I perspective, where the focus is on creating an environment where “as few things as possible go wrong,” the panel will highlight the Safety II perspective that emphasizes ensuring “as many things as possible go right.” The panelists will address the top patient safety challenges in hospitals and the ways in which their respective facilities focus on learning from their successes and demonstrating how the Safety II approach can significantly improve their patient safety efforts.

Moderator: Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM. Dr. Pronovost is a board member of the Patient Safety Movement,  a critical care physician, prolific researcher, and a global thought leader, informing U.S. and global health policy. His scientific work has saved thousands of lives and earned him being named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Dr. Pronovost is an advisor to the World Health Organization’s World Alliance for Patient Safety and regularly addresses the U.S. Congress on patient safety issues.


  • Carole Hemmelgarn, MS, MS, holds a Master of Science Degree in Patient Safety Leadership from the University of Illinois Chicago. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois Chicago and Georgetown University, teaching in their master’s programs for patient safety. She holds a second master’s degree in health care ethics from Creighton University. Carole is involved in patient safety work across the country and sits on numerous advisory boards.
  • Tom Kallstrom, MBA, RRT, FAARC, is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) in Irving, Texas, and the Executive Vice President of the American Respiratory Care Foundation (ARCF). His interests revolve around pediatrics, chronic pulmonary disease management, and patient safety, on which he has spoken and published widely. Kallstrom has developed and implemented disease-management programs in both home care and acute care focused on asthma and COPD.
  • Helen Macfie, Pharm.D., F.A.B.C., is Chief Transformation Officer for MemorialCare, a nonprofit health system in Southern California. She has executive responsibility for facilitation of system-level transformation and performance improvement for MemorialCare’s population health, clinical quality, patient safety, risk management, and patient and family experience initiatives. She was recently re-named one of the Top 50 Patient Safety Experts Leading the Field by Becker’s Hospital Review.
  • Tamra E. Minnier, RN, MSN, FACHE, is Chief Quality Officer for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is Executive Director for the Beckwith Institute, a $15 million foundation supporting innovation in care delivery and shared decision making. She holds a BSN and MSN from the University of Pittsburgh and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She serves on the Patient Safety Movement Foundation board and has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Newsweek, and many other journals.

For more information, please visit the Patient Safety Movement Foundation website. Members of the media may request a press pass by visiting or by contacting Irene Mulonni – phone 858-859-7001 or email [email protected]

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