Patient Safety Advocate Shares Personal Story with Evangelical Community Hospital

October 15, 2018


98,000 people die every year from medical errors, making it the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Evangelical Community Hospital welcomed Sorrel King of the Josie King Foundation to speak to board members, staff, physicians, and safety leaders about the importance of communication in helping to eliminate medical errors.

The program was hosted by the Hospital’s Medical Affairs Division and the staff support group EvanCARES as part of the Hospital’s initiative to create a culture where staff places safety of the patient first. Evangelical strives for an environment that promotes learning from more traumatic incidents where both family and providers are impacted.

In 2001 King’s daughter, 18-month-old Josie, died as a result of medical errors. Consumed by grief, King was determined to honor Josie’s memory. She and her husband created the Josie King Foundation. Setting out to prevent patients from being harmed or killed by medical errors, she entered a world unknown to her – the healthcare industry.

King has become a nationally renowned patient safety advocate. As a public speaker she travels the country spreading her message to hospitals, doctors, nurses, CEOs, board members, medical/nursing students and more in hopes that Josie’s story will inspire change thus creating a better, safer healthcare industry for everyone. 

King conducted a session for Evangelical personnel at the Hospital and an evening presentation at The Campus Theatre, which was open to the public and all medical professionals in the area. She shared her story and how as a medical staff, implementing programs that promote safety and open lines of communication with each other and listening to family members can reduce medical errors.

During the evening session, King presented the Josie King Culture of Safety Award to two Evangelical employees Leanne Kainzbauer, RN, and Steve Shields, CRNA (posthumously). The award was created by the Josie King Foundation to be given to those who work hard to create a culture of patient safety by listening to the patient/family; encouraging them to speak up and ask questions; improving communication; improving teamwork; looking for the good catches (near misses) and fixing those near misses before they harm a patient.

Kainzbauer received the award for seeing subtle signs of stroke in a patient under her care, speaking up about her suspicions, and initiating further evaluation and treatment. Shields, who worked in anesthesiology and recently passed away, was presented the award for the roles he played in improving quality and patient safety through reporting and encouraging others to report anything that may result in harm to the patient.

Photo 1 – Steve Shields, CRNA, received the Josie King Culture of Safety Award posthumously for his dedicated efforts toward quality and patient safety from Sorrel King (far left), Rebecca Boop, Director of Quality Assurance and Patient Safety, and John Devine, DO, Vice President of Medical Affairs. Todd Stefan, MD, Chief Medical Office for the Evangelical Medical Service Organization (second from left) accepted the honor on behalf of Steve and his family.

Photo 2 – Leanne Kainzbauer, RN, (second from left) received the Josie King Culture of Safety Award for her good catch in identifying subtle stroke symptoms in a patient and taking action from Sorrel King (far left), Rebecca Boop, Director of Quality Assurance and Patient Safety, and John Devine, DO, Vice President of Medical Affairs

Photo 3 – Members of the Quality and Patient Safety team at Evangelical helped to arrange the event. Pictured from left to right are Julie Fohringer, Renee Yakicic, Mary Deihl, Jamie Smith, Rebecca Boop, Sorrel King, guest speaker, and John Devine, DO, Vice President of Medical Affairs.

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