Karen’s father, Bill, passed away after suffering a dozen preventable medical errors following a successful lung transplant to cure idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). A few months later, her husband, Sandy, nearly died from a deadly, preventable, sepsis infection following “routine” surgery. And then, in the same year, their 10-year-old son, Alex, was misdiagnosed with appendicitis.
“Our family followed conventional wisdom — if you ever need hospital care, take someone with you. As Dad’s “someone’s”, we didn’t have a clue about what to do, or say, especially as he suffered one “body blow” after another. We thought we could just ‘figure it out’ as we went along. But we couldn’t. No one could. Dad paid the ultimate price.”
Fueled by grief, anger and regret, Karen spent the next three years researching how she could have been better informed and prepared to help prevent the common hazards in hospital care that took her father’s life and jeopardized her husband’s and son’s.
Tragedy Transformed to Tools
CampaignZERO offers just the kind of quick information and checklists Karen wishes she and her family had when they sat bedside — so hopeful — yet so uninformed about common hospital hazards that harm patients.
Karen is building a national network of CampaignZERO speakers who offer free community workshops. She often speaks at medical conferences focused on quality improvements in healthcare, and serves on advisory boards at Harvard Medical School and Sentinel University.
Her book, Safe & Sound in the Hospital (on Amazon) has been endorsed by national patient safety experts, but best of all, by patients and families!
Partnering with nurse leaders, Mary Foley and Sue McWilliams, Karen developed patient safety training curriculum for nurses. It is endorsed by QSEN (Quality and Safety Education for Nurses) and it is used in progressive hospitals and nursing schools.