For about the past five years or so, I have been working with a great organization called Pharmcon, occasionally doing educational webinars, as I did yesterday afternoon, for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, etc., about Emily’s Legacy and the vital lessons learned from the horrible tragedy that occurred in 2006.
After yesterday’s webinar, I received this very kind and heartfelt letter from the newest member of the Pharmcon team. Correspondence like this, truly inspires me to continue down this path that I believe was “chosen for me” and makes me feel as though the Emily Jerry Foundation is really affecting positive change, making a difference, and quite possibly saving some lives from preventable medical error. With that said, I find it quite ironic that this gentleman’s last name is “HOPE” because that is exactly the true blessing he has given me!
I just wanted to take a moment to say, from the bottom of my heart, how much I appreciate your joining us today on our PharmCon webinar and sharing some of the more recent highlights from the Emily Jerry Foundation. I, too, believe that multiple miracles occurred on that day amidst incomprehensible tragedy and heartbreak. One of those miracles was you. As the newest team member at PharmCon, I was ecstatic to learn that we had a solid working relationship with you to communicate such a vital message on so many fronts.
Having served as the director for an ASHP accredited training program, I knew of Emily’s legacy, but it was only recently that I made the connection between Emily’s legacy and the positive changes that I see from state to state, especially within the arena of pharmacy technology education. I am a member of PTEC (Pharmacy Technician’s Educator’s Council) and have followed the dialogue surrounding pharmacy technician education requirements over the past several years. I am still appalled that, even within our profession, we find objections to ‘common sense’ at times.
It was an absolute honor to speak with you today! Consider this to be my own offer to be an “advocate for the advocate,” whether it be through my role with Kevin and our team at PharmCon or on a personal level.
KEVIN HOPE, RPH, BCNP
Clinical Pharmacy Education Specialist
Yesterday was such an amazing day at Allegheny Health Network’s Medication Safety Summit in Pittsburgh. I truly felt so privileged and humbled to give the keynote to help kick things off. I was also so grateful to spend the remainder of the day surrounded by so many “like minded” AHN clinician caregivers who are just as passionate as I am, to put an end preventable medication errors! Throughout the day we all participated in various educational activities relating to improving medication safety overall, root cause analysis, etc. From all of this wonderful collaboration and input from the various modalities at AHN, I felt like we all learned so much. Bottom line, I walked away from this stellar medication safety summit with such a re-energized sense of HOPE and inspiration, that by all of us continuing to rally together, we can one day soon, achieve my somewhat audacious goal of ZERO preventable medication errors! With that said, I would genuinely like to thank AHN’s Vice President of Pharmacy, Laura Mark, and her colleagues for not only making this very productive event happen but for truly “hitting it out of the park”!
Most people truly understand why I am so passionate about my ongoing advocacy efforts in patient safety and why it has been so important to me. They also seem to get why, over the years, I have felt so strongly about always striving to be an active part of the solution to preventable medical errors, not only through my work, but through the programming of The Emily Jerry Foundation. What some people often ask me though, who do not practice medicine, is exactly “why” I refer to myself not just as a patient safety advocate, but as a clinician/caregiver advocate, as well? The following, very kind and supportive email correspondence that I just received from a pharmacist this morning helps explain the answer to that question.
“I just wanted to say I’m so sorry for what happened with your daughter. I also think you are an inspiration for how you took the situation and have done such good things with it. I am a pharmacist and I see all too often companies not getting to the root of the problem. They only try to fix the face of the problem, not the cause. You are doing something so wonderful by trying to fix the broken system after the trauma you suffered—I have no words to express how wonderful that is. I also don’t have words to express my condolences and sorrow for your daughter–words can’t suffice for that type of pain, I’m so sorry. Best Wishes, Jan”