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Follow Up Sentiments From Purdue University PHRM 868 – Patient Safety and Informatics Class

Last week, I was very encouraged but humbled, to receive the following email from my friend, Dr. Dan Degnan and his colleague Dr. Ephrem Abebe at Purdue University College of Pharmacy. They had invited me to speak last October to the students in their PHRM 868 – Patient Safety and Informatics class, all of whom are pursuing their doctorates in Pharmacy…our future leaders in healthcare.

“I wanted to drop you a quick note on behalf of Ephrem and myself to say thank you for coming to share your story, your knowledge and your expertise about Patient Safety and Informatics with our 3rd year pharmacy students last semester. Although some time has passed, we have started to debrief about potential improvements to class and to celebrate all the positives that came from the class.

As part of that process, we evaluate reflections written by all 150 students in class. One of the prompts for this assignment asks students to reflect on what lecture topic was most interesting to them and why? We took comments related to the lecture you provided and attached them.

Working in academia, I think it can be easy to forget the profound effect you can have on others. I wanted to share some of the impact you had on our students last semester.”

The following are only a few of those very kind student reflections, regarding my lecture:

“Mr. Jerry’s narrative was not just about personal tragedy; it was proof of his resilience and determination to transform that tragedy into a catalyst for change. What made this lecture truly memorable was Mr. Jerry’s decision to pursue a career in pharmacy following a devastating loss, driven by a commitment to increase awareness about patient safety and prevent medical errors.”

“Chris’s story didn’t invoke fear, but responsibility. It pushed me to delve deeper into patient safety, medications, and preventing their misuse, in anticipating potential pitfalls before they arise. His message resonated because it didn’t excuse others, it didn’t point fingers. Instead, it placed the responsibility squarely on our shoulders, the ones directly trusted with the final step in the medication chain.”

“Having a loved one pass away due to a mistake and being able to put your energy to preventing those same mistakes from impacting someone else is extremely noble, and what Mr. Jerry does to help educate us as students and future professionals is very admirable.”

“While it is extremely unfortunate Mr. Jerry had this tragedy in his life, through his words, passion and hope I felt changed and motivated as a healthcare professional to honor Emily. That it is my duty and obligation to change the system and spread awareness to prevent another occurrence like hers from happening again.”