23220 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 476, Beachwood, OH, 44122 chris@emilyjerryfoundation.org 440.289.8662

Latest News

Virtual Keynote at Michigan State

It was truly an honor and a privilege to be able to give the virtual Keynote for the “Revolutionizing Patient Safety: Securing the Medication Supply Line Conference”, hosted by the Axia Institute/MSU, yesterday.

A primary topic of conversation that was covered very well, throughout the day, in the panel discussions, was one that I am very familiar with, and speak often about, the utilization of technology as the “tools” to help eliminate “human error” from both the clinical and pharmacy workflow.

This event was a huge success in terms of conveying this fact, it was also extremely well organized, and highlighted exactly how technology, if adopted and implemented properly, can significantly improve medication safety overall. I really believe that this is how we can stop tragedies, like the one that occurred with my daughter Emily, and save countless lives from preventable medication errors together!

The following are a few of the very kind comments I feel very blessed to have received afterwards…

“Your touching story of loss, along with your equally powerful story of preserving your daughter’s legacy through the Emily Jerry Foundation was riveting.” ~Katherine F.

“You gave a truly amazing presentation…What a lesson you and Emily are teaching so many, God bless you!” ~Karol M.

“You did a fantastic job, as always! We appreciate all you do to continue advocating for patient safety while continually making Emily proud!” ~Miranda T.

“Thank you! We will all strive to be better because of Emily!” ~Jay W.

Making Patient Safety Number One Priority

I’m really looking forward to this event, the week after next!! As I have mentioned many times before, I have always felt that it’s of vital importance, to try and help in any way we possibly can, to make patient & medication safety the number one priority for ALL of our future leaders in healthcare! In the past, my good friend George Smith, and I, had always talked about the possibility of me visiting the University of South Carolina’s School of Pharmacy, on behalf of EJF, and speaking to the students at some point. Both he and his wife are alumni at the USC COP, and now their daughter Bailey, is currently working on her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Then, a few months ago, I received an email from George saying, that USC had really gotten behind his daughter, Bailey’s, idea of having me speak virtually (due to COVID) to their College of Pharmacy. In addition, he also went on to mention that even the Dean and his administrative staff were also very engaged and excited about the opportunity as well!

Revolutionizing Patient Safety Event at Michigan State

Really looking forward to kicking off this very important event next week!!

The Real Cause of Preventable Medical Error

The good news is that countless lives can be saved, and so many senseless tragedies averted, if we are just willing to acknowledge the REAL cause of preventable medical error!!

Repost from 9/20/2017…
Many people will often ask me, what is the primary cause of preventable medical error that actually makes it the third leading cause of death in the United States? The answer is quite simple…it’s the inherent “human error” component of medicine. The fact that every single clinician, no matter how well intended, compassionate, or empathetic, they may be, is capable of making a “human error”. This is precisely why the focus of my work over the past decade, since the tragic loss of my daughter Emily in 2006, has been on saving lives through the modification of internal systems, processes, and protocols in medicine. This is also why I have been such an outspoken proponent for the smart implementation and adoption of technology, as the tools, to significantly reduce, if not completely eliminate, the probability of “human error” from creeping into the equation during the course of treatment, for ALL patients. As Steve Jobs so eloquently put it, “Technology does not have human flaws”!

“Virtual” Keynote Address to the Florida Pharmacy Association

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like everyone else, I have been unable to travel this year. As a result, unfortunately, all of my lectures and presentations, that I had scheduled for the Emily Jerry Foundation this year, at hospitals and other events, had to be canceled or rescheduled.

That said, yesterday, I had the great privilege of being able to give my very first “virtual” keynote address to the Florida Pharmacy Association, for their 130th Annual Meeting and Convention (originally scheduled for Marco Island, FLA 😎). What an amazing group of people who have clearly made the commitment to always make patient and medication safety their number one priority over anything else!!

The following are a few of the very kind comments that were made during the presentation;

“We use a system called Dose Edge in our hospital. The techs use barcode scanning and have to take pictures of the items they use. I as the pharmacist, can see the pictures on my computer outside the IV room.” ~Roderick R.

“We do teach our students this story … and show this and other videos and documentaries. Nothing compares to live listening. Absolutely nothing. And to listen to a man full of grace, and such a strong Christian, elevates this message and its impact, to a completely different experience.” ~Angela G.

“Thank you for being incredibly strong and turning such a tragedy into a message to save lives. Simply amazing!” ~Taylor H.

“Please keep advocating. We just got Bar Coding in our IV room. The push back for the workflow changes we get from the team, will definitely decrease once I share my thoughts on this talk. Thank You Mr. Jerry!” ~Kamil P.

“Thank you for sharing your story, Mr. Jerry. Your advocacy work for meaningful change is truly remarkable. God Bless you and your family.” ~Jeanette C.

“Thank you and many blessings. Your work is immensely important!” ~Manal F.

“You’re such an inspiration. God bless you” ~Chika I.

“Thank you for using the platform that was given to you to advocate for meaningful change and decriminalizing errors. Your story is so moving and compelling and we so appreciate you sharing your heart. May God continue to bless your work.” ~Theresa T.

“Thank you so much for sharing the story of Emily and your family. God bless you. You are a true inspiration Mr. Jerry.” ~Genevieve M.

“Thank you for your message of hope and God bless you!” ~Katherine P.

“Such a beautiful child! Your ability to forgive and work to prevent these events is astounding and admirable.” ~Lorraine M.

The Marathon Continues

Looking back, it all seems so surreal. Fourteen years ago, on March 1st 2006, my wife and I had to make the absolute worst decision of our lives. After multiple EEG’s showed little, to no, brain activity, we took my beautiful baby girl, off life support. I will always remember that day, like it was yesterday, the day the doctor said Emily’s heart had stopped and mine somehow kept beating. On that horrific day, I never thought in a million years, anything good could ever come from such an unimaginable tragedy! Now, 14 years later, I truly believe that Emily’s short life here on earth was truly meant to save, quite possibly thousands, by affecting positive change in how we respond and learn from preventable medical error.

A few short years after her tragic passing, only by God’s grace, was I able to establish the Emily Jerry Foundation (www.emilyjerryfoundation.org), in my daughter’s memory. My sole intention with EJF was to help be a catalyst for positive change in patient and medication safety, finding solutions that would prevent, what happened to Emily, from ever happening again to others. I never would have chosen this very unconventional career path for myself, I truly believe it was chosen for me. Looking back over the past decade, in addition to many of my friends and family being supportive of EJF, it’s very humbling for me to think about what a great privilege it’s been to also have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing clinician/caregivers, some of the brightest minds in healthcare, who are just as passionate about patient safety as I am! This is precisely why I would like to thank everyone for all of your ongoing support, and most importantly, for helping to keep Emily’s legacy alive!

In the next few months, I also really look forward to formally announcing the details about the Emily Jerry Foundation’s new Scholarship Initiative for Future Leaders in Healthcare!

Happy Sweet Sixteen, Emily!

Happy Birthday my sweet Emily! Even though it seems like I just took these pictures of you a few short years ago, today you would be 16 years old! As your daddy, you will always be my baby girl, so I just can’t even comprehend the fact that you would have actually been driving this year! I want you to know that I still miss you dearly, but I take so much comfort in knowing that you are with our Lord and that I will get to see you one day, when we are reunited again in heaven!

Your short life here on earth is continuing to have such a profound impact on so many people around the globe, especially the clinician/caregivers in healthcare, who all know you by name! Your legacy continues to live on in so many amazing ways and has been such a catalyst for positive change in the world of patient and medication safety…helping to stop tragedies before they happen and ultimately saving countless lives!!
Again, Happy Birthday Sweetheart!
Love,
Dad

Another Successful American Society for Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Meeting

Another Annual ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting has come and gone and this year seemed like a whirlwind trip jam packed with exciting info and activities. Every year the American Society for Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) hosts this incredible event, which has been deemed the largest pharmacy meeting in the world, with typically over 25,000 registered hospital pharmacists from around the globe in attendance! This year’s event was hosted in none other than Las Vegas, Nevada.

After a very productive and busy day at the Annual ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful event hosted by PiplineRx, at the Foundation Room on the 63rd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. What an incredible view!!

To finish the trip off after the conference had concluded its final meeting I had the opportunity to go on a trail ride with some of my good friends from Allegheny Health Network. I really can’t think of a better way to round out, yet another, successful and very productive ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting!! 

Emily Jerry Foundation Represented at OSU Panel Discussion Titled “The Far Reaching Impact of Medication Error”

I felt very privileged to be invited to participate in a panel discussion today, at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, titled “The Far Reaching Impact of a Medication Error.” The event took place on Friday, December 6th, 2019. Below are some pictures I took during my short stay in Columbus, Ohio.

Am I Really Making a Difference?

So I have to admit, from time to time, naturally, I question wether or not the Emily Jerry Foundation, and this very unconventional career path that I have been on for the past 13 years, is really making a difference in healthcare? Is this work my true calling and should I really continue? These are the types of questions that came to the forefront of my mind yesterday, while I was reading the horrific story about the multiple medication errors, 54 to be exact, that occurred with a little baby named Finn Mummert, over only a three week period!

Finn Mummert

After reading the very upsetting news about what happened to Finn and sharing a few of my initial thoughts about his story on FB, I began to dig in to my email for the day. One of the first emails I opened included my program evaluation for a medication safety CE I did at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, last month. Shortly after every lecture or presentation I give that is CE, or CME accredited, I receive a program evaluation from the facility or organization where I spoke. The program evaluation is done by every clinician who was in attendance and it’s kind of like my “report card” on how I did overall. The following are some of the extremely kind reviews and comments that I received from the clinician/caregivers in attendance that day, they really helped me put things back into perspective…

“Strong understanding of pharmacy workflow. Made a big and lasting impact on the staff.”

“Engaging speaker with an impactful and emotional message. Mr. Jerry’s support of health care providers, given his experience, is humbling and his activism is greatly appreciated.”

“I whole-heartedly support and endorse your diligent efforts to reverse the astounding statistics on medication errors. I especially commend your efforts after experiencing such a great personal loss. I share your vision for eliminating preventable medication errors and hope you live to see your goal met. Your tireless work has undoubtedly saved many lives. Even though you cannot bring Emily back, know that she lives on in all the others that you have saved through your mission. I hope that can bring at least some comfort to you. I wish you all the best going forward and be assured that when you see Emily again in the next life, she will be quite proud of you for bringing something so good out of something so bad. It takes quite a human being to do what you’ve done in both forgiving and persevering in what has become your life’s work. God truly does work in mysterious ways and He will wipe away every tear.”

“Thank you, Mr. Jerry, for the work you have done and continue to do to promote medication safety and a just culture. You are making a difference and your daughter will not be forgotten. Emily’s life continues to be a force for positive change in the world of medicine.”

“Excellent speaker and presentation! Thankful he has found the strength and courage to work towards eradicating preventable medical errors!”

“Compelling speaker appreciated the focus on just culture and tone of the presentation despite a tragic situation.”

“Such amazing bravery and strength! Thank you for sharing your story to help others.”

“Very powerful presentation! I was hanging on every word. What courage the speaker has to continue to fight for change after a traumatic experience!”

“Excellent program! Very insightful, and I appreciated Mr. Jerry’s perspective and how he turned the most unimaginable tragedy into a force for change!”