Year established: 2009
WHY WE ARE HERE
Immediately after hovering over his unconscious daughter who was on life-support in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), at a leading pediatric hospital here in Cleveland in 2006, Chris Jerry pulled Emily’s IV bag out of the trash. He then handed the partially full bag over to an administrator in charge, requesting that the contents be immediately examined. Chris’s common sense that day led to his conclusion, which since has been verified through extensive root-cause analysis, that the primary cause of virtually all medication errors can almost always be traced back to incidences of human error by well-intentioned clinicians during the course of a patient’s care.
Since Emily’s tragic death from a preventable medication error, Chris began this unintentional quest chosen for him, to work diligently to affect positive change in medicine. Consulting with the brightest minds in healthcare, he has transformed the culture of medicine, how it is practiced in the U.S., and more importantly how we respond and learn from these preventable errors which have now been identified as being the third leading cause of death. Since that horrific day 10 years ago, he has spoken at countless medical facilities and conference throughout our nation to preach the fact that, humans are all fallible, and typically no clinician ever intentionally means to cause harm.
Chris founded the Emily Jerry Foundation, in honor of his daughter’s name, to focus attention on the underlying systems, processes, and protocols in medicine, and to find comprehensive solutions that minimize this inherent “human error component of medicine.” Following Emily’s tragic medication error, he identified where and how the human error occurred and, subsequently, found solutions with the intent to have no one else ever have to go through what he and his family have had to endure.
From the onset, with little money, Chris found and encouraged these solutions and through his sole efforts, found many comprehensive ways of entirely eliminating the risk of medical mistakes that all of us as human beings are susceptible and capable of making.
WHAT WE DO
The foundation began in August of 2009 in the state of Ohio shortly after the passage of “Emily’s Law”, which was named after Emily Jerry. Chris developed into a respected speaker and sought-after advocate, not only for patient safety but for the treating clinicians as well. Seven years since, there has been a significant increase in public awareness of the foundation’s key patient safety-related issues that can be attributed to the passage of Emily’s law, Emily’s death, and how her father responded. Chris passionately sought solutions which not only would have saved Emily’s life but countless others who have died so senselessly ever since.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
These inherent problems are now being made much more apparent today. They are being brought to the forefront by both the news media and the medical community itself. This increasing awareness demands solutions and EJF’s knowledge to better understand and learn from what has become the core competency of the foundation’s work. EJF will continue to develop effective initiatives and programs, such as its Medication Safety Standard Awards Program, which undoubtedly will improve patient safety and save countless lives.
The impetus of this recently reorganized foundation, now with a dedicated staff, is an audacious mission to eradicate all medication errors forever. Once properly funded through your generous charitable contributions and support, this foundation believes it can definitely accomplish its vital mission within Chris’s lifetime, which would honor his daughter’s short life beyond imagination.