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… Read More
Below are some recent messages sent in by health system presidents, pharmacists, administrators, students, business contacts or speech attendees who have been touched by the Emily Jerry Foundation. We thrive off these types of things because it truly shows us we are making a difference. Please let us know how we have affected positive change in the world! Send all sentiments to [email protected]. Thanks for your continued support.
Sentiments from Students Attending Purdue University Lecture in October 2023
I was very pleasantly surprised to have 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. ~Chris Jerry
“I found it to be a very sad story, but one that teaches a lot of lessons and increases awareness of medication safety. Sharing Emily’s story cannot be easy, but I find it admirable how Christopher shares her story with people nationwide and even made a foundation in her name. It is one thing to just learn about medication safety in class; it is another thing to hear it applied in a real-life scenario. Hearing Christopher Jerry’s story opened my eyes to how important it is to always double check medications before administering them to patients.”
“Real-life examples help to remind students of why we are learning a particular topic. We learned of many of these topics as part of our procedures as a pharmacist, but hearing a personal tragedy demonstrated what can occur if these medication safety measures are not properly followed or installed. To me, it served as a reminder of why this class is very important for my education as a pharmacist.”
“Before hearing from Mr. Jerry, I thought that anyone who handled the medication that led to Emily’s death should be held accountable and punished. But his point of view really moved me, and I can see why he has worked so hard on patient safety instead of holding grudges and anger.”
“I found Christopher Jerry’s story very interesting and inspiring. I think this highlighted not only the impact of our profession, but also the importance of patient safety and systematic precautions that are set in place to prevent errors from occurring.”
“Getting to hear Mr. Jerry’s personal story I think drove home the message and importance of taking this class. Not only did it make me realize the consequences for the patient that experiences the medication error but also the consequences for me, as a pharmacist. I think it’s important to hear these types of stories because this does affect the patients and their families.”
“This particular class left a mark on me, and their story remains vividly in my mind. Mr. Jerry’s firsthand account provided me with a profound understanding of the consequences of medication errors in real-life situations. The emotional weight of his narrative, coupled with his resilience and capacity to forgive, left a lasting impression to me as both a listener and a future professional. Mr. Jerry’s legacy for Emily serves as proof to the transformative power of this tragedy that resulted in positive change.”
“The most striking part of the lecture was Mr. Jerry’s ability to forgive the technician who was in jail for his daughter’s death. I put myself in his shoes, and I don’t know if I ever could forgive him even as a future healthcare provider. With this, I was impressed at Mr. Jerry’s selflessness to completely change his life calling after such a horrible event to advocate for better medication safety.”
“Personal stories are probably the most effective way to spread awareness on topics like medication safety. Hearing him talk about the avoidable medication error that took the life of his daughter really puts things into perspective for us as healthcare professionals. We will be handling the lives of real people and the actions we do or do not take can have devastating, long-lasting consequences.”
“It really opened my eyes to the fact that people’s lives are in our hands and there can be severe consequences should anything go wrong. Always double checking or double verifying your work is a key factor that will help reduce medication errors in the future.”
“I thought that Christopher Jerry’s lecture about his daughter was a perfect way for us to learn to empathize in these scenarios and make things right. I remember sitting in this lecture and feeling absolutely sick for him and his family, and I will probably never forget it. I think this will motivate me as pharmacist to do my 100% best, take my time, and keep my patients safe.”
“All of what we had talked about before that topic was theory and hypotheticals, and hearing a real case from someone who was directly impacted by the consequences of the mistake made by a healthcare provider really helped me put it into perspective.”
“The Emily Jerry foundation is such an inspiring foundation, and I am so glad and feel so thankful that I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Jerry talk and was able to discuss and ask him questions.”
“The way he explained the situation, his feelings, and what he has learned was so eloquently put and really enabled us as students to analyze the situation and learn from it. There are so many factors that are at play when it comes to an error occurring that it is difficult to put the blame on one exact person. Chris’ story made me realize this and how contributing factors can play a huge role but also be preventable with the right measures in place.”
“After listening to Mr. Jerry’s presentation, it put this whole course of patient safety into perspective of real life and not just a class. This presentation brought a heaviness into the classroom with the realization that fatal patient safety events occur in real life.”
“It was extremely emotionally impactful seeing the family of an individual who was harmed by a medication error. When we have lectures regarding the number of errors that occur annually, we are affected emotionally. However, when we can actually see someone who was related to the victim of the error and witness his emotions on his face and eyes regarding the incident, there is a greater emotional toll on us. Medication errors are not statistics; they’re about individual humans, our patients.”
“The Emily Jerry Foundation program shows how we can come together to make improvements in patient safety and safe medication practices. The foundation initiated the National Pharmacy Initiative and Scorecard to potentially encourage others to implement stricter controls and educational requirements. In the healthcare field, it is important to be comfortable holding ourselves accountable for our mistakes so we can further prevent them from happening.”
“Dr. 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 Dr. 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.”
“Hearing about Mr. Jerry’s healing process and how he channeled his grief was inspiring. Hearing his lecture has helped me in my own grieving process. I think the work Mr. Jerry is doing is very admirable and I think there should be more organizations that are nationally recognized advocating for medication safety.”
“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.”
“What happened to his daughter was heartbreaking and something he never should have had to experience; however I appreciated his openness in sharing what he did and how his life changed afterwords. It was interesting to hear and understand the different approaches Chistopher Jerry and his wife took, it shows two different ways a situation like a medication error can be approached.”
“His story and how he took the loss was inspiring to me as a future healthcare provider. Listening to his story about his empathy towards the pharmacy technician and creating the Emily Jerry Foundation captivated me and helped me realize the true importance of preventable medication errors. It became evident to me that patient safety is a responsibility that every role in a healthcare team must partake in.”
“A critical takeaway from Mr. Jerry’s advocacy is the realization that all healthcare professionals should be staunch advocates for patient safety awareness. It is disheartening to acknowledge that, collectively, we may not be fully maximizing our efforts to address patient safety issues.”
“Mr. Jerry was a great speaker who was extremely vulnerable with our class to explain what happened to his two-year-old daughter Emily. Hearing him bravely tell the story of his young daughter going through chemo and radiation and becoming cancer free to then lose her life to a medication error that she was only receiving out of precaution was heart wrenching. I believe this topic was one of the most important topics covered in this course because we were exposed to the real-life damaging effects that happen when medication safety errors occur.”
“Despite all the hurt that Christopher went through, watching the video of him meeting and forgiving Eric definitely made me emotional and points again to how dedicated Christopher is to making some good come of the terrible situation.”
“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.”
“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.”
“It was extremely tragic to hear what had happened to his daughter just because of a medication error that was easily preventable. I would say this had the most impact on me overall out of everything we have learned because it showed a real-life scenario that happened with firsthand experience. This really opened my eyes to the extent that not paying full attention and negligence on patient safety could harm someone.”
“A real-life patient safety event presented by Chris Jerry about his daughter and the Emily Jerry Foundation was by far my favorite and the most interesting topic/lecture because it really brought the course as a whole into perspective. Before his presentation I really thought passively about patient safety events. It was not until his presentation that I was really filled with true sincerity and empathy about the potential consequences of medication safety events.”
“I thought it was really brave of him to share how a medication error has greatly impacted his family, but most importantly, how it has influenced him to want to change the way we handle medication errors as well. To me, this spoke volumes; not only as a pharmacy student but as a human, making errors is inevitable. However, I think it is important to know how to handle these errors, those involved in them, and how to prevent them from occurring again.”
I first met you many years ago when you traveled to Union Hospital in Dover, Ohio to share your tragic story. As a young caregiver, that had a profound impact on me in how I approached my patients. I promised myself that if God ever placed me in a position of leadership, I would share your story as we addressed policy and change in our journey to becoming a highly reliable organization. Since then, I’ve had that opportunity many times. Thank you! Blessings!
My name is Audra Whitton, and I’m a nurse as well as an educator for nursing students. I discovered your foundation while researching
medication errors during one of my master’s projects, and I’ve been so impressed by the work you do. As a pediatric nurse, Emily’s story breaks my heart, but it’s been inspiring to see how you took that awful situation and turned it into so much good for other people.
I thought you might like to know that I’ve included Emily’s pictures in a PowerPoint for my junior nursing students on safe medication administration. I like for them to see the faces of individuals whose lives were forever changed (and, in some cases, tragically ended) by medication errors – not to scare them, but to make them more cautious when they start giving medication.
Basically, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks for all you do; it’s so important to look at systems change and how we can make medical care safer for everyone.
Audra W., MSN, RN
May 13, 2021
I felt very honored and privileged to have given the keynote for the #NYSCHP Virtual Annual Assembly last week. It was truly a blessing to have the opportunity to show my sincere gratitude and thank their membership for “making good” on an important promise that was made.
In June of 2012, I attended an ASHP House of Delegates Meeting in Baltimore, where the Emily Jerry Foundation’s new National Pharmacy Technician Initiative and Interactive Scorecard was being introduced. Back then, there were 6 states that had zero regulation of their Pharmacy Technicians, and unfortunately, New York was one of them.
On that same day, shortly after the announcement of our new initiative some #NYSCHP members, led by Leigh Briscoe-Dwyer (NY House Delegate), introduced themselves and pledged to do everything they possibly could to get this vital legislation passed. This is why I am so pleased to be able to say to everyone, that earlier this week, a new law went into effect in New York, recognizing Pharmacy Technicians as licensed professionals and their promise was kept!
April 4, 2021
It was truly an honor and a privilege, to have been given this wonderful opportunity to speak to our future leaders in healthcare at D’Youville College, a few weeks ago!
June 15, 2017
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.
June 9, 2017
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 receive this heartfelt handwritten note from “Just a Nurse.” Anyone who has a nurse in their life knows they are rock stars and this humble attitude is what makes them such wonderful people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful message.
June 7, 2017
April 8, 2014
A very kind letter was sent in by the Hawaii Pharmacist’s Association regarding my recent speaking engagement at their annual meeting held in Honolulu, HI. Believe me when I say, the pleasure was all mine!
March 20, 2014
I was very honored to receive the following letter sent in by Dr. Lewis First, the Chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children’s Hospital. I had a great time visiting with their team and hope to continue a great relationship moving forward!
August 29, 2013
Dear Chris,Thank you very much for sharing your story at our Leadership meeting yesterday. As a parent myself, I can only imagine the magnitude of the heartache and grief that you experienced, and am amazed at your courage and faith. Your ability to turn such a traumatic event into something that others will benefit from is a true attestation of your incredibly strong and admirable character.Best of luck to you as you continue to share Emily’s story with others, and know that your special guardian angel is now a part of the Children’s family.
President & CEO at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
May 8, 2013
EJF received quite a bit of correspondence from our new friends at Kroger Pharmacy including a very nice letter on behalf of the Kroger Pharmacy staff thanking me for my last appearance as Keynote Speaker on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013. I truly love working with this group!
Dear Mr. Jerry,
My name is Casey and I met you this week when you spoke to the group of pharmacy managers and lead technicians for the Kroger Company in Cincinnati. I would first like to thank you again for sharing your story with us and commend you for your strength and compassion. It is rare to have such powerful qualities in the face of such adversity and I can only pray to have a fraction of those qualities for myself.I cannot express exactly how much Emily’s life and story moved me.
As a new parent, this story was especially impactful, and I again marvel at your courage. Your work in advocating medication safety is admirable in itself, but is exponentially more moving when the tragedy of Emily’s death is added. I am a member of our division’s Medication Safety Committee and it is extraordinary to me that anyone outside of the pharmacy profession would work so passionately to enhance our practice. Patient safety has always been a focus of mine and I hope to instill that in every member of my staff. I was hoping you could direct me to where I could find the video clip you showed us at the beginning of your presentation. I conduct quarterly staff meetings and I would like to show my staff the video and share Emily’s story with them at our next meeting. I would like to use any means available to impress upon my staff the importance of the work they do and how impactful it can be.
Also, I would like you to know that in an effort to make our pharmacy as safe as it can possibly be, I have banned all use of cell phones within the pharmacy. It is a small step, but a change I could make quickly and something I feel will be very impactful on the focus of attention for my staff.Again, I thank you for sharing your story and wish you the best in your endeavors in patient safety advocacy.
PharmD, RPhPharmacy Manager
Kroger Co., Store 418
Hi Mr. Jerry,
I am pharmacist with Kroger in Cincinnati, and had the opportunity to hear you speak at Paul Brown on Wednesday. I really wanted to come and chat with you after the program, and let you know the impact you had on me personally, but never felt like I could hold it together to talk to you without tears running down my face.
I have never been so affected professionally as I was after listening to your program. I am the mommy of four young kiddos, two of which are beautiful little two year old girls, just like Emily. So, you can imagine that the impact of what happened to Emily really hit close to home for me. I always knew that becoming a mom would make me a better pharmacist, but that statement has never been more accurate, after listening to your testimony. I really don’t have the right words to say to you, but to let you know that you really, really are making a difference by sharing your story. I will never forget you, Emily, or the impact you have had on me personally and professionally.With that being said, is there any way that I can get a copy of the video you showed at the beginning of your talk, to share with my staff pharmacist and technicians? I feel like from time to time, everyone gets careless, and I would like to remind them how important they are in making sure our customers are safe.Again, I can’t thank you enough for reminding me of the role I have as a pharmacist each and every day.
Chris-I am a Kroger pharmacist that you spoke to just a few days ago. I am the one who showed you a picture of my daughter, Chloe, who looks so similar to Emily. I wanted you to know that I truly admire the work you are doing to improve patient safety. If there is any thing I can assist with please feel free to contact me.Thank you for sharing your tragic story so that there may be saved.
I had to send you a note to let you know how touched I was by your presentation yesterday at the Pharmacy Show. As a mother and a grandmother myself, I can’t imagine going through what you went through. I met you at the breakfast portion before the pharmacy show started and you gave me your card. I had no idea who you were. Working as a pharmacy technician, I of course have heard about Emily’s story, but I never knew the whole story. I don’t think you left too many dry eyes in the place yesterday. This year is the first year that Kroger has let technicians go to the show and I know the one thing that will stay with me from this is your story and precious Emily’s beautiful face. My heart goes out to you for your forgiveness for the parties involved. Emily is in heaven cheering for her Daddy for carrying on the work that she started.
God bless you for all your hard work and getting your story out there. You had an effect on alot of people yesterday.
You will see your beautiful daughter again someday when God feels your job is done. Emily will be saving a place for you in heaven.
Hi Mr. Jerry
My name is Nick Woodward and I am the lead pharmacy technician at the Kroger Pharmacy on Mall Road in Florence, Kentucky. I was at your presentation today at Paul Brown Stadium. Your presentation really moved me and hit home for me. I have a 20 month old little girl. First let me say I am sorry for your loss and I am amazed by your forgiveness and strength. You inspired me today. I want you to know I’m going to share everything you said today with all my pharmacy technicians and any other technicians I talk to through out the day. I was also disappointed that the Kentucky score card was a D. I would like to know what I can do or what we can do to get that score higher. I would like to help any way I can. Thank you for having the courage and strength to talk to us today. And thank you for making our pharmacy a safer place. Once again I am sorry for your loss.
“Chris, your work is so important and I’m incredibly grateful for the folks at Kroger for encouraging you and reminding you of that fact. We need you.”
~Richard M. Edwards via Facebook
“@JMcDeez: @EmilyJerry Cannot thank you enough for speaking w/our team yesterday. They were still talking about your inspiring message today. #Awesome”
~Jaime McDermott via Twitter
￼￼May 5, 2013
The New York State Council of Health-System Pharmacists
210 Washington Avenue Extension • Albany, NY 12203 • (518) 456-8819
Thank you very much for presenting at the 52nd NYSCHP Annual Assembly: Medication Safety. Your keynote presentation on “The Emily Jerry Story- From Tragedy to Triumph, made a significant contribution to the educational programming. Your story impacted all, and the information you provided to our attendees was greatly appreciated. 60 days after conclusion of the program you will be sent a summary of the program evaluation.
Again thank you.
Debra B. Feinberg, JD, BS, RPh, FASHP Executive Director
An image of the above letter on their letterhead is below…
March 12, 3013
A very kind letter was sent in by the Connecticut Hospital Association regarding an Emily Jerry Foundation speaking engagement in March of 2013.
More testimonials coming soon!