Twelve Years and 1400 Patient Safety Leaders Strong

Telluride Students Hike Group Photo 1200 x 400

Twelve years…that is how long it has been since we first traveled to Telluride, CO to kick-off our inaugural Patient Safety Educational Roundtable and Summer Camp. As we headed west again this weekend to meet with the 36 graduate resident physicians and future health care leaders who were selected from a large group of applicants, it is hard not to think back about all that has happened in those twelve years and the many who have contributed to make it happen.

Twelve years ago, those who came to Telluride believing in our Educate the Young mission consisted of patient safety leaders Tim McDonald, Anne Gunderson, Kelly Smith, Deb Klamen, Julie Johnson, Paul Barash, Gwen Sherwood, Bob Galbraith, Ingrid Philibert and Shelly Dierking to name just a few. However, the smartest thing we ever did was invite patient advocates to the Patient Safety Educational Roundtable. People like Helen Haskell, Carole Hemmelgarn, Patty and David Skolnik, and Rosemary Gibson were active partners in our work and made the discussions more productive and outcomes better.

Over the years, new faculty joined us in our Educate the Young mission. These patient safety leaders included Lucian Leape, Richard Corder, John Nance, Paul Levy, David Classen, Kathy Pischke-Winn, Joan Lowery, Roger Leonard, and Tracy Granzyk. We were also fortunate to have international safety leaders join our faculty, including Kim Oates and Cliff Hughes from Australia, who became regular attendees even though they had to travel almost 10,000 miles to join us each year.

Through all these years, two things remained constant – our commitment to Educating the Young and our partnership with patients. Helen, Carole, Patty, David, and Rosemary continue to be active participants each year but other patient advocates have joined us including Dan Ford and Lisa Freeman.

Through the vision and support of Carolyn Clancy and the AHRQ, what began as a small educational immersion for twenty health science students has now exploded. Through the generous support of The Doctor’s Company Foundation, the Committee of Interns and Residents, COPIC and MedStar Health, over 700 residents, medical students and nursing students will go though one of the Telluride Experience Patient Safety Summer Camps this year alone, almost doubling our Alumni numbers overall. And, for the first time, Telluride went International this past spring as we ran patient safety camps in Doha, Qatar and Sydney, Australia.

Thanks go out to the many passionate and committed people who have given so much to make our Educate the Young journey so very special. It has been an amazing twelve-year run…

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