2019 Virginia Patient Safety Summit Convenes this week in Richmond, Focus on 20 Years of Patient Safety Efforts

January 30, 2019

The Eighth Annual Event, Scheduled for Jan. 30-Feb. 1, Attracts Hundreds of Attendees to Richmond; 2019 Summit Theme is “Patient Safety: A Pulse Check”

RICHMOND, VA – Members of Virginia’s health care community are gathering in Richmond this week for a three-day, two-event summit focused on patient safety and quality improvement. Nearly 500 attendees have registered for the eighth annual Virginia Patient Safety Summit, which represents a call for health care providers to reflect on advances made in patient safety over the 20 years since the Institute of Medicine’s “To Err is Human” 1999 report was published. The report is largely credited with initiating health care’s current safety improvement era.

The theme of this year’s Patient Safety Summit is “Patient Safety: A Pulse Check.” It begins with one-day Quality Intensive session focused on the alignment of quality, safety, patient experience, and patient engagement to improve outcomes. During the two-day summit, attendees will have the opportunity to reflect on how far the field of patient safety has come in the past 20 years, to discuss what’s next for health care quality and patient safety, and to consider ways to keep moving toward zero harm.

This year’s event, which is jointly sponsored by the VHHA Foundation and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s (VHHA) Center for Healthcare Excellence, features several noted health care leaders and advocates. They include: Dr. Daniel Carey, Virginia Health and Human Resources Secretary; Dr. Timothy Cunningham, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Director of the University of Virginia Compassionate Care Initiative; Rosemary Gibson of The Hastings Center; Martha Hayward of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Dr. Rusty Holman of LifePoint Health; and James Kane, speaker, author, and loyalty expert. Dr. Jeffrey Brady, Director of the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will provide opening remarks. Summit breakout sessions will be led by other noteworthy speakers and accomplished clinical leaders.

The Patient Safety Summit traces its roots to 2011 when VHHA pursued legislation to recognize “Virginia Patient Safety Day” to raise awareness of voluntary quality and safety initiatives implemented by Virginia hospitals. That year, the Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution recognizing Feb. 2 as “Virginia Patient Safety Day,” and as an opportunity to acknowledge the 100,000-plus health care workers in Virginia’s hospitals and health systems, and their accomplishments in improving health care quality and delivering positive patient outcomes. Since then, VHHA has been a proud organizational sponsor of the Patient Safety Summit as an annual gathering of health care leaders and professionals from across the Commonwealth. The Summit represents an opportunity to showcase the important work performed by health care providers to enhance patient outcomes.

Also presented at the Patient Safety Summit are the “Imagine a Virginia” Senior Leader Quality & Patient Safety Awards. These awards recognize senior and executive level professionals in Virginia hospitals and health systems who have demonstrated leadership in patient safety and quality improvement both in their organizations and across the Commonwealth. This year’s recipients are Dr. Nicolas C. Restrepo, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Winchester Medical Center; and Peter Mulkey, CEO of Clinch Valley Medical Center.

VHHA and its members are committed to making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. And while the quality and safety improvement journey is ongoing, the Commonwealth has recently made some encouraging health care quality strides. For instance, Virginia was named a top three state in the Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade scores from the Leapfrog Group, a national health care patient safety ranking organization. And VHHA earned the “2018 HRET HIIN Quality Award” presented by the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Health Research & Education Trust (HRET). The award recognizes a state hospital association for demonstrating exemplary dedication and leadership in advancing the quality and safety of health care for patients. These accolades come on the heels of Virginia, in 2017, being ranked among the top 10 states for health care quality by the federal government.

The Eighth Annual Virginia Patient Safety Summit is made possible by the generosity of several key partners and sponsors. Sincere gratitude is extended to the VHHA Foundation’s 2018-2019 Corporate Partners, including VHHA Shared Services, Alteon Health, and U.S. Acute Care Solutions. VHHA Member Sponsors include Centra Health, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Inova Health System, Riverside Health System, Sentara Healthcare, UVA Health System, and VCU Health. The 2019 Summit Sponsors include Care Logistics, Corbett Technology Solutions, Inc., Cordant Health Solutions, Daniels Health, Health Quality Innovators, Magnolia Medical Technologies, Masimo, the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, the VCU School of Allied Health Professions, and the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services.

About VHHA Foundation: The VHHA Foundation, formerly the Virginia Hospital Research & Education Foundation, is the charitable non-profit affiliate of VHHA. Its focus is on improving the health of Virginians through collaboration, research, and education for Virginia’s hospitals and health systems. The foundation provides continuing education programs for Virginia’s health care professionals through conferences, seminars, and webinars. VHHA Foundation also supports research and patient safety and quality programs. Learn more at

About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 110 hospitals and 27 health delivery systems that will transform Virginia’s health care system to achieve top-tier performance in safety, quality, value, service, and population health. Its vision is, through the power of collaboration, to be a recognized driving force behind making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. Connect with VHHA through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and


Julian Walker
Vice President of Communications
(804) 297-3193 office
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