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Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy Promotes Healthcare Equality with Dynamic Symposium

May 2019

Equality and justice in the delivery of health care took a step forward on Friday, April 12, 2019 as Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy presented the latest in its series of annual symposium.

Each year Pulse symposium has a theme, and this year it was Patient Safety and Health Equity in Vulnerable Patient Populations. With major support from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Family First Home Companions as well as other sponsors (see full list below), the event focused on three groups of people who often face challenges in getting the quality of health care the rest of us take for granted: patients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and members of the LGBTQ community.

The goal — as set out by Co-chairs Alyssa Cottone (Operations Manager, Family first Home Companions) and Robin Moulder (Manager of Quality & Safety at Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York) — was to identify inequities in healthcare delivery to these groups and to brainstorm strategies for reducing or avoiding them.

“Productive and useful”

The event brought together voices from two constituencies: patients/families, and case managers, social workers and nursing students. A guest speaker from each of the three groups told moving stories of their struggles, followed in each case by professionals with expertise in these issues. Alyssa Cottone discussed cultural competency in healthcare. Laura Giunta (CSA and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Specialist) shared practical techniques for communicating with the cognitively impaired. Patrick Samedy (Associate Director of Quality and Safety Systems, Memorial Sloan Kettering) addressed patient safety statistics in the LEP population.

The morning was wrapped up by prominent patient safety leader and expert in health equity Dr. Ronald Wyatt, whose eloquence reinforced the morning’s messages for the audience.

“Really phenomenal experience”

After lunch all participants took part in group discussions and shared their insights and conclusions with the symposium at large.

One participant commented, “I thought this was one of the best workshops I have been to in a while. Short and concise presentations along with break out groups were productive and useful.”

Another attendee noted, “Really phenomenal experience. Being able to sit and discuss with such a variety of different people and organizations provided a wealth of information. Very engaging, dynamic speakers.”

Pulse plans to report the symposium’s findings and recommendations in a white paper.

To know more — about the Symposium, about Pulse, or about the specific healthcare challenges faced by these vulnerable populations- please contact Ilene Corina, President of Pulse CPSEA: (516) 579-4711 or icorina@pulsecenterforpatientsafety.org.

Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy (Pulse CPSEA) is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 community-based organization dedicated to raising awareness about patient safety through advocacy, education and support.

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