This weekend, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s CEO Dr. Dave Mayer will continue his next leg of Dave’s Virtual Walk Across America for Healthcare Safety in Denver, Colorado. Having already completed 860 miles this year, Dr. Mayer continues to raise awareness of patient and health worker safety with this next leg of his journey.
The Denver portion of the walk officially kicks off on Sunday, June 28, where Dr. Mayer will begin a 24 mile walk over the course of two days, starting at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Staying true to his love and dedication to the baseball theme, Dr. Mayer has chosen famed Coors Field as the end point.
“The impact of this pandemic on patients and health workers is shedding light on a serious safety issue for both caregivers and patients that many of us have known for a long time. These safety concerns deserve attention and action—now,” says Dr. Mayer. “Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America (behind heart disease and cancer). As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise throughout the summer, we will without a doubt continue to see the rise of deaths of both patients and healthcare workers caused by preventable medical harm. We need to bring attention to the importance of improving the care system, support our health workforce and ensure better outcomes.”
In addition to Dr. Mayer’s daughter and wife walking alongside him, he will also be joined by local patient safety advocates, including Carole Hemmelgarn and Dr. Art Kanowitz. On Monday June 29th, Dr. Kanowitz will be walking in memory of Drew Hughes, on the seventh anniversary of Drew’s death. Drew died at age 14, not from the minor head injury he sustained while skateboarding, but when his life-sustaining breathing tube became dislodged during ambulance transport. The EMS crew did not recognize when they replaced the tube, it was in his esophagus, not in his trachea—a preventable medical error.
“No family should have to endure what the Hughes family experienced, and it pains me to know that unplanned extubation, the unintentional dislodgement of a patient’s life-sustaining breathing tube, is associated with more than 33,000 deaths yearly,” says Dr. Kanowitz. “Advocacy comes in many forms, and I’m hopeful that in joining Dave’s walk and spreading the word, we can continue to raise awareness of patient safety and eliminate preventable deaths.”
Dr. Mayer’s recently completed 125 miles in Phoenix, where he hit all nine MLB Cactus League stadiums and Chase Field, and plans to complete 3,000 miles over the course of his journey, essentially walking across the United States.
Dave’s Virtual Walk Across America for Healthcare Safety will continue during the summer; additional public walks will be announced on Twitter at @WalkForPtSafety, so be sure to follow along for updates. To show support you can donate to Dave’s Walk which supports the PSMF here: http://patient.sm/davesteam.
About The Patient Safety Movement Foundation
Allison Guthrie | Greenbrier Partners