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Patient Safety Movement Foundation Announces Winners of Lewis Blackman Leadership Award

Two individuals recognized for their efforts to enhance quality care and patient safety

IRVINE, CALIF. The Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF), a global non-profit committed to achieving zero preventable patient harm and death across the globe by 2030, honored Oscar San Roman Orozco and Nicholas Stark with this inaugural year’s Lewis Blackman Leadership Award. The Lewis Blackman Leadership Award was established in 2020 to recognize active students or residents pursuing a career in healthcare who demonstrate exemplary leadership skills in patient safety that contribute to PSMF’s vision of eliminating preventable medical harm.

The Patient Safety Movement Foundation launched the Lewis Blackman Leadership Award in honor and recognition of the 20th anniversary of Lewis Blackman’s death. Blackman died on November 6, 2000, at the age of 15, as a result of preventable medical harm in a healthcare setting with a poor culture of safety and inadequate training. Before his death, he was an outstanding student and his mother, Helen Haskell, has become an advocate for improving patient safety, especially through education. The award was created to recognize future leaders and encourage them to pursue a career in healthcare grounded in patient safety. 

“Eliminating medical harm and errors requires a commitment from everyone,” said Haskell. “While nothing can bring Lewis back, I am committed to sharing his story and encouraged by these individuals and their efforts to eliminate preventable medical error and help ensure no one has to lose a loved one as a result of unsafe care.”

This year’s recipients included:

  • Oscar San Roman Orozco, a master’s student studying global public health at New York University, has been the leader and operational coordinator for the promotion of pulse oximetry and for the standardization and homologation of pulse oximetry in all newborn babies in the State of Querétaro, Mexico. He has been integral in the expansion of this initiative across five other states of the Mexican Republic. With the measures Orozco implemented, two hospitals from the state of Querétaro have been able to improve newborn care and decrease the risk of death due to critical congenital heart disease by more than 25 percent.
  • Nicholas Stark, MD, MBA has been an advocate for patient safety since studying medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2013. As a current resident, he has led several teams to develop digital tools that improve his hospital’s emergency department’s culture of safety through access to critical information, including a clinical information hub. He also leads several department-based and hospital-wide improvement initiatives, including a pediatric insulin safety project and an elderly delirium-reduction campaign. In addition, Stark has been actively involved in his hospital’s Patient & Family Advisory Council.

“Our movement requires a collective effort to achieve patient safety across the globe and we are impressed by the leadership displayed by these two remarkable young individuals who have the potential to become strong future leaders and promote safe care at their respective institutions and beyond,” said David B. Mayer, MD, CEO of Patient Safety Movement Foundation.

To learn more about the award, visit: https://patientsafetymovement.org/lewis-blackman-leadership-award/. To watch this year’s award presentation, visit our YouTube channel.