March President's Message: Happy National Patient Safety Awareness Week! > The Society for Simulation in Healthcare

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Happy National Patient Safety Awareness Week, my simulationist friends and colleagues.

For many of us, patient safety is the reason we are so passionate about simulation, whether it was in response to the 1999 Institute of Medicine Report, To Err is Human, which brought to the spotlight the number of deaths each year due to medical errors, or a personal experience that resulted in a medical error. For me, it was a series of errors that I either observed or caused during my medical training, from medical school through residency, which I referenced during my President’s address at IMSH 2022 in Los Angeles.

Last month, I had the opportunity to share my story, along with Phill Wortham, CHSOS-A, on StoryCorps – an independent nonprofit project by NPR.  Our goal was to help bring further awareness of medical errors to a wider audience and educate the public on how simulation plays such a critical role in reducing harm. It will air March 21, 8:45 a.m. ET, on NPR’s Morning Edition and NPR’s All Things Considered at 4:44 p.m. ET.

As part of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare’s commitment to support the vital work of its members in patient safety and education, the SSH Board of Directors has approved a Government Advocacy Task Force. This move is to ensure SSH continues to strengthen its engagement with government organizations and representatives. I want to thank Bob Armstrong, 2020 SSH Past President, for agreeing to chair and lead this important task force so that SSH can continue its purpose to serve our global community of practice enhancing the quality of healthcare.

Finally, I’d like to take a moment to remember the people who have been killed and those who have been injured physically, mentally, and emotionally since the war in Ukraine began. The images coming out of Ukraine and surrounding countries are heartbreaking, and I want to thank all interprofessional healthcare providers and caregivers who put themselves in harm’s way to help save lives. SSH continues to stand with the people of Ukraine, the European Union, and everyone, regardless of nationality, who has been impacted by the war.

Haru Okuda, MD, FACEP
SSH President

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