Maine Patient Safety Academy Focuses on “Charting a Course for Safer Care”

Maine Patient Safety Academy logo

The 10th Maine Patient Safety Academy was held in Orono, Maine on May 2, 2024. Receiving exceptional reviews by health care leaders, academics, researchers, and students in attendance, the Academy featured 12 workshops and 8 lightning talks led by Maine experts.

The Maine Patient Safety Academy was founded in 2010 by Dr. Judy Tupper, Director of Population Health at the Catherine Cutler Institute and faculty member of the Public Health program at the Muskie School of Public Service. Over the last fourteen years, the Academy has provided a forum for this interprofessional community to gather to share best practices and innovations and work collaboratively to promote safe patient care across the state of Maine.

Laura Chalmers, Director of the Center for Collaborative and Interprofessional Practice of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland offered a moving opening keynote address that highlighted the role of empathy and active listening in a values-based approach to patient safety. Dr. Lee Erickson of Adaptient, LLC, discussed how the management of complexity has factored in the slow progress in patient safety improvements in the last 25 years in the afternoon keynote session.

Donna Wampole, DSW, LCSW, faculty from the USM’s School of Social Work led a workshop on understanding trauma expressions in psychiatric and substance-using patients. Rebecca Stearns, MPH, Policy Associate at the Catherine Cutler Institute, presented a poster on “Health Care Coalitions: A Resource to Support Critical Access Hospital Emergency Preparedness Planning” (co-authors John Gale and Karen Pearson, Catherine Cutler Institute).

Christina “Kirsty” Pratley, Director of Infection Prevention at NorthernLight Mayo and C.A. Dean Hospitals was presented with the Maine Patient Safety Academy’s 2024 Rising Tide Award. “The Maine Patient Safety Academy recognizes that individuals act in both small and large ways to advance patient safety in Maine communities. In Kirsty, the nominators describe a health care professional, a role model for others, who brings a tenacious spirit to each day no matter the difficulties and challenges faced yesterday, today, or ahead tomorrow,” said Judy Tupper during the award presentation.

The 2024 Maine Patient Safety Academy was a collaboration between leaders at the Catherine Cutler Institute, Maine Primary Care Association PSO, and Maine Medical Association Center for Quality Improvement and received financial support from the Maine Health Access Foundation, the University of Maine Institute of Medicine, the Catherine Cutler Institute, and grant support from the federal agency Health Resources and Services Association (HRSA) through the Rural Health Network Development.