My passion for improving healthcare quality developed after the preventable death of my brother, John, and after years of seeing good people struggle with complexity and defects in the healthcare system.
John was 34 years of age when he acquired a preventable healthcare-associated infection. I often think of the years we could have spent together, laughing, crying, and enjoying the small wonderful moments I then took for granted. I remember when John showed me how to tie my shoe for the first time, and I became so frustrated and threw my shoe at him. His advice was “life is what you make of it, and you cannot go barefoot all of your life.” John was the life of the party, you know the type, the person who lights up a room and knows how to make everyone smile even when they don’t feel like it. John had real hopes and dreams and shared them in his diaries we would later read after his death.
My father also died at the age of 53 from a disease that is now detectable through preventative early healthcare screenings, and treatments are now much more advanced saving lives each and every day. With primary care, and successful transitions of care throughout the continuum, my father might still be with us today, and able to hold his grandchildren and great-grandchildren in his arms.