Foundation Program Sites

Northwest Patient Safety Conference

The 20th Northwest Patient Safety Conference

“Bringing Patient Safety To Life”
What’s worked, what hasn’t, and what to do about it.

         October 17th and 18th, 2023
Presented in collaboration with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission and the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council

For those that were able to attend the live conference, we hope you enjoyed it! 

The conference sessions are recorded!
CE CREDITS for 2023 are available until October 11, 2024

For more information click here.


The 19th Northwest Patient Safety Conference

Advancing Patient Safety in Today’s World”

         October 18th and 19th, 2022
Presented in collaboration with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission and the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council

For those that were able to attend the live conference, we hope you enjoyed it! 

The conference sessions are recorded!
CE CREDITS for 2022 are no longer available

For more information click here.

October 6th and 7th, 2021

8:00 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific

Virtual Event

Registration and Details Here

Conference Program


The 18th Northwest Patient Safety Conference: Expanding Our Boundaries!

Registration and poster applications are now open for the Northwest Patient Safety Conference! This year’s entirely virtual event has allowed us to expand our boundaries beyond Washington through collaboration with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission and the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council. Conference presentations will be recorded and available to attendees for six months after the conference. This year’s conference will feature internationally recognized patient safety experts and local leaders presenting successful practices. Register now via the conference website.

Registration is $75 for healthcare professionals and anyone seeking continuing educational credits. We are offering discounts to those with CPPS, CPHQ and BCPA certifications. Registration is free to patients, their families and students. Attendees are eligible for a variety of educational credits including, but not limited to, CNE, CPHQ, CPPS, BCPA and ACHE face to face credits. See registration page for details.


+ Morning Keynote, Day 1:  Sidney Dekker, PhD, Professor and Director of the Safety Science Innovation Lab at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and Professor at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University in the Netherlands, and Boeing 737 pilot, has won worldwide acclaim for his groundbreaking work in Just Culture, Human Factors and Safety Science.

+ Afternoon Keynote, Day 1: Dr. James McCormack, PharmD, Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia and co-host of The Best Science Medicine – BS without the BS – Podcast.

+ Morning Keynote, Day 2: Kimberly Mutcherson, JD, Co-Dean and Professor of Law, Rutgers University Law School, is a noted bioethics and health law scholar and higher education leader, is the first woman, the first African American, and the first LGBTQ law dean at Rutgers.

+ Afternoon Keynote, Day 2: John D. Banja, PhD, a medical ethicist at the Ethics Center, Emory University and Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience. His research focuses on patient safety ethics, neuroethics, artificial intelligence and ethical dilemmas occurring in clinical and translational research. He will provide a keynote address about the pillars of ethics for patient safety attitudes and practices.

In addition there will be 12 interactive breakout sessions with regional, national and international experts, thought leaders and colleagues covering relevant and actionable topics: building provider & patient trust and collaboration, leadership to improve healthcare equity, tools to improve safety for providers and patients, shared decision making, diagnostic improvement and more.

Become a Sponsor!

The Northwest Patient Safety Conference is hosted by the Washington Patient Safety Coalition in collaboration with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission and the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council. The conference would not be possible without support from our generous sponsors. If your organization is interested in having a virtual booth at the conference, presenting a keynote session, or gaining visibility across the Pacific Northwest, please review our sponsorship packages and reach out to a member of the WPSC team.

2019 NW Patient Safety Conference - Promo - Small


Washington Patient Safety Coalition’s Northwest Patient Safety Conference was held  May 7, 2019 at the Hilton Seattle Airport with a full day of sessions around the theme Raising the Bar on Compassion for Patients and Providers. The event included breakout sessions covering topics of empathetic engagement with patients, compassionate care for caregivers, innovations in improving diagnoses, a special track on communication & resolution implementation following adverse events, and more, with each talk introduced by a first-hand patient story. Dr. Bryan Sexton of Duke University Patient Safety Center delivered the morning keynote followed up by an afternoon plenary by Dr. Michael Goldberg of Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, both bringing different angles to the topic of burnout and how compassionate systems help to reduce it, delivering better outcomes for both patients and providers. Dr. Mark Graber, founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) and Sue Sheridan, SIDM’s Director of Patient Engagement together with a passionate long-time patient advocate inspired by her family’s own experiences with adverse events (and recently starring in the documentary, To Err is Human!), delivered back-to-back closing sessions covering the problem of diagnostic error and how true patient engagement is a key part of the solution.


WA Patient Safety 1200x300


The 2018 theme: Propelling Patient Safety Into the Future. At a time when the healthcare landscape is rapidly changing, the value of the patient experience must not be lost. This unique event united medical professionals, patients, and students for a day of networking and learning around this theme. All those concerned with embracing modern healthcare innovations while maintaining the sacredness of the patient experience joined us May 1st for a day of networking with a like-minded audience and engaging in sessions with industry thought leaders. See the day’s agenda here!


  • + Morning Keynote | Michelle Mello, PhD, JD, presenting: Insights from Patients: The Future of Communication & Resolution
  • + Afternoon Plenary | Room Circus founder Linda Severt and Peter Pitofsky, a 7-time guest on Jay Leno, presenting Laughter as Medicine: The Benefit of Therapeutic Medical Clowning
    + Closing Session | Mindfulness Northwest: Stress Resilience and Burnout Prevention for Healthcare Professionals
  • + Engaging, interactive morning and afternoon sessions with industry thought leaders related to this year’s theme
  • + Poster (and patient art!) gallery featuring patient safety efforts in local care settings and art by patients
  • + Annual ceremony of Qualis Health Awards for Excellence in Healthcare Quality
  • + Continental breakfast and plated lunch
  • + Eligibility for 6 CNE/CPHQ credits 





Michelle Mello, PhD, JD is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Professor of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University School of Medicine. She conducts empirical research into issues at the intersection of law, ethics, and health policy. She is the author of more than 170 articles and book chapters on the medical malpractice system, medical errors and patient safety, public health law, pharmaceuticals, biomedical research ethics and governance, obesity policy, and other topics. The recipient of a number of awards for her research, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly called the Institute of Medicine) at the age of 40.

From 2000 to 2014, Dr. Mello was a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she directed the School’s Program in Law and Public Health. She has also served as a Lab Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

Dr. Mello teaches courses in torts and public health law. She holds a J.D. from the Yale Law School, a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.Phil. from Oxford University, where she was a Marshall Scholar, and a B.A. from Stanford University.


Boy & bubbles 2

The nationally-renowned performers of Room Circus  joined us in the afternoon for a dose of laughter, education, and demonstration on the fascinating art and patient-centered power of Medical Clowning.

Room Circus founder and Parents’ Choice award-winner Linda Severt and Peter Pitofsky, a 7-time guest on Jay Leno, will share a presentation on Laughter as Medicine: The Benefit of Therapeutic Medical Clowning, followed by a demonstration.

In Linda’s words: What Room Circus brings to Patient Safety is relief from pain, stress, and anxiety. Medical Clowning can reduce cortisol levels and recovery time and increase endorphins, coping skills, and immune function. Numerous studies have documented that professional Medical Clowns provide measurable clinical benefits for pediatric and memory-care patients. In addition, Medical Clowning helps build trust between physicians and patients, especially when a patient is feeling frightened or in pain, and has been shown to have positive clinical outcomes. Room Circus clowns create a circle of trust that encompasses everyone in the room – providers, families, patients and staff.



« of 2 »




Our keynote speaker for the 2017 Northwest Patient Safety Conference was Dr. David Classen, Chief Medical Information Officer for Pascal Metrics. Dr. Classen is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Utah and a Active Consultant in Infectious Diseases at The University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Classen is an expert in Health IT, with notable work including:



Our plenary speaker was Dorothy Frost Teeter. Governor Jay Inslee appointed Dorothy Frost Teeter as Director of the Health Care Authority (HCA) in 2013. The HCA leverages $10 billion dollars annually to purchase high quality, affordable health care for more than two million public employees and Apple Health (Medicaid) clients.




This interactive session was presented and hosted by Dr. Tom Gallagher. Dr. Gallagher is a general internist who is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington. Tom’s research addresses the interfaces between healthcare quality, communication, and transparency. Dr. Gallagher has published over 85 articles and book chapters on patient safety and error disclosure, which have appeared in leading journals including JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, Surgery, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Archives of Internal Medicine, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, and the Joint Commission Journal.




See the full Speaker Roster here.



Scherer Picture

We were pleased to host our keynote speaker for the 2016 Northwest Patient Safety Conference, John Scherer.

As a former Combat Officer on a US Navy Destroyer, Lutheran Chaplain at Cornell University, Gestalt and Family Systems Therapist, Graduate School co-creator, author, successful consultant and entrepreneur, John brings a unique perspective to his life and work. Business and community leaders from 23 nations have graduated from his Executive and Leadership Development Intensives.

John was Co-developer of The People Performance Profile, the first holistic, computer-scored diagnostic process for improving organizational effectiveness. His Breakthrough Series was the first video-based resource for high-performance team-development, designed to be used at regular meetings.


Skolnik HeadShot Smaller

We were pleased to introduce our plenary speaker, Patty Skolnik. Driven by harrowing real-life experience, Patty Skolnik is a patient safety educator and an advocate for Shared Decision-Making, Informed Consent, Dignity for the Patient and Provider and Patient and Provider Relationships in healthcare. She founded Citizens for Patient Safety to promote those conversations in healthcare settings that are proven to reduce medical harm. Patty travels worldwide to educate consumers, train medical professionals, and advise lawmakers. Having lost her only son Michael to poor and lacking communication, Ms. Skolnik promised him that she would make the medical profession better than he had found it – her work through Citizens for Patient Safety is that promise in action.

Ms. Skolnik sits on the National Advisory Council for AHRQ, on the Board of Advisors for the National Patient Safety Foundation, the National Quality & Patient Advisory Council for MedStar Health System, the Consumers Union Safe Patient Project and the Board of Directors for the Patient Voice Institute.


The conference agenda also included a two-hour workshop on shared decision making (SDM), a key pathway to safe, patient-centered care. Diana Stilwell,  Vice President of Shared Decision Making Solution Strategy at Healthwise,  and Dr. Larry Morrisey of Central Pediatrics illustrated the connection between SDM and patient safety. They focused on how this strategy can help you deliver the right care to the right patient at the right time. Attendees also gained some pragmatic tools to help them put SDM in action in their own practice. Whether attendees were new to shared decision making or were already looking to implement this strategy, they were given the chance to gain invaluable knowledge about the importance of engaging patients in an SDM experience and how to make SDM a reality in their organizations.

The 13th Northwest Patient Safety Conference was held on May 13, 2015 and was attended by over 200 individuals from across the region.

Our 13th regional conference addressed critical patient safety themes, including meaningful engagement of patients and families in their care, and improving communication between health care providers. Presentations by nationally-recognized speakers, breakout discussions in workshop formats, high-intensity presentations and discussions, a poster session, and networking opportunities – all of these provided a full-day event and tools and methods that could be quickly put to use in participants’ care settings. View the conference agenda here and 2015 Session Descriptions here



Wyatt Picture

Our keynote speaker was Ronald Wyatt, MD, MHA, medical director in the Division of Healthcare Improvement at The Joint Commission. Dr. Wyatt promotes quality improvement and patient safety to internal and external audiences, works to influence public policy and legislation for patient safety improvements, and serves as the lead patient safety information and education resource within The Joint Commission. 

Christensen HeadShot Smaller


Our plenary speaker was Tiffany Christensen,  who speaks from the perspective of a life-long patient and a professional patient advocate. She is a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, a Respecting Choices Advance Care Planning Instructor, an APPEAL certificate recipient, and the creator of her own Train the Trainer workshop series entitled “Finding Your Voice in the Healthcare Maze.”Christensen is a nationally recognized public speaker and the author of three books exploring advocacy, end of life planning and partnership strategies in healthcare. You can visit Tiffany’s website at or follow her latest adventures on the new blog



• “Great job- this was an excellent conference. I am happy I had the opportunity to attend. I am inspired!”

• “One of the best! This has been a stimulating day from keynote to breakout to posters.”

• “I plan to discuss the information with my colleagues to use region-wide”

• “Thank you for providing this annual opportunity for learning and networking.”

• “I plan to apply PFAC model and improve PFAC. Also use new communication strategies for ALL hospital staff.”

• “I will push to have patient advocate/ representative in the RCA process.”

• “The high intensity talks were very stimulating and thought providing.”

• “I liked the intense sessions with discussion at the table. Very good exchange of ideas.”

• “Best conference ever- great speakers!”

• “Great poster viewing- made some great connections to enhance my work.”