As we head into the Holiday season and New Year, we look back at the great work done in 2015 and are thankful for the dedication and persistence of our Bree members and many community partners. The best example of this comes from our November meeting. Despite being interrupted by a fire alarm and having to exit the Seattle Public Library, we were able to reconvene on the sidewalk and continue our discussion of new topics. Our chair, Dr. Hugh Straley, led our open-aid discussion as members and the community gathered in the chilly November weather. Members voted on Mental Health Integration focused on Depression Screening and to develop a Bariatric Surgical Bundled Payment Model as additional new topics alongside Psychotropic Drug Use in Children and Adolescents that was selected at the September meeting.

In this spirit and to acknowledge the many efforts to improve health care in Washington State, we want to highlight the work of one of our sister organizations, the Washington Patient Safety Coalition. Like the Bree Collaborative, the Coalition is powered by a group of stakeholders dedicated to patient safety and lives within the Foundation for Health Care Quality.


Last week, members of the Washington Patient Safety Coalition were invited to join the Patient and Family Advisory Council and fellow Foundation for Health Care Quality program managers to think of a new three year strategic plan for the Coalition. To prepare for this meeting, Coalition staff reviewed past organizational goals developed and created a record of activities to reach those goals. Being new to the position of Assistant Director here at the Coalition, sorting through three years of patient safety work made me more familiar with the role the Coalition plays in helping health care organizations deliver the safest care to every patient in Washington. This review process also seemed like a timely opportunity to write up a refresher on who we are and how we serve.

The Washington Patient Safety Coalition is a membership-based organization made up of patients and health care leaders who work together to address patient safety concerns. The primary goal of our work is to make health care safe and error free for every patient in our State. We achieve this by arming our members with the latest tools and techniques to tackle tough patient safety issues within their organizations or when they are providing a health service. The Coalition shares these tools and resources with members through educational events such as conferences and monthly webinars on various aspects of patient safety.

Right now, we’re beginning to shape our 2016 activities. Our new organizational goals will address inequalities in health care services and changing the culture in healthcare organizations to be safety focused. As we work towards these goals, some new activities to keep an eye out for include:

– Development of a student membership option to begin preparing the next generation of patient safety leaders.
– Our 14th Annual Northwest Patient Safety Conference, featuring keynote speaker John Scherer, MDiv, LHD and Plenary speaker, Patty Skolnik of Citizens for Patient Safety.   This annual event is the only comprehensive patient safety conference in Washington, and draws health care leaders from across the Northwest region. Attendance has averaged 250 people representing healthcare stakeholders including providers, payers, and patients.
– Unique opportunities to highlight the work of our members and partners in the patient safety community. This work recently began when we piloted our ongoing “Medication Safety Champion” blog series, which you can access here
– A bigger online presence with increased opportunities to access patient safety news, events, and resources of the Coalition and our community partners via website and social media.

We will discuss our upcoming activities in more detail at our January 13th webinar. The webinar will be a patient safety “Year in Review, and Look Forward,” complete with a final list of our new organizational goals, activities, and opportunities for participation. As always, the Coalition appreciates your input or suggestions. For any additional membership, sponsorship, participation, or event information please contact me at

Have a happy and safe 2016!

Kelly Veit, MHA
Assistant Director │ Washington Patient Safety Coalition
Foundation for Healthcare Quality