Health Watch USA Conference 2017

I was invited to the Health Watch USA Conference in Lexington, Kentucky. It was my first time at a Health Watch conference; it was even my first time in Kentucky.

Health Watch USA is a non-profit Patient Advocacy organization which promotes healthcare value, transparency, and quality, and it is led by Dr. Kevin Kavanagh.

Kevin and I attend many conferences together and this was my first one that is organized by him. He did an excellent job and I Iearned a lot.

It was held on November 3, 2017 at the Four Points Sheraton in Lexington, Kentucky. The introduction was done by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General.


Emily Paterson, my friend and fellow Charlotte patient safety advocate presented about the harm her son suffered at a leading orthopedic hospital.

She also put together a table to represent harmed patients for the Medical Error Transparency Plan. My work was featured on the table.

Dr. Stephen Tower is an orthopedic doctor in Alaska. His presentation was about Hip Implants and Toxic Metal Poisoning.  I spoke with him at dinner that night and picked his brain about fluoroquinolone-induced orthopedic injury and he told me that he sees harmed patients from fluoroquinolones in his practice.


Dr. Said Abusalem was the next speaker and he spoke about the Culture of Safety.

Dr. Ivan Oransky is editor at large at MedPage Today and is co-founder of Retraction Watch. His presentation was about Scientific Publishing’s Wild West: Retractions, Post-Publication Peer Review, and Fraud.

Deborah Nelson is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist at Reuters and professor of investigative reporting at the University of Maryland. She presented about Conflict of Interest and Health Policy.

Madris Tomes, founder and CEO of Device Events spoke about medical device adverse events.  Her organization works to make information about patient safety and health outcomes of medical devices accessible to the public.

The incomparable Lisa McGiffert from Consumers Union presented about infection prevention through public accountability.

Chris Aiello, whose precious daughter Emily died of sepsis at the age of 14, presented about the need for effective protocols for the diagnosis of sepsis. I’ve met Chris before at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meetings. Because of his advocacy, when I had sepsis in September, I knew what questions to ask.

Dr. Robert Bridges is a diagnostic radiologist and nuclear medicine physician in Alaska, and he spoke about PET brain imaging in Cobalt Induced Chronic Toxic Encephalopathy associated with Chromium Cobalt hip implants.

Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, former Ear, Nose, and Throat physician and harmed patient, who led this conference ended the conference with a presentation about the need for a better tracking system for drug resistant organisms.

This conference had a nice mix of physicians, nurses, and patient advocates and I am very happy that I got to go.










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