Happy December from Talia’s Voice!
We’ve been busy! We continue to work in three areas or “lanes”: Speaking Out, Education, Research. And of course, they all intersect. To further support us in this work, someone has generously offered to match donations until the end of the year. You will find details below.
In terms of speaking out and spreading our message, we recently returned from presentations in Pittsburgh (October) and DC (November). The American Society of Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) medical ethics conference in Pittsburgh gave us the chance to present with Dr. Samuel Reis-Dennis, a medical ethicist at Albany Medical College who specializes in apology and blame in medical error, and Dr. Elizabeth Reis, a devoted member of Talia’s Voice since its inception. We have two main goals at big conferences like ASBH. One is to educate through our presentation and move people to join us in bringing about change, and the other is to network with leaders who are also in this field. We had great success in both areas! Also, we love interacting with young adults and one of the highlights at ASBH was connecting with the medical students who attended our presentation. They will be on the front lines in just a few years and were so open and eager to learn more about how to create and then sustain a culture of listening within medicine.
We also just returned from a trip to DC in November where we had the opportunity to speak on a keynote panel at the US News & World Report “Healthcare of Tomorrow” conference. This was a huge event that brought together healthcare leaders from all over the country. The venue was new for us, with a moderated discussion after we delivered a short Ted-talk-style presentation. We appreciated the rapt attention of the audience. They listened intently as they learned about the horror of what happened to Talia, and why. They took to heart the message that listening saves lives, and how Talia’s story demonstrates that not listening can kill, and that their leadership is essential in changing the system. We were able to speak with many leaders throughout the conference and feel confident these new connections will pay off in our work; but more than anything, the leaders who were present absorbed our message and will use it to help bring change at their own hospitals and medical institutions.
In addition to our continued work on committees at the Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement, the Washington Patient Safety Coalition, and the Northwest Patient Safety Conference, we are looking at collaborating with some new organizations. We have multiple speaking engagements lined up for 2020 in various locations across the country and right in our own backyard. These will include presentations to nursing and medical students, to physicians, nurses and support staff, to medical ethicists and thought leaders, and to C-level administrators.
Look for our next newsletter where we will spell out details on the research project Talia’s Voice will be sponsoring. We’re really excited about it, and look forward to your participation in bringing it to fruition. The study will be looking at the long-term effects on people who have experienced poor patient safety outcomes.
We are very thankful to those of you who participated in our Facebook Giving Tuesday fundraiser. I always enjoy seeing the many amazing organizations that pop up throughout the campaign. In case you missed it, we have another final giving opportunity for 2019. A donor has stepped forward and will match your contribution, through December 31st 2019, dollar for dollar up to $2000! We know this is the time of year when people feel either very generous or they’re looking for a tax write-off (or both). Either reason works for us! If you’ve never donated before, we’re offering you the perfect opportunity because each dollar you give will be worth two. If you believe in our mission and have more to give, we welcome and thank you in advance for your contribution—it allows us to continue working in ways that will ultimately benefit everyone.
As the year comes to an end, we want to reiterate how fortunate we feel to be supported by so many people. We do the work we do for the benefit of everyone, but could not do it without you. We appreciate very much the efforts each of you has made to support us. All of us at Talia’s Voice wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. We light a candle each week to keep Talia’s light present in the world. May you experience much brightness in the dark of the winter months ahead.
Naomi and Jeff