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Patricia J. Skolnik, BASW
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Patty Skolnik, BASW, is the founder and executive director of Citizens for Patient Safety, which she created to promote the conversations in health care settings that are proven to reduce medical harm. She also serves as Director of Healthcare Safety for SynAptiv Next Generation Learning. She sits on the Board of Advisors for the National Patient Safety Foundation.

Taught by harrowing real-life experience, Patty is a patient safety expert and a proponent of shared decision making and transparency in health care. She travels worldwide to educate patients and patient advocates, train medical professionals, and advise policymakers about how to develop relationships, environments, and systems within health care with shared decision making and dynamic informed consent as the bedrock. Having lost her only son Michael in large part due to lack of informed communication, Ms. Skolnik promised him that she would leave the medical profession better than he found it. Her work through Citizens for Patient Safety is that promise in action.

Although her degree is in social work, Ms. Skolnik feels her real-life experience has given her a doctorate in promoting the value of a collaborative health care culture that permits and encourages patients to ask questions, seek second opinions, be presented with all options for treatment (including doing nothing), and have their values and preferences be heard. Named one of CNN’s “Intriguing People,” Patty was invited to the White House to discuss health care. She is the proud recipient of the National MITSS HOPE Award, the Colorado Patient Safety Coalition Patient Safety Leadership Award, the Transparent Health Leadership Award, and The Colorado Trial Lawyers Consumer Protection Award in honor of her son.

Ms. Skolnik has a compelling media presence — appearances include The Doctors, The Today Show, and several national news channels.  She sits on the National Quality & Patient Advisory Council for MedStar Health (Washington, DC, Hospital System), the Consumers Union Safe Patient Project and the Board of Trustees for Colorado’s 9Health Fair, among others. She is also an appointed patient/consumer representative for the National Advisory Council of the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  She is featured in the book Take Back Your Government by Colorado State Senator Morgan Carroll.

Patty Skolnik continues to lead down a hopeful and constructive path, and along with her warm sense of humor she brings a powerfully positive mindset to her advocacy endeavors. “You can suffer a great loss, but you have a choice as to how to handle it. Anger and grief has a place, but taking that and transforming it into a solution is the best healer and the best reward for everyone.”


August 2015

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