It started small – a three-year grant from Florida Blue for the study of patient safety. The award was made in 2014 to Teri Chenot and Jacksonville University faculty colleague, Roberta Christopher, as co-investigators. When the grant ended, Chenot, Christopher, and the consultants on the study, including Dr. Mary Dolansky, Case Western Reserve University, and internationally known patient safety expert Dr. Robert Wears, utilized the remaining funds for a free, half-day seminar on patient safety.
In recognition of the team’s patient safety work and in conjunction with the national Quality and Safety Education for Nurses Institute, that initial event formally launched the opening of a regional QSEN institute at Jacksonville University. There are only three QSEN regional centers in the nation.
Today, Chenot serves on the QSEN national board, is director of the JU location, Chair of the Healthcare Quality and Safety Programs Department, an associate professor at the Keigwin School of Nursing and a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Due largely to her efforts, Jacksonville University has launched a master of science in healthcare quality and safety, and a post-graduate certificate in healthcare quality, making it one of only 17 schools in North America to offer these degrees. Most recently, a third track in a master of science in nursing in healthcare quality and safety has been offered.
As for that first seminar, it has grown into a sold-out annual event drawing worldwide interest and featuring the Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award. Wears was a pioneer in the field of patient safety and a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville. He held additional professorships at the Imperial College School of Medicine in London; the Institute for Health Innovation at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia; and the University of Southern Denmark. He served on the editorial boards of 10 major medical and patient safety journals and was a reviewer for three dozen more. Described as both humble and brilliant, Wears provided mentorship and guidance to an array of healthcare providers pursuing careers in safety science, including Chenot.
The Wears Award is named in his honor. Presented annually by the QSEN Regional Institute at Jacksonville University and the UF College of Medicine in Jacksonville, the award recognizes excellence in the field of healthcare quality and safety. It also highlights professionals and organizations who are advancing this field and emulating the passion Wears, himself, had for it.
As research into medical mistakes has increased and as alarming statistics have been publicized, the importance of healthcare quality and safety has risen significantly and so has the status of this award. Today, the Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award is presented in several categories and honors a volunteer, individual, team and/or organization who has significantly impacted the field of patient safety through critical analysis, research, education or knowledge dissemination.
According to Chenot, nominations for the 2021 award spanned the globe and were of the highest caliber. It is with great pleasure that the QSEN Regional Institute at Jacksonville University and the University of Florida College of Medicine at Jacksonville present the following 2021 Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award Winners.
Rollin J. “Terry” Fairbanks, MD, MS
Vice President, Quality & Safety, MedStar Health; Founding Director Emeritus, MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, and Professor of Emergency Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Donna Prosser, DNP, RN, NE-BC, FACHE, BCPA
Chief Clinical Officer, Patient Safety Movement Foundation, Irvine, Calif.
The UF Pain Assessment and Management Initiative, a multidisciplinary team, led by Phyllis Hendry, MD, FAAP, FACEP and Sophia Sheikh, MD, FACEP (Principal Investigators) – University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, Fla.
Please visit https://pami.emergency.med.jax.ufl.edu/about-us/faculty-staff/ for more information about the entire PAMI team.
John T. James, PhD, DABT – Founder of Patient Safety America, Houston, Texas.