New Leadership for Patient Safety in Pennsylvania


Harrisburg, Pa., June 21, 2018 – The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority welcomes two new members and a new Chair to its Board of Directors.

Dr. Stanton Smullens, a board member since the Authority's inception and former Chief Medical Officer of the Jefferson Health System, was appointed Chair by Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf.

"On behalf of the entire Authority, I'd like to congratulate Dr. Smullens on his appointment," said Regina Hoffman, Executive Director of the Authority. "He's a brilliant and genuinely kind person, consistently focusing on the best interests of the patient, making him an obvious choice for the position."

Dr. Smullens is replacing Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health and Physician General, who has been serving as Chair since 2014.

"We wish Dr. Levine the best in her new role as Secretary of Health and thank her for all of her years of service to us. Her energy, wisdom, and leadership resonated throughout the Authority. She'll be greatly missed by everyone."

The new board members include Kathleen Law and Denelle Weller, who will be replacing Dr. Radheshyam Agrawal and Dr. Jan Boswinkel. Ms. Hoffman added, "Pennsylvania has always been on the forefront of patient safety, and we're excited for the support and direction our new board members will provide to protect patients across the Commonwealth. We'd like to thank Drs. Agrawal and Boswinkel for their passion and dedication and wish them well."

Ms. Law is the Vice President of Nursing, Perioperative Services for the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Ms. Law provides leadership for Perioperative Services for the Level 1 Adult and Pediatric trauma center and serves as a member of the Patient Safety Committee and the Diversity Council. She's also active in several professional organizations, such as the Association of peri-Operative Nurses (AORN), the Association of Nurse Executives (AONE), and the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders (PONL). Ms. Law was actively involved in the development of the recently published Safe Prescribing of Opioids in Pediatric and Adolescent Populations guidelines and revisions to the Treating Chronic Non-Cancer Pain guidelines for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Denelle Weller works at Mount Nittany Medical Center and has fourteen years of acute care hospital experience. She has served as a Medical Surgical nurse and Emergency Room nurse with Forensic Examining Training. In addition, she has served as emergency staff at large Penn State Events. Ms. Weller has also served as an IV Nurse with advanced training to perform ultrasound guided central line placement and most recently works on a Medical/Oncology/Telemetry unit. Ms. Weller is also the elected Chapter President of her union at Mount Nittany Medical Center, as well as serving as a leader in both the Nurse Alliance of PA and Nurses of Pennsylvania.

For more information about the Authority, patient safety topics, Advisory articles, and safety tips for patients, please visit patientsafety.pa.gov.

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