(HARRISBURG, PA -- July 24, 2019) — The Chair of the Patient Safety Authority (PSA) Board of Directors, Dr. Stanton Smullens, has been selected by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a 2019 Influencer of Healthcare for Excellence in Patient Care. The prestigious award recognizes those who change, shape, and influence the field of medicine. The Patient Care Excellence Award is bestowed on an individual who goes above and beyond to improve the health of Philadelphia and who strives to make a difference in patients' lives.
Dr. Smullens was recognized for creating systemic improvements in healthcare, excellence in patient care, and better patient outcomes.
In 2002, Governor Schweiker selected Dr. Smullens as a founding Board member of the PSA, and he is the only appointee to serve continuously. Governor Wolf appointed him as Chair in 2018.
A renowned patient safety expert who has testified before Congress on the topic, Smullens knows how to cultivate innovation around the issue. Among the advances he has championed at the PSA is the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System—the only reporting system of its kind in the U.S. that collects data on patient safety incidents ranging from serious harm events to near misses/no harm events that didn't result in patient harm but offer the opportunity for learning and improvement.
"Dr. Smullens played—and continues to play—an instrumental role in putting Pennsylvania ahead of the curve in patient safety," said Regina Hoffman, executive director of the PSA. "He understands first-hand what it is like to care for patients and to be cared for in an imperfect system. His dedication to improvement is irreproachable."
Smullens was instrumental in making excellence in patient care the enduring standard at Jefferson Health System where he was Chief Medical Officer for 15 years. During his tenure, Jefferson was named one of the top 15 health systems in the country by Thompson Reuters. He also founded JeffCare, the affiliated Physician Hospital Organization of Thomas Jefferson University. Under his leadership, 400 physicians from South Jersey and Philadelphia joined the organization, which became the cornerstone of the Jefferson Health System. Most recently he was Medical Director of Network Performance and Quality of the Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO) owned by Jefferson Health and Main Line Health.
A graduate of Harvard University with a medical degree from Jefferson Medical School, Dr. Smullens is a long-time faculty member of Jefferson Medical College, serving in many roles including Chair of the Professionalism Committee and member of the Dean's search committee. His research has been published in 24 peer-reviewed journals, and he has authored five book chapters.
About the Patient Safety Authority
The Patient Safety Authority's mission is to improve the quality of healthcare in Pennsylvania by collecting and analyzing patient safety information, developing solutions to patient safety issues, and sharing this information through education and collaboration. Its vision is safe healthcare for all patients. Established under the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act of 2002 the Authority, an independent state agency, collects and analyzes patient safety data to improve safety outcomes and help prevent patient harm.