Contact: Beverly Volpe
Patient Safety Authority PR Representative
Pennsylvania’s Acting Physician General, Dr. Denise A. Johnson Named Chair of Patient Safety Authority Board
Harrisburg – June 4, 2021 – Governor Tom Wolf has appointed acting physician general of Pennsylvania, Dr. Denise A. Johnson, as chair of the Patient Safety Authority (PSA) Board of Directors. She succeeds Dr. Stanton Smullens, who served as chair of the organization since 2018.
Before her nomination to acting physician general of the Commonwealth, Dr. Johnson was chief medical officer at Meadville Medical Center and previously had a private obstetrics and gynecology practice in Meadville, PA. She previously served on the Governor's Pennsylvania Commission for Women, was a board chair of the Meadville Area Free Clinic, and served as past chair of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape board of directors.
Dr. Johnson received her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
“The Patient Safety Authority plays a vital role by identifying systemic problems, helping individual healthcare facilities and educating both practitioners and the public about health issues," said Dr. Johnson. “I am proud to take the helm of such an important organization."
Under Dr. Smullen's leadership, the PSA launched the Center of Excellence for Improving Diagnosis; established an in-house data and research group;
hosted the first state conference on patient safety; and began publishing its peer-reviewed scholarly journal, Patient Safety, which is read by 45,000 people across all 50 states and 164 countries.
“I have no doubt that Dr. Johnson will bring new perspectives, insights and energy to the PSA," said Regina Hoffman, PSA executive director. “We are thrilled to have someone with her credentials, leadership skills, and position as our new Board chair."
Today, Pennsylvania leads the country in patient safety advocacy as the only U.S. state that requires healthcare facilities to report harmful events, as well as those that do not result in patient harm (i.e., near misses) but may be a harbinger of a potentially serious problem. The PSA analyzes those events, facilitates statewide performance improvement projects, and shares the information globally.
The PSA is an independent state agency that collects and analyzes patient safety data to improve safety outcomes and help prevent patient harm. http://patientsafety.pa.gov/.
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