Michigan Health and Safety Coalition Accepts Governor’s Request to Serve as Commission on Patient Safety - Public hearings to be held in Southfield, Lansing, and Traverse City

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

September 15, 2004

The Michigan Health and Safety Coalition has accepted Governor Jennifer Granholm’s request to serve as the State Commission on Patient Safety and hold three public hearings on patient safety this November.

The MH&SC is a group of 15 organizations that includes health plans and major employers as well as hospital, physician, consumer and labor organizations in the state. Its mission is to help improve health care quality and patient safety across all care settings.

The hearings will seek input from the public, specific health professional organizations and other organizations that have an interest in patient safety. The hearings will be held in:

Lansing — Monday, Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Department of Community Health, Baker-Olin West, Conference Rooms B&C, 3423 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Southfield — Wednesday, Nov. 17 from 1 to 9 p.m. in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Metro Auditorium, Tower 200, 27000 W. 11 Mile Road.

Traverse City — Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College, Hagerty Center – Room A, 715 E. Front Street.

In addition to considering information received at the public hearings, the commission will also review information on other patient safety initiatives. This review would extend to a study of the causes of medical errors occurring in the continuum of care, including health facilities and in private practices.

Within one year, the commission will issue a final report containing its findings and recommendations on patient safety. Public Act 119 of 2004 creates a commission on patient safety within the Michigan Department of Community Health. As an alternative, an existing organization like MH&SC may be designated to act as the commission, which is what the governor chose to do.

“We are honored to accept Governor Granholm’s offer to become the State Commission on Patient Safety,” said Tom Simmer, M.D., coalition chair and senior vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “MH&SC represents a diverse group of health care stakeholders who have both the interest and expertise to synthesize public input on patient safety. We embrace this opportunity to hear from patients, their families, health care professionals and others about the safety of health care in Michigan.”

Janice M. Whitehouse, director of Community Health Care Initiatives for General Motors Corporation and coalition vice chair, said “This group represents an important collaboration around the critical issues of health care quality and patient safety. Continued focus in these areas will benefit every person in this state.”

“Governor Granholm and I are absolutely adamant that patient safety must continue to be a top priority for all of us working in or with the health care industry,” said Janet Olszewski, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. “We are pleased to have the Michigan Health and Safety Coalition lead the way with this initiative as they continue to ensure that health care quality and patient safety remain constant for all patients, regardless of care setting.”

The Michigan Department of Community Health will assist the commission with the public hearings and the final report. The Michigan Health and Safety Coalition was formed in 2000. Members include:

· Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

· DaimlerChrysler Corporation

· Ford Motor Company

· General Motors Corporation

· International Union, UAW

· Michigan Association of Health Plans

· Michigan Consumer Health Care Coalition

· Michigan Department of Community Health

· Michigan Education Special Services Association

· Michigan Health & Hospital Association

· Michigan Nurses Association

· Michigan Osteopathic Association

· MPRO

· Michigan Pharmacists Association

· Michigan State Medical Society