Text Size: A- A+ Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

Breaking News

Pledge the Gift of Life

Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014


Sorrel King to visit West Penn Sept. 29

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Noted Patient Safety Advocate to Speak at West Penn Hospital Sept. 29

Death of Sorrel King’s daughter led her to start national foundation to prevent others from dying due to medical errors

PITTSBURGH - Sorrel King, who launched a national campaign for patient safety after her 18-month-old daughter Josie died as result of medical errors, will speak about her mission at West Penn Hospital’s Conference Center, Thursday Sept. 29 from noon to 2 p.m.

Ms. King’s talk kicks off a patient safety conference, “Hand-Off Communication: Don’t Drop the Ball,” presented by STAR, The Simulation, Teaching and Academic Research Center at West Penn Allegheny Health System.

“Josie King’s heartbreaking story shows the importance of good communication and training in preventing medical errors,” said Donald Wilfong, MD, Medical Director of the STAR Center.  “Research has also shown that using medical simulation to train doctors, nurses and other health care professionals can decrease clinical errors by up to 30 percent.”

Ms. King will discuss the events that led to her child’s death on Feb. 22, 2001, and how she began her mission for patient safety. Josie was badly scalded in a bathtub accident and taken to one of the finest medical facilities in the world, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md. Josie was just a few days from being released when she died of severe dehydration and a misused narcotic. Her mother had alerted doctors and nurses to signs of her deteriorating condition, but was told that Josie was fine.

The King family used proceeds from a legal settlement to create the Josie King Foundation (www.josieking.org), whose mission is to prevent others from dying or being harmed by medical errors. The foundation provides funding to patient safety initiatives and works to bring attention to patient safety issues.

Ms. King has been widely profiled in the national media and her book, “Josie’s Story: A Mother’s Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe,” was excerpted on Oprah.com. She has spoken about patient safety before numerous influential groups including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the National Patient Safety Foundation in Washington, DC.

The Simulation Teaching and Academic Research (STAR) Center at West Penn Allegheny Health System has been accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). The STAR Center is the first medical simulation center in Pittsburgh and one of only 10 across the globe to receive this honor. The STAR Center was granted a three-year accreditation in Teaching/Education.

The STAR Center was generously funded by a grant from The Highmark Foundation.

Housed at West Penn Hospital, the STAR Center is a virtual hospital that fosters clinical excellence by allowing health professionals to perfect skills through hands-on learning opportunities in realistic patient care settings including a neonatal intensive care unit, family birthing center, intensive care unit and an ambulance simulator.

In 2010, STAR launched a mobile unit equipped with SimMan 3G, a mannequin that may be programmed to mimic a wide array of symptoms from breathing and bleeding to crying and sweating.

Mobile STAR is used to bring simulation education opportunities to outlying hospitals and also is available to community groups and schools to provide CPR classes, childbirth education courses and additional health instruction to under-served populations.

Note: Sorrel King will be available for interviews before and after the event.
Stephanie Waite
(412) 330-4434



For more information, contact:
West Penn Allegheny Health System
Tell us who you are:

What areas do you use on our website?*
(select more than one if it applies)

Did you find what you were looking for?

Would you refer others to our website?

Can we contact you for future questions?

CAPTCHA math question:* 3 + 2 =

Thank you for completing the West Penn Allegheny Health System website survey.
We value your feedback and comments.