PVI Blog

Karen Smith’s story: Inserting herself in the middle of her son’s healthcare team saved his life.

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Karen Smith insisted on being a part of the health care team treating her son and father.  Because of her close relationship with both, she was able to notice and prevent errors made by medical staff.  This dedication ultimately saving her son’s life. As a result, Karen founded the nonprofit, Excitant Health, to share her experiences … Continued

Lisa Morrise’s Story: Advocating for a Daughter with Pierre Robin Sequence

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Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS), named after French dental surgeon Pierre Robin (1867-1950) is a rare birth defect that affects the head and face, and can show as a small lower jaw, a tongue that is placed further back than normal, and blockage of the airways. The condition leaves many children unable to breathe or swallow, … Continued

Patient Champions of 2017

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Kristin Terlizzi turned her near-death experience into a crusade to warn new moms of a little-known birth complication. Patience Leino embarked on life’s work of helping other patients, teaming up with the very hospital where she lost her own baby boy. Susan Hassmiller thanked the nurse whose compassion helped her cope with grievous loss. And … Continued

Tricia Lawrensen’s Story: Leveraging a Lifetime of Overcoming Health Challenges Into Lessons to Help Others

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At an age when many people were healthy and energetic, Tricia Lawrenson was learning that health problems were a fact of her life. When she was 24, Tricia’s Cystic Fibrosis (CF), had progressed to the point where her doctors decided she needed a double lung transplant.  As scary a prospect as that was, her circumstances … Continued

2017 Patients’ View Impact Awards Winners Announced! Bringing Patients Front and Center

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Five awards and several honorable mentions brought patient honorees on stage last night (December 7th) for the 2017 Patients’ View Impact Awards, the only national awards that honor the power of one patient’s story to impact health care for the better. For the third year in a row, the awards were presented with the Leapfrog … Continued

Sue Hassmiller’s Story: On the Other Side of the Bed – Experiencing anew the critical value of compassion in care when my husband has a devastating accident

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As a nurse myself, I received the biggest wakeup call of my life when my husband of 37 years became an instant quadriplegic as a result of a bicycle accident. He fought for his life for 10 days in an ICU and then succumbed to sepsis. The experience was heartbreaking in every way possible and … Continued

Karla Buchanan’s Story: Fostering and Adopting Children with Special Needs

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The Buchanans have fostered dozens of children with behavioral health challenges. Though none of their adopted children are biologically linked, Karla likes to say they are “linked by love.” As such, they never turn a child away, despite not being a therapeutic home, because every child deserves a chance to be a part of a … Continued

Lynn Wilson’s Story: Sharing the Lessons of Her Husband’s Courageous Battle with Cancer to Improve the Practice of Care

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“The best way to honor my late husband is to teach the teachable moments, good and bad.” On May 24th of 2005, Lynn’s husband, Lance, was told he had a malignant isolated cytoma in his left scapula. Despite multiple radiation treatments, in February 2006, Lance was formally diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. After two stem cell … Continued

Katie Parker’s Story: Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 36 and Using the Experience to Educate Young Women

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On May 23, 2010, Katie’s life was forever changed by a diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common form of breast cancer. At only 36 years of age, she had no family history, no palpable abnormalities, and a mistaken belief that you had to have a family history of breast cancer to get a … Continued

Patience Leino’s Story: Turning Heartache From Loss of Baby Into Passion For Building Collaboration with Medical Teams

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In 2006, I was expecting my first child. At the 18 week ultrasound, we were blindsided to learn our son had a complex congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Survival required at best 3 open heart surgeries within the first 2 years of life and most likely a total heart transplant later. … Continued