National Experts to Address Health Care Issues at Forum

AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Clinical Safety and Effectiveness Inaugural Conference will take place Oct. 15-16, 2009 at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin. Keynote speakers include Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Dr. Mark Chassin, Dr. Brent James, Dr. Eric Thomas and Dr. Kenneth I. Shine. Speakers will address national priority areas for improvement of quality and patient safety, educational course enhancements and methods for UT organizations to provide full disclosure of unexpected events.

On Oct. 16, Dr. Shine, executive vice chancellor for health affairs for the UT System, will lead the presidents from each of the UT System health institutions in a strategic vision exercise to develop ideas and concepts as part of the UT System’s goal of continuous improvement.

Members of the media who would like to cover the event are encouraged to register with the UT System Office of Public Affairs at (512) 499-4363.

For the full conference agenda, please visit:

Speaker bios:

Mark R. Chassin, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H., is president of The Joint Commission. Chassin oversees the activities of the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized worldwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to quality improvement and to meeting state-of-the-art performance standards.

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., was appointed Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on February 5, 2003. Prior to her appointment, Clancy served as the Agency's Acting Director and previously was Director of AHRQ's Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research.  Clancy, who is a general internist and health services researcher, is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She will be presenting via video conference.

Brent C. James, M.D., is executive director of the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research and vice president of medical research and continuing medical education at Intermountain Health Care. For more than 20 years, James has championed the standardization of clinical care through data collection and analysis on a wide variety of treatment protocols and complex care processes.

Eric J. Thomas, M.D., M.P.H. is a professor of medicine at the University of Texas Houston Medical School, and director of the UT-Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety.  Since 1992 he has conducted research on patient safety and his work has been heavily cited in the Institute of Medicine's landmark report on medical error. Thomas’ current research focuses on diagnostic errors, measuring safety culture, measuring and improving teamwork and the use of health information technology to improve quality and safety.

Kenneth I. Shine, M.D., is executive vice chancellor for health affairs for the UT System. A former president of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) from 1992-2002, Shine played an important and visible role in addressing key issues in medicine and health care. Shine also was the founding director of the RAND Center for Domestic and International Health Security. Shine is Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine. A cardiologist and physiologist, he received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1961.

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