McDonald and Mayer Receive ACMQ Founders Award For Body of Work in Patient Safety and Quality

Last week, Dave Mayer MD, the host of Educate the Young, and Tim McDonald MD/JD, were honored for the quality and safety contributions they have made throughout their careers. The pair received the American College of Medical Quality (ACMQ) Founders Award–an award shared by an esteemed group of luminaries in patient safety and quality, such as Carolyn Clancy, Brent James and Don Berwick.

Because of their dedication to students, residents and care providers and their constant premise of “Educating the Young”, many have joined the patient safety movement along the way using their teachings as touchstones for change. Here are excerpts from the shared acceptance speech they gave last week:

All of us working in the quality and safety domain move at such an urgent pace, trying to implement new ideas or best practices that can reduce harm or increase the quality of care for our patients. Because of this, there is little time to reflect on the past and much work still to be done.

Everything we’ve accomplished was made possible by many other thoughtful, clever, original, and wonderful people who invested their passion, soul and expertise in this work.

Whatever we may have accomplished came as a result of our focus always staying true to three things…

First, the importance of the Patient Voice. We have learned more about safety and quality from patients and family members than we have from many of our colleagues. Ten years ago through Rosemary Gibson’s mentorship, we brought patient and family advocates to our Telluride Patient Safety Roundtable long before the term “patient partnership” was a common phrase in quality and safety. They have been a huge part of our work through the years – helping design and implement the Seven Pillars program, being members on our safety and quality committees, creating and teaching in our quality and safety educational programs from our medical school up through our Master’s Program – their support and partnership with us has been so critical to our mission and a classic demonstration of a partnership for patients as CMS envisioned

Second, the importance of Honesty. We did it wrong for too many years. Deny and Defend models when harm occurs don’t work – it is a morally and ethically wrong approach – and it stifles learning and improvement. As Rick Boothman the CRO from Michigan says” “we don’t need a court system to tell us when we have done wrong – we know when we have done wrong.” This isn’t rocket science. We need to be honest and transparent at all times – when we do things well and when we don’t do things so well.. Through the seven pillars we have learned that the honest approach is just not the right thing to do but the smart thing to do for physicians and patients alike.

Third, the importance of a Learning Organization. We are and will always be educators – why this award means so much to us. “Educate the Young” has been an important mission for both of us through the years. The investment ACMQ has made to medical education demonstrates their commitment to “Educating the Young”. The College’s Quality Scholars program that brings students and residents to this meeting is a great example of ACMQ’s commitment to producing the next generation of physician leaders who hopefully always begin each day with their quality and safety compass pointing north.  We congratulate and applaud the scholars who are here today for your interest, commitment and leadership to high quality patient care.

ACMQ Leadership also asked that Dave and Tim share some of the highlights of their work over the years. I will share these highlights in a subsequent post so that others can benefit and build on this work, moving the needle even further in the direction of transparent, safe, patient-centered care for all of us, and our families.

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2 Comments on “McDonald and Mayer Receive ACMQ Founders Award For Body of Work in Patient Safety and Quality”

  1. Dave and Tim,
    Congratulations for being the role models
    for the medical profession. We as patient advocates have also learned from both of you and you have helped David and I heal in the process. It has been and will continue to be a privilege for all if us to continue
    to work together on this journey.
    Patty and David Skolnik

  2. Carey Candrian says:

    A very well deserving award, huge congratulations! I am so fortunate to have had the experience to work with you all in Telluride. Thanks for all your incredible work and the motivation you’ve instilled in me, and I think just about anyone who’s ever been around you.


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