Telluride Alumni Continue to Push the Safety Message Forward

TPSSC_Logo_v3About once a week I receive an email from one of our Telluride Scholar Alums. These young care providers are eager to share new quality improvement projects or risk reduction programs they are leading, or provide an update on work started shortly after finishing their Patient Safety Summer Camp week with us. This week was no exception. Dora Zamora-Flores, MSN, RN, CPNP and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, who attended Telluride East in Washington DC last summer, emailed to share how the knowledge gained at our Summer Camp is translating to real healthcare care change at the bedside of a small community hospital in South Texas.

Each year, thanks to the generous support of The Doctors Company Foundation, COPIC, CIR and MedStar Health, the number of applicants for a seat at one of four, week-long sessions continues to grow, as does the level of talent. We are always thrilled to see how these creative young healthcare providers take the learning from the heart of the Rocky Mountains (and now Washington DC) straight to the heart of patients. Here is Dora’s story…

I attended Telluride East this summer and want to give you an update on how I have used the knowledge gained. A small community hospital in deep South Texas is opening a brand new Women’s Services department next week. They currently do not deliver babies. I asked the CNO if she would allow me 1 hour to speak to all of the nurses- nursery, L&D and post-partum. I shared Diane Ford’s story, the NICU heparin incidents, findings from “To Err is Human”, a brief intro to Human Factor’s Engineering and the importance of teams, communication and reporting near misses. I ended with the Lewis Blackman video which you were kind enough to send me.

 The response and the questions were tremendous. There were some tears in the room. It went much better than I expected. I encouraged them to take advantage of this unique opportunity to set the tone from day 1 of this unit for a culture of safety. A CRNA in the room, Tim Sparks was very interested in my experience in DC and he contributed to my presentation by sharing some of the mishaps he has witnessed during his years as a CRNA. I have given him your contact info. He oversees over 50 CRNAs and is interested in putting together a Safety Training for them. Thank you again for allowing me to be part of Telluride East. I continue to have many rewarding experiences due to the knowledge I gained there. -Dora

With the winter many of us have experienced this year, it is emails like Dora’s, along with the promise of June sunshine over the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Telluride, that have me looking forward with great anticipation to meeting our 2014 Telluride Scholars when we gather this summer. For information on how to apply to attend one of the 2014 Telluride Patient Safety Summer Camps, you can go to our website at

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