Who We Are

Background and History

In the early 2000s, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Health Care Authority (HCA) approached the Foundation for Health Care Quality to convene and facilitate a work group of those interested in addressing patient safety challenges. The Foundation was asked to serve in this role because it is recognized and respected as a safe space where representatives from throughout the health care system can come together to work on shared goals. These initial participants included provider associations, purchasers, consumers, health plans/health care delivery systems, and organizations devoted to quality improvement and risk reduction. This initial group of participants from the DOH, HCA, Boeing, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Foundation developed an invitational conference in June 2002 as its first event in creating a broad, collaborative statewide effort. The 100 participants were representatives and leaders from across the health care delivery system committed to improving safety. Following this Inaugural Conference, the Steering Committee used the full reports and summaries of the work groups to develop the Coalition structure and goals.

Our Staff

Kelly Veit, MHA head shot.KV

Kelly currently serves as the WPSC’s Program Director after spending one year in the role of Assistant Director. She worked in social services from 2007 to 2012, within a King County’s Healthcare for the Homeless Network (HCHN) designated service organization. She then returned to school for her Masters in Health Administration, to marry her passion for social justice with her interest in the changing context of the healthcare industry. She was first exposed to the WPSC while completing a graduate consult capstone for the patient safety department of Seattle Children’s Hospital. Kelly has extensive experience coordinating communication amongst various audiences, aligning the efforts of many different stakeholder groups around a shared goal. She is attracted to organizations that act as change agents, promoting the patient experience and increasing equity and quality within healthcare. Kelly received her BA from the University of Oregon in Political Science, and completed her Masters of Health Administration at University of Washington.

Our Organization

The Foundation for Health Care Quality

The Coalition is a program of the Foundation, which provides the organizational home for the Coalition, including staffing, facilitation and technical support, and serves as the fiscal agent for financial support and outlays.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee provides leadership and strategic planning and direction for the Coalition; determines its priorities; and provides guidance and coordination for the subcommittees and work groups. Its membership is comprised of representatives of major interests and stakeholders in health care and patient safety, and is drawn from organizational members of the Coalition.

Current Steering Committee Members:

Rosalee Allan, *Vice Chair Pathology Associates Medical Laboratory

Jennifer Bayersdorfer, MHA *Past Chair, WA-MT Region, Providence Health & Services

Christopher Kim, MD, UW Medicine

Kate Brostoff, MD, Community Health Plan of Washington

Sharon I. Eloranta, MD, CHCA, Qualis Health

Cat Mazzawy, Group Health Cooperative

Nancy L. Fisher MD, MPH, Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services – DQI Western States

Dana Kahn, PharmD, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Jessica Martinson, Washington State Medical Association

Randal Moseley, MD  *Chair, Confluence Health

Therese Hansen, Washington State Department of Health

Jeff Rochon, PharmDWashington State Pharmacy Association

Lauri St. Ours, Washington Health Care Association

Heather Stephen-Selby, MSN, ARNP-BC, RN,  Washington State Nurses Association

Lucia Austin Gil, Washington State Hospital Association

Advisory Group

The Advisory Group is a non-voting body that provides guidance to the Steering Committee on patient safety priorities. Coalition members not represented on the Steering Committee are invited to serve on the Advisory Group.

Current Advisory Group members:

Brandelyn Bergstedt, Patient and Family representative

Kathleen Bruttomesso, Multicare Health System

Karen Chadduck, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Mely Davenport, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

Dana Erwin, RN, CCM, Individual (Yakima Farm Workers Clinic)

Alan Harney, MHA, MBA, CPHQ, Individual 

Marilyn Heger-Guy PhD, CPHQ, Individual (Grays Harbor Community Hospital)

Darcie Johnson, Fairfax Hospital

Mary Johnston, RN, BSN, Individual (Highline Community Hospital)

Jill Langle, MHA, RPh, Seattle Children’s

Ann Lervold, MA, First Choice Health

Chris Martin, Navos

Elizabeth Mattox, Puget Sound VA Health Care System

Mary J. McHugh, FACHE, Northwest Kidney Centers

Lauren Newcomer, RN, BSN, Harrison Medical Center

Lori Nichols, Individual (Whatcom Health Information Network)

Adi Nkwonta, MT (ASCP), Pullman Regional Hospital

Dennis Olson, Physicians Insurance

Olga Owens, Patient and Family representative

Andrew Rossi, PharmD, MSM, Individual (Washington State Department of Corrections)

Kathy Schoenrock, Evergreen Healthcare

Kathlyn Springer, BA, RN, CPHRM, The Doctors Company

Kim Stagner, U.S. Family Health Plan/Pac Med

Anita Sulaiman, Patient and Family representative

Kathi Trussell, RN, MN, Othello Community Hospital

Jackie Valentine, Seattle Children’s

Michael Whitenack, Individual (Lilly, USA)

Sheila Yates, Individual (Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest)

Executive Subcommittee

The Executive Subcommittee is comprised of the Chair, Vice-Chair, the Immediate Past Chair of the Steering Committee and the chairs of the standing subcommittees.


Standing subcommittees are chaired by members of the Steering Committee and are populated by interested individuals from Coalition membership. Each group identifies, prioritizes, coordinates and implements activities to improve patient safety consistent with the Coalition’s strategic direction or priorities.  Current subcommittees are Annual Conference Planning and Membership and Finance.

Work Groups

Work groups can change over time to most effectively address identified topics of interest and importance.  Current work groups include Webinar Planning, Medication Safety and Second Victim Support.

The Coalition’s CQIP Status

The Washington Patient Safety Coalition is recognized by the State of Washington’s Department of Health as a Coordinated Quality Improvement Program (CQIP). CQIP status provides exemption from disclosure for information and documents specifically created for, collected, and maintained by an approved program. Being a CQIP provides important legal protection for the quality improvement activities carried out under the auspices of the Coalition, and enhances the ability of Coalition partners and participants to collaborate on patient safety issues. The WPSC’s CQIP document includes information about the Coalition’s structure and activities. For additional information about Washington’s CQIP and related laws, see the Department of Health website.

Journal of Clinical Excellence Articles

  • Miriam Marcus-Smith, (2011) “A voluntary safe table to help competitive organizations collaborate on improving quality”, Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 16 Iss: 3, pp.252 – 259. Read abstract here.
  • Miriam Marcus-Smith, (2012) “The Northwest Patient Safety Conference: keeping safety current”, Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 17 Iss: 4, pp.343 – 349. Read abstract here.