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Thursday, May 5, 2011

This is how a movement starts: Becca's Jacket

Becca's Jacket

I am so excited to repost this entry as a guest post on my blog. This is Becca Price's Blog:

My jacket, my story for #TheWalkingGallery

from May 4th, 2011.  It is my honor to have such an amazing woman and artist as part of The Walking Gallery

When Regina Holliday puts out a request for painted jackets for The Walking Gallery, the response is obvious: of course! A couple of years ago, when Twitter lists were just getting “hot,” Regina and I joked we should start a list of “patient safety advocate artists from Oklahoma” – a short list which would contain us both and that’s about it. Because of this shared odd convergence of experience and interests, I’ve always felt an unique closeness to Regina, whom I’ve never met other than virtually. Take the time to read her blog and you will become acquainted with one of the most energetic and gutsy people I know.

The image I painted is based on the website Dead by Mistake, which estimates 200,000 people die due to preventable medical errors in American hospitals every year. Statistically, there is a broad range of estimates of how many preventable deaths occur in hospitals each year, and there is plenty of controversy over how to define “preventable” and “error.” However, the lowest estimate I saw was 32,000 -- even that figure should be enough to drive change -- and there is no controversy over how to define “death.”

But Regina’s vision is to put the patient at the center of our healthcare, through the sharing of our individual stories. With that in mind, just one of the patient stories we can see on the Dead by Mistake website should be enough to drive our determination to improve healthcare. The image on my jacket is based on the imagery of Dias de los Muertos, when the spirits of our deceased loved ones return to visit us (and no, it’s NOT “Mexican Halloween”). My hope is the deceased family and friends of all who view her will return to us, to empower us to keep working toward change and improved patient safety.

Thanks to Regina for the opportunity to participate in The Walking Gallery.

Becca Price


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