Patient safety advocate to present 2016 Stanley P. Mayers Endowed Lecture

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sorrel King, a nationally renowned patient safety advocate, will present the 19th annual Stanley P. Mayers Endowed Lecture, “Josie’s Story: Family-Centered Approaches to Patient Safety,” at 6 p.m. on April 13 in the Ruth Pike Auditorium, 22 Biobehavioral Health Building, on Penn State’s University Park campus.

The lecture, hosted by the Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA), is free and open to the public.

King is an author and co-founder of the Josie King Foundation, created in honor and memory of her late daughter, Josie, who died as a result of medical errors. The purpose of the foundation, which was established in 2001, is to prevent patients from being harmed or killed by medical errors.

“King has a personal story to bring to the lecture,” said Caprice Knapp, senior lecturer and research associate professor of health policy and administration. “Her talk will speak to both clinical and non-clinical audiences. Her story involves a scenario that can happen to anybody.”

King travels across the country spreading her message to hospitals, doctors, nurses, CEOs and board members, as well as medical and nursing students. It is her hope that Josie’s story will inspire change and create a better, safer health care industry.

Knapp said King’s talk is timely and relevant because there is a push in health care toward consumer engagement.

The dynamics of King’s message spans many topics, Knapp said, as it speaks about technology, nursing and health policy issues.

“Patient safety should be everyone’s issue,” she said.

King’s book, "Josie’s Story," was named one of the best health books in 2009 by the Wall Street Journal and is being used in medical and nursing schools around the country.

King was chosen as one of “50 Women Changing the World” by Woman’s Day magazine in February 2010. She also appeared on the "NBC Nightly News" with Tom Brokaw and "Good Morning America" with Charlie Gibson, and was featured in a Forbes magazine article titled “Fixing Hospitals in 2005.” In 2004, U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI) introduced the "Josie King Act" as a tribute to King’s work and Josie’s life.

The Mayers Lecture was created in honor of Stanley P. Mayers Jr., co-founder of Penn State’s undergraduate program in HPA, who retired after a distinguished 26-year career with Penn State.

Mayers served as the head of the Department of Health Policy and Administration for nine years and also in roles as associate dean for undergraduate studies and associate dean for academic studies in the College of Health and Human Development.

For more information on the Josie King Foundation, visit

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Last Updated February 28, 2016