Circulation 36,475 • Volume 16, No. 2 • Summer 2001

APSF’s Pierce Wins Award for Multiple Safety Initiatives

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) Board of Directors presented an award at its board meeting in May to the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) in recognition of the pioneering efforts in patient safety by its founding president, Ellison C. (Jeep) Pierce, Jr., MD. In presenting the award to Dr. Pierce, NPSF board chair Henri Manasse, Jr., said, "This award is a demonstration of appreciation of the NPSF Board of Directors for Dr. Pierce’s efforts, which were instrumental to the founding of NPSF and to fostering our common interests in patient safety. We expect that APSF will use these funds in ways that will further recognize Dr. Pierce’s efforts within anesthesia."

Dr. Pierce was President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in 1984. During his tenure, he created the Committee on Patient Safety and Risk Management, which was the first of its kind in any healthcare organization. This may even have been the first use of the term "patient safety." Through his leadership, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation was founded in 1985, another patient safety "first." The APSF’s leadership is recognized as having strongly influenced the dramatic improvements in reducing anesthesia risk and adverse outcomes.

In the late 1980s, Dr. Pierce recruited Martin Hatlie as the AMA representative to the APSF Board of Directors. Through Mr. Hatlie’s involvement with APSF and mentorship from Dr. Pierce, the concept of a National Patient Safety Foundation was born. Using the APSF organizational framework, Mr. Hatlie brought together the AMA, 3M Corporation and CNA/HealthPro as the founding members of the NPSF. Dr. Pierce has served on the Board of Directors of NPSF continuously and on its Executive Committee for the first three years of the organization’s life. His guidance and wisdom were critical to shaping the NPSF’s vision and mission.