Press Release

HRET Announces 2007-2008 Patient Safety and Cultural Competence Leadership Fellows

The Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET), an affiliate of the American Hospital Association (AHA), has selected 47 clinical and administrative leaders to participate in two premier leadership development programs focused on improvements in patient safety and cultural competence practices in health care. The Patient Safety and Cultural Competence Leadership Fellowships are yearlong programs that connect senior practitioners with national thought leaders and a learning community of peers.  

The Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship program, now in its sixth year, has supported over 150 leaders across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  The Cultural Competence Leadership Fellowship is a pioneering resource in the effort to improve patient-focused care and eliminate health disparities. 

Each program is designed to help Fellows immediately integrate knowledge and strategy into their day-to-day work in their home organizations.  The Fellowships are centered on an Action Learning Project, directed by each individual Fellow or team to stimulate change within his or her organization and put newly acquired skills and tools into practice.  HRET Fellows were selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership and commitment to their respective areas of focus.

"We are proud of the way in which our leadership programs link Fellows to a learning network of both current and past Fellows and give them the space and tools they need to apply the best knowledge in the field," said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, HRET president.  "The combination of leadership development and cutting-edge content in these programs is unique, and the Fellows become more deeply connected to the work that they do and to one another."

"Over the past five years of the Fellowship programs, we have seen transformation in the work of nearly two hundred practitioners and administrators," said Neil J. Jesuele, AHA Health Forum president.  "The programs make a very deep impact on the perspectives and skill sets of their participants."

Action Learning Projects by this year's Fellows include: 

  • Reducing the risk of postoperative infections and complications and improving culture and communication among surgical teams in Hollywood, Florida
  • Developing an interactive patient safety curriculum for governing boards in Lansing, Michigan
  • Reducing insulin-related errors through the system wide introduction of a cost-effective, patient-specific insulin pen in Ridgewood, New Jersey
  • Developing a train-the-trainer program on reducing disparities, for CEOs of small and rural hospitals in Chicago, Illinois
  • Assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating a tri-city health literacy program in southern New Hampshire

All Fellows will participate in the first of three face-to-face leadership retreats July 19th-24th in San Diego, in conjunction with the AHA/Health Forum Leadership Summit.  Throughout the yearlong programs, Fellows will also participate in online conferencing, self-study educational curricula, and site visits.  A current list of new Fellows from each program is attached. 

The Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship is sponsored by HRET and the National Patient Safety Foundation, in partnership with Health Forum, the American Hospital Association, the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, and the Society of Hospital Medicine.

The Cultural Competence Leadership Fellowship is sponsored by HRET and the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, in partnership with Health Forum, the American Hospital Association, and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership.

The Fellowships are tuition-based programs.  Funding support for the 2007-2008 classes is provided by Hospira, Cardinal Health, American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, and the Walter J. McNerney Foundation. 

For additional information on participating in the 2008-09 programs, contact the HRET Fellowship Office at (312) 422-2625 or

Click here for a list of the 2007-2008 Patient Safety and Cultural Competence Leadership Fellows.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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