The Indiana Hospital Association has named new leaders of the Indiana Patient Safety Center. Carolyn Konfirst has been appointed clinical director, while Karin Kennedy will serve as administrative director. April 7, 2015

April 7, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana Hospital Association (IHA) is pleased to announce that Carolyn Konfirst and Karin Kennedy will share leadership duties overseeing the Indiana Patient Safety Center. Having led the center on an interim basis while IHA conducted a search for permanent candidates, Konfirst and Kennedy have been appointed clinical director and administrative director, respectively.

“We were so impressed with the leadership demonstrated by both Carolyn and Karin that we restructured the Indiana Patient Safety Center in order to bring them on permanently,” said Doug Leonard, president of IHA. “Under their direction, I am confident they will continue to successfully lead Indiana's charge in improving hospital quality and patient safety.”

Konfirst and Kennedy each joined IHA in 2012 as patient safety and quality advisors to implement Indiana's Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) in support of Partnership for Patients, a national initiative focused on reducing hospital-acquired infections by 40 percent and preventable readmissions by 20 percent.

In this capacity, Konfirst and Kennedy visited nearly every acute care hospital and numerous other health care facilities in Indiana. They reviewed data and collaborated on strategies to implement evidence-based practices that have been shown to reduce the likelihood of patient harm and preventable readmissions.

In addition, they actively supported Indiana's regional patient safety coalitions to promote long-term sustainability and collaboration as well as patient and family engagement, leadership and patient safety culture.

Konfirst brings more than 25 years of health care experience. Prior to IHA, she served in nursing leadership positions at hospitals, ranging in size from 40 beds to more than 800 beds. She served for 10 years as vice president of patient care and services, chief nursing officer at Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield, where she was responsible for quality, safety, risk management and utilization review, as well as for nursing and ancillary service departments.

“I have been privileged to work with many outstanding health care professionals from around the state. Their steadfast commitment to eliminating patient harm and to improving health care quality for their communities continues to inspire me,” said Konfirst.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the clinical director of the Indiana Patient Safety Center and to support our 11 regional patient safety coalitions in building upon the foundation of collaboration for patient safety to truly make a difference in the lives and health of Hoosiers.”

Kennedy has more than 20 years of health care experience in marketing, communications and quality improvement. Prior to her role with IHA, she served as vice president of client services at Health Care Excel where she oversaw the quality improvement and utilization operations for private sector and government clients.

“It is a privilege to serve as the administrative director of the Indiana Patient Safety Center,” said Kennedy. “I am excited and honored to continue my collaboration with Indiana hospitals and to support their efforts to improve quality and reduce harm.”

Konfirst and Kennedy will work as a team, reporting to the IHA president, each providing her expertise to better serve the IHA membership of 164 hospitals and 23 health systems around the state.

The Indiana Patient Safety Center was created in 2006 to develop reliable systems that prevent harm through education, training and tools to foster cultures of safety in Hoosier hospitals.

Indiana Hospital Association is a non-profit organization that serves as the professional trade association for 164 Hoosier hospitals. These members are either independent or a member of one of the 23 systems in the state. Membership includes hospitals, multi-hospital systems and community mental health centers. The mission of the IHA is to provide leadership, representation and services in the common best interests of its members as they promote the improvement of community health status. IHA’s primary responsibility is to represent the interests of hospitals in matters of public policy. IHA also provides members with education, communications and data collection services. (www.IHAconnect.org)

Source: The Indiana Hospital Association

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