In the News

 Beckers PodcastDr. Bill Cooper, President at Vanderbilt Health Center for Patient & Professional Advocacy shares key insights into his background, what issues in healthcare he is spending his time on today, what makes a great leader in the healthcare space, and more.  Listen here.

HealthLeaders publicationLearn more about how to address unprofessionalism in a healthcare setting with this story from HealthLeaders by Christopher Cheney. Dr. Gerald Hickson explains how healthcare organizations rise to this challenge. Read this article

Beckers Hospital Review article  Paige Twenter of Becker's Hospital Review spoke with Dr. Gerald Hickson for their article "The Era of Lonely Hospital Physicians". Camaraderie levels have dipped among healthcare professionals in the last few years with many reasons concluded in the article. Creating an environment of respect where teams share common values and are comfortable questioning each other is important in building that culture with strong teams. Learn what else Dr. Hickson mentions that is a key component to making this type of culture work.

newswise article William Cooper 2023 studyIn April, NewWise featured Dr. William Cooper's JAMA Network study about residency competencies and the relationship between low ratings and patient complaints. Read the article.

CBC Canada News Rudeness in the Hospital SurgeryReporter, Michael Gorman, with the Canadian news network, CBC, recently spoke with Dr. Gerald Hickson for his expertise in addressing unacceptable behaviors from medical professionals after a recent rash of coworker concerns plagued the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax Canada. Certain surgeons showed instances of unprofessional behavior recently leading Nova Sotian officials to conduct an investigation citing "a lack of respect", "a lack of integrity" & "a lack of accountability". Read more.

Joint CommissionIn The Joint Commission featured news, was a spotlight on "Implementing peer messengers to promote professionalism in nursing" with first author, Cynthia Baldwin, MS, RN, CPHRM. "As the largest group, by number, of healthcare professionals, nurses must be included in programs that promote professional accountability." Check out the News Feature and also the publication.

ABMS American Board of Medical SpecialtiesIn the December 2022 issue of the American Board of Medical Specialties newsletter, ABMS Insights, we hear from many of the presenters at their latest conference about Programs Promote Professional Accountability. Gerald Hickson, MD, one of our founders, introduces the Professional Accountability Model. Diane M. Meldi, MBA, CPCS, CPMSM, FMSP spoke about her organization having implemented the PARS® and CORSsm program at Mercy Health System.

proto magazine articleDr. Gerald Hickson provided one of the interviews for this proto magazine article published by Massachusetts General Hospital on incivility in healthcare. Our goal at CPPA is to maximize the probability that the people having trouble receive the support needed to help them remain as a productive part of a medical team.

One of our international partners, CALHN - Central Adelaide Local Health Network, has launched a video sharing how they've implemented PARS and CORS into their culture. Have a look!

Mt Sinai School of Medicine Wellness PodcastCPPA's Dr. William Cooper along with Dr. Basil Hanss, Senior Associate Dean of Postdoctoral and Student Affairs and Associate Dean for Graduate School Wellbeing at Mount Sinai speaks with "Our Wellness Podcast" hosts, Jeannys Nnemnbeng and Jasmine Modasi about the processes and employment of the PARS and CORS process as it relates to Mt. Sinai. Here is a portion of the conversation, or go to the full episode with transcript here.




National Patient Safety Board Podcast Up Next for Patient Safety Dr. Gerald HicksonDrs. Gerald Hickson and Thomas Gallagher speak with host, Karen Wolk Feinstein about the concept of physician peer review and its effect on reducing medical errors.

AMAWhat should happen when a resident physician gets belittled? Brendan Murphy, the Senior News Writer for AMA, takes a look at the latest study from Lindsey Carlasare and our own, Dr. Gerald Hickson, published in the AMA Journal of Ethics December 2021 edition. In this study, Lindsey and Gerald describe models of established guidelines organizational leaders may use to provide a safer and healthier workplace with mechanisms that improve accountability and self-regulation for the professionals in their organizations.

Dr. William Cooper speaks with Dr. Bradley Block, MD in-depth for the podcast series Physician's Guide to Doctoring about clinicians' self-assessment process and how the Patient Advocacy Reporting System (PARS®) and Co-worker Reporting System (CORStm) helps to bring that assessment process into perspective for potential outliers.

ACS journalGiven the complexities of cancer care, patients and providers simultaneously benefit from the formation of strong, long-term partnerships across disciplines. Oncologists' patient complaints provide information that may have practical applications for patient safety and risk management for these interdisciplinary teams. In this study published in the American Cancer Society's Journal, several of our Center's faculty and staff helped to author this study which lends support to our mission of making medicine kinder, safer and more reliable.

BMJ Leader Journal Dr. William Cooper and colleagues' recent publication, "Supporting the pursuit of Professionalism in a Crisis" identifies six leadership practices essential to navigating a crisis successfully in August 2021.


The Institute for Healthcare Improvement held their Patient Safety Congress in May of 2021 with Gerald Hickson, MD and Cindy Baldwin, MS, RN, CPHRN speaking on the importance of professional performance and accountability to the pursuit of high reliability in healthcare. Participants learned how a plan to promote professional accountability supports that pursuit.


On the WardDr. Hickson's recent presentation at the Australian Healthcare virtual Summit inspired Joshua Inglis, an Advanced Trainee in Acute and General Medicine in the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, to write an article in the Australian forum, On The Ward. This community of professionals empowers the next generation of clinicians in Australia's medical community. The article, How a cup of coffee reduces unprofessional behaviour, describes Dr. Hickson's messaging in his presentation and how it can help organizations reduce their risks of unintended outcomes.

RACMA-Australian Health SummitDr. Gerald Hickson presented at the Australian Healthcare virtual Summit April 21-23, 2021 along with Dr. Russell Mannion of the University of Birmingham where his keynote was on creating a culture of safety and respect in the workplace, by facilitating an assembly of health leaders and culture change practitioners with a common goal of eliminating bullying, discrimination, harassment and incivility in healthcare. A joint initiative of RACS, Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University and St Vincent’s Health Australia, the summit opened to people across the health sector working to achieve cultural change.

ABMSABMS Conference 2020

Dr. William Cooper presented at the American Board of Medical Specialties Conference, held virtually September 23-24, 2020. Along with colleagues
Cynthia L. Emory, MD, MBA, Wake Forest, Don Moore, PhD, Vanderbilt , Cynthia Jumper, MD, MPH, Texas Tech, Dr. Cooper's session focused on Promoting Professional Behavior and its Impact on Performance and Patient Outcomes.

American College of Cardiology

Cardiovascular Virtual Summit

Dr. Gerald Hickson speaks at the Virtual Summit Friday, February 12, 2021 on Impaired Team Members: Solving a Difficult Problem, with Dr. Richard Chazal, Medical Director of the Heart and Vascular Institute, Lee Health System. Click the header link to reserve your virtual seat and join this conference.


In the news Roundtable 2020Healthcare Leaders Across the Nation Develop Best Practices Tools and Resources. In December 2020, leading healthcare professionals from academic medical centers, regional health systems, and rural communities came together to discuss and develop the best practices for addressing "family" issues in the medical arena, which focused on recognizing and addressing behaviors and issues that may affect entire medical teams. Using an interactive approach including simulated cases and graphic recordings, the roundtable produced tools and resources to support authority figures as they consider their critical role in professional accountability. See some of the amazing graphic recordings from the research roundtable.


Improving Wellbeing Improving wellbeing/resilience during crisis

Dr. Gerald Hickson speaks with Donald Palmisano in this special edition of Medical Association of Georgia's 'Top Docs'. Dr. Hickson addresses strategies that medical practice facilities can employ to improve the wellbeing and resilience of professionals in a time of crisis.




The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is recognized for being an innovator, convener, and generous leader. With a mission to improve health and health care worldwide, they have elected our own Gerald B. Hickson as their vice-chair. As a founder of the Vanderbilt Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy, Dr. Hickson developed the standards for patient safety and health care improvement for VUMC and helped to implement programs to improve healthcare to our partner sites as well. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Hickson for this honor.


AHPRADr. Gerald Hickson speaks with Susan Biggar, National AHPRA Engagement Advisor, in her podcast, Taking Care. In this podcast, Dr. Hickson talks about patient safety and high risk practitioners. Have a listen.


Pitts Post LogoHealth systems that improve patient/​doctor relationships reduce the cost of malpractice complaints. One promising approach, developed at Vanderbilt University, is the Patient Advocacy and Reporting System (PARS). Read more here.


ABC Radio Network interviewABC Radio Network's host, James Bullen interviewed Dr. Gerald Hickson for their report "Bad behaviour from surgeons may put patients at risk" relating to the JAMA Surgery study on Co-Worker concerns. "There are lots of different ways that we disrespect other human beings. The point is that any of those methods impact the way that people trust and therefore can function as good members of a team." Listen


NPR Health News"When Surgeons Are Abrasive To Coworkers, Patients' Health May Suffer". Susie Neilson reported a story for NPR News featuring the JAMA Surgery study on Co-Worker Concerns that Dr. William Cooper published along with CPPA faculty and collaborators from Stanford and Penn Medicine. Susie spoke with Dr. Cooper who pointed out "The vast majority [of surgeons] take care of their patients, are respectful to their coworkers," he says. "A very small proportion account for a disproportionate share of adverse outcomes…Awareness can often improve surgeons' behavior."

CNN Health NewsDr. William Cooper's study on Co-Worker Concerns published in JAMA Surgery was picked up by Michael Nedelman at CNN Health News. His article, "After surgery, how patients fare may depend on how their doctor behaves, study says" highlights the research of Dr. Cooper with CPPA faculty along with collaborators from Stanford and Penn Medicine and points out the importance of reporting disrespectful behaviors. He spoke with Dr. Cooper who stated, "We really think about these reports as being a tip of the iceberg of these behaviors but an important measure that we can then connect to patient outcomes."

BMJ quality safetySigall Bell and William Martinez (VUMC) explore how changing the way we think about and learn from patient concerns may lead to increased patient safety and respect, emotional harm prevention, improved patient experience, and enhanced organization learning. In their article "Every patient should be enabled to stop the line", they discuss creating environments in which patients and families can speak up makes more sense now than ever before, because the underlying principles resonate with other existing broad cultural shifts in medicine.

VUMCJAMA Surgery Patient Complaint Study Explained: In this video, William O. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H. explains how patients whose surgeons had a history of higher numbers of patient complaints had an increased risk of surgical and medical complications, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery. 





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Vanderbilt Health Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy

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