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Rosemary Gibson


Rosemary Gibson is the author of The Treatment Trap, which puts a human face on the overuse of unnecessary medical treatment. For policymakers in the White House and Congress who are reforming health care, it offers a ten-step recovery plan to pay for health care reform while also improving care and reducing harm from overuse. For consumers, it offers twenty smart steps to avoid overuse.

As Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey for sixteen years, Rosemary was chief architect of its $200 million national strategy to establish palliative care in the mainstream of the U.S. health care system. Now, more than 1400 hospitals have palliative care programs, an increase from about 10 in the 1990s. She was honored as the recipient of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Gibson worked with Bill Moyers and Public Affairs Television on the PBS documentary, “On Our Own Terms,” which showed to more than 20 million viewers how the U.S. health care system can better care for seriously ill patients and their families. She supported the work of nurse and physician leaders who launched faculty development programs in palliative care, revised medical and nursing textbooks to include the care of dying patients, expanded palliative care content on medical and nursing licensing exams, and initiated a series in the Journal of the American Medicinal Association, “Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life.”

She has made her mark as a national leader in patient safety. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Wall of Silence, which contains narratives of patient experience with medical errors. The book tells the human story behind the Institute of Medicine report, To Err is Human. Wall of Silence was reviewed in the Journal of the American Medical Association and Health Affairs, referenced in proceedings of the U.S. Senate, mentioned in Congressional testimony, noted in The Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe, and highlighted in the anniversary issue of O Magazine.

Download the presentation Rosemary Gibson made at the 2011 Consumers Union Safe Patient Summit Presentation.

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