No One is Immune to Medical Errors
Sherman Oaks, CA—Alicia is a Survivor of multiple Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs). In August 2006, following routine fibroid removal, Alicia left the operating room with a fever, nausea and pain. Her condition quickly declined and she found herself being treated for sepsis, pseudomonas, MRSA, VRE and necrotizing fasciitis. Suddenly, Alicia’s estimated two-day hospital stay turned into a two month fight for life.
For four critical weeks in intensive care, Alicia courageously battled as flesh-eating disease ravaged her body. She vowed that if she lived, she would fight to make a difference for other patients. Miraculously, she survived six additional surgeries and near amputation of her leg. Upon leaving the hospital, the determined survivor was still faced with many challenges including fourteen months of twice-a-day home healthcare for dressing changes, and three years of treatment at a wound care center for her open, draining abdomen. Although her last seven years have been dominated by weekly medical aftercare and rehabilitation, Alicia has honored her ICU promise.
While bedridden post-discharge, Alicia began using a talk-to-type program to blog about her experience and healthcare quality improvement issues. In 2009, Alicia and her parents founded the Alliance for Safety Awareness for Patients (ASAP) a nonprofit education and awareness organization working to eliminate preventable infection deaths. She Co-Sponsored and lobbied successfully for passage of two California laws for patient safety and public reporting of hospital infection rates. She is a member of the California HAI Advisory Committee which, through the Department of Public Health, oversees implementation of those laws. Last year she also joined the state of Wyoming Infection Prevention Advisory Group (WIPAG.)
Alicia collaborates regularly with many established patient safety organizations. She works with the Consumers Union Safe Patient Project, the Partnership for Patients (PfP) with both the Patient and Family Engagement (PFE) Network and the LEAPT Sepsis Campaign. She also serves on the Patient and Family Advisory Counsel of the respected Beryl Institute.
In 2011, between doctor appointments, the Ohio State Alum returned to school earning a Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management & Leadership, through the UCLA School of Public Health and UCLA Extension.
Today Alicia is a powerful healthcare speaker who shares her story with healthcare professionals, students and legislators everywhere. Her incredible journey has been featured on ABC’s 20/20, The Doctors and Fox News. She has been the profiled in HealthLeaders Media, HEALTH Magazine, Consumer Reports and the LA Times to name a few.