The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has awarded the 2023 Judy Smetzer Just Culture Champion Scholarships to three deserving healthcare practitioners who are emerging safety leaders. The scholarships, which are being offered in cooperation with The Just Culture Company, include enrollment in a certification course that helps healthcare practitioners work to advance fair accountability and system improvement.
This year’s scholarship recipients are Nicole Chopski, PharmD, ANP, the bureau chief for health professions and executive officer of the boards of pharmacy, Medicine, and Nursing for the Idaho division of Occupational and Professional Licenses; Kristin Neiswender, RN, MSN, CPPS, senior patient safety manager for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Scott Possley, PA, MPAS, assistant vice president, Quality & Accreditation for the Hospital for Special Surgery.
Chopski was nominated by the Idaho Board of Pharmacy, which is striving to further improve pharmacy processes in the state by helping cultivate a safety culture. Among its efforts, the Idaho Board proposed a resolution related to Just Culture that went on to pass at the annual National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) meeting in 2019 and led to the formation of a task force Chopski is an authorized nuclear pharmacist (ANP) who received her PharmD from Idaho State University College of Pharmacy and has been involved in multiple professional organizations on the national, state, and local level.
Meanwhile, Neiswender has practiced as a nurse in the pediatric setting for more than 30 years. She co-developed a Partnering for Just Culture program to help minimize punitive responses to errors that has been sustained for the last five years in her hospital’s nursing department. Staff surveys have shown 90% or greater adherence to Just Culture principles since its implementation. Neiswender earned a certificate in quality and safety from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and is certified in both patient safety and psychological safety. She is also a master trainer for TeamSTEPPS, which is aimed at enhancing departmental teamwork and communication.
Finally, Possley has more than 20 years of healthcare experience, including leading organization-wide initiatives. He chairs his hospital’s annual Culture of Safety Survey and Culture of Safety Day, and co-chairs its Workplace Safety Committee. He also has helped bring Just Culture principles to nurse practitioner and physician assistant peer review. Possley is a master’s degree prepared physician assistant who has worked in regulatory accreditation, quality, and performance improvement since 2011. He has earned credentials in diversity and inclusion, redesigning event review with RCAs, and peer support during stressful events.
The 2023 Judy Smetzer Just Culture Champion Scholarships were selected from a large competitive pool of qualified individuals looking to become a stronger champion of the model in their organization. They were selected for their potential to impact Just Culture in their organization and beyond.