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Safety Innovation Summit Convenes Top Leaders

Karen Feinstein and TeleTracking Co-CEO Christopher Johnson discuss the barriers to innovation in health care during a fireside chat.On February 29, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) and the Pittsburgh Technology Council convened 130 Pittsburgh leaders for the Safety Innovation Summit to discuss the region's long history of safety accomplishments and to share safety interventions and approaches that have proven successful in multiple industries. The Safety Innovation Summit reaffirmed Pittsburgh's immense talent and assets spearheading safety developments, philosophies, and strategies in transportation, energy, manufacturing, medicine, and construction, among others.

Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD said PRHI's commitment to patient safety and the reduction of error in health care was the initial inspiration for the Summit. However, after a deeper look at the region's legacy and current strengths, the goal for the Summit was to plant a flag in Pittsburgh as the "Safety Capital of the World", make connections and share critical learnings across industries.

"We have it all here in our region. We have the academic giants, entrepreneurs, and safety science degree programs to build up the workforce," Dr. Feinstein said. "The brainpower, resourcefulness and workforce to claim the title. Today's dive into our present assets is the platform on which to build an even greater leadership role in the future."

A former employee of Alcoa, working with the late Paul O'Neill at the height of his influence as "the Safety CEO," Pittsburgh Technology Council President and Chief Executive Officer Audrey Russo shared how O'Neill told her it was her job to make sure Pittsburgh is safe and to foster environments where people are safe to grow, safe to learn, safe to innovate, and safe to break boundaries.

"We need to create an opportunity for the intersections of tech and health care and come to the table with our deep roots with industry and creating a safe working environment," Russo said. "Let's plant the flag."

The full-day Summit was formatted with one-hour long panels, set up as hearings from each industry, providing an opportunity for each sector to share critical insights into how they've approached safety in the past and how they're building on that progress when looking to the future.

Read about the entire summit here.