Watson Recognized as Top Patient Safety Expert

Posted on May 25, 2018

Sam WatsonSam R. Watson, MSA, MT (ASCP), CPPS, senior vice president of patient safety and quality, MHA, and executive director of the MHA Keystone Center, was recently named one of the 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety by Becker’s Hospital Review, a leading healthcare publication.

Individuals recognized on the list are exemplary models of dedication and leadership in the advancement of patient safety and quality. Winners were selected by the Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team based on certain criteria, including professional achievements and current leadership position. 

Watson’s unwavering and longstanding commitment to patient safety and healthcare quality is reflected in his 30-year career. He has led multistate efforts to improve patient safety and quality, which has resulted in the reduction of harm and infections to patients and avoided healthcare costs. Under his leadership, the MHA Keystone Center received the 2012 Dick Davidson Quality Milestone Award for healthcare improvement and the 2009 John M. Eisenberg Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality Award in the national innovation category.

Watson joined the MHA in 2001 and, over the past 16 years, has transitioned from senior director of clinical performance measurement to associate executive director to senior vice president of patient safety and quality. He is also an adjunct faculty member for Lansing Community College.

In his current role, Watson has led the MHA Keystone Center in collecting, analyzing and aggregating adverse event data to transform it into sustained clinical improvements and a dramatic cultural shift in Michigan hospitals to create safer, more reliable environments for patients. The work has drawn national and international attention and has been adopted in hospitals across the world.

Watson currently serves on several professional organizations and committees, including the boards of directors of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Michigan Association of Home Care and Hospice, and Spectrum Health – Pennock.  He is also a member of the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety – Certification Expert Oversight Committee.

Watson has given more than 100 speeches at hospitals, conventions and universities and his work has been featured in 35 national and international publications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science from Ferris State University and a master’s degree from Central Michigan University. He has completed the Health Research and Educational Trust Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship and is a certified patient safety professional.

For more information, contact the MHA Keystone Center.


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  • Watson Recognized as Top Patient Safety Expert

Tags: MHA Keystone Center, Patient Safety and Quality, Sam Watson

Posted in: News Releases, Patient Safety & Quality

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