About the Coalition
The Empowered Patient Coalition is a consumer and advocate-led effort to inform, engage and empower the public to assume a greater role in their own medical treatment and in becoming a driving force for meaningful health care reform. The coalition is a California non-profit organization and a 501(c)(3) charitable organization as determined by the IRS.
The coalition’s mission is furthered by advocates Julia Hallisy and John Hallisy who experienced the great loss of a child and now has a clear vision of a health care system that is safe, effective, transparent and patient-centered.
Our goal is to partner with individuals, other advocates and consumer organizations to give the public a stronger voice in all health decisions. We strive to enable a new level of collaboration by facilitating the sharing of ideas and resources among all coalition members and participants and encourage the formation of powerful partnerships within the group that will lead to policy changes and quality health care for all.
Our patient safety journey has always been inspired by the strength and wisdom of our late daughter, Katherine Eileen. Kate taught us to search for our happiness, to choose to see the good in people, and to treasure every small kindness, every tender mercy – because there were many. Because of Kate, we lived with everyday miracles and her short, but glorious life always led us to the pinnacles of happiness that sustained us. It was a joy to see the world through Kate’s view and even when her spirit was dampened by debilitating illness, she never let her own pain or sense of fear make her immune to the suffering of others.
Our daughter lost her life to an incurable cancer. Unfortunately, her journey was made even more challenging by life threatening hospital-acquired infection, misdiagnosis and significant and permanent loss of lung function from septic shock. We knew that we were facing a great battle with Kate’s malignancy but we never counted on the ravages of medical error, miscommunication, and medical care that was fragmented and chaotic. We promised Kate that we would finish the book we started together so that others could learn from our experiences and hopefully avoid many of the adverse events we faced. The book took eight years to complete and it was the beginning of our patient safety efforts.
Over the years we have seen many children facing illness and so often they exhibit a grace and wisdom that is beyond their years. This is their gift and it is a blessing that Kate shared with everyone who knew her. Kate knew what it meant to live with unrelenting physical and emotional pain and her compassion for others who suffered in any way was a privilege to witness. When we arrived at our fork in the road and had to decide between a lifetime of anger and sadness and a path of advocacy in honor of Kate’s memory, there was no other choice but to choose Kate’s way. So, everyday we work in patient safety efforts because we envision a health care system that will be able to prevent so many of Kate’s struggles, one that will support families when adverse events happen, and one that will include patients and advocates as valuable members of the health care team.