A Father Calls on the Next Generation to Improve Health Care
John T. James, Ph.D. was the chief toxicologist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Houston, Texas, until his retirement in 2014. He recently spoke to an IHI Open School Chapter as a nationally recognized advocate for patient safety and quality improvement in health care — after the death of his son, Alex. (Caption: The James family at 14,260 feet above sea level on Mt. Evans in Colorado. John is at left and Alex is in the center.)
My son was born after my wife had three miscarriages. Alex was an energetic, curious little boy who went through a long phase of asking me, “Why, Daddy?” It forced me to become creative with my answers, but there was always another “why” waiting in my son’s mind.
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