Skip to main content
Ms. Murphy sits, surrounded by Dr Edge, Dr Van Den Kerkhof, Dr Sears, Dr Rotter, Dr Duhn, Dr Turner and Dr Medves.

Head, Hearts and Hands: An open letter to Ms. Margaret Murphy

Dear Ms. Murphy

Two weeks ago, we had the honour of having you at Queen’s University as an International Visiting Scholar, funded in part by the Principal’s Development Fund, School of Nursing, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Faculty Development, A. William, Austin, and the Amos Friend Memorial Visiting Professorship. It was a huge privilege to host your visit in the School of Nursing. You shared your story about the circumstances of your son Kevin’s death due to healthcare error and thanks to years of advocacy on your part, Kevin’s story is now viewed as the consciousness of healthcare. You have left us to ponder how we can make a difference and accelerate the quality and safety mechanisms to ensure healthcare becomes much, much safer.

You gave us many messages during the week – reach out to patients, don’t call health care providers 'second victims' as though there are degrees of victims, ensure patients are involved in research projects from the start – not as an afterthought, and remember that we all need to use our head, heart, and hands.

Approximately 800 people heard you speak over four days including: nursing undergraduate and graduate students; patients and patient advisors; physicians and residents at Kingston Health Science Centre; healthcare quality students, graduates and researchers; and members of the Canadian Forces. We have all been affected by your message. What we are challenged with now is not to become complacent. You charged us with reaching out to families and patients and remembering that when a mother says something is not right – then we must listen as mother’s do know when something is not right.

We have been charged in the province of Ontario to pledge to change for improvement. Within the School of Nursing, we pledge to improve the way we recruit members of the public to our committees, how we ask patients and families to become part of developing our research projects, and making sure we teach learners to really listen – they need to Care to Learn so that they can Learn to Care.

Sincerely, 

The School of Nursing and the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Queen's University

Margaret Murphy

Sat, 10/21/2017 - 13:30

I am both humbled and excited by your words, Dean Reznick It is such reaction and affirmation which sustains me in the work I do.
While at Queens I had the privilege to meet people who were able to demonstrate their commitment to patient safety, quality assurance together with patient engagement and involvement. You lead a cohort of educators and practitioners who themselves are safe hands for patients and who pass on that baton to the next generation of healthcare professionals. I thank you for the opportunity to visit with you, a visit which will remain as a very special memory and a spur to continue my advocacy work. With fondest regards. Margaret

Margaret Murphy

Eleanor Rivoire on behalf of Margaret Murphy

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 02:50

I had the pleasure of spending some time again with Margaret when she recently visited Kingston, and forwarded this blog to her so that she would know of the continued interest and profile of her messages. She responded with appreciation and also said she had tried to leave a comment but was unsuccessful in doing so... the following is the message she wished to submit. I am privileged to be the courier!

I am both humbled and excited by your words, Dean Reznick It is such reaction and affirmation which sustains me
in the work I do.
While at Queens I had the privilege to meet people who were able to demonstrate their commitment to patient safety,
quality assurance together with patient engagement and involvement.
You lead a cohort of educators and practitioners who themselves are safe hands for patients and who pass
on that baton to the next generation of healthcare professionals.
I thank you and your funders for the opportunity to visit with you, a visit which will remain as a very special memory as well
as a spur to continue my advocacy work.
With fondest regards. Margaret

We are to be ever grateful that Margaret shares their experience so selflessly with the goal of creating a culture of partnering with patients and families to improve care, safety and experience of patients, families and providers. Kudos to Queen's for enabling that message to be heard by many more! E

Eleanor Rivoire on behalf of Margaret Murphy

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.