September 9, 2020 | Medical Harm: Moving Beyond Deny and Defend

After losing her son to medical mistakes, Leilani Schweitzer went to work for the hospital where the event happened and today draws on her lived experience to help patients and families address medical harm. Hear her story and learn how Oregon is advancing a new, transparent approach for communicating with patients who experience medical harm at this event that’s co-hosted by the Oregon Patient Safety Commission. A panel discussion includes a provider’s experience implementing the model and a national expert’s take on moving away from “deny and defend.”


Eric B. Lindauer, JD, has worked exclusively as an arbitrator and mediator since 1985, first as a partner in the firm of Clark Lindauer and later as a sole practitioner. In 2012, he was selected by Governor Kitzhaber to mediate medical malpractice reform efforts leading to passage of Senate Bill 483. Listed in Best Lawyers in America – Alternative Dispute Resolution 2007-2020 editions, Eric is a Life Trustee for Willamette University, served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Oregon Community Foundation for many years, and is actively involved in several non-profit organizations. In 1966, Eric Lindauer received his B.S. degree from Oregon State University and his J.D. degree from Willamette University, College of Law. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar, Multnomah County Bar Association, and American Bar Association.

Eric Lindauer can be reached at:

Shannon Alexander, MBA, RN, CPHRM is the Director of Patient Safety and Clinical Risk Management for Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH). PSJH serves 51 acute care hospitals, over 1000 clinics and 37,000 nurses across 7 states. Shannon began her career as a CC nurse, followed by Nursing Administration and for the past 20+ years Shannon has been recognized as a leader in Risk Management. Shannon has pioneered the principles of early discussion and resolution to address adverse patient outcome management resulting in the resolution of hundreds of cases short of litigation. She has worked with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission as a contributing member for their Oregon Collaborative on Communication and Resolution Programs (Cohort one and two). She is a member of the Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement Best Practices Standards, ASHRM, OSHRM and a frequent guest speaker on various patient safety and risk related topics.

Shannon Alexander can be reached at

Thomas H. Gallagher, MD, MACP is a general internist who is Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington, where he is Associate Chair for Patient Care Quality, Safety, and Value.  Dr. Gallagher has published over 120 articles and book chapters on patient safety and error disclosure, which have appeared in leading journals. He is also Executive Director of the Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement, an organization dedicated to advancing the spread of Communication and Resolution Programs.  In 2017, his work advancing Communication and Resolution Programs was recognized with the receipt of the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Achievement, presented by the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission.

Dr. Gallagher can be reached at

Leilani Schweitzer is the PEARL Patient Liaison at Stanford Health Care. In 2005, her son Gabriel died after a series of medical errors at Stanford Children’s Hospital. Since 2011, she has worked on Stanford’s efforts to be transparent and learn after unexpected medical outcomes. She uses her own experience to navigate between the often insular, legal and administrative sides of medical error; and the intricate, emotional side of the patient and family experience. Her work with patients, families, care providers and attorneys has given her a unique view of the importance and complex realities of disclosure and transparency. Leilani’s work has been discussed in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and on She has been featured on the Ted Radio Hour and RadioLab podcasts. Leilani’s TedX talk about the need for transparency and compassion in healthcare has been viewed more than 139,000 times.

Leilani Schweitzer can be reached at

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