Founded in 2003, Justin's Hope project works in memory of Justin Micalizzi, who dies at the age of 11 following complications from an incision and drainage of a septic ankle. As his parents searched for answers, his mother, Dale Micalizzi, developed Justin's Hope at The Task Force for Global Health to focus on HOPE – Healthcare Openness, Professionalism, and Excellence – to help improve pediatric safety.
The project provides education, research, and reform toward quality and compassion in healthcare delivery. The vision for this project is to promote quality, safe, compassionate, patient and family centered healthcare and resolution of issues around medical errors through full disclosure. Justin’s Hope provides communities with the opportunity to learn from the Micalizzi family and to improve pediatric healthcare and the current system of responding to adverse events.
Behind the wall of silence in health care are the unanswered questions of patients whose children experienced harm at the hands of their caregivers. In an industry where information and communication are crucial to quality, parents’ voices often go unheard. Although that has begun slowly to change, providers could benefit from following the HEART model of service recovery which includes Hearing the concerns of patients and their families, Empathizing with them, Apologizing when care goes wrong, Responding to parents’ concerns with openness, and Thanking the patient and family.
Ms. Micalizzi participates in a number of speaking engagements on this topic and is a highly regarded speaker and author. She has also co-authored a number of published articles on patient safety and continues to advocate for pediatric safety in the healthcare system in memory of her beloved son, Justin.