Part one of a two-part series
The first in a two part series explores the tragic cascade of medical errors, including but not limited to: multiple health care acquired infections, medication error, polypharmacy and falls that claimed the life of Alice Brennan, as told by her daughter, Mary Brennan-Taylor. What followed her preventable death was a robust partnership between Alice’s family and numerous University at Buffalo departments from the Jacobs School of Medicine to the Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy and Physical Therapy resulting in thousands of students being challenged by the haunting question...what could you have done to save Alice?
About Team Alice
Mary Brennan-Taylor is Vice President of Programs for the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier and community activist with a passion for patient and victim advocacy. Mary volunteers as an adjunct research instructor for the UB Department of Family Medicine as a monthly lecturer in the Medical School and serves as a founding member of Team Alice, a Multidisciplinary team focusing on deprescribing and medication safety for geriatric patients. Mary also volunteers her time as a Patient and Family Engagement Advisor for Eastern Niagara Hospital.
Ranjit Singh in a Family Physician, Director of the Primary Care Research Institute at UB, and Co-Director of Team Alice. His work with Team Alice aims to arm patients and providers with knowledge and skills to identify and stop medications that do more harm than good, and to develop systems to keep patients safe as they navigate across the healthcare system.
Robert Wahler is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UB SPPS) and the Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services at Niagara Hospice. Dr. Wahler received his Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the Albany College of Pharmacy and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University at Buffalo. He is a founding member and presently on the Board of Trustees as the Hospice representative to the Society of Pain Palliative Care Pharmacists.
Dr. Wahler is the team co-leader of “Team Alice” (www.teamalice.org), a research team dedicated to medication safety in seniors. Based upon an actual incident of inappropriate prescribing that eventually led to the death of Alice Brennan, the team focuses on research the protects seniors from medication harm across the care continuum. Dr. Wahler received the initial grant that provided seed funding for the team, which has now garnered additional grants and publications on patient-, provider- and system-driven deprescribing of potentially inappropriate medications.