Kathleen Finlay

Kath­leen Fin­lay is CEO of The Cen­ter for Patient Pro­tec­tion, a lead­ing advo­cate for improved patient safe­ty and patient- and family-centered care. She found­ed The Cen­ter fol­low­ing the hor­rif­ic hos­pi­tal ordeal expe­ri­enced by her elder­ly moth­er, which saw irrepara­ble dam­age inflict­ed on her as well as a record num­ber of med­ical errors.

After research­ing thou­sands of pages of med­ical lit­er­a­ture and con­sult­ing with renowned patient safe­ty experts around the world, Kath­leen dis­cov­ered the quin­tes­sen­tial fault line in the health­care sys­tem: too many hos­pi­tals still deliv­er too much harm to patients when it is pre­ventable and a lack of trans­paren­cy often per­mits this harm to occur.  She also dis­cov­ered the infa­mous deny and defend cul­ture that mag­ni­fies the emo­tion­al dam­age inflict­ed on patients and fam­i­lies when hos­pi­tals refuse to pro­vide answers or will not hold them­selves account­able when avoid­able harm occurs.

Today, Kath­leen is rec­og­nized as a glob­al leader for patients and fam­i­lies in the bat­tle to reduce hos­pi­tal harm, to min­i­mize its dev­as­tat­ing emo­tion­al impact and to real­ize the sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ings that safer care can pro­duce.

With its flag­ship cam­paign to put patients and fam­i­lies first, its unique tools and resources that help to inform and assist hos­pi­tal users and providers, and its online out­reach clin­ic to which patients and fam­i­lies around the world turn every day, The Cen­ter for Patient Pro­tec­tion has helped thou­sands nav­i­gate toward safer and more com­pas­sion­ate care. Today, Kath­leen is rec­og­nized as a glob­al leader for patients and fam­i­lies in the bat­tle to reduce hos­pi­tal harm, to min­i­mize its dev­as­tat­ing emo­tion­al impact and to real­ize the sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ings that safer care can pro­duce.

For more than 20 years, Kath­leen held posi­tions in pub­lic pol­icy devel­op­ment and cap­i­tal mar­kets reg­u­la­tion. That expe­ri­ence has informed her view today that med­ical errors, which are the third lead­ing cause of death in the Unit­ed States and Cana­da, con­sti­tute a seri­ous pub­lic pol­i­cy cri­sis that deserves the urgent atten­tion of law­mak­ers and health­care lead­ers.

Kathleen’s authen­tic and pas­sion­ate voice, com­bined with her own real-life expe­ri­ence in deal­ing with the con­se­quences and after­math of hos­pi­tal harm, have made her a sought-after com­men­ta­tor in the media. She is a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to The Huff­in­g­ton Post.