David Nevins Interviews Dr. Blair Eig and Dr. Nicole Rochester, Maryland Patient Safety Center


Dr. Blair Eig and Nicole Rochester

Dr. Blair M. Eig is the President and CEO of the Maryland Patient Safety Center where he oversees all aspects of management and operations of the organization. Dr. Eig has been a strong advocate of patient safety on a state and national level throughout his career. Previously, Dr. Eig served as Chief Medical Officer of Holy Cross Health for nearly two decades. Prior to that, he practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland from 1987 to 2001. In addition to earning his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, he also holds an MBA from American University and an MA in biochemistry from Brandeis University.

Dr. Nicole T. Rochester is a board-certified pediatrician, professional health advocate, TEDx and keynote speaker, and the CEO of Your GPS Doc, LLC, an innovative company that helps aging individuals, those with chronic illnesses, and their family caregivers navigate the healthcare system. She was inspired to start her company after caring for her late father and witnessing the complicated healthcare system from the other side of the stethoscope.

A Maryland native, Dr. Rochester obtained her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and she completed her pediatric residency training at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Maryland Health Education Institute and is a member of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and was recently appointed to the Mass Vaccinations Community Outreach Planning Work group through the Maryland Department of Health.

Dr. Rochester engages with audiences locally and nationally through workshops and speaking engagements. She is passionate about eradicating health inequities and believes genuine patient and family caregiver engagement is the key to positive transformation in our healthcare system.

Interview Questions:

Q1: Dr. Eig – While the Maryland Patient Safety Center has been around for nearly two decades now as the State of Maryland’s official patient safety center, many in the general public and even in the business and civic community may not be aware of the center and its mission. Can you give us a little history on the center and what your goals are?

Q2: You have been immersed in patient safety and quality care initiatives throughout your career, can you share with us a little bit about your career trajectory and how you came to join the center in early 2020?

Q3: Blair, before we move on to other topics, I’d ask you to comment on the unique nature of the healthcare ecosystem in Maryland and how fortunate we are to have so many world-class healthcare institutions based here in central Maryland. What advantages does that offer your organization and what challenges does it present?

Q4: Even before COVID struck, the center was working to find ways to address issues related to discrimination and implicit bias in healthcare. The pandemic accelerated those efforts, specifically as they relate to vaccine hesitancy and other important challenges. Dr. Eig – talk to us about how and why the center came to partner with Dr. Rochester and the Maryland Hospital Association.

Q5: Dr. Rochester, you have studied and looked at challenges related to systematic discrimination in healthcare in hospitals and health systems across the country. Can you give us an overview of the challenges facing healthcare institutions in Maryland specifically and do our challenges mirror the challenges facing institutions on a national level?

Q6: With the rollout of the vaccines in the past few months, COVID vaccine hesitancy has leapt to the forefront as a challenge for many frontline healthcare workers and in communities of color. Dr. Rochester, I know this is a large and very nuanced topic, but can you give us some background on vaccine hesitancy in communities of color?

Q7: Can you share with us some of the recommendations you make for hospitals and health systems to address vaccine hesitancy with their employees and the communities they serve?

Q8: I know you have offered at least two programs thus far covering these topics, can you tell us about the response and some of the discussions the programs have inspired?

Q9: Dr. Eig – the Maryland Patient Safety Center has been so responsive and nimble when it comes to providing resources that are timely and much needed by your members. Can you talk about some of the other initiatives you have going on, including your big annual conference coming up this spring?

David Nevins is president & CEO of Nevins & Associates, a highly regarded strategic communications company and proactive public relations partner. The firm’s regional and national client base is a unique mix of organizations across a variety of industries including: healthcare, professional service firms, finance, not-for-profits, distributors, state agencies, national media companies, technology, political and grassroots campaigns, real estate development, sporting events, and more.

With more than 30 years of experience in marketing, public relations, and community and government relations, David is a talented and seasoned executive. Prior to founding Nevins & Associates in 1983, David served as the Director of Marketing for both Towson University and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 2001, he was tapped by the CEO of Comcast to employ his marketing expertise as President of the company’s regional sports network, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. David is a Past President of the Board of Governors for the Center Club and is a former Chairman of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland, a position to which he was appointed by the Governor of Maryland. David has chaired the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission and the Maryland Higher Education Loan Corporation, served as President of both the Jewish National Fund and the Towson Business Association and was a member of the PNC Bank board.

David is highly involved in the business, civic, and political communities, and his many years of active leadership in numerous organizations have built a network of contacts that he regularly puts to use for the firm’s clients. For more information, visit  www.nevinspr.com.

Recent press releases:

Improving Vaccine Acceptance in Communities of Color

Maryland Patient Safety Center Names Winners of Patient Safety Innovation Awards for 2020

MDMOM Program Successfully Coordinates the First Maternal Health Task Force in Maryland

Maryland Health Care Commission Re-designates MPSC

Maryland Patient Safety Center Announces New CEO

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