October 8, 2013

Hospitals, Bad Practitioners, and Accountability:

Lessons from the Case of Serial Killer Charles Cullen

co-sponsored by

Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College  


Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Event takes place at Roosevelt House at 47-49 E 65th St  (between Park & Madison Avenues) 

6:00-7:30 PM

This event is free.  Seating is limited. Please RSVP at centerhealthmediapolicy@gmail.com

At this evening’s event, award-winning journalist Charles Graeber discusses his new book, The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder, that chronicles how serial killer and nurse Charles Cullen was able to go from one hospital to another, intentionally killing hundreds of patients. As the only journalist to interview Cullen prior to a recent episode of 60 Minutes, Graeber provides new details of Cullen’s murders. But perhaps most stunning is Graeber’s delineation of how hospital executives knew that patients were dying at Cullen’s hand but failed to report him to the authorities and, in some cases, even blocked detectives from available information and provided “neutral” references for Cullen. Their silence enabled Cullen to continue to work in health care facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, increasing his death scorecard.

Two respondents provide additional perspectives on the accountability–or lack thereof–of hospitals in ensuring that unsafe practitioners are reported and restricted from continuing to practice. Charles Ornstein is a Senior Reporter for ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and past president of the Association of Health Care Journalists, who conducted an investigation of the California State Board of Registered Nurses’ excessive time from complaint to decision about nurses who had abused or otherwise harmed patients but were able to continue to be employed as registered nurses.  Edie Brous is a nurse attorney and former president of the American Association of Nurse Attorneys. She represents nurses in malpractice and licensure complaints, and provides another perspective on the clash between nurses’ rights, hospital accountability, and the public’s interests.

A book signing will conclude the evening, with copies of The Good Nurse available for purchase and signing by the author.