By Matthew Manguso
Her 3-year-old son died in 1990 after a tonsillectomy and she’s been fighting for patient safety ever since. It hasn’t gone unnoticed. Advocate Ilene Corina has been named to Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Powerful People in the industry, a national honor she shares with Bill Gates and President Barack Obama.
“It is very flattering because it shows that someone is listening,” says Corina, who checked in at number 76 on the list. “But, we need to keep growing.”
The 49-year-old Wantagh resident is the President and Co-founder of PULSE NY, Persons United Limiting Substandards and Errors in Healthcare, a non-profit organization which seeks to educate the community on patient safety, a re-occurring problem in healthcare. Corina hopes to help reduce the amount of victims of medical injury through lectures and advocacy.
“We grow from the grassroots up, so the more we do the more we will grow,” she says.
She uses her story and the stories of other survivors to get the word out to her community that patient safety is a serious problem which needs to be addressed. And even though Modern Healthcare is a nationally syndicated publication, Corina keeps her sights securely on Long Island.
“My main goal is to make my community safe: my neighbors, my friends, my family and to show that we need more discussion between doctors, hospitals and families of patients,” she says. “If we expose the problems then we can fix them, and we can’t do that without disclosure.”
Corina stresses the importance of patients’ families having the right to sit down with doctors and hospitals and ask what went wrong and why.
When asked if she felt powerful, she replied with a laugh: