Opening Remarks: The Value of the Patient Voice and Experience

4.88 (43 votes)


Date/Time: April 10, 2024 | 10:00 - 10:25 am ET

Note: This session will be broadcast as a live Zoom webinar, along with the keynote. Please stay on the live Zoom after opening remarks for the keynote session.

This year’s Sepsis Alliance AMR Conference will open with a patient story from Ella Balasa. Ella is a passionate patient advocate, AMR survivor, and lives with cystic fibrosis. She has experienced numerous hospitalizations and healthcare encounters throughout her life. During these opening remarks, learners will hear Ella’s journey battling antibiotic-resistant infections firsthand and be empowered to better advocate for and amplify the patient’s voice in their own practice. 

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this session, the learner should be able to:

  • List key factors in advocating for and raising the patient’s voice

Target Audience: 

Nurses, advanced practice providers, physicians, emergency responders, pharmacists, medical technologists, respiratory therapists, physical/occupational therapists, infection prevention specialists, data/quality specialists, and more.

Components visible upon registration.

Ella Balasa

Patient Advocate and AMR Survivor

Ella Balasa is a patient advocate, consultant, and a person living with cystic fibrosis. She was diagnosed at 18 months old and has experienced countless hospitalizations since being a child. She has committed her time to empowering patients and advancing research and healthcare strategies through her connections with researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and patient organizations. She is an advocate for the development of novel therapies for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections and speaks publicly at conferences, meetings, and company gatherings about the value of patient perspective. She also has a passion for writing, distilling clinical information for patient communities and sharing about the hardships yet triumph that comes with living with a chronic illness. She has been published in journals, news sites, and blogs. Through opportunities working with healthcare organizations and sharing her journey through content strategy, writing, public speaking, clinical trial development, and sharing the patient experience, she aims to affect the healthcare landscape by raising awareness of rare diseases, promoting self-advocacy to patients, and providing valuable insights to organizations. More of her work and experiences can be found at 

Steven Q. Simpson, MD

Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine

University of Kansas

Steven Q. Simpson, MD is Professor of Medicine at the University of Kansas in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, where he previously served as Division Director, Director of three ICUs, Chair of the Sepsis Team, and Chair of Multidisciplinary Critical Care. He has done research in all areas of severe sepsis from molecular and cellular mechanisms, to translational studies, to quality improvement studies.

He was a founder, in 2005, of the Midwest Critical Care Collaborative, a multidisciplinary and interprofessional collaborative effort to improve the quality of critical care services throughout the Midwest. In 2007, he initiated the Kansas Sepsis Project, a statewide program to improve severe sepsis care and outcomes throughout the state via continuing education both in sepsis and in quality improvement principles, and via inter-professional collaboration. He is currently heading a BCBS-sponsored sepsis collaborative among Kansas City metro area hospitals and is a contributing faculty member of the ongoing Surviving Sepsis Campaign collaboratives, leading the effort in the Midwest. He is a participant in the 2016 review and update of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines.

Dr. Simpson was the North American co-chair of the International Single Day Point Prevalence Study for Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock (IMPRESS) in the fall of 2013. During his tenure at the University of New Mexico, he contributed to the discovery of a particular form of sepsis, the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, and published numerous papers on the clinical description, the hemodynamic description, and the approach to supportive care for patients with the syndrome, including extracorporeal hemodynamic and oxygenation support.

Dr. Simpson received his M.D. degree from the University of Kansas in 1983. He completed residency training in Internal Medicine at KU in 1986 and fellowship training in Pulmonary Diseases at Rush Medical College in 1989. He has been a faculty member at Rush Medical College, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Kansas. He is a regular reviewer for the journals Critical Care Medicine and CHEST, and he reviews on an ad hoc basis for Shock, the Journal of Intensive Care, JAMA, Virology, and Antiviral Therapy. He is the author of over 70 peer reviewed and invited manuscripts, book chapters, and web-based articles and presentations.

Dr. Simpson was the Third Eli Lilly and Company Distinguished Scholar in Critical Care Medicine, sponsored by the American College of Chest Physicians and the Chest Foundation for his work in reducing geographic disparities for severe sepsis care (the Kansas Sepsis Project). In 2013 he delivered the Roger C. Bone Memorial Lecture at the annual international meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, describing the Kansas Sepsis Project. Dr. Bone was Dr. Simpson’s early career mentor and was the progenitor of the criteria used throughout the world to recognize severe sepsis.

No relevant financial relationships to disclose.