Educational Events

Join us for our Wine and Wisdom event on the University of Maryland Campus on September 20, 2017!

About Jack Gentry

Jack Gentry is a lifelong Baltimore resident, who spent 37 years as a Baltimore City police officer until his retirement in 2012, the last 17 years as a member of the SWAT team and a skilled negotiator.  While looking forward to an active retirement, Jack’s plans changed drastically when, in April 2013, he was seriously injured as a result of a medical error during an elective surgery to repair two bulging discs in his neck. Jack was paralyzed from the neck down.

The story of what happened next is unusual in U.S. health care and exemplifies how a determined patient working together with a dedicated physician and a health system that live their values of caring and transparency can move forward and make the best of a tragic, life-altering situation.

The surgeon, and the president and risk management team of the hospital involved immediately disclosed what had occurred during surgery and then stayed in communication with Jack and his family to ensure their needs were being met during months of rehabilitation and adjustment to the new realities of their life.

As a result of the open, compassionate way that the surgeon and MedStar responded, Jack and his wife, Teresa, have become vocal advocates for MedStar’s approach and the larger movement across the country in the way healthcare providers respond to unintended medical harm.

Jack is now a member of MedStar Health’s system level Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality and Safety, joining other national patient safety advocates in efforts to make health care safer through advocacy at national, state and local levels.  In 2016, Jack testified before committees of the Maryland House and Senate in support of a MedStar-sponsored bill that would make it possible for caregivers, patients and family members to talk freely and honestly about harm events, offer apologies, and work toward optimal resolution and out-of-court remedies.

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