Council Co-Chair Ann Ceschin has achieved remarkable results in her home state of Wisconsin after her daughter, Katie, died from sepsis at 26 years of age. In fact, sepsis-related deaths have dropped by 40% in hospitals affiliated with the Wisconsin Hospital Network in recent years. Ann insists that her methodical, commonsense approach can be followed by anyone seeking to make real change in their state. Here's her step-by-step guide:
"After Katie died, I went on to the Wisconsin Department of Health website and looked up "sepsis". It wasn’t even listed as a condition.
1. I wrote a letter to the WI Secretary of Health about Katie’s story and included pictures of Katie. I asked that they update the site with Sepsis information. I provided them the link to the CDC site, which now has extensive information about sepsis (it was updated after Orlaith Staunton found not a single mention of sepsis on the CDC site following her son, Rory's death).
2. I wrote my congressman, house of representative and senator all on Katie’s story and pictures. Paul Ryan was the only one who responded.
3. I then contacted every leadership position within the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA). Those letters funneled down to their Quality group and they were willing to meet with me. I asked them if this is something the state could focus on because Katie should have never died. Long story short, they launched a Sepsis awareness campaign for hospitals within their membership (the hospital where Katie died is not a member of the WHA, although most hospitals in Wisconsin are) with the goal of decreasing mortality. They named the initiative “Think Katie First! Think Sepsis!” That initiative has leading to a 40% reduction in sepsis-related deaths across the WHA network."
Watch this short video about Katie, produced by the Wisconsin Hospital Network.