CEO of Massachusetts hospital meets with dead patient's husband, apologizes

Executives from Cambridge (Mass.) Health Alliance met with the husband of Laura Levis, who died in 2016, on Nov. 13 and apologized, admitting "multiple failures" at the hospital contributed to the patient's death, The Boston Globe reports.

Here are five things to know:

1. CHA President and CEO Patrick Wardell apologized to Peter DeMarco about the events that led to his wife's death in 2016 during a meeting at The Boston Globe headquarters Nov. 13. Mr. Wardell also said he took "personal responsibility for [Ms. Levis' death]," the report states.

2. Mr. DeMarco published a story in The Boston Globe Magazine Nov. 3 about the death of 34-year-old Ms. Levis, who suffered an asthma attack Sept. 16, 2016. The article details the hospital's communication errors, overburdened staff and lack of fail-safes that affected first responders and caused Ms. Levis to suffer cardiac arrest just in front of Somerville (Pa.) Hospital's ER. Ms. Levis spent seven days in the hospital's intensive care unit before dying Sept. 22, 2016.

3. During the two-hour meeting, Mr. DeMarco kept a framed photograph of his wife beside him and repeated his promise not to sue the hospital, stating he only wanted to learn the truth. He pressed Mr. Wardell on the circumstances of his wife's death. CHA had previously declined to comment on the issue; however, Mr. Wardell told Mr. DeMarco, "It certainly seems to me that if even some of the things … we described as being issues … hadn't occurred, then your wife would be here."

4. CHA officials presented Mr. DeMarco with a two-page list of hospital errors and steps Somerville Hospital has since taken to prevent those mistakes from happening again. They also added that they did not reprimand individual hospital employees involved in the incident, but said officials are committed to sharing the lessons learned in Ms. Levis' death.

5. Mr. DeMarco told The Boston Globe after the meeting that he was disappointed with some of the answers he received and still had questions about his wife's death, but added that he was grateful to hear directly from CHA executives.

To access the full report, click here.

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