James Battles

This is the second in a series of profiles on the 2012 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists. The awards, presented by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, recognize outstanding federal employees whose important, behind-the-scenes work is advancing the health, safety and well-being of Americans and are among the most prestigious honors given to civil servants. This profile features Citizen Services Medal finalists Heidi King, director of the Patient Safety Solutions Center, TRICARE Management Activity at the Department of Defense, and James Battles, social science analyst at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Department of Health and Human Services.

Every year, tens of thousands of patients die or are harmed by preventable medical errors such as pharmaceutical prescription mistakes, hospital acquired infections and surgical missteps. Breakdowns in communication among doctors, nurses and other care providers are a leading cause of these tragic errors. Keep reading →