Julia Berg Lectures

Through our work with the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Pediatrics, we have established two programs in Julia’s memory. With each program we hope that doctors in training and in practice will become ever-more conscious of the risks of medical error and sensitive to the unique challenges of adolescent medicine.

The Julia Berg Memorial Lecture is funded through the Julia Berg Memorial Fund for Patient Safety at the University of Minnesota Foundation. The purpose of the Fund is to support the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics’ Resident Education Program by providing a source of funds for renowned speakers whose specialty is in patient safety with a focus on communication between families and medical staff or hospital systems.

Julia Berg Memorial Lecture #1
The first Julia Berg Memorial Lecture was held at the University of Minnesota on April 1, 2009. Dr. Saul Weingart presented Pediatric Grand Rounds to medical students, the medical community and the public. The title of his lecture was, "Learning from patients and families about patient safety.” Dr. Weingart, BS, MD, MPP, PhD, is Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and VP for Patient Safety, Center for Patient Safety, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Julia Berg Memorial Lecture #2
The second Julia Berg Memorial Lecture was presented by Dr Michael S. Wolf, Associate Division Chief-Research in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, presented his lecture, “Promoting Save and Appropriate Medication Use: A Health Literacy Perspective.”

Julia Berg Memorial Lecture #3
The third Julia Berg Memorial Lecture was presented by Paul Sharek, MD, MPH, FAAP, from the Stanford School of Medicine, and Chief Clinical Patient Safety Officer at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, presented his lecture, "Moving Closer to High Reliability: Partnering with Parents to Improve Patient Safety."

Julia Berg Memorial Lecture #4
Jim Conway is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health, Principal of the Governance & Leadership Group of Pascal Metrics, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). A standing room only audience heard the fourth Julia Berg Memorial Lecture, which was a stark, compelling and compassionate message about the state of patient safety. Mr. Conway has written about Julia and includes her story in his lectures nationally. Here is a link to the archival video tape of his Grand Rounds lecture on October 24, 2012:    Jim Conway's Lecture

Julia Berg Memorial Lecture #5
Phil Kibort, MD, MBA, is Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer,
Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics,University of Minnesota. Dr. Kibort was Chief Medical Officer at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital when Julia died, and his deeply personal reflections were captured in his lecture, “Diagnostic Errors: The Next Frontier in Patient Safety.” We continue to appreciate Dr. Kibort’s efforts on patient safety and for his continuing to tell Julia’s story.  His comments are available here:    Phil Kibort's Lecture

Julia Berg Memorial Lecture #6

Atul Gawande, MD, is a surgeon, writer, public health researcher and professor at the Harvard Medical School, with many additional credentials. He is the author of four best sellers, including three on patient safety and medical error: Complications, Better, and The Checklist Manifesto. Dr. Gawande appeared in conversation with Dr. John Andrews of the U of M, who has been our primary contact and coordinator for all of the Julia Berg Lectures. Unfortunately there is no recording of this event. We are grateful and honored to present Dr. Gawande to an audience of nearly 400 medical residents and U of M Medical School students.


Julia Berg Memorial Lecture #7
Mark Graber, MD, is a Senior Fellow at RTI International and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Graber has been a pioneer in efforts to address diagnostic errors in medicine, and his research in this area has been supported by the National Patient Safety Foundation and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In 2008 he convened and chaired the first Diagnostic Error in Medicine conference. In 2011 he founded the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. He knows well the circumstances of Julia’s death, and we were honored to have this national leader present the Julia Berg Lecture:    Mark Graber's Lecture


Julia Berg Memorial Lecture #8
Arabella Simpkin, MD, MMSc, is the Associate Director of the Center for Educational Innovation and Scholarship, Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Simpkin is a graduate of the University of Oxford where she studied medicine. She trained in adult medicine and pediatrics in the UK, and holds Membership to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Dr. Simpkin has a Master of Medical Sciences in Medical Education from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Simpkin is committed to designing and researching innovative approaches to the teaching of medicine particularly in diagnostic reasoning, medical decision-making, resilience, and embracing uncertainty. This focus of her research and publications made her an outstanding candidate for the Julia Berg Lecture:     Arabella Simpkin's Lecture




Revised November 2018