Laura Batz Townsend
President & Co-Founder
Eight years ago on April 14, 2009, Laura’s Mom, Louise H. Batz went to have routine knee surgery. Her surgery was successful, but then after a series oversights and medication errors on the General Floor, Louise went into respiratory depression and suffered an anoxic brain injury. 11 days later she passed away.
In her honor, Laura and her family created the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation (Batz Foundation) in the summer of 2009. Laura Batz Townsend and her family have turned heartbreak and loss into the promise of improved safety for hospital patients in San Antonio and across the country. Laura grew up in the medical community of San Antonio, with five physicians in her family. Laura entered the sports marketing and sports grant management field, where she has worked for 13 years. That family medical background combined with Laura’s organizational and development skills equipped her family to create the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation in the hope that others could avoid the family tragedy they experienced upon the untimely loss of their mother.
The mission of the Batz Foundation is to prevent medical errors by ensuring that patients and families have the knowledge they need for a safe hospital experience, and to support innovative advancements in patient safety. Our greatest hope is that patients, families, and caregivers will work together, as a team, to improve patient safety in our hospitals.
Over the past five years, since Louise tragically lost her life, the Batz Foundation has worked tirelessly to achieve our goal to open pathways of communication between patients, doctors, nurses, and hospitals in an effort to enhance hospital safety and prevent adverse events. In 2010, after her mother passed away, Laura met with medical leaders from all the major medical hospitals in San Antonio to present research on the risks of patient controlled analgesia (PCA) therapy and the need to improve PCA safety in San Antonio hospitals. Together, they successfully developed city-wide PCA safety initiatives that was introduced in the fall 2010 to all hospitals in San Antonio, with the goal to reduce preventable medication errors due to PCA therapy.
We believe it is important to empower the patient and family with knowledge about the type of care they will receive in order to make informed decisions and to create awareness and literature that is not only accessible, but easy for the patient to understand.
To accomplish this goal, the Batz Foundation has developed a number of tools:
A patient safety website (https://www.louisebatz.org)
A patient safety guide (The Batz Guide for Bedside Advocacy: Teaming up for the Patient) in English, Spanish, and Dutch.
Pediatric Weezie’s Angels Guide
Pediatric Transplant Guide, Empower Community Booklets, “ You and Your Health” in partnership with Head Start San Antonio
An interactive App, “The Batz Patient Guide App” for all android and apple products
Most recently, Breast Cancer Guide in partnership with Susan G. Komen San Antonio.
These tools were created by a devoted team of over 50 physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, patient safety leaders, families, and patients from San Antonio and across the country. These tools not only provide patients, families, and caregivers easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow checklists for every stage of the hospital stay, they provide information to help them understand hospital processes and standard treatment protocols and serve as an excellent resource for conversations with the clinician team. The Batz Foundation tools are being distributed not only In Texas but across the country and in South America and Europe.
The Batz Foundation believes that, by working together with a common purpose and vision, we can continue to bring change and improvements in tangible forms and implement them through programs and services that will improve the patient’s experience and change the culture of safety in our hospitals. Mrs. Townsend currently sits on the Board of Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS), The Chair for the Patient-Family Advisory Steering Committee for Seton Healthcare Family in Austin, Planetree Designation Committee, The Steering Committee for the Patient Safety Movement Foundation.