Miss Fayetteville 2016
Finding Your Voice: Improving Health Literacy for Patient Safety.” The mission of my platform is to educate and inform patients, families and healthcare providers about the importance of health literacy, where the voice of every person on the team is important. I have taken my voice as a survivor and advocate from the internet, to public venues speaking with people of all ages about health literacy and patient safety. As a result of my dedication to this initiative, I was awarded the “Health Literacy Hero” award in October 2015 in celebration of Health Literacy Month, and my story was shared at the 2016 World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in California.
“Zero preventable deaths by 2020” is a goal that I support each day. Evidence has shown that one in six US deaths result from preventable medical errors, so if it isn’t you, it will be your family member. We must work now to educate, engage, and empower the public on safe care through health literacy, use of technology, healthcare checklists, and patient story spotlights.
Miss Fayetteville’s Outstanding Teen
Whitley formed an organization called Crayons for Comfort where she delivers crayons and pads of paper to local hospitals for them to give to pediatric patients. When children find themselves at the hospital they are often scared and bored at the same time. Crayons offer a familiar way to pass the time and give them an artistic outlet while they are in an often cold, sterile environment. Whitley has done crayon drives and then puts the packets of crayons and pads together, tied with a colorful ribbon and attaches a poem.