Don Berwick, M.D., has earned plenty of accolades in recent years for his visionary work promoting patient safety and quality improvement in the U.S. healthcare system. Now, he's earned high honors from an entirely different source -- Queen Elizabeth II of England.
Berwick, president and chief executive officer of the Boston-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement, has been appointed an honorary Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire, in recognition of his "distinguished service to healthcare improvement in Britain's National Health Service." Berwick, one of the world's foremost authorities on healthcare quality and improvement, has worked closely with the National Health Service since the mid-1990s on a modernization plan for the United Kingdom's healthcare system. He said in a statement that he was "deeply touched" by the honor.
Berwick is one of only a handful of recipients of this recognition in the fields of science and medicine, and joins such luminaries as Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg and Rudy Giuliani among the overall list of honorary knights.