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Speaking to the World

Tiffany  Christensen

Tiffany Christensen

Lung Transplant Survivor, Author of Sick Girl Speaks & Vice President, Experience Innovation of The Beryl Institute


Tiffany Christensen approaches her work from the perspective of a life-long patient CF patient having received 2 double lung transplants and a professional patient advocate. Tiffany is a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, a Respecting Choices Advance Care Planning Instructor, an APPEAL certificate recipient, and the creator of her own Train the Trainer workshop series entitled "Finding Your Voice in the Healthcare Maze.”  Read More >

Christensen is a nationally recognized public speaker and the author of three books exploring advocacy, end of life planning and partnership strategies in healthcare. She is a board member of The Beryl Institute for improving the patient experience and is faculty for the Patient Safety Officer Training at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Christensen served 3 years as the Oncology Patient Advocate at Duke Hospital. During this time, she also worked as the Program Coordinator for Duke Medicine’s Patient Advisory Council Expansion Program in which she was responsible for design and implementation of a standardized PFAC model and training. Christensen succeeded in implementing this model in many clinical specialty areas, the Emergency Department, Hospice and two community hospitals.

In her current role as Vice President, Experience Innovation of The Beryl Institute, Tiffany serves as a focused innovator through speaking engagements, identifying opportunities for innovation and evolving the scope of the Institute's offerings. In her past roles, she was the Performance Improvement Specialist at the NC Quality Center working on operationalizing PFE across North Carolina. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Sick Girl Speaks

Speech Topics

Beyond the Bedside: A Patient Perspective on Transforming the Healthcare Experience Through Partnership

Partnering with Patients: A Bed’s Eye View of Safety

In this speech, Tiffany Christensen uses her extensive patient history as a backdrop to weave together themes of partnership, patient safety and patient satisfaction. By embracing the four principles of patient and family centered care, participants will expand the possibilities of decreasing medical error through partnership with concrete strategies born from TeamSTEPPS tools. Attendees will be inspired by this speaker's story and motivated to implement new partnership techniques within their own practice.

Partnering with Patients: A Bed’s Eye View of PFCC

Using the 4 guiding principles of Patient and Family Centered Care, Christensen uses her story as a backdrop to explore the world of a patient navigating our complicated healthcare systems. Christensen will break down the myths and misconceptions about PFCC and inspire participants to embrace the concepts and take action.

The Patient’s Voice: Developing Your PAC

Now a professional patient advocate and a leader in the field of patient advisory councils, Tiffany Christensen will guide attendees on how to hear and use the patient story in a whole new way. Using her experience with the Duke Health System Patient Advisory Councils, Christensen is able to address the "nuts and bolts" of creating and sustaining a patient advisory council while highlighting the goals and benefits.

Caring for You, Caring for Me

This presentation can be done in a one, two or three hour format. Read More >

Throughout the one, two or three hour presentations, Tiffany Christensen tells her story while highlighting the role of nurses in healthcare. The two hour program also includes poignant but fun improv exercises exploring communicating with "difficult" patients. The three hour program allows participants time for more self care and exercises that allow room to reflect on past patients and the lessons learned from caring for the sick. Read Less ^

Living & Thriving with CF

In this presentation – reserved only for CF providers, patients with CF and loved ones of people with CF – Tiffany Christensen explores childhood fears created by misinformation and lack of information, the rebellion of the teens and how CF impacted it, and growing into an adult with a clear understanding of purpose. Christensen challenges participants to open to the possibility that CF has just as many gifts as it does challenges. How do you define "personal value" in your household? It may change after this presentation!

The Four Guiding Principles of Patient & Family Centered Care

Tiffany infuses within her personal story the 4 Guiding Principles as described by the Institute of Patient Family Centered Care.

  • Respect and dignity. Health care practitioners listen to and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.
  • Information Sharing. Health care practitioners communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
  • Patients and families are encouraged and supported in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.
  • Patients and families are also included on an institution-wide basis. Health care leaders collaborate with patients and families in policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation; in health care facility design; and in professional education, as well as in the delivery of care.