Ralph Kohl.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (HCAPS) announced the appointment of Ralph Kohl as new executive director. Kohl will serve as the coalition’s leader and will work closely with HCAPS partners to set a strategic plan for the future. “Mr. Kohl brings a strong mix of in-depth patient healthcare advocacy and years of federal and regulatory experience to HCAPS,” said David Cockrell, OD, HCAPS chairman. “With the power of diverse healthcare, association and patient safety-minded partners, the coalition has made great strides in driving policies that prioritize the health and safety of patients in the U.S. We know that Mr. Kohl’s acumen and passion will drive the future growth and impact of the organization.”

With nearly 20 years of healthcare advocacy and lobbying experience in Washington, D.C., Kohl has worked with leading health professional organizations to advance legislation and policies that help improve patient care in the U.S. Previously, Kohl worked for the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) and led AANA’s federal legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts. Additionally, Kohl has worked in senior roles with health care professional associations at the federal and state levels as well as a staff member for the New York State Legislature in Albany, New York.

“I’m thrilled to continue the important work to protect and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship through HCAPS,” said Kohl. “This coalition has the tremendous opportunity to elevate healthcare. I look forward to working with our partners to facilitate collaboration and champion policies that push patient care and vision protection forward.”

In the coming year, the HCAHPS partners and leadership team will be working hand-in-hand to evolve and advance the organization’s key principles, including:

  • Support and advocate for the center of every healthcare decision: the doctor-patient relationship and ensure the delivery of quality care and healthy outcomes.

  • Support and advocate for the safest, healthiest and most effective use of medical devices while promoting the advancements in technology to create better patient health outcomes.

  • Support and advocate for the inviolability of a patient’s prescription, determined through consultation between a patient and his or her doctor.

  • Support and advocate for needed enforcement and/or needed strengthening of patient health and safety laws and regulations.

  • Educate and inform policymakers, the media and the public about the importance of doctor- patient decision-making and respond to dangerous, abusive or harmful medical device marketing practices that undermine quality care or place patients at increased risk for harm.
HCAPS was founded in 2018 by the American Optometric Association to advocate for patient safety and to protect the doctor-patient relationship, which the organization believes is “the essential foundation of personalized healthcare decision-making.”