ISMP Announces First Just Culture Scholarship Recipients

This Year’s Awardees Chosen from More than 100 Applications

October 19, 2022

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has awarded the 2023 Judy Smetzer Just Culture Champion Scholarships to three deserving healthcare practitioners who are emerging safety leaders. The scholarships, which are being offered in cooperation with The Just Culture Company, include enrollment in a certification course that helps healthcare practitioners work to advance fair accountability and system improvement.

This year’s scholarship recipients are:

Nicole Chopski, PharmD, ANP
Bureau Chief for Health Professions and Executive Officer of the Boards of Pharmacy, Medicine, and Nursing
Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses
Boise, ID

Dr. Chopski was nominated by the Idaho Board of Pharmacy, which is striving to further improve pharmacy processes in the state by helping cultivate a safety culture. Among its efforts, the Idaho Board proposed a resolution related to Just Culture that went on to pass at the annual National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) meeting in 2019 and led to the formation of a task force. Dr. Chopski is an authorized nuclear pharmacist (ANP) who received her PharmD from Idaho State University College of Pharmacy and has been involved in multiple professional organizations on the national, state, and local level.

Kristin Neiswender, RN, MSN, CPPS
Senior Patient Safety Manager
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

Ms. Neiswender has practiced as a nurse in the pediatric setting for more than 30 years. She co-developed a Partnering for Just Culture program to help minimize punitive responses to errors that has been sustained for the last five years in her hospital’s nursing department. Staff surveys have shown 90% or greater adherence to Just Culture principles since its implementation. Ms. Neiswender earned a certificate in quality and safety from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and is certified in both patient safety and psychological safety. She is also a master trainer for TeamSTEPPS, which is aimed at enhancing departmental teamwork and communication.

Scott Possley, PA, MPAS
Assistant Vice President, Quality & Accreditation
Hospital for Special Surgery
New York, NY

Mr. Possley has more than 20 years of healthcare experience, including leading organization-wide initiatives. He chairs his hospital’s annual Culture of Safety Survey and Culture of Safety Day, and co-chairs its Workplace Safety Committee. He also has helped bring Just Culture principles to nurse practitioner and physician assistant peer review. Mr. Possley is a master’s degree prepared physician assistant who has worked in regulatory accreditation, quality, and performance improvement since 2011. He has earned credentials in diversity and inclusion, redesigning event review with RCAs, and peer support during stressful events.

The 2023 Judy Smetzer Just Culture Champion Scholarships were selected from a large competitive pool of qualified individuals looking to become a stronger champion of the model in their organization. They were selected for their potential to impact Just Culture in their organization and beyond.

For more about scholarship benefits, candidate requirements, and application process, visit:
Judy Smetzer Just Culture Champion Scholarships | Institute For Safe Medication Practices (

About the Institute for Safe Medication Practices
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is the nation’s first 501c (3) nonprofit organization devoted entirely to preventing medication errors. ISMP is known and respected for its medication safety information. For more than 25 years, it also has served as a vital force for progress. ISMP’s advocacy work alone has resulted in numerous necessary changes in clinical practice, public policy, and drug labeling and packaging. Among its many initiatives, ISMP runs the only national voluntary practitioner medication error reporting program, publishes newsletters with real-time error information read and trusted throughout the global healthcare community, and offers a wide range of unique educational programs, tools, and guidelines. In 2020, ISMP formally affiliated with ECRI to create one of the largest healthcare quality and safety entities in the world, and ECRI and the ISMP PSO is a federally certified patient safety organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As an independent watchdog organization, ISMP receives no advertising revenue and depends entirely on charitable donations, educational grants, newsletter subscriptions, and volunteer efforts to pursue its life-saving work. Visit and follow @ismp_org to learn more.

For more information, contact:
Renee Brehio, ISMP Public and Media Relations