What is the Right To Safe  Care Coalition?

The Right to Safe Care Coalition is a group of organizations and individuals who are concerned about legislation recently enacted in some states to undo current systems established to assure the public of the competence of health care professionals. Our goal is to educate stakeholders, including the public, about the importance of effective lifelong learning programs administered by voluntary credentialing organizations, health professional licensing boards, and hospitals and other health care delivery institutions. These programs protect the public, promote patient safety and help ensure high quality health care services for everyone. Legislation that will weaken the effectiveness of current competence programs has been passed in several states, and this effort has recently expanded from physicians to also include physician assistants. We believe other health professions will be next!

Why was the Right To Safe  Care Coalition Created?

Leaders from organizations representing consumers, physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, and dietitians realized the vital importance of providing accurate and informed education surrounding this issue for community leaders, patient groups, state legislators, employers, the media, academics, credentialing leaders, and other stakeholders. Our coalition will offer targeted education about efforts to undermine lifelong learning programs, the very programs designed and put into place to ensure the current competence of health care practitioners. This education program is needed to counter the myths put forward by those who would eliminate the robust requirements that currently exist. Their efforts, should they be successful, would undermine patient safety for the sake of practitioner convenience. Those that work to protect the existing standard are unjustly being accused of many things by those who want to eliminate requirements for lifelong learning. The coalition’s mission is to tell “the other side” of the story.

Who can join the coalition and how can I join?

Any organization or individual in support of strong current competence programs for health care professionals. Email David Swankin at davidswankin@cacenter.org to take your first step at getting involved! We would also be happy to provide information or arrange a presentation about the RTSCC for your Board of Directors, organization, or community to encourage their involvement.


This important work to protect the public can only be done with your help. The Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE) is acting as the convener for the Right to Safe Care Coalition. In this capacity, ICE will collect contributions, manage the financial records of the Coalition, and provide limited administrative support. The Coalition’s funds are accounted for in a separate program and separate bank account. Only check payments can be accepted at this time. Contribution checks should be mailed to the ICE lockbox:

Donations of any amount can be sent to: Right to Safe Care Coalition, c/o ICE, P. O. Box 79388, Baltimore, Maryland 21279-0388

How formal is the coalition? 

The coalition is not a legal entity, but rather participants will sign a common Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). There are no bylaws, officers, or dues. The work of the coalition is directed by a steering committee elected by the coalition membership. The organizers acted as the initial steering committee until ten (10) organizations agreed to become members. It was deemed that thereafter, a steering committee election would be conducted by the membership within 30 days.

Coalition members can choose on a case-by-case basis whether to sign their name in support of white papers, toolkits, articles, and other educational material disseminated by the coalition. Coalition members are encouraged to prepare educational pieces and seek the endorsement of other coalition members that want their names associated with the document. All coalition activities will be performed by volunteers or by contract. Any and all contracts for services will be approved in advance by a majority vote of the steering committee.

What does the coalition do?

The coalition works to ensure that the best interests of the public, and all who utilize health care, are represented in challenges to lifelong learning requirements for health care professionals. In addition, the coalition’s efforts are aimed at providing the public the information it needs to understand the implications of any initiatives to try to diminish requirements for lifelong learning and continued competence. This is being done by:

  • Developing educational material to inform important stakeholders about all aspects of this issue, including the important issue of public protection
  • Combining resources to monitor and track legislation that relates to reducing the rigor or quality of recertification or maintenance of certification processes
  • Sharing information from organizations and environmental scans and discussing ideas and strategies for best addressing this subject

Will the coalition engage in lobbying at any level of government? 

No. The coalition’s mission is educational. Our intent is to ensure that educational materials developed by the coalition are useful in making others aware of the issues and concerns described here.

For further information or to consider becoming a member of the Right to Safe Care Coalition, contact David Swankin at davidswankin@cacenter.org. Find out more:

RTSCC website: http://righttosafecare.org/

Continuing Competence Myths: http://righttosafecare.org/continuing-competence-myths/

RTSCC Toolkit: http://righttosafecare.org/toolkit/