First National Forum on Sepsis Sponsored by The Rory Staunton Foundation Announces Speakers & Registration Information

Uncle, Rory Staunton Foundation, Sepsis Education, Awareness and Prevention

The First National Forum on Sepsis sponsored by The Rory Staunton Foundation will take place on Sept. 17, 2014 by the Reserve Officer Association at the Top of the Hill Conference Center in Washington, D.C.

The Rory Staunton Foundation (,  has announced the speakers for the First National Forum on Sepsis: Defeating the Killer, being held in conjunction with Northshore-LIJ Health System.

Speakers to date include:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)

Nirav R.Shah, M.D.,M.P.H.- – Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for Clinical Operations at Kaiser Permanente, Southern California. Former New York State Health Commissioner and co-author of Rory’s Regulations.

Thomas R. Frieden, M.D.,M.P.H. – Director, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Kevin J. Tracey, M.D. – D President and Chief Executive Officer of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Martin Doerfler, M.D. –  Associate Chief Medical Office and Senior Vice President of Clinical Strategy and Development – North Shore-LIJ Health System.

Konrad Reinhart, M.D. – Director of Clinical Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine a the University Hospital of the Fredrick-Schiller University Jena, Chairman, Global Sepsis Alliance, World Sepsis Day

Patrick Conway, M.D.– Deputy Administrator for Innovation & Quality, CMS Chief Medical Officer

“We wholeheartedly welcome this group of speakers so committed to continuing to effectuate change in the identification and treatment of sepsis,” stated Orlaith & Ciaran Staunton, Founders of the Rory Staunton Foundation.

“We now know much more about sepsis. In New York, because of Rory’s Regulations, clinicians must first “think sepsis” and act accordingly. Our mission is to make that mandate and mindset the national standard of care. Vast numbers of patients walking into emergency rooms across this country and the world show symptoms of sepsis. Too many, like our precious son Rory, are sent home only to return gravely ill, and with no hope. It is when government and the medical community come together, that we can eradicate this vicious killer,” the Stauntons concluded.

Registration is extremely limited. Please view our First National Forum on Sepsis Form and complete it as soon as possible if you are planning to attend.

About The Rory Staunton Foundation

The Rory Staunton Foundation seeks to ensure that no other young person or adult dies of sepsis because of lack of recognition of the deadly symptoms by the medical community and responsible authorities and to serve a major information source for the medical condition’s symptoms and outreach efforts. For more information, please visit



The Rory Staunton Foundation
Deirdre Hickey, 718-482-0088

Sepsis Conference Announced by Rory Staunton Foundation

Senator Schumer to speak at Sepsis Forum

National Forum on Sepsis: Defeating the Killer
Washington D.C., September 17th, 2014

Senator Charles E. Schumer Will Address the Forum as the Keynote Speaker 

The Rory Staunton Foundation and North Shore- LIJ Health System have joined forces and will convene a panel of experts to explore the current failing methods of addressing sepsis care and share ideas for a fresh approach. The forum takes place at the Top of the Hill Conference Center in Washington D.C. on September 17th, 2014.

The Sepsis Forum takes place at the same time as a recent abstract was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) authored by leading physicians at Kaiser Permanente Medical Group and sepsis investigators from the Universities of Pittsburgh and Michigan which presented critical information not previously discussed.

The alarming new information shows that sepsis contributes to more deaths in America than previously recognized; in fact the authors concluded that sepsis contributed to 1 in every 2 to 3 deaths.

The majority of people who die from sepsis arrived at the hospital with the illness. Previously sepsis was believed to have been acquired in the hospital. This new information is critical to the general public because of the urgency required for individuals to recognize the signs and symptoms of sepsis and get treatment as soon as possible. In addition hospitals must now identify sepsis in their Emergency Departments and Physicians need to know the signs of sepsis when patients present with the symptoms.

Following on this, more people die from sepsis who present at hospitals in the early stages of sepsis than those presenting with advanced sepsis. The responsibility now lies with the hospitals to identify sepsis in the early stages and provide aggressive use of appropriate antibiotics in the early stages when lives can be saved.

Orlaith and Ciaran Staunton, Founders of the Rory Staunton Foundation, commented, “Our son Rory did not have to die. Sepsis is not being given the urgent recognition of a deadly disease and it has fallen under the radar screen in medical literature and with government agencies. We need to defeat this killer which claims over 258,000 Americans a year and is the biggest killer of children in the world. We are not waiting for a cure. We know we need to identify sepsis, make a diagnosis and treat appropriately and aggressively. No other parent needs to suffer as we do.”

For more information, click here.

The Rory Staunton Foundation and North Shore-LIJ Health System to Present a National Forum on Sepsis Care on September 17th, 2014 in Washington D.C. With Senator Charles E. Schumer as Keynote Speaker

-New Sepsis Data Presented in JAMA Abstract Brings with it an Alarming Call to Action-

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Rory Staunton Foundation ( and North Shore-LIJ Health System have joined forces and today announced that they will convene a panel of experts to explore the current failing methods of addressing sepsis care and share ideas for a fresh approach in Washington, D.C. on September 17th, 2014. The forum is entitled “A Fresh Approach to a Persistent Problem.” Registration details will be forthcoming.

The Foundation concurrently reported on a recent abstract in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) setting forth critical information regarding fatality statistics, challenging current diagnostic data and correcting the record on sepsis as a hospital-acquired infection. The abstract was authored by leading physicians at Kaiser Permanente Medical Group and sepsis investigators from the Universities of Pittsburgh and Michigan.

The short but compelling narrative resets the barometer regarding sepsis deaths, diagnosis and currently accepted data. Three of the most salient points are:

Sepsis contributes to more deaths in this country than we have previously recognized.
The authors concluded that “sepsis contributed to 1 in every 2 to 3 deaths” in their study. They also specifically chose the word “contributes” as sepsis directly causes deaths and also accelerates the dying process for individuals with other conditions such as cancer, COPD or heart failure.

The majority of individuals who died with sepsis presented to the hospital with the illness. It was not the result of a hospital-acquired infection.
This point needs to be stressed to people without medical training so that they recognize the signs and symptoms of sepsis and get appropriate attention as early in the course of sepsis as possible. Hospitals and healthcare institutions need to do all that is practicable to eliminate hospital-acquired infections. That said, this alone will not eliminate the largest burden of sepsis as a life-threatening illness. It also suggests that the primary focus of efforts to increase recognition and diagnosis of sepsis should be within our Emergency Departments, Physician offices and Urgent Care Centers, where individuals seek care at the early stages of significant illness.

More deaths occur in individuals who present to the hospital in the early stage of sepsis than those presenting with advanced sepsis.
This might seem counter-intuitive given the previous statement about early community recognition and seeking medical attention for early stage sepsis. But it emphasizes to hospitals, physicians, nurses, EMTs and paramedics that greater focus on recognition of the signs and symptoms, timely diagnosis and aggressive use of appropriate antibiotics is just as important in early sepsis as is the work many hospitals have been doing for the past several years to improve our recognition and treatment of more advanced “Severe Sepsis” and “Septic Shock,” which have been widely perceived as the greater problem.

Orlaith and Ciaran Staunton, Founders of the Rory Staunton Foundation, commented, “The National Forum could not come at a more opportune time following the dramatic sepsis analysis and new data that appeared in JAMA. We look forward to this national event bringing light to sepsis, which has fallen under the radar screen in medical literature and by many agencies, but remains a vigilant killer.”

“Since the unnecessary death of our son Rory at the age of 12 years old from undiagnosed and untreated sepsis, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that no other parent suffer as we continue to. New York State enacted the Rory Regulations, mandating sepsis protocols in every hospital in the state; we pleaded for sepsis awareness in the United States Senate to Senator Harkin’s Committee; and after much work received the support of Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). We feel today that our battle has just begun and will not waiver until every medical professional worldwide considers, ‘Could this be sepsis?’ and acts accordingly,” the Stauntons’ concluded.

North Shore LIJ saves thousands of lives with sepsis initiative

Published:  December 9, 2013
Press Release: North Shore LIJ
North Shore LIJ saves thousands of lives with sepsis initiative

ORLANDO, FL (IHI National Forum 2013) — Aided by its strategic partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the North Shore-LIJ Health System reported today that it has reduced sepsis mortality in its hospitals by 50 percent over the past four years.

“We have reduced the sepsis mortality rate in our health system from 31 percent in 2009 to about 15 percent today,” said Martin Doerfler, MD, senior vice president of clinical strategy and development at North Shore-LIJ.  “With the number of patients that we have as a very large health system (more than 260,000 hospital discharges in 2012), that translates into several thousand lives that have been saved over the past four years through the work we have done internally and through our partnership with IHI.”

Sepsis kills an estimated 200,000 Americans every year – more than most cancers, strokes and heart attacks. Recognizing the severity of the problem, North Shore-LIJ Health System President and CEO Michael Dowling launched a campaign to combat the problem in 2009, when clinical leaders from throughout the health system began partnering with scientists at North Shore-LIJ’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research to identify patients in the earliest stages of sepsis and collect blood samples for research in a collaborative campaign to understand the condition and figure out ways to reduce the risk of death.

A year later in 2010, the Feinstein Institute hosted the Merinoff Symposium, bringing together more than 150 scientists, physicians, policymakers and other sepsis experts from 18 different countries to increase awareness of sepsis. The international conference created the first worldwide consensus on how to define sepsis and best practices to fight the disease – two critical steps in bringing the once-hidden killer out into the open.

In 2011, North Shore-LIJ’s campaign against sepsis ramped even further when the health system and the IHI established a strategic alliance to test new ways to prevent sepsis and manage its most harmful effects through earlier recognition. “When we began to partner with IHI, we really accelerated the pace of improvement as we expanded the IHI’s collaborative methods to 12 of the health system’s 16 hospitals,” said Dr. Doerfler, noting that the effort did not include North Shore-LIJ’s children’s, psychiatric or affiliated hospitals. Dr. Doerfler and John D’Angelo, MD, the health system’s senior vice president of emergency medicine, will be part of a team of clinicians from North Shore-LIJ that will be presenting Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the 25th IHI National Forum on Quality Improvement on how their work with the IHI in hospital emergency departments and medical/surgical units has improved process measures and clinical outcomes.
Through its collaboration with IHI, North Shore-LIJ developed highly reliable processes to expedite the treatment of patients with all forms of sepsis. Under the leadership of Dr. D’Angelo, all of North Shore-LIJ’s 12 emergency departments (ED) have been testing and reengineering processes to:

  • decrease “door-to-doctor time” in the ED;
  • identify and remove impediments to the administration of early antibiotics;
  •  track and modify processes to get lactate test results back to the physicians within 90 minutes of the patient presenting; and
  • start fluids quickly with appropriate volumes given.

Similar processes were put in place in the health system’s medical/surgical units to promote early detection and aggressive treatment. To decrease the time it takes to identify patients at risk of sepsis, North Shore-LIJ screens patients with an infection who have two or more of the following: elevated or lower-than-normal body temperature, a heart rate greater than 90, a respiratory rate greater than 20, altered mental status or elevated white blood cell count.

Once patients are diagnosed with sepsis, the immediate focus turns to treatment.  Treatment guidelines established by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign – an initiative of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, the International Sepsis Forum (ISF) and the Society of Critical Care Medicine — call for patients to receive antibiotics within 180 minutes of when a septic patient presents at an Emergency Department. North Shore-LIJ has taken a more aggressive stance, with a goal of administering antibiotics to severe septic patients within 60 minutes.

Another underlying problem with sepsis is the lack of public awareness of the condition. Tragically, the 2012 death of a 12-year-old New York City boy, Rory Staunton, helped put the spotlight on sepsis. Rory had cut his arm diving for a basketball at his school gym. The next day, he arrived at his pediatrician’s office, vomiting, feverish and with pain in his leg. He was later sent to a local hospital emergency room. The doctors all concluded he was suffering from an upset stomach and dehydration. He was given fluids, told to take Tylenol and sent home. Three nights later, he died in a hospital’s intensive care unit. The cause was severe septic shock.

The Stauntons went searching for answers to prevent other families from having to go through the same ordeal. They ended up connecting with North Shore-LIJ.  “I was introduced to the Staunton family soon after Rory died,” said Mr. Dowling, who was acquainted with Rory’s uncle. “They were understandably devastated by the loss of their child. Our clinical staff worked with them to figure out how we could put in place a check list that clinicians could use to flag those at risk of sepsis.”

Earlier this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the statewide implementation of “Rory’s Regulations,” becoming the first state in the nation to require hospitals to adopt best practices for the early identification and treatment of sepsis. The guidelines in Rory’s Regulations relied heavily on best practices that North Shore-LIJ adapted based on its collaboration with IHI. In September, the Stauntons testified before Congress as part of an effort to implement similar measures at the federal level. They also established the Rory Staunton Foundation in their son’s memory.

To view a video on this topic, Click Here.

About North Shore-LIJ Health System         

One of the nation’s largest integrated health care systems and the largest in New York State, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 47,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State. For more information, go to

Media Contacts:

Terry Lynam, Vice President of Public Relations
(516) 465-2640

First Rory Staunton scholarship to be awarded by Grab the Torch organization

68Grab_The_Torch_Logo_2011NEWIn honor and memory of Rory’s extraordinary life and inspirational passion for leadership and ethics which compelled him at such a young age, youth leadership group Grab the Torch is establishing a $2,000 scholarship in Rory’s name for one high school student to attend the Grab the Torch Camp in Bethel, ME from July 14-­19, 2013.

Grab the Torch (GTT) is an organization dedicated to the in­‐depth educational experience of leadership, ethics, authenticity and philanthropy. The program is a 5­‐day overnight camp experience developed to provide a full immersion introduction to the business and commitment of the non­‐profit, foundation, cause-­‐related marketing and greater good professional.

Students are initiated by an extraordinary range of speakers and panelists – from community leaders to Fortune 500 CEOs – who share with the students their personal experiences and journeys in the non-­profit, philanthropic, corporate and community engagement sectors.

Planned outings, site visits and extracurricular activities throughout the week are purposeful and balanced, combining the magical experience of summer programs with a presentation of the empowerment possible – for those in need and for the students themselves – by giving back, taking action and leading in a responsible and ethical way.

The Rory Staunton scholarship will be awarded for the best essay about the importance of the student’s heritage which the organizers receive. All essays should reference Rory Staunton and the code IAM should be noted in the application.

Rory Staunton Foundation Joins Forces With Global Sepsis Alliance

The Rory Staunton Foundation ( and Global Sepsis Alliance ( today announced that they will unite to fight against sepsis, which claims 8-9 million lives annually. They aim to collaborate to create Global Sepsis awareness & mandates.

On January 13th, as a result of the remarkable success of the efforts of the Rory Staunton Foundation, New York Governor Cuomo made New York the first State in the U.S.A., and among the first governments worldwide, to establish statutory regulations for sepsis management. ‘Rory’s Regulations’ require hospitals to adopt proven practices for the early identification and treatment of sepsis.

12 year-old Rory scratched his elbow playing school basketball on March 29(th) 2012. He soon became unwell and, having previously been sent home from a leading New York hospital, died four days later from unrecognized sepsis.

The Rory Staunton Foundation’s achievements under the direction of Orlaith and Ciaran Staunton came to the attention of the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA), under the leadership of Dr. Konrad Reinhart and Dr. Ron Daniels, as a shining example of strategies to engage governments. The GSA has achieved world successes in engaging professional societies, healthcare providers and policy makers (

Both organizations call governments around the world to examine their response to sepsis. National strategies in New York, Wales and Scotland will be used as examples to drive response.

*Sepsis affects over 26 million people worldwide each year. One third die.

*It is the largest killer of children and new-born infants in the world.

*Sepsis is increasing at an annual rate of 8-13%.

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness arising from the body’s response to infection. More common than heart attacks, and more deadly than stroke, sepsis strikes with devastating ferocity in all countries, and is the leading cause of maternal death. Sepsis respects no age, race, gender, or economic status. Sepsis kills far more people than AIDS, and requires a global fight of equal magnitude.

Ciaran Staunton said “Sepsis is a worldwide medical emergency, it demands an urgent response from governements worldwide. Globally it is estimated that over 18 million cases occur each year and in the devoping world it is the cause of death for as many as 7 out of 10 children.”

Ciaran Staunton Attends State of the Union Address


Rep. Crowley welcomes Queens community leader and businessman Ciaran Staunton in his Washington office ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union address.

Published:  February 12, 2013
Rep. Joe Crowley Press Release
Queens Community Leader and Businessman Joins Crowley for State of the Union Address

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, welcomed Queens community leader and businessman Ciaran Staunton as his honored guest for President Obama’s State of the Union address. Staunton, owner of the Molly Blooms Restaurant and Bar in Sunnyside and founder of the Queens Boulevard Merchants Initiative, an effort to rejuvenate and revitalize an area of Queens, has been a staunch advocate for creating an atmosphere of growth for small businesses in Queens. Staunton serves as the President of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, and is a nationally recognized voice in support of comprehensive immigration reform. In addition, he and his wife Orlaith have championed efforts to improve emergency room care and increase awareness of sepsis following the loss of their son due to the illness.

I am so pleased Ciaran is able to join me for the State of the Union this year. As the president lays out a vision for our nation, Ciaran’s insight as both a community leader and businessman is invaluable. I look forward to continuing to work with Ciaran on a number of critical issues, including immigration reform and efforts to encourage small business growth in Queens,” said Rep. Crowley. “Ciaran has kept up his efforts to improve Queens even through the difficulty of losing his young son Rory, but there is no question Rory will be with us in spirit tonight. Rory’s passion for politics and his desire to help make the world a better place at such a young age was inspiring, and I know he is proud that his father is a part of this historic night.”

“I am thrilled to attend the State of the Union and I look forward to hearing President Obama’s message on immigration reform and the economy,” said Staunton. “Congressman Crowley has been a leader on comprehensive immigration reform, and is helping to build a better, stronger Queens. I thank him for this opportunity, and for his support of the Queens community.”

Staunton will join Rep. Crowley in the U.S. House of Representatives Chamber for the address. Members of Congress are allotted one guest ticket to the State of the Union.

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.


Staunton Family Statement in Response to The New York Times Article

Staunton Family Statement in Response to The New York Times Article
Our beloved son Rory was the light of our lives. He should never have died. It is clear to us he did not receive the basic standard of care which would have saved him and which he, as an innocent child, above all, had a right to expect.
Our beloved boy is gone but we want to ensure that no other family experiences the utter heartbreak and grief we have because of such substandard care.
We believe Rory’s pediatrician ignored obvious signs of serious illness and sent him to NYU Emergency room for re hydration, giving us, his family, a diagnosis of acute febrile gastritis. NYU hospital and its Emergency Room were in turn extremely negligent in their treatment of Rory. Signs of serious illness were ignored and Rory was allowed leave the hospital desperately ill. Rory’s pediatrician continued the following day, despite our appeals, to dismiss our concerns.  We believe NYU hospital and Rory’s pediatrician should acknowledge their negligent treatment of him to the Staunton family, treatment that we believe resulted in his death. They owe it to Rory and the children who will come after him, to ensure that this never happens again.
NYU Emergency Room sent a very ill child home. No discussion of vital statistics took place with the Staunton family. It was this lack of care and communication which resulted in Rory’s death and what we and our daughter Kathleen will live with every day of our lives. We have been handed a life sentence.
We want to see NYU Emergency Room establish clear failsafe procedures when a sick child enters their hospital. This would require them to have an experienced, qualified and identifiable professional in charge. NYU Emergency room should ensure that parents receive an explanation of their child’s blood test results while present in the hospital and a discussion on what are the potential illnesses his or her other symptoms might indicate. Those are three key areas that were never available to us and that cost Rory his life.
 It is too late for Rory but we know above all he would want no other child to go through what he went through. For this reason we are working to enact Rory’s Law and we have met with the Governor’s Office, the State Health Commissioner and New York legislators to seek changes in City and State regulations to ensure no other child dies because of lack of proper medical treatment in a New York Emergency Room.
This will be Rory’s legacy.