We AdVANCE - A Documentary Film on Patient Safety

Reviews of We AdVANCE:

"Dr. Alexandre Tavares has created a powerful video document entitled We AdVANCE that is a prescription for saving lives. His patient-as-trained-pilot metaphor conveys Dr. Tavares' belief in the power of patient- and parent-centered care. His desire to improve outcomes is grounded in research and fueled by his passion for excellence. Donna's story is a powerful, well-stated emotional appeal for change. Dr. Tavares’ On-Board model presented in We AdVANCE will create a seismic shift in the way professionals and patients think about patient self-advocacy that should have a significant positive impact on patient care. It's hard to imagine a health care professional not engaging in self-reflection after viewing this compelling video.

Jerome Schultz, Ph.D.
Clinical Neuropsychologist
Lecturer on Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Author: "Nowhere to Hide: Why Kids with ADHD and LD Hate School, And What We Can Do About It"

Donna is such a brave lady to talk of her experience with such honesty and emotion. She is a true inspiration! To hear her and Vance's story is heart-breaking, but can only help influence clinicians views in the future. So much good will hopefully come from her disclosure. As she says "His death was in vein if no learning comes from it!"

My big concern and regret is that Donna's story is not isolated. There are far too many people with such similar stories to tell. And while we keep hearing comments like 'Doctors know best' there will be ever more stories in the future. There needs to be an entire culture change. We all need to embrace change, change for the better, not just for the sake of it, and not to pay lip-service to it.
I am totally on board with the 'On board' concept! I welcome such a fundamental change in patient's treatment. I am also encouraged to see some influential people prepared to commit to it.
We all want the same thing, patients well-being and improved health. We must all play our part in making this a reality. Good luck with 'On board'! Here's to everyone playing their part in the journey!

Good luck and best wishes!
Andy Henderson BSc(Hons)

I was very moved by the AdVANCE film and its extremely important message about patient safety. The program that Dr. Tavares and his colleagues have developed along with Donna Davis is a striking testimony to the necessity of supporting patients on several key ways: (1) by listening to them intently and with care, (2) by responding to their questions, concerns, and pleas promptly and with respect, and (3) by encouraging their active participation in their treatment so as to maximize collaboration and to create positive synergy between the medical knowledge of practitioners and the personal knowledge of patients and their families. I heard Ms. Davis's heart-wrenching story about her son, and I immediately reached out to several patients to improve our communication on their care. The AdVANCE model is straightforward, clear, and filled with wisdom and common sense. Its implementation will benefit practitioners, patients, and their families in ways that are both measurable (scientifically) and immeasurable (humanistically).

Cory F. Newman, Ph.D., ABPP
Professor of Psychology, in Psychiatry
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Director, Center for Cognitive Therapy
Philadelphia, PA USA

The story of Donna Davis is a sad but useful example of how shortcomings in communication and coordination between healthcare teams and patients can lead to a terrible end for the patient and his/her relatives. As a healthcare professional and researcher, I think that the documentary We AdVANCE can be a good dissemination tool to alert and raise awareness of this situation. Accepting the existence of pitfalls in the system is the first step towards the development of interventions that minimize the impact that result from them. Patients should be aware of the problem and be active agents of change, detecting the fails in the system, communicating them and demanding solutions that benefit both them and the health care professionals.

The On Board Model presents an interesting and useful metaphor to transmit this message. The patients are the constant at the different levels through the health care system. They have to lead, with the support from healthcare professionals, the choices about their care and take responsibility of their health results. The patients are the ones who know best the situation on their health problems and environment. Empowering them and giving them the necessary tools and resources, such as educative tools or support groups, can only improve their care and the system. It will have a positive impact in the prevention of errors in the process of care. I want to emphasize a role that seems key to me and that I really liked from the On Board Model: the copilot (patient’s relatives and friends). Social support has demonstrated to be a key to getting better health results in many disorders. I believe that it is interesting and positive that the model reinforces the role of these informal careers, as they are central in both primary prevention and recovery of patients.

I think that health professionals and patients would benefit from watching the documentary We AdVANCE as it will raise their awareness about the problems in medical safety.

Maria Rubio Valera, Pharmacist, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher, Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Spain

Associate Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain

  • Alexandre G. Tavares
  • Chris Brown, assistant director
  • Elsa Velthuysen, assistant director
  • Alexandre G. Tavares
  • Alexandre G. Tavares
  • Donna Davis
    Key Cast
  • Kristi Chorney
    Key Cast
  • Marg MacDonald
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 14, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • September 15, 2014 – 11:00 AM – 13:00 PM Lecture at Brandon University – Bachelor of Nursing Program – Second Year
    Brandon, Manitoba
    September 15, 2014
Director Biography - Alexandre G. Tavares, Chris Brown, assistant director, Elsa Velthuysen, assistant director

Dr. Tavares is physician in Manitoba, Canada. He works for Prairie Mountain Health in Western Manitoba. Dr. Tavares recently started writing essays on patient safety and on the experiences of children and teenagers growing up with poor attention or different learning styles. Dr. Tavares is a strong believer in the power of patient- and family-centred care positively transforming the medical system.

Dr. Tavares created the On Board Model inspired on what he learned in the books and training from Dale Carnegie / Dale Carnegie Programs, books from Harvard Negotiation Project, books on motivational interviewing and from books and training on cognitive behavioral therapy.

Dr. Tavares' blog:


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