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News Release

The Just Culture Company and ISMP Announce Creation of Honorary Judy Smetzer Scholarships

Starting in 2022, The Just Culture Company will award three annual scholarships to honor Judy Smetzer, BSN, RN, vice president at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). Judy has been a tireless advocate for just treatment of individuals who practice in healthcare environments as well as advancing continuous improvement of medication use systems.

“Judy has applied Just Culture principles to complex cases and published seminal articles in the ISMP Medication Safety Alert!® newsletters and peer-reviewed literature,” says ISMP president Michael Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD (hon.), DPS (hon.). “She is an outstanding role model in so many ways, including influencing new generations of practitioners and administrators to evaluate their systems for workplace justice.”

“We have all been inspired by Judy’s commitment to both patient safety and to her advocacy for a more fair and just response to medication errors,” adds David Marx, CEO of the Just Culture Company. “It’s an honor for us to provide this scholarship with ISMP.”

The Judy Smetzer Just Culture Champion Scholarships will support enrollment in a Just Culture Certification Course. Achieving certification helps healthcare practitioners work to advance fair accountability and system improvement in the field of medication safety. Participants learn how to manage the behavioral choices of their staff, design better systems, reduce risk, and build a values-based culture.

The scholarships will be awarded individually or to three members of one organizational work group or team.
Recipients can participate in either a live-hosted or online certification course, and will receive the following benefits:

  • 15 hours of didactic Just Culture instruction in a supportive environment

  • One copy of The Just Culture Algorithm v. 4.0

  • One copy of Dave’s Subs: A Novel Story about Workplace Accountability

  • Eligibility to sit for the Just Culture Certification Exam

  • Membership in the Just Culture Community of Learners (access to a learning platform and monthly live-hosted webinars)

  • A two-year license for an interactive desktop software application that also provides supplemental learning materials

Scholarship recipients will be chosen by ISMP. More details on the application process will be announced on the ISMP and The Just Culture Company websites ( and in early 2022.

For more information on Judy Smetzer, click here.

About The Just Culture Company

Founded in 1997 by CEO David Marx, a pioneer of the Just Culture movement. The firm originally addressed safety issues and human factors in aviation and offered expertise in post-event investigation and analysis. With the unique combination of systems engineering, human factors, and the law, Marx adopted and expanded the concepts of ‘Just Culture’ to help improve the management of human error. Spurred by the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 seminal study, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, and recognizing the need for a Just Culture approach, we began focusing on healthcare. The study showed that 98,000 people died annually from medical errors – a number which has only increased in the intervening years. In 2003, Marx wrote "Patient Safety and the ‘Just Culture’: A Primer for Health Care Executives"​ for the National Institutes of Health. For more than two decades we have advanced the concept of Just Culture and its role in the design of effective socio-technical systems. We integrate systems engineering, human factors science, and even the law into unique strategies that help organizations transform to a Just Culture, effectively investigate events, and manage risk. Visit to learn more.


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