Kristen Terlizzi


Kristen Terlizzi is a speaker and advocate for maternal health and patient safety based out of Silicon Valley, California.  Over her two month postpartum hospital stay for complications of placenta percreta, Kristen learned firsthand how to cope with an unknown prognosis and to partner with her care team.  Kristen now uses her experience to share her patient story and educate audiences on abnormal placentation.  She discusses the risks surrounding an accreta delivery as well as the significant medical expertise, coordination and costs incurred. 

Kristen is passionate about patient storytelling and bringing attention to efforts to safely reduce cesarean birth rates, placenta accreta and the patient experience of high risk obstetrics.   She has spoken at events for medical students, hospital leadership, perinatal quality collaboratives, medical conferences and blood banks. 

Please contact us for scheduling inquiries and availability.


DSCF0109 crop.jpeg

CONGRATULATIONS to National Accreta Foundation Co-Founder Kristen Terlizzi for winning Patients' View Institute's 2017 Impact Award!

PVI's Impact Award honors a patient story that has a positive impact on healthcare. See Kristen's acceptance speech on NAF's Facebook page and read about her story's impact on PVI's blog.



"Cesareans & Maternal Health Panel," 6th Annual World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit, Patient Safety Movement, London, England, February 23-25, 2018


MEDIA - Kristen's Story

California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death in childbirth,”, Science and Health, June 29, 2017

"California Woman Nearly Bleeds to Death After Childbirth as U.S. Maternal Mortality Rates Double: ‘It Was Frightening’,", Human Interest, August 4, 2017

The Quest to Untangle Why Pregnancy Can Turn Deadly,” Wall Street Journal, Environment & Science, December 9, 2016

VIDEO: Kristen Terlizzi’s Story - From Patient to Volunteer,” Stanford Health Care YouTube Channel, October 2016



"Severe Complications for Women During Childbirth are Skyrocketing," NPR & ProPublica, December 22, 2017

"‘If You Hemorrhage, Don’t Clean Up’: Advice From Mothers Who Almost Died," NPR & ProPublica, August 3, 2017

"What One California Woman's Delivery Experience Can Teach the U.S.," The Bump, June 30, 2017


journal articles

"The Million Dollar Cesarean," Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, Volume 7, Number 3, Winter 2017, pp. 211-213

Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation Complicating the Conservative Management of Placenta Percreta,” Obstetrics & Gynecology, November 2015, Volume 126, Issue 5, pp. 1016–1018



Patients' View Impact Award Acceptance, National Healthcare Ratings Summit Awards Dinner, The Leapfrog Group & Patients' View Institute, Arlington, VA, December 7, 2017

Keynote Speaker, "The Power of Patient Storytelling in Understanding the Patient Experience," The Beryl Institute Regional Roundtable Event, Palo Alto, September 28, 2017

The Million Dollar Cesarean and the Power of Patient Storytelling,” Stanford Medicine X, ePatient Ignite, Stanford Health Care, September 15-17, 2017

OBGYN 282 Guest Lecturer: Placenta Accreta and the Patient Experience of High Risk Obstetrics,” Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, May 2015, 2016 and 2017

The Power of Patient Storytelling to Engage and Promote Empathy in Medical Education,” Stanford Medicine X|ED, Engagement, Learning & Design Track, Stanford Health Care, April 2017

Impact of Patient & Family Speakers,” Institute of Patient and Family Centered Care International Conference, Los Angeles, February 2017

Patient Speaker: Support Vaginal Birth and Reduce Primary Cesareans Toolkit Kick-off,” California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC)

  • Los Angeles Area Hospitals, May 2016
  • Pleasanton Area Hospitals, January 2017
  • San Diego Area Hospitals, January 2017

Patient Speaker: World Blood Donor Day 2016,” Roche Molecular Systems, Pleasanton, May 2016

The Importance of Family Centered Care,” New Hospital Sneak Peek Donor Event, Stanford Hospital, May 2016

Compassion in Healthcare & the Patient Experience,” Stanford Health Care Leadership Meeting, Stanford Hospital, February 2016

Keynote Speaker, Stanford Blood Center Staff Retreat, Palo Alto, October 2015



Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) for C-Sections

Current Member of the Optimizing Obstetric Safety Work Group, Patient Safety Movement Foundation

Patient Experience Policy Forum (in partnership with The Beryl Institute)

Current Co-Chair of the "Elevate the Value Case" Work Group

Engaging Consumers to Reduce Unnecessary C-Sections

California Health Care Foundation in partnership with CMQCC and Consumer Reports, March 2017

Blood Products - Patient Transfusion Experience

Center for Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS), Stanford Health Care, November 2016

Post Operative Pain Management Research Initiative

Stanford Health Care, January 2016