Sepsis Alliance Joins Local Community Leaders to Raise Awareness of Sepsis at First Sips for Sepsis Event in Orange County

March 1, 2016

Sips for Sepsis combines wine tasting with sepsis awareness. The event raises awareness for a disease that impacts more than 1.6 million and takes more than 250,000 lives in the U.S. each year

Newport Beach, California – (March 1, 2016) – Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s leading non-profit organization raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency, teamed up with Laguna Beach resident Nancy Palmer, and Newport Beach residents Max and Artyn Gardner, to host an evening of sepsis awareness. Sips for Sepsis, held in memory of Nancy’s late husband Robert Palmer, was an evening spent honoring Robert’s life and educating friends on the signs and symptoms of sepsis, all while enjoying different wines.

“We are grateful to Nancy, Max and Artyn for hosting the first sepsis awareness event in Newport Beach. It is through our volunteers and community events that we can save more lives, by raising awareness of sepsis,” said Tom Heymann, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance.

Sepsis, sometimes called blood poisoning by the general public, is a medical emergency that occurs when the body’s response to infection begins to injure its own tissues and organs. It is estimated that 258,000 people in the U.S. die every year from sepsis, a preventable condition requiring early diagnosis and rapid treatment.

In a recent study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Sepsis Alliance in June 2015, only 44 percent of Americans had ever even heard of sepsis.

“The key to saving lives is awareness. If I had known about sepsis, I could have rushed Robert to the hospital sooner, and told the medical staff that I was concerned about sepsis,” said Palmer.

Dr. Andre Vovan, the medical director of critical care and sepsis physician champion from Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, spoke at Sips for Sepsis about how sepsis is detected and treated, and how Hoag Hospital is working to decrease mortality and morbidity rates from sepsis. This was his first event speaking about sepsis outside of the medical community.

“We were honored to have Dr. Vovan present to educate us and share a little about how hospitals can tackle sepsis. We hope everyone found the information helpful, and will pass on what they learned to all of their family and friends,” said Artyn Gardner.

The event brought together many influential members of the Orange County community, including Rick Reiff, co-host of ‘Studio SoCal’ on PBS So Cal TV, Karen McGlinn, Executive Director of Share our Selves, Judge Julie Palafox, and Dr. Eric Handler, Orange County Health Officer.

“We are glad to have been able to take the lead on raising sepsis awareness in our community. It is an important initiative and we hope others will continue to join us in this mission,” said Max Gardner.

For more information on how to get involved with Sepsis Alliance, please visit or call 619-232-0300.


About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the leading nonprofit patient advocacy organization in North America promoting awareness of sepsis. Sepsis Alliance’s mission is to save lives by raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. The organization hosts national and community events, distributes educational information, and promotes training and education of sepsis and its devastating effects. Sepsis Alliance also provides support by giving patients and family members information about sepsis and Post Sepsis Syndrome, as well as a community forum to share their experiences. Sepsis Alliance, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a GuideStar Gold Rated Charity. For more information, please visit