Celebrating 40 Years

This year (2020) Safe Sitter® celebrates 40 years of keeping children safe. To honor Dr. Keener, those who know her best shared their fondest memories of her. Download our 40th Anniversary legacy piece to read more about Dr. Patricia A. Keener, M.D. and the history of Safe Sitter, Inc.


I first met Dr. Keener over 20 years ago when I was a college student seeking a career mentorship in medicine. Her energy was infectious, and within just a few minutes I knew what the most important things in her life were – her family, contributing to the wellbeing of neonates and children, educating the next generation of parents and physicians, and
in a perfect marriage of the first three things – Safe Sitter®.



I have been profoundly affected, both personally and professionally by Dr. Patricia Keener. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Keener for the first time when I taught my first Safe Sitter® Instructor Trainer class. Needless to say, having the founder of the program monitor, critique, and evaluate your first class was extremely intimidating and I was very nervous. What I learned from this experience was immeasurable and has positively influenced my life to this day.



I consider Dr. Patricia Keener a mentor in life and am privileged to have shared so many treasured moments together…I will never forget Dr. Keener’s words about when people evaluate their life near death, what holds the most significance is having an impact greater than one-self and leaving the world a better place for having been in it. Dr. Patricia Keener exemplifies these virtues and achieved them 40 years ago when she created Safe Sitter®!



Dr. Keener has a special ability to fully engage with children. When she’s around children it’s almost as if she’s shifting into a higher gear as she shines the full power of her focus on them. And they respond with appreciation and admiration that last a lifetime. She once wrote, “Children bring to our lives many gifts including wisdom and wonder.” I believe the same is true of Dr. Keener.



I was working for Dr. Keener at Community East Hospital and she decided that (Safe Sitter®) should be trademarked. We started with the hospital librarian. Although the librarian did not have any idea how to get Safe Sitter® material trademarked, she set us on the right path with the paperwork that was required.



You have been my fondest mentor for over 40 years.

At one of our National Trainer training days you talked about a triangle. The triangle we must emulate of career, family, and community. It was at that session you inspired me to always give back to the community. As I have matured over the years, I use that wisdom advise to this day. My community ministry is a very important part of my life.



Congratulations on 40 years Safe Sitter® classes! It has been an honor to be part of this great organization and to learn from the master herself, Patricia A. Keener, M.D. A true privilege to share with so many others, experience the travels, and further the organization's mission to keep young adolescents safe. Dr. Keener turned a tragedy into a course that has saved over 175 lives since its inception. Now that is amazing! The Safe Sitter® message is timeless and truly as Dr. Keener said, ``Safe Sitter® is a cause, not just a course!``


My favorite Safe Sitter® story was my experience in Kotzebue, Alaska. My family was able to travel with me to this remote Inupiat Eskimo village on the Bering Sea. They had received a grant and wanted Safe Sitter® training. It was very different because I had to think outside the box! They do not call 9-1-1!!! So, we had to problem solve how they would get help for a child if needed. It was a remarkable experience; one I will never forget. My family was a guest in the village for 3 days. Thank you, Dr. Keener and Safe Sitter®, for this remarkable opportunity!


Every day I am reminded of Dr. Keener’s commitment to children and her dedication to Safe Sitter®. She inspires me to keep Safe Sitter® thriving so that babysitters all across the country have access to quality safety education and child care training. Safe Sitter® graduates know what to do to keep themselves and the children they care for safe, and that is an incredible tribute to our founder.