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Patient Safety Curriculum Biographies
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Dr. James P. Bagian, MD, PE 

Dr. Bagian has extensive experience in the fields of human factors, aviation, and patient safety. Dr. Bagian is the Director of the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety and is a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Previously he served as the first and founding director of the VA National Center for Patient Safety and as the VA’s first Chief Patient Safety Officer where he developed numerous patient safety related tools and programs that have been adopted nationally and internationally. The Medical Team Training program he instituted at the VA resulted in an 18% and a 17% reduction in mortality morbidity respectively associated with the ORs across the VA. A NASA astronaut for over 15 years, he is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions including as the lead mission specialist for the first dedicated Life Sciences Spacelab mission. Following the 1986 Challenger space-shuttle explosion he dove and supervised the capsule's recovery from the ocean floor and was one of the leaders of the development of the Space Shuttle Escape System. He also served as the Chief Flight Surgeon and Medical Consultant for the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. He is also currently the Co-chair of the ACGME CLER Committee, the Chair of the Joint Commission’s Patient Safety Advisory Group, a member of the DOD Trauma and Injury Subcommittee of the Defense Health Board, and a member of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel. Dr. Bagian holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and a doctorate in medicine from Thomas Jefferson University. He is a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and has received numerous awards for his work in the field of patient safety and aerospace medicine.

Dr. Bagian’s awards include the American Medical Association’s 2001 Dr. Nathan S. Davis Award for outstanding public service in the advancement of public health and the Association of American Medical Colleges’ first annual Innovations Award in 2001. He also received the Frank Brown Berry Prize in Federal Healthcare which recognizes the military or federal physician who has made the most significant contribution to healthcare in the United States (2002), the Service to America Medal awarded to the federal employee who demonstrated the most significant lifetime achievement in public service (2003), the Outstanding Federal Healthcare Executive Award awarded to the senior executive who has made conspicuously outstanding contributions to Federal healthcare demonstrating superior leadership or executive management ability (2004), the inaugural Patient Safety Award from the Institute for Quality in Laboratory Medicine and the Jefferson Medical College Alumni Achievement Award (2005), the Vanguard Award for the Advancement of Patient Safety from The Doctors Company Foundation (2009), the American Astronautical Society's Melbourne W. Boynton Award for "outstanding contributions to the biomedical aspects of space flight" (2010), and the 2012 Pete Conrad Patient Safety Excellence Award.


Barbara Balik, EdD, MS, RN

Barbara is a leader and nationally recognized expert in transformational healthcare leadership. She works with healthcare leaders to build systems and culture for quality, safety, patient/family experience, and staff-provider engagement. As an experienced healthcare executive, educator, writer, and consultant she has successfully worked with executive leaders internationally in large healthcare organizations, community wide collaborations, and physician practices to achieve thriving organizational systems redesign. She is effective in building the leadership skills and systems to transform healthcare.


Doug Bonacum, CPPS

Doug Bonacum is Vice President, Quality, Safety, and Resource Stewardship for Kaiser Permanente. In addition to his role with Kaiser Permanente, Doug serves on the Board of Directors for the National Patient Safety Foundation, as faculty for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Patient Safety Executive Program, and as an advisor to ECRI’s Patient Safety Office Program. In both 2013 and 2014, Doug and was named one of “50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety” by Becker’s Hospital Review. He has been with the organization since July 1994. Doug was previously Environmental, Health and Safety Manager for two large manufacturing facilities of Tyco/North American Printed Circuits. Prior to that, his experience included eight years active duty in the US Submarine Force where he was responsible for weapons and ship's safety as well as nuclear power plant operations. 


Doug has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire, an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Certificate in Healthcare Management from the University of San Francisco.

Doug is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), and a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS). Outside of work, his “Thrive” activity is coaching high school freshman basketball.


Ilene Corina, Patient Safety Consultant

Ilene Corina was selected byBecker’s Hospital Review as one of the “50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety,” and Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in

Healthcare.” She received a full scholarship to the American Hospital Association Patient Safety Leadership Training where she developed Long Island’s first Patient Safety Advisory Council focusing on patient safety and diversity in care. Corina is a nationally recognized advocate for patient safety and the president and founder of PULSE of New York, a patient safety advocacy organization that was formed in 1996 following her own experiences with the healthcare system. She runs support groups and workshops for survivors of medical injuries and community members, and trains advocates in patient safety and communication who are just starting out or are already working in the healthcare industry.

Ilene Corina is on numerous boards including The Joint Commission, the American College of OBGYN, Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care, and the board of governors of the National Patient Safety Foundation. She has won many awards for her work as an educator and an advocate. Patients, families and healthcare professionals regularly call upon Corina when there are patient safety concerns or a breakdown in communication. She spends many hours at the hospital bedsides of patients, assisting families in navigating the healthcare system to have their needs met. She has spoken to over 100 hospitals, medical conference attendees and community groups, and offers practical advice and tools during her interactive educational sessions.


Ms. Corina has appeared as a patient-safety expert on CNN, Fox News, and other television and radio news shows. She has been interviewed by newspapers and magazines including: Child Magazine, Health Magazine, Newsday, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post, American Medical News and Modern Healthcare. Her work has been published by the American Journal of Nursing and Perioperative Nursing Clinics and has written a book, “Teaching Patient Safety, An Educators Guide” and co-authored “Family Centered Patient Advocacy, A Training Manual.” She has developed the first training program focused on Family Centered Patient Advocacy, which helps families become part of the healthcare team, and co-authored a white paper, “Critical Communication; Straight Talk to Reduce Medical Errors.”

She lives on Long Island with her family.


Jane D. Englebright, PhD, RN, CENP, FAAN

Dr. Englebright is the Chief Nurse Executive, Patient Safety Officer, and Senior Vice President of the Clinical Services Group of Nashville, Tennessee–based HCA (Hospital Corporation of America). She represents 80,000 nurses working at 163 HCA hospitals, 110 ambulatory surgery centers, and other locations across the US and in London, England, working with facility chief nursing officers to advance patient-centered care and professional practice.


Dr. Englebright is a nationally recognized nursing leader and currently serves as At-Large Nursing Representative to The Joint Commission’s Board of Commissioners and is also a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.


Dr. Englebright has led HCA’s visionary Patient Safety program since its inception in 2000 and has defined the Culture-Process-Technology model used to guide enterprise level interventions, such as transparent communication following adverse events, close call reporting, re-engineered medication management processes, and barcode verification technologies for medication and blood product administration. She has a passion for health information technology as a powerful lever for organizational change and has led teams of clinicians in designing electronic documentation systems to advance safe, evidence-based, interdisciplinary care.


An adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Dr. Englebright is actively involved in mentoring graduate students in nursing, pharmacy, medicine, and business programs at Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee.


Rollin J. "Terry" Fairbanks, MD, MS, FACEP

Rollin J. “Terry” Fairbanks, MD, MS, is the founding director of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, assistant vice president for Ambulatory Quality & Safety, and associate director of the MedStar Institute for Innovation, where he has had health-system responsibility for safety innovation, telehealth innovation, and learning innovation (including overseeing simulation and learning organization, SiTEL) for MedStar Health. A board certified emergency physician, he practices in the MedStar Washington Hospital Center Emergency Department. Dr. Fairbanks is associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University and adjunct associate professor of Industrial Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo. He completed the HRET/NPSF Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship and Wharton’s MedStar Physician Leadership Program. In addition to medical school and a residency in emergency medicine, his academic background also includes a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics, and master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering/systems safety engineering/human factors engineering. A former paramedic, EMS medical director, and general aviation pilot, he is known for inspiring people to think differently about health care’s approach to safety and risk.


Dr. Fairbanks has contributed more than 120 publications to the human factors engineering and medical literature, and co-edited a book on cognitive systems engineering in health care. Dr. Fairbanks served as a member of the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Advisors until 2017. He has served in safety advisory roles for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Medical Association, and the Australian and British governments. He was listed in the 2017 Becker’s Hospital Review Top 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety.



Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS

Dr. Gandhi is Chief Clinical and Safety Officer at the Institute fro Healthcare Improvement and President of the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute.

She is a prominent advocate for patient safety at the regional, national and international levels, driving educational and professional certification efforts, and helping to create and spread innovative new safety ideas. Dr. Gandhi was formerly the Executive Director of Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Chief Quality and Safety Officer at Partners Healthcare. In these roles, she led the efforts to standardize and implement patient safety best practices across hospital and health systems.


Throughout her career, Dr. Gandhi has been committed to educating other clinicians on the topic of patient safety. She is regularly invited to speak on this issue, has mentored physicians in post-doctoral study, and frequently served on regional and national committees and boards. She was included in Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare 2014-2015; Top 25 Women in Healthcare 2015; and 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders 2016.

Dr. Gandhi’s research interests focus on patient safety and reducing error using information systems. In 2009, she received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for her contributions to understanding the epidemiology and possible prevention strategies for medical errors in the outpatient setting.

Dr. Gandhi is an internist and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and she is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety. She received her MD and MPH from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and trained at Duke University Medical Center. Her undergraduate training at Cornell University was in biochemistry.


Sarah Henrickson Parker, PhD

Dr. Sarah Parker is the Director of Human Factors Research at Carilion Clinic, an Assistant Professor in the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, and the Department of Biomedical Science in the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. She has over 10 years of experience applying human factors and industrial/organizational psychology principles to healthcare. Sarah Parker received her BA in psychology from Wittenberg University in Springfield OH and her MA in human factors and applied cognition from George Mason University in Fairfax VA. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked at Mayo Clinic applying human factors principles to various inpatient quality and safety challenges. She worked specifically with the Division of Cardiac Surgery as a human factors researcher, developing multiple safety interventions specifically designed for the cardiac OR. She then pursued her PhD at University of Aberdeen in Scotland, developing and validating the Surgeons’ Leadership Inventory, a behavioral marker tool to investigate leadership in the intraoperative setting. She was a Ruth L. Kirschstein Post Doctoral Fellow, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, focusing on team coordination during trauma resuscitation. She is currently working on multiple projects focused on utilizing innovative measurement techniques in situ and in simulation funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the State of Washington and Carilion Clinic. Dr. Parker’s research interests include team performance and communication in high risk settings, applying innovative methods to better understand human performance, medical education on patient safety, and human factors applications within healthcare. She has presented at numerous national and international conference and published over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters on human factors and patient safety. 


Gerald B. Hickson, MD

Dr. Hickson is Senior Vice President for Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention, immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors at the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), and Joseph C. Ross Chair in Medical Education and Administration, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he also holds the positions Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Professor of Family and Health Systems Nursing.


Since 1990, Dr. Hickson’s research has focused on why families choose to file suit, why certain physicians attract a disproportionate share of claims, and how to identify and intervene with high-risk physicians. His work has resulted in over 150 peer reviewed articles and chapters; the development of PARS® (Patient Advocacy Reporting System), CORSSM (Co-Worker Observation Reporting System), and several educational initiatives to promote disclosure of medical errors and address behaviors that undermine a culture of safety.


Dr. Hickson has served as chair of the Quality Care Committee for the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) and was a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Quality Improvement. He has been recognized by receipt of the Excellence in Research and Teaching award from the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, the National Healthcare Patient Advocacy award from the Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy, and the Vanguard Award for the Advancement of Patient Safety from The Doctor’s Company Foundation.


Dr. Hickson has published over 150 works including articles, chapters, invited review articles and abstracts. Examples include the chapter, “Balancing Systems and Individual Accountability in a Safety Culture,” in Berman S. (ed.), From Front Office to Front Line, 2nd edn.; “A complementary approach to promoting professionalism: Identifying, measuring and addressing unprofessional behaviors” in Academic Medicine. 2007 Nov;82(11):1040-1048; and “Patient Complaints and Malpractice Risk” in Journal of the American Medical Association (2002; 287[22]:2951–57).

Dr. Hickson received his MD degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt along with a Fellowship in General Academic Pediatrics. He joined the Vanderbilt Department of Pediatrics in 1982 and served six years as Vice Chairman and Chief of Pediatric Outpatient Services for the Vanderbilt Clinic. In 2003, Dr. Hickson was appointed Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Director of the Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy. In 2005, he was named Director of Clinical Risk and Loss Prevention and Chairman of the Self-Insurance Trust Committee.



Dr. Kaplan is Chairman and CEO of Seattle-based Virginia Mason Health System. Dr. Kaplan is on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. As of May 2015, he is Chair of the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute.


At Virginia Mason, Dr. Kaplan has led the implementation of the Virginia Mason Production System, based on the Toyota Production System, to reduce costs and improve quality, safety, and efficiency. Under his leadership, Virginia Mason was named a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence by HealthGrades in 2011, a Top Hospital by The Leapfrog Group for five consecutive years, and was one of two hospitals named a Leapfrog Top Hospital of the Decade for patient safety and quality.

Dr. Kaplan was awarded the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality in 2009 and was also a recipient of the Harry J. Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award from the Medical Group Management Association and the American College of Medical Practice Executives. Modern Physician and Modern Healthcare ranked Dr. Kaplan 12th on the 2011 listing of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives.


Dr. Kaplan is also a clinical professor at the University of Washington, chairs the Board of Directors of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and serves on the Board of Washington Healthcare Forum and is a founding member of Health CEOs for Health Reform.


Patricia A. McGaffigan, RN, MS, CPPS

Patricia McGaffigan is Vice President, Safety Programs, at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Additional positions she has held over her career include staff nurse in pediatric critical care, faculty member in a baccalaureate nursing program, and education and marketing positions for several start-up and established medical device companies focused on improving patient safety. Throughout her varied career path, Ms. McGaffigan has consistently prioritized patient safety as a critical strategic imperative, and has focused on building bridges for teamwork and collaboration on key patient safety initiatives.


Ms. McGaffigan is a graduate of the NPSF-American Hospital Association Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship program and is a member of the American Society for Professionals in Patient Safety. She participates in and serves on a wide range of health care and patient safety related committees, including the AAMI Foundation Healthcare Technology Safety Institute and the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention. She also served on the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Coalition for Critical Care, and several task forces related to patient safety, including the High Reliability, Simulation, and Closed Loop task forces. Patricia was an invited panelist and speaker for a United States Congressional Briefing on Patient Safety in Oncology. In addition, she has served as a judge for several nationally recognized award programs focused on patient safety and quality and has spoken at a wide range of conferences.


She was named a Lifetime Member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), having served on AACN’s Certification Corporation Board of Directors (including Chairperson), AACN’s Nominating Committee, and AACN’s President Search Committee. She has collaborated with AACN on a number of programs focused on patient safety, including organizing and moderating AACN’s first Patient Safety Summit, and implementing education programs for safe use of technology at hundreds of schools of nursing.


Ms. McGaffigan's patient safety passions include the importance of ensuring that health care workers find joy and meaning in their work, workforce safety, and transparency, as well as further development of patient safety cultures, certification, and advancements.


She received her BS with a major in Nursing from Boston College, and her MS with a major in Nursing from Boston University.


Bill Sheahan

Bill Sheahan is Corporate Vice President and Director of MedStar Health’s Simulation, Training & Education Laboratory (SiTEL). In this role, Bill oversees the daily operations of MedStar SiTEL’s eight operating divisions that work to create innovative learning solutions and maintain adaptable learning infrastructure for MedStar Health’s associates and patients. Before joining the MedStar Health team in 2013, Bill spent three years as the director of emergency medicine research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Prior to that Bill had a decorated 15-year career as a paramedic, educator and emergency medical services leader culminating with nine years spent as a county director of emergency services in western New York. Bill holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and is currently completing a PhD in education from the University of Rochester, focusing his dissertation work on serious gaming as a healthcare learning tool.


Robert M. Wachter, MD

Dr. Wachter is Professor and Interim Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also directs the Division of Hospital Medicine. Author of 250 articles and 6 books, he coined the term “hospitalist” in 1996 and is generally considered the “father” of the hospitalist field, the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine. He is past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine and past chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

In the safety and quality arenas, he edits the U.S. government’s leading website on patient safety and has written two books on the subject, including Internal Bleeding and Understanding Patient Safety, the leading safety primer. In 2004, he received the John M. Eisenberg Award, the nation’s top honor in patient safety. In 2015, Modern Healthcare magazine ranked him as the most influential physician-executive in the U.S., his eighth consecutive year in the top 50. He has served on the healthcare advisory boards of several companies, including Google. His 2015 book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age, was a New York Times science bestseller.


Saul N. Weingart, MD, MPP, PhD, CPPS

Dr. Weingart is Chief Medical Officer of Tufts Medical Center. Previously he served as Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety and Director of the Center for Patient Safety at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is a Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. In 2008 he was given the Socius Award by the National Patient Safety Foundation, honoring work that promotes positive and effective partnering between patients/families and providers in pursuit of improved patient safety. He received the 2012 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award from The Joint Commission and The National Quality Forum. He is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS).

Dr. Weingart’s research examines patient safety in primary and specialty care, and the role of patient engagement. He is a member of the National Patient Safety Foundation's Board of Directors. He has served on the editorial boards of the International Journal for Quality in Health Care and the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

A general internist, Dr. Weingart holds a doctorate in public policy from Harvard and an MD from the University of Rochester.


Karen P. Zimmer, MD, MPH, FAAP

Dr. Zimmer currently consults in the area of Health IT, Patient Safety and Quality. She has over 25 years of combined healthcare, patient safety, and quality experience. She was formerly the Medical Director for both ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization (PSO) and the Patient Safety, Risk and Quality Group where she provided overall clinical direction and was responsible for supervision of analytics, development of tools, and dissemination of strategies and solutions. She designed an event management analysis database and was integral in the development of the ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization which serves healthcare facilities and systems nationwide. Her past work extends from implementation of IT and QI programs at Johns Hopkins Hospital to leading government-sponsored HIT collaboratives at ECRI. She currently sits on the NQF Committee: HIT Patient Safety Measures Expert Panel. She also sits on the Alumni Board for Cornell Weill Medical Center and is a trustee of The Franklin Institute and Cornell University.


Dr. Zimmer received her medical degree from the Cornell University Medical College and completed her Pediatrics residency at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH. Following her training, she completed a General Academic Pediatrics fellowship and Masters of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD and then joined the faculty of Department of Pediatrics. Additionally she has expertise in evaluation processes as she designed and studied a formal educational evaluation for pediatric residents. Earlier in her career she was involved in policy on the Clinton HealthCare Task Force. She currently is an active member of the medical staff at Nemours of Alfred I, DuPont Hospital for Children and teaches in the Jefferson School of Population Health.

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IHI Patient Safety Congress

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