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James Bagian, MD

Dr. James P. 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. 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. He also served as the Chief Flight Surgeon and Medical Consultant for the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. He was elected to two terms as the Chair of the Joint Commission’s Patient Safety Advisory Group, co-chaired the ACGME’s CLER Evaluation Committee, and was a member of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel from 2006-2018. He was a founding member of the Tactical Combat Casualty Care Committee and is a member of the Department of Defense Trauma and Injury Subcommittee of the Defense Health Board. Bagian holds a Bachelor of Science 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 and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine.

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