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About LifeWings, The Leader in Patient Safety Improvement

LifeWings Partners LLC is a team of physicians, nurses, former NASA astronauts, former military flight surgeons, pilots, flight crew, former military officers, and healthcare risk managers. The team has melded together the best practices of high reliability organizations such as commercial aviation, U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and nuclear power and thoughtfully adapted those practices for use in healthcare organizations.

Our People


LifeWings uses a team of coaches and facilitators drawn from a variety of disciplines. Our physician coaches are experienced aviators and former astronauts.Thus, they have lived and worked with the aviation-based safety practices and are experts in thoughtfully adapting those principles to the bedside for safer patient care. Combined, our coaches’ experience represents over 300 years of implementing evidence-based safety systems in institutions such as Vanderbilt University Medical Center, The Nebraska Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Mt. Carmel Healthcare, and Memorial Healthcare System. LifeWings has attracted a roster of dedicated, passionate human factors experts committed to the mission of improving patient safety. 


Our Foundation

LifeWings began helping hospitals improve patient safety in 1999 as a department of Crew Training International, Inc. (CTI). The world’s largest provider of teamwork and communication training services, CTI, established in 1992, is the primary provider of teamwork-based safety programs to the U.S. Air Force, NATO, numerous international air forces and other U.S. government organizations such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The CEO of LifeWings, Capt. Stephen W. Harden is also the co-founder of CTI and has 19 years of experience in providing human factors training, and safety practices development and implementation for a variety of military flight squadrons, commercial air carriers, heavy construction companies, and government agencies.

Due to explosive growth in CTI’s healthcare work, LifeWings Partners was created as a separate corporate entity in 2005 to specialize solely in implementing in healthcare the safety practices of high reliability organizations. The management team of LifeWings has over 30 years of experience in designing, developing, leading and implementing culture changing safety programs for hospitals, hospital systems, practice groups, clinics, state healthcare associations, clinical colleges and societies, and malpractice carriers. To date, LifeWings has implemented safety and quality improvement programs for more than 100 high-performing health care organizations in the U.S. and abroad.


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