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Heidi King

Heidi King, MS, FACHE, is the Deputy Director for the Department of Defense Patient Safety Program and Director for the Patient Safety Solutions Center (formerly the Healthcare Team Coordination Program) within the Office of the Chief Medical Officer at TRICARE Management Activity. The program is leading the Military Health System, which serves 9.2 million beneficiaries, to a culture of safety by providing oversight and coordination of enterprise-wide safety and quality improvement. Ms. King oversees the integration of teamwork principles into practice through education, training, research, and collaborative and outreach initiatives to enhance patient care and safety. Ms. King strives to transform healthcare through the spread, impact, and sustainment of high-performing teams.

Ms. King collaborates with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on the development of specifications for medical team training, effective coaching and implementation strategies, and ongoing measurement and evaluation. She was the lead architect in the development of TeamSTEPPS™ (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety), an award-winning evidence-based system aimed at optimizing patient outcomes and promoting a culture of team-driven care. On behalf of the Department of Defense, Ms. King directs the interagency partnership of TeamSTEPPS™ with civilian healthcare systems. These partnerships establish an infrastructure for national dissemination and implementation for long-term sustainment for military and civilian organizations, including four Team Resource Centers (TRC) within academic institutions. In addition, Ms. King established seven TRCs—all Department of Defense Centers of Excellence—for the validation, proliferation, ongoing research, and development of medical team simulation to prevent harm. TeamSTEPPS™ resources have been adopted by both military and non-military organizations internationally, with translations in several different languages.

Before working for the federal government, Ms. King served in various leadership positions at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. A highly notable role was as an internal consultant advising teams on the redesign of business processes, cost reductions, and change management, as well as managing 17 hospital departments.

Ms. King is board certified in healthcare management and an American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow. She has held several faculty appointments; serves on several professional, non-profit, and faith-based boards; and served for two years as a dental health educator in St. Kitts and Nevis with the Peace Corps. Ms. King is also a highly sought-after speaker and author. She was the recipient of the distinguished Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2007 and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s M. Scott Myers Award for Applied Research in the Workplace. In 2009 Ms. King received the National Patient Safety Foundation Chairman's Medal in recognition of emerging leadership in the patient safety field for inspiring and leading change through improvement interventions while creating a culture of respect, openness, learning, and team dynamic.

Ms. King graduated summa cum laude with a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh and earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and Health from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania after becoming a registered dental hygienist.

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