The Lucian Leape Institute, a patient safety think tank, has announced the appointment of two new members. Effective May 1, Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and David Michaels, PhD, MPH, former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, will be part of the organization.

Berwick, who is also president emeritus and senior fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is no stranger to the Lucian Leape Institute, as he was a founding member when the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) established the institute in 2007.

Likewise, David Michaels, PhD, MPH, who is also former assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health and currently professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, served on a 2012 Lucian Leape Institute roundtable addressing the health and safety of the healthcare workforce.

“It is a great honor to welcome two such distinguished and accomplished experts,” says Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, chief clinical and safety officer, IHI, and president of the Lucian Leape Institute. “Their expertise, leadership, and insight will be invaluable as we expand our focus on culture and leadership to advance the safety of patients and the workforce.”

Dr. Berwick was instrumental in the early work of the think tank, specifically in helping to outline essential areas where improvement is needed to transform the safety of the healthcare system. He was also a key contributor to the institute’s first white paper, which outlined the rationale and recommendations for reforming medical education to more broadly encompass patient safety science.

Among Dr. Berwick’s many contributions to the healthcare field is his appointment by President Obama to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from July 2010 through December 2011. He has also served as vice chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force and chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Further, Dr. Michaels was the longest-serving administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when he left his government position earlier this year. Appointed by President Obama in 2009, Dr. Michaels expanded OSHA’s research and resources related to healthcare workforce safety. He has been an ardent advocate for raising awareness of emerging issues such as workplace violence in healthcare.

“Since its founding, the Lucian Leape Institute has been a leading voice for identifying top-level issues that need to be addressed if we are to transform the safety of healthcare,” says Gary Kaplan, MD, FACMPE, Chair of the Institute and Chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason Health System. “I know I speak for the other members of the Institute in saying how pleased we are to be working again with Drs. Berwick and Michaels as we seek to build upon successes made to date and further advance patient safety understanding and practice.”