August 8, 2008
Holden appointed the MGH's first patient safety officer

The MGH Center for Quality and Safety (CQS) recently appointed the hospital's first-ever patient safety officer, Lela Holden, RN, MS, MSN, PhD, who began her tenure in July.

Holden retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of colonel. Most recently she served as chief nurse executive at Offutt Air Base in Nebraska, overseeing the nursing practice for the base's ambulatory surgery clinic and supervising a staff of 160 nurses and medical technicians. A widely recognized leader, Holden has served as deputy director of Congressional and Public Affairs for the Air Force Surgeon General, commander of the Medical Operations Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, and commander of the Air Transportable Hospital of the 374th Medical Group at Yokota Air Base in Japan. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin, a master's degree in nursing administration from the University of California at San Francisco and a master's degree in psychology from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. Holden also holds a doctorate in nursing administration with an emphasis on patient safety from the University of Health Sciences. A gifted researcher, her areas of interest include the dimensions of patient safety in ambulatory care facilities. 

SAFETY FIRST: Holden, back row, left, with some members of the CQS team. Back row, right, Cyrus Hopkins, MD. Front row, from left, Linda Devaux, Shawna Butler and Honor Keegan

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