John J. Nance

A dynamic and deeply dedicated member of the medical community for nearly two decades, John J. Nance brings a rich diversity of professional training and background to the quest of patient safety and medical practice improvement.

John J. Nance was one of the founding members of the National Patient Safety Foundation at the AMA and a member of the Executive Committee who has served on the board for many years. He is a native Texan who grew up in Dallas where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree from SMU and his Juris Doctor Degree from SMU School of Law before admission to the Texas bar. Installed as a Distinguished Alumni of Southern Methodist University in 2002, he is also a decorated Air Force officer-pilot veteran of Vietnam and Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield and a Lt. Colonel in the USAF Reserve, well known for his pioneering involvement in Air Force human factors flight safety education.

As a professional pilot, John J. Nance has piloted a wide variety of jet aircraft, including most of Boeing’s line as well as the Air Force C-141, and has logged over 13,000 hours of flight time in his commercial airline (Braniff and Alaska) and Air Force careers. But more important to his leading-edge role in healthcare, John J. Nance was one of the pioneers of the pivotal safety revolution in professional communication, teamwork, and leadership known in aviation as CRM, crew resource management. His book about safety in human systems entitled Blind Trust, published internationally in 1986, is widely credited with helping to spark not only the universal acceptance of CRM principles in aviation but the earliest infusion of culture-changing lessons derived from aviation into medical practice.

With most of his busy schedule of consulting and speaking dedicated to the urgency of improving healthcare from patient safety to practice satisfaction, John J. Nance has also emerged as one of the leading thinkers on matters of major change to America’s healthcare system. A dynamic and vocal advocate of completely removing the tort system from involvement in medical accidents and mistakes, he recently convened and hosted an unprecedented conference on the subject with the sponsorship of AHRQ, and has released a major book on “Patient Safety entitled Why Hospitals should Fly.”