Rollin J. (Terry) Fairbanks, MD

Vice President and Chief Quality and Safety Officer

Rollin J. (Terry) Fairbanks, MD, is vice president and chief quality and safety officer for MedStar Health, overseeing and leading patient safety, infection prevention, and quality of care across the system.

Prior to this role, Dr. Fairbanks served as MedStar Health’s assistant vice president for Ambulatory Quality and Safety, charged with aligning and optimizing quality and safety in the outpatient setting. Preceding these appointments, Dr. Fairbanks held a number of quality and safety-related leadership roles within MedStar Health. Joining the system in 2010, Dr. Fairbanks started with the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2), where he established the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, a unique system safety engineering program that has become one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. During his MI2 tenure, Dr. Fairbanks was heavily involved with systemwide telehealth programs and oversaw the MedStar Simulation Training and Education Lab (SiTEL).

Prior to joining MedStar Health, Dr. Fairbanks was a National Institutes of Health and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded researcher and an emergency medicine faculty member at the University of Rochester, where he held a number of Emergency Medical Services leadership roles including medical director and regional quality director.

As a board-certified emergency physician, Dr. Fairbanks practices at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and serves as professor of emergency medicine at Georgetown University. Dr. Fairbanks also holds an academic appointment as adjunct associate professor of industrial systems engineering at the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Fairbanks holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Potsdam College, and a master’s degree in industrial systems engineering/human factors engineering from Virginia Tech. He earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University and completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Rochester, where he was chief resident. He completed the American Hospital Association/National Patient Safety Foundation Comprehensive Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship and MedStar Leader of the Future: Physician Leadership Development, a leadership development program offered in partnership with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Fairbanks has served in many national and international advisory roles, including formal consultative roles with the U.S., Australian, British, and Spanish governments. He is a national and international speaker and has contributed to more than 150 publications and co-edited a book on quality and safety topics in health care. Dr. Fairbanks has been listed by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the Top 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety, and was recently recognized with the 2021 Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award and by the Medical Society of the District of Columbia’s John Benjamin Nichols Award.