Lewis Blackman died at the young age of 15, a result of a poor culture of safety and inadequate training.

In honor and recognition of the 20th anniversary of Lewis Blackman’s death on November 6, 2000, an award has been established with the goal of recognizing outstanding leadership in patient safety by students pursuing a health profession. Lewis Blackman was an outstanding student himself and because his mother, Helen Haskell, has dedicated her life to improving patient safety, especially through education, the Lewis Blackman Leadership Award has been created.


The Lewis Blackman Leadership Award will be awarded to an active health professional student who has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills in patient safety in ways that will contribute to the vision of ZERO preventable patient harm and death across the globe by 2030. Lewis Blackman was a 15-year-old who died from failure to rescue four days after undergoing elective surgery in a South Carolina teaching hospital. Lewis’s death was due to a series of preventable medical errors. You can read his story and watch a video we produced about his story here.

Purpose of the Award

The purpose of the Lewis Blackman Leadership Award is to acknowledge the work being done by our future leaders, encouraging them to pursue a career in healthcare grounded in patient safety.

Eligibility Criteria for Nominations

Any student, domestic or international, currently working toward an advanced degree or board certification in healthcare or a healthcare-related field, including but not limited to: MD/DO, DPT, PharmD, MHA/DHA, MPH/DPH, MSN/DNP, and PhD. Self-nominations are welcome.


2021 Winners