September 1, 2021

Dean, Price named to LifeFlight leadership roles

Two industry veterans with clinical and operational expertise in patient transport have been named to top leadership positions at Vanderbilt LifeFlight.

Two industry veterans with clinical and operational expertise in patient transport have been named to top leadership positions at Vanderbilt LifeFlight.

Sherri Dean, MHA, RN

Sherri Dean, MHA, RN, has been named nursing director and Laura Price, MSN, RN, PMP, has been named operations director.

The leadership positions were created when Jeanne Yeatman, BSN, MBA, RN, was appointed as chief nursing officer at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital. Yeatman had been with LifeFlight since 1993, progressing from a flight nurse to leader and administrator of the program.

Yeatman’s vacant position was split into two new roles, based on an expanded market and strategic needs as the LifeFlight ground and air program continues to grow. The new roles are part of a triad leadership team made up of Dean, Price and Stephan Russ, MD, MPH, executive medical director for Vanderbilt LifeFlight and associate chief of staff for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Laura Price, MSN, RN, PMP

Dean will report to Robin Steaban, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer of Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH). She will assume her new duties on Sept. 26.

“LifeFlight has such a strong tradition of excellence, a constant eye toward advancing in the field, demonstrated success and national acclaim,” said Steaban. “Sherri brings a depth of experience and a long-standing commitment to air medical and ground services. Her skill, ability and passion for this work will enable us to continue that long tradition and the advancement and expansion of services to benefit patients in Middle Tennessee and beyond.”

Dean comes to Vanderbilt after a long career with PHI Air Medical, most recently serving as director of ambulance operations, overseeing 82 air medical bases and more than 900 employees. She started her nursing career as a neonatal/-pediatric critical care transport nurse with Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri.

Price joins Vanderbilt from Wellstar in Marietta, Georgia, where she has served as assistant vice president of operations and was responsible for a $45 million portfolio and more than 475 employees. She began her 30-year health care career in Huntsville, Alabama, where she worked her way up as an EMT to a paramedic with Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc. From there she moved toward nursing in the emergency department and intensive care setting before moving into project management, leadership and operational roles. She also has experience in the air medical industry, having spent four years with PHI Air Medical as regional director for the Texas Market.

Price will report to Lee Ann Liska, chief operating officer of VUH, and will assume her duties on Oct. 11.

“I am excited to see the great work Laura, Sherri and Dr. Russ will accomplish in this new triad structure,” said Liska. “They make a powerful team and complement each other well. The competitive nature of the air and ground transportation business needs this focused team effort,” she said.

“We are excited to have both of these exceptional leaders join our organization,” Russ said. “Our program continues to grow, and their leadership will allow us to continue to be an innovator in the medical transportation industry. The intersection of their hospital and transport experience fits extraordinarily well with the regional system we are building. That experience will allow us to maintain our focus on patient care and safety while VUMC expands to incorporate new hospitals.”