NAME: Brian Dean
OCCUPATION: Senior Vice President and Regional President-Central Region, Memorial Hermann Health System
INTEREST: Piloting airplanes
As one of the leaders of Memorial Hermann Health System, Brian Dean is a pilot who steers institutions toward clinical innovation, collaboration and patient care. But for the past six years, Dean has also been a licensed pilot who volunteers for a nonprofit that provides free air transportation for patients receiving
Dean became enthralled with aviation and the wonders of flight by watching his grandfather—the head track coach at Georgia Tech University during the 1950s and 1960s—fly his own airplane to recruit athletes. But Dean’s desire to fly planes came to fruition years later when a work colleague who moonlighted as a flight instructor invited him out one weekend to fly. He has been hooked ever since.
“As soon as you light the fuse on that, you’re addicted,” Dean said. “It’s a privilege to be able to fly. It’s not the easiest thing to get to do, which makes it a little fun, also.”
A year after he was bitten by the flying bug, he earned his private pilot license and purchased his Cirrus SR22, a single-engine four-seater aircraft with a range of approximately 1,200 miles. It’s a smaller aircraft, but it allows Dean to fly his wife and two children to and from College Station for burgers, or to and from Brenham for Blue Bell ice cream on the weekend. On other occasions, he’ll take his family on a 1.5-hour flight to New Orleans for dinner and return home in time to put the kids to bed.
“I’ve done it a hundred times, but each time it’s a little different. Weather is always going to be different, wind conditions, temperatures—all of that affects the airplane,” Dean said. “It’s a nice kind of getaway.”
Besides weekend excursions with his family, Dean volunteers for Angel Flight in his spare time. He receives an email each night with a list of patients seeking transportation either to or from Houston, and chooses which missions to fly depending on his availability. Recently, he flew as a co-pilot to Fort Smith, Arkansas, to transport a young war veteran and lung cancer patient to the medical center for treatment.
“The ability to take a passion and blend it with the passion that we have here at Memorial Hermann in providing care is a lot of fun,” Dean said. “It’s really rewarding.”
Finding time in his busy schedule to volunteer can be challenging, but Dean said he tries to protect calendar time during the week if he’s unable to go on a mission over the weekend. He’ll modify his schedule to accommodate a patient who needs a flight home or needs to be picked up from Dallas on a Thursday afternoon.
He views each trip as a way of being directly involved with bringing patients to the hospital—a small part of the overall process, but one that is essential to giving patients access to care.
“It’s easy as administrators to get away from the patient, who is at the center of everything we do,” Dean said. “But to be able to spend time with them and see the human spirit … it’s a nice dovetail into what we do.”
When Dean isn’t working, he can be found hanging out with Memorial Hermann Life Flight pilots and swapping airplane stories with fellow aviation enthusiasts.
MD Anderson Cancer Center@MDAndersonNews
What to ask your doctor about colon polyps: https://t.co/RFSBn3Mia7 via @focusedonhealth #endcancer
MD Anderson Cancer CenterMDAnderson
With all the parties, potluck meals and tasty gifts, the holiday season can be a challenge when it comes to eating healthy and being active. Get our expert’s ...
MD Anderson Cancer Center@MDAndersonNews
How to avoid extra holiday pounds: https://t.co/Bea59PvnIC via @focusedonhealth #endcancer
Texas A&M University Health Science CenterTAMUhealthsciences
Life is about chapters, and Alan Leifeste, MD, has had quite the story. Read and watch here to see how he is making the impossible, possible.
One Reno Veteran may have Alzheimer's, but this Christmas is one he will never forget https://t.co/4rzIZVYXKd via @KRNV
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is @USArmy #Veteran William C. Tarcypokeadooah https://t.co/0DDbBlrHJa #ArmyVet #WWI
U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsVeteransAffairs
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran William C. Tarcypokeadooah. William served from 1918 to 1919 during World War I. William was stationed in Brest, Franc...
Tune in to Houston Newsmakers tomorrow at 10:30am on @KPRC2 for insight on how @UHCPHistory plans to document… https://t.co/aKEtT5Wf8N
‘Star Wars’ actor looks to discover top military or Veteran playwright https://t.co/ehoeAKoGpn via @starsandstripes
Baylor College of MedicineBaylorCollegeOfMedicine
The holidays are a time for treats, family meals, and relaxation, but this can take a toll on those living with diabetes. Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam has some tip...
San José ClinicSanJoseClinic
Thank you to our December 2017 Volunteer of the Month - Dr. Michael Zionts! Dr. Michael Zionts began volunteering at San José Clinic in 2013. During his volunt...
Join Dr. Jeffrey Sutton with our Center for Space Medicine at the @TAMESTX 2018 Annual Conference: Aerospace happe… https://t.co/eJolUoDKc5
Psychologist, parent and #ForeverCoog, Dr. Anette Edens, is providing hope to parents of children struggling with s… https://t.co/7aUsfFVq9J
Expecting a special delivery? Tour our newly renovated birthing suites at our John Sealy Hospital in Galveston.… https://t.co/MF5NQBVxkC