Pioneering High Performance in Modern Healthcare

We are Arena Labs

Our work is rooted in a simple but radically different approach to healthcare quality and patient safety: focus on the team. We bring the tools, frameworks, and resources of high-performance cultures in sport, the creative arts, and elite military units to the frontlines of modern healthcare. We use innovative technology to take high-risk performance to the next level while staying rooted in the human system and its potential for creative mastery in modern medicine.

Our core team on catalyzing peak performance and mastery on medicine's front lines

What if frontline medical teams were provided the same training, tools, and technology to reduce stress and improve performance that is used by Cirque du Soleil, Olympic athletes, and Navy SEALs?

Recent Publication

“The future of medicine will require a fundamentally different style of leadership, rooted in a willingness to decentralize authority, empower a broader network, and build processes that augment a leader’s capacity for decision making and for understanding the needs of the organization and its staff and patients.”

-Arena Labs Founder + CEO Brian Ferguson in concert with Kevin W. Lobdell, MD, Siddharth Hariharan, MA, BA, Will Smith, MBA, BA, Geoffrey A. Rose, MD, & Chris Fussell, MS, BA

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Recently Published

The Sacred World of Medicine Through A Photographer’s Careful Lens

Photographer Paula Eve has devoted her life to the art of quietly capturing the human narrative with her camera. She uses her gift of highlighting moments of unique humanity to bring cultures, organizations, and teams to life. Paula’s work in medicine focuses on the caregivers and professionals who are the corps of any medical environment, […]

What’s “the Arena”? Performance 101

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who […]

Fitness from the Inside Out: Kristen Holmes on Joy and Burnout in Medicine

An elite level athlete, coach, and teacher, Kristen Holmes has spent her career studying and testing scientific principles related to physiology and psychology in high performance environments. One of the most successful coaches in Ivy League history, having won twelve league titles in thirteen seasons and a National Championship at Princeton University, Kristen now serves as […]

Nature: The Ultimate Teacher of Peak Performance

Jurgen Heitmann had the privilege of learning from some of our nation’s greatest leaders in National Security and the Special Operations community across the domains of unique teams, diplomacy, innovative technology, physical capacity, and decision-making in dynamic environments, but he identifies nature as one of his most profound sources in learning and keeping an explorer’s mindset […]

Performance Profile: Patty Brandmaier

The Arena Labs Performance Profile series brings insights from high performers across worlds to frontline teams in healthcare. Patty Brandmaier spent 32 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, serving both domestically and abroad. Her CIA trajectory led her from an entry-level analyst to, at the time of her retirement, serving as a member of the […]

Optimizing a Network of Frontline Medical Leaders to Fight COVID-19: The Fusion Cell Approach

The Arena Labs Fusion Cell for COVID-19 Crisis Response in Frontline Medical Teams.

Our Ethos and Operating Principles

THE ARENA ETHOS. Arena Labs is a culture built on humility. Not the false humility that is the absence of boasting, but a ruthless commitment to learning and betterment. We hold this mindset, that of the expert learner, as the bedrock of all extraordinary endeavor. We are not academics or careerists. Nor are we a […]

A Tale of Two Operating Rooms

Two Ors, two totally different worlds. A story of how one surgeon's choices around how, when, and to whom to express a legitimate dissatisfaction radically compromised patient safety and the wellbeing of staff.

System Design: Leadership Architecture and Great OR Performance

How does the environment outside of the operating theaters influence performance?

Optimizing for Focus and Mastery with an Untapped Practice

A young surgeon, dedicated to mastery in the craft of pediatric spinal surgery, faced barriers to peak performance, including distractions and additional cognitive load.