Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand the degree to which a quality and safety culture exists after healthcare workers in an academic medical center complete a quality improvement and patient safety education program focused on developing leaders to change the future of healthcare quality and safety. Design/methodology/approach: The safety attitudes questionnaire (SAQ) short-form was used for measuring the culture of quality and safety among healthcare workers who were graduates of an academic medical center’s healthcare quality and safety program. A 53 percent response rate from program alumni resulted in 54 usable responses. Findings: This study found that 42 (78 percent) of the respondents report that they are currently working in a healthcare quality and safety culture, with 25 (59 percent) reporting promotion into a leadership role after completion of the quality improvement education program. This compares favorably to AHRQ culture of safety survey results obtained by the same academic medical center within the year prior revealing only 63 percent of all inpatient employees surveyed reported working in a quality and safety culture. Research limitations/implications: The study design precluded knowing to what degree a quality and safety culture, as measured by the SAQ, existed prior to attending the healthcare quality and safety program. Originality/value: This study has practical value for other organizations considering a quality and safety education program. For organizations seeking to build capacity in quality and safety, training future leaders through a robust curriculum is essential. This may be achieved through development of an internal training program or through attending an outside organization for education.