October 17th event: Learning from Lean Healthcare’s Best

MHLN Event – October 17, 2017                               Location: UMassMemorial Health Care, Worcester, MA

Topic:    Learning and Guidance from Healthcare’s Best – A Panel Discussion with members / clients of Catalysis (formerly ThedaCare Center) and the Virginia Mason’s Institute

Highlight: The CEO and COO of UMass Memorial Health Care will join us for this event, to share their experience as system executives working with Catalysis.


A dedicated lean journey in healthcare is an arduous climb (think Mt. Everest). Wouldn’t you like to bring along the equivalent of a “sherpa” (the Himalayan people renowned for their mountaineering skill) to mentor and encourage you and keep you out of danger as you navigate culture change, resistance, and questions from executives and staff about pace and expectations. Hundreds of U.S. healthcare systems are actually doing just that – working with experts from two of the most experienced and written about lean hospitals in the U.S. (the Virginia Mason in Seattle; and ThedaCare in Appleton, WI). Both have published multiple, highly-recommended books about their journeys, and formed or spun off training or consulting units, the Virginia Mason Institute (VMI), and Catalysis (formerly the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value). This evening we will learn from several New England health systems who are working with Catalysis or VMI. Our panelists will help describe:

Learning Objectives:

  • What is the purpose and value of a site visit with Catalysis in Appleton, WI, or Virginia Mason in Seattle, WA? Who should go on one of these, and what should one expect?
  • What’s the benefit of joining the Catalysis Healthcare Value Network, or working with Virginia Mason Institute staff trainers or consultants? How are they different other lean healthcare training or consulting organizations?
  • How has joining or hiring one of these lean healthcare orgs benefitted your lean journey?
  • How would you suggest proposing and justifying a site visit or joining / hiring one of these, with our health systems’ executives here in the Northeast?


We will have a moderated panel of representatives from a few New England healthcare systems who have joined or hired one of these lean healthcare guides. We’ll also hear briefly from representatives of Catalysis and VMI. Each panelist will give a 10-minute overview addressing the above questions, and then our moderator will take questions from the audience. Our panelists are expected to include:

  • Bonnie Baker, Director, Martin’s Point Management System (MPMS), Martins Point Health Care (ME)
  • Lindsay Gainer, RN, MSN Sr. Executive Director of Innovation, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA
  • Ernest Byers, Manager, Improvement Educ. & External Collaboration, UMassMemorial Health Care Jeff Smith, MD, Chief Operating Officer, UMassMemorial Health Care Eric Dickson, MD, Chief Executive Officer, UMassMemorial Health Care


  • Helen Zak, Chief Development Officer, Catalysis
  • A senior Sensei, based locally in New England, from Virginia Mason Institute


6:00 – 6:30           Arrive, refreshments, networking, warm-up

6:30 – 6:40           Introductions by MHLN

6:40 – 7:10           Overviews by each panelist

7:10 – 7:45           Audience Q&A

7:45 – 8:00           Network with panelists and attendees for follow-up, etc.

8:00                        Close