Our Team

Experience that inspires

Virginia Mason Institute team members are experienced and accomplished experts in preparing, guiding and inspiring healthcare leaders to transform healthcare. As current and former healthcare executive leaders, physician executives, providers, and high-level managers, and through their success working with healthcare systems and leaders around the world, our team has unparalleled knowledge and skill in improving patient safety, patient experience, and the quality, cost, and delivery of healthcare.

With their background in systems transformation and a foundation in Virginia Mason’s world-renowned management methodology, our team members’ approach is to partner with healthcare leaders to achieve sustainable improvement, and to solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems.

Leadership

Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Health System

Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Health System

Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, is the chairman and chief executive officer of Virginia Mason Health System, serving in the role since 2000. Dr. Kaplan received a degree in medicine from the University of Michigan and is board certified in internal medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at Virginia Mason and served as chief resident in 1980-1981. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medical Practice Executives, and the American College of Physician Executives, and is recognized as one of the most influential physician executives in healthcare.

Gary Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, is the chairman and chief executive officer of Virginia Mason Health System, serving in the role since 2000. Dr. Kaplan received a degree in medicine from the University of Michigan and is board certified in internal medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at Virginia Mason and served as chief resident in 1980-1981. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medical Practice Executives, and the American College of Physician Executives, and is recognized as one of the most influential physician executives in healthcare.

Sarah Patterson, MHA, FACMPE, Executive Director

Sarah Patterson, MHA, FACMPE, Executive Director

Sarah Patterson, MHA, FACMPE, is the executive director of Virginia Mason Institute. In addition, Sarah is an executive sensei who coaches executive teams worldwide to lead lean implementation and transform healthcare. Sarah has been a member of the leadership team at Virginia Mason Medical Center for over 30 years, most recently serving as the executive vice president and chief operating officer. She has held responsibility for all operations of the clinic and hospital along with the kaizen promotion office, human resources, quality and compliance, facilities and pharmaceutical services.

Sarah Patterson, MHA, FACMPE, is the executive director of Virginia Mason Institute. In addition, Sarah is an executive sensei who coaches executive teams worldwide to lead lean implementation and transform healthcare. Sarah has been a member of the leadership team at Virginia Mason Medical Center for over 30 years, most recently serving as the executive vice president and chief operating officer. She has held responsibility for all operations of the clinic and hospital along with the kaizen promotion office, human resources, quality and compliance, facilities and pharmaceutical services.

 Wendy Korthuis-Smith, Ed.D., M.S., Associate Executive Director

Wendy Korthuis-Smith, Ed.D., M.S., Associate Executive Director

Wendy Korthuis-Smith, Ed.D., M.S., is the associate executive director at Virginia Mason Institute. Wendy provides leadership and oversees the development of new products and services to strategically assess, identify improvement opportunities, develop and implement transformation and transition plans, and continually evaluate continuous improvement for clients worldwide. Wendy holds significant experience developing and implementing large scale transformation and transition plans. Wendy came to Virginia Mason Institute from Deloitte Consulting, and spent several years prior with the Washington State Governor’s Office where she led state government transformation through the development and implementation of Results Washington, a performance improvement initiative incorporating 53 state government agencies, boards and commissions across five priority goal areas. She worked with Virginia Mason early on in her career as a leadership development consultant. Wendy is trained in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Wendy Korthuis-Smith, Ed.D., M.S., is the associate executive director at Virginia Mason Institute. Wendy provides leadership and oversees the development of new products and services to strategically assess, identify improvement opportunities, develop and implement transformation and transition plans, and continually evaluate continuous improvement for clients worldwide. Wendy holds significant experience developing and implementing large scale transformation and transition plans. Wendy came to Virginia Mason Institute from Deloitte Consulting, and spent several years prior with the Washington State Governor’s Office where she led state government transformation through the development and implementation of Results Washington, a performance improvement initiative incorporating 53 state government agencies, boards and commissions across five priority goal areas. She worked with Virginia Mason early on in her career as a leadership development consultant. Wendy is trained in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Gordon Sansaver, MBA, Senior Director

Gordon Sansaver, MBA, Senior Director

Gordon Sansaver, MBA, is the Senior Director at Virginia Mason Institute. Based in London, UK, Gordon oversees the Institute’s partnerships in Europe while also holding responsibility for the global operations of the organization. He is an expert in strategic planning, culture change and project management and also has over a decade of experience in empowering and facilitating teams to realize meaningful and sustained improvement. Prior to joining Virginia Mason Institute, Gordon served as an expert in Virginia Mason’s management system and quality improvement methodology – focusing on teaching, coaching and partnering with leadership to improve quality and reduce waste across the organization. In that capacity, he led numerous improvement projects and helped to achieve meaningful change in areas across the health system – including primary and specialty ambulatory, inpatient, and emergency care; facilities, supply chain, human resources, and finance. He is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Gordon Sansaver, MBA, is the Senior Director at Virginia Mason Institute. Based in London, UK, Gordon oversees the Institute’s partnerships in Europe while also holding responsibility for the global operations of the organization. He is an expert in strategic planning, culture change and project management and also has over a decade of experience in empowering and facilitating teams to realize meaningful and sustained improvement. Prior to joining Virginia Mason Institute, Gordon served as an expert in Virginia Mason’s management system and quality improvement methodology – focusing on teaching, coaching and partnering with leadership to improve quality and reduce waste across the organization. In that capacity, he led numerous improvement projects and helped to achieve meaningful change in areas across the health system – including primary and specialty ambulatory, inpatient, and emergency care; facilities, supply chain, human resources, and finance. He is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Sensei and Physician/Executive Advisors

Suzanne Anderson, MBA, President, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Suzanne Anderson, MBA, President, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Suzanne Anderson, MBA, is currently the president of Virginia Mason Medical Center, and the executive vice president of Virginia Mason Health System. Sue helps to oversee all patient care services at the medical center, as well as holding responsibility for finance, human resources, health resource services, information systems and support services, and maintaining the organization-wide focus on continuous improvement. Prior to assuming her role as president in 2016, Sue served as both the chief finance officer and the chief information officer, and was tasked with a diverse range of additional responsibilities. Prior to joining Virginia Mason in 2007, Sue served as vice president and chief operating officer at Meaghan Jared Partners, Inc., a healthcare management consulting firm. Sue has been active on several national healthcare boards and is currently chair of the executive board of the National Board of Medical Examiners. She is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Suzanne Anderson, MBA, is currently the president of Virginia Mason Medical Center, and the executive vice president of Virginia Mason Health System. Sue helps to oversee all patient care services at the medical center, as well as holding responsibility for finance, human resources, health resource services, information systems and support services, and maintaining the organization-wide focus on continuous improvement. Prior to assuming her role as president in 2016, Sue served as both the chief finance officer and the chief information officer, and was tasked with a diverse range of additional responsibilities. Prior to joining Virginia Mason in 2007, Sue served as vice president and chief operating officer at Meaghan Jared Partners, Inc., a healthcare management consulting firm. Sue has been active on several national healthcare boards and is currently chair of the executive board of the National Board of Medical Examiners. She is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Chris Backous, MHA, Transformation Sensei

Chris Backous, MHA, Transformation Sensei

Chris Backous, MHA, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. He leads improvement activities, workshops and training for healthcare leaders and providers worldwide. By embedding innovative methods into the lean concepts he teaches, he works with clients to unlock the revolutionary thinking necessary to transform healthcare.

Chris Backous, MHA, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. He leads improvement activities, workshops and training for healthcare leaders and providers worldwide. By embedding innovative methods into the lean concepts he teaches, he works with clients to unlock the revolutionary thinking necessary to transform healthcare.

Robbi Bishop, MS, Senior Transformation Sensei

Robbi Bishop, MS, Senior Transformation Sensei

Robbi Bishop, MS, is a senior transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. In his 19+ years at Virginia Mason, Robbi’s experience includes direct patient care as an Audiologist, leadership within the Kaizen Promotion Office along with operational leadership in oncology, peri-operative services and ambulatory care. In addition to sponsoring and leading improvement events across the care spectrum, Robbi has led multiple flow (3P) workshops focused on inpatient and surgical facility design, ambulatory flow, patient safety and future state visioning. Robbi is a Kaizen Fellow graduate in the Virginia Mason Production System and 3P (Production, Preparation, Process) facilitation. In addition, Robbi is trained in the use of experience-based design (EBD), training within industry (TWI) and directed creativity.

Robbi Bishop, MS, is a senior transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. In his 19+ years at Virginia Mason, Robbi’s experience includes direct patient care as an Audiologist, leadership within the Kaizen Promotion Office along with operational leadership in oncology, peri-operative services and ambulatory care. In addition to sponsoring and leading improvement events across the care spectrum, Robbi has led multiple flow (3P) workshops focused on inpatient and surgical facility design, ambulatory flow, patient safety and future state visioning. Robbi is a Kaizen Fellow graduate in the Virginia Mason Production System and 3P (Production, Preparation, Process) facilitation. In addition, Robbi is trained in the use of experience-based design (EBD), training within industry (TWI) and directed creativity.

Marlon Borbon, PT, MBA, LSSBB, Transformation Sensei

Marlon Borbon, PT, MBA, LSSBB, Transformation Sensei

Marlon Borbon, MBA, PT, LSSBB, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. For healthcare leaders and providers worldwide, he leads numerous improvement events with a focus on cultural transformation and sustainment. He is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and is board certified in healthcare management as a fellow of the American College and Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Marlon Borbon, MBA, PT, LSSBB, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. For healthcare leaders and providers worldwide, he leads numerous improvement events with a focus on cultural transformation and sustainment. He is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and is board certified in healthcare management as a fellow of the American College and Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Katerie Chapman, MHA, Senior Vice President and Hospital Administrator, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Katerie Chapman, MHA, Senior Vice President and Hospital Administrator, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Katerie Chapman, MHA, serves as senior vice president and hospital administrator at Virginia Mason Medical Center, a leadership role integrating all clinical and care delivery services along the continuum from primary to acute care. She also has responsibility for Bailey-Boushay House, design, construction and property management, engineering and pharmaceutical services. Katerie joined Virginia Mason in 2000 and soon began taking on management roles with increasing responsibility including leadership positions for the Heart Institute, perioperative services, and the kaizen promotion office, where she helped initiate the launch of the Virginia Mason Production System®. She has served on the board of directors for King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, the board of trustees of Bloodworks Northwest, and the Northwest Healthcare Response Network board of directors. She currently serves on the board of the Bailey-Boushay House. Katerie is a Kaizen Fellow graduate and is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Katerie Chapman, MHA, serves as senior vice president and hospital administrator at Virginia Mason Medical Center, a leadership role integrating all clinical and care delivery services along the continuum from primary to acute care. She also has responsibility for Bailey-Boushay House, design, construction and property management, engineering and pharmaceutical services. Katerie joined Virginia Mason in 2000 and soon began taking on management roles with increasing responsibility including leadership positions for the Heart Institute, perioperative services, and the kaizen promotion office, where she helped initiate the launch of the Virginia Mason Production System®. She has served on the board of directors for King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, the board of trustees of Bloodworks Northwest, and the Northwest Healthcare Response Network board of directors. She currently serves on the board of the Bailey-Boushay House. Katerie is a Kaizen Fellow graduate and is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Erica Cumbee, MPA, Transformation Sensei

Erica Cumbee, MPA, Transformation Sensei

Erica Cumbee, MPA, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. Erica trains clients from all over the world to effectively practice lean tools and methods, develops operational leadership emphasizing the importance of acting and thinking in a lean framework, and embeds lean management methodology into healthcare cultures. Erica is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®, experience-based design (EBD), training within industry (TWI) and focus group leadership.

Erica Cumbee, MPA, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. Erica trains clients from all over the world to effectively practice lean tools and methods, develops operational leadership emphasizing the importance of acting and thinking in a lean framework, and embeds lean management methodology into healthcare cultures. Erica is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®, experience-based design (EBD), training within industry (TWI) and focus group leadership.

Celeste Derheimer, MBA, RN, CPHQ, Transformation Sensei

Celeste Derheimer, MBA, RN, CPHQ, Transformation Sensei

Celeste Derheimer, MBA, RN, CPHQ, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. In Seattle and at client sites worldwide, she leads multiple improvement activities to increase safety and quality and improve administrative processes. Celeste is a Kaizen Fellow graduate certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®. She is also an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.

Celeste Derheimer, MBA, RN, CPHQ, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. In Seattle and at client sites worldwide, she leads multiple improvement activities to increase safety and quality and improve administrative processes. Celeste is a Kaizen Fellow graduate certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®. She is also an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.

Val Ferris, RN, ELMBA Executive Sensei

Val Ferris, RN, ELMBA Executive Sensei

Val Ferris, RN, ELMBA, is an executive sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. Her passion is to work collaboratively with leadership and teams to improve quality for patients and staff. Prior to her work at Virginia Mason Institute, Val’s leadership experience includes perioperative and procedural services, emergency department, hospitalist services, and Kaizen Promotion Office. As an improvement leader, she has sponsored and led efforts to reduce hospital, surgical, procedural and emergency department lead time. She has led multiple flow (3P) workshops to assist with the design of inpatient units, surgical facilities and future state processes for the hospital. Val is a Kaizen Fellow graduate in the Virginia Mason Production System and 3P (Production, Preparation, Process) facilitation.

Val Ferris, RN, ELMBA, is an executive sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. Her passion is to work collaboratively with leadership and teams to improve quality for patients and staff. Prior to her work at Virginia Mason Institute, Val’s leadership experience includes perioperative and procedural services, emergency department, hospitalist services, and Kaizen Promotion Office. As an improvement leader, she has sponsored and led efforts to reduce hospital, surgical, procedural and emergency department lead time. She has led multiple flow (3P) workshops to assist with the design of inpatient units, surgical facilities and future state processes for the hospital. Val is a Kaizen Fellow graduate in the Virginia Mason Production System and 3P (Production, Preparation, Process) facilitation.

 Michael Glenn, MD, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, Virginia Mason Health System

Michael Glenn, MD, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, Virginia Mason Health System

Michael Glenn, MD, FACS, has been the chief medical officer of Virginia Mason Health System since 2013. Previously, he served as physician-in-chief and medical director of the clinics. He first joined Virginia Mason as an otolaryngology clinician in 1995. He remains clinically active as a head and neck cancer reconstructive surgeon, in addition to his administrative responsibilities. Michael is active in numerous professional organizations with particular contributions in the areas of physician engagement and leadership development, quality improvement and patient safety. He currently serves as vice-chair of the governing council of the AMA Integrated Physician Practice Section. He has served on the American Academy of Otolaryngology board of directors and as the steering committee chair for the Washington Patient Safety Coalition. Michael is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®

Michael Glenn, MD, FACS, has been the chief medical officer of Virginia Mason Health System since 2013. Previously, he served as physician-in-chief and medical director of the clinics. He first joined Virginia Mason as an otolaryngology clinician in 1995. He remains clinically active as a head and neck cancer reconstructive surgeon, in addition to his administrative responsibilities. Michael is active in numerous professional organizations with particular contributions in the areas of physician engagement and leadership development, quality improvement and patient safety. He currently serves as vice-chair of the governing council of the AMA Integrated Physician Practice Section. He has served on the American Academy of Otolaryngology board of directors and as the steering committee chair for the Washington Patient Safety Coalition. Michael is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®

Melissa Lin, MS, CPHQ, LSSBB, Transformation Sensei

Melissa Lin, MS, CPHQ, LSSBB, Transformation Sensei

Melissa Lin, MS, CPHQ, LSSBB, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. She coaches and guides healthcare leaders and providers worldwide through their cultural transformation toward lean as their management method. Melissa is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System® and in TapRoot Root-Cause Analysis. With her continuous improvement foundations originating from The Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice, where she earned her master’s degree, she is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and a Certified Professional of Healthcare Quality.

Melissa Lin, MS, CPHQ, LSSBB, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. She coaches and guides healthcare leaders and providers worldwide through their cultural transformation toward lean as their management method. Melissa is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System® and in TapRoot Root-Cause Analysis. With her continuous improvement foundations originating from The Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice, where she earned her master’s degree, she is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and a Certified Professional of Healthcare Quality.

Susan Neidig, MBA, Executive Sensei

Susan Neidig, MBA, Executive Sensei

Susan Neidig, MBA, is an executive sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. Prior to joining the institute, Susan worked as an executive lean consultant with John Black and Associates (JBA), supporting the lean transformation in Saskatchewan healthcare. She served as a strategic guide and coach for executive teams, trained leaders, set up kaizen promotion offices, coached improvement events, and led sustainable, measurable implementations. She was the lead consultant for three provincial level agencies including the Ministry of Health. Susan joined JBA after a 30-year career at Boeing, which immersed her in a lean journey that began in the 1980s and spanned strategy development, training, process management, and new product development in the services division. Susan is trained in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Susan Neidig, MBA, is an executive sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. Prior to joining the institute, Susan worked as an executive lean consultant with John Black and Associates (JBA), supporting the lean transformation in Saskatchewan healthcare. She served as a strategic guide and coach for executive teams, trained leaders, set up kaizen promotion offices, coached improvement events, and led sustainable, measurable implementations. She was the lead consultant for three provincial level agencies including the Ministry of Health. Susan joined JBA after a 30-year career at Boeing, which immersed her in a lean journey that began in the 1980s and spanned strategy development, training, process management, and new product development in the services division. Susan is trained in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Ellen Noel, MN, RN, CPHQ, Transformation Sensei

Ellen Noel, MN, RN, CPHQ, Transformation Sensei

Ellen Noel, MN, RN, CPHQ, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. Her in-depth knowledge of clinical processes, team development, healthcare outcomes and regulatory performance provides a solid foundation for an extraordinary customer learning experience. Ellen is a Kaizen Fellow graduate certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®. She is also a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.

Ellen Noel, MN, RN, CPHQ, is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute. Her in-depth knowledge of clinical processes, team development, healthcare outcomes and regulatory performance provides a solid foundation for an extraordinary customer learning experience. Ellen is a Kaizen Fellow graduate certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®. She is also a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.

Stephen Rupp, MD, Emeritus Anesthesiologist, Virginia Mason Health System

Stephen Rupp, MD, Emeritus Anesthesiologist, Virginia Mason Health System

Stephen Rupp, MD, is an emeritus anesthesiologist with a distinguished career as medical director of perioperative and procedural services at Virginia Mason Health System. He also served as the chief of the anesthesiology department at Virginia Mason from 1992 through 2009. Dr. Rupp was the chair of the American Society of Anesthesiologists task force on development of guidelines for central venous access and is a past president of the Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors. He was also a core faculty member for the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Annual Quality Management meeting (2013-2016). He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Michigan. His internship, residency in anesthesiology and research fellowship in neuromuscular pharmacology were completed at the University of California in San Francisco. Dr. Rupp is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®

Stephen Rupp, MD, is an emeritus anesthesiologist with a distinguished career as medical director of perioperative and procedural services at Virginia Mason Health System. He also served as the chief of the anesthesiology department at Virginia Mason from 1992 through 2009. Dr. Rupp was the chair of the American Society of Anesthesiologists task force on development of guidelines for central venous access and is a past president of the Association of Anesthesiology Core Program Directors. He was also a core faculty member for the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Annual Quality Management meeting (2013-2016). He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Michigan. His internship, residency in anesthesiology and research fellowship in neuromuscular pharmacology were completed at the University of California in San Francisco. Dr. Rupp is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®

Kathy Shingleton, MBA, Ed.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP of HR, Virginia Mason Health System

Kathy Shingleton, MBA, Ed.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP of HR, Virginia Mason Health System

Kathy Shingleton, MBA, Ed.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the vice president for human resources at Virginia Mason Health System, serving in her role since 2011. As a strategic healthcare human resources executive, Kathy oversees the implementation and management of innovative solutions to workforce challenges in order to drive positive organizational change. Her expertise includes employing lean management strategies to maximize human capital, aligning employee passions with organizational goals, physician engagement, talent acquisition and management, creating mutually beneficial community partnerships, innovative solutions to talent recruitment and retention, and succession planning. In addition, Kathy has extensive experience facilitating leadership development programs, providing executive coaching, and performing human resource assessments and audits. Prior to joining Virginia Mason, Kathy served in both the public and private sectors, working for MD Anderson Cancer Center, the City of Houston, Boehringer Mannheim Diagnostics, Inc., and the University of Texas Medical Brand (UTMB). Kathy is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Kathy Shingleton, MBA, Ed.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the vice president for human resources at Virginia Mason Health System, serving in her role since 2011. As a strategic healthcare human resources executive, Kathy oversees the implementation and management of innovative solutions to workforce challenges in order to drive positive organizational change. Her expertise includes employing lean management strategies to maximize human capital, aligning employee passions with organizational goals, physician engagement, talent acquisition and management, creating mutually beneficial community partnerships, innovative solutions to talent recruitment and retention, and succession planning. In addition, Kathy has extensive experience facilitating leadership development programs, providing executive coaching, and performing human resource assessments and audits. Prior to joining Virginia Mason, Kathy served in both the public and private sectors, working for MD Anderson Cancer Center, the City of Houston, Boehringer Mannheim Diagnostics, Inc., and the University of Texas Medical Brand (UTMB). Kathy is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Rhonda Stewart, Transformation Sensei

Rhonda Stewart, Transformation Sensei

Rhonda Stewart is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute with over 25 years experience at Virginia Mason. At organizations worldwide, she leads health care leaders to build a lean culture and coaches them to set up a solid infrastructure to support lean implementation and organizational learning — always with a focus on patients. Rhonda is a seasoned keynote speaker and has been invited to conferences to speak on topics related to leadership and organizational transformation.

Rhonda Stewart is a transformation sensei at Virginia Mason Institute with over 25 years experience at Virginia Mason. At organizations worldwide, she leads health care leaders to build a lean culture and coaches them to set up a solid infrastructure to support lean implementation and organizational learning — always with a focus on patients. Rhonda is a seasoned keynote speaker and has been invited to conferences to speak on topics related to leadership and organizational transformation.

Charleen Tachibana, DNP, RN, FAAN, SVP and CNO, Virginia Mason Health System

Charleen Tachibana, DNP, RN, FAAN, SVP and CNO, Virginia Mason Health System

Charleen Tachibana, DNP, RN, FAAN, serves as the senior vice president for quality and safety and the chief nursing officer of Virginia Mason Health System. She has served on the executive team at Virginia Mason for the past 15 years, and has extensive experience leading professional teams to deliver high quality and cost-effective care through the application of the Virginia Mason Production System®. Charleen has lectured and consulted internationally on the application of the principles and methods of the Toyota Production System to healthcare and to nursing. In addition to her advisory position at Virginia Mason Institute, she also serves as faculty for the University of Washington, the University of Washington Bothell, Pacific Lutheran University and Vanderbilt University. Charlene is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Charleen Tachibana, DNP, RN, FAAN, serves as the senior vice president for quality and safety and the chief nursing officer of Virginia Mason Health System. She has served on the executive team at Virginia Mason for the past 15 years, and has extensive experience leading professional teams to deliver high quality and cost-effective care through the application of the Virginia Mason Production System®. Charleen has lectured and consulted internationally on the application of the principles and methods of the Toyota Production System to healthcare and to nursing. In addition to her advisory position at Virginia Mason Institute, she also serves as faculty for the University of Washington, the University of Washington Bothell, Pacific Lutheran University and Vanderbilt University. Charlene is certified in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Client Services

Susanna Garritano, Client Experience

Susanna Garritano, Client Experience

Susanna Garritano is on the client experience team at Virginia Mason Institute. She works with clients from around the world to help them meet their needs as they implement and sustain lean methodology at their healthcare organizations. Prior to joining Virginia Mason Institute, Susanna led client operations for a national team at the American Express Company. Susanna is trained in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

Susanna Garritano is on the client experience team at Virginia Mason Institute. She works with clients from around the world to help them meet their needs as they implement and sustain lean methodology at their healthcare organizations. Prior to joining Virginia Mason Institute, Susanna led client operations for a national team at the American Express Company. Susanna is trained in the Virginia Mason Production System®.

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