At the Center, our job is to connect you with the people and resources you need on your lean journey.
And we love what we do!
We love it so much that we don’t want to remain faceless names on screen — we want you to know us and reach out to us whenever you have a question or an idea.Click above for a complete listing
HEALTHCARE VALUE NETWORK
CLINICAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE NETWORK
ADMINISTRATION & OPERATIONS
John is one of the foremost figures in the adoption of lean principles in healthcare. Under his leadership, the Center has launched several peer-to-peer learning networks, developed in-depth workshops and advanced the idea of healthcare value through delivery reform, transparency and payment reform.
He was the founding chair of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, as well as the non-executive leader of the Partnership for Healthcare Payment Reform in Wisconsin. He has participated in many Institute of Medicine subcommittees, including most recently the Value Incentives Learning Collaborative and was co-author of “The CEO Checklist for High Value Healthcare.”
Dr. Toussaint’s healthcare improvement work using Toyota Production System principles has been well documented in articles published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Health Affairs, the Harvard Business Review Blog, and Frontiers in Health Management. His work on payment reform and the transparency of provider performance data has been featured in The American Journal of Managed Care and the Commonwealth Fund publications, as well as news publications like The Wall Street Journal, the CNBC Blog, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Healthcare Finance News.
Dr. Toussaint has been recognized for his work in transforming healthcare by organizations such as The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME), which inducted him into its 2012 Hall of Fame, and the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, which hosts the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. Dr. Toussaint was named a lifetime member of the Shingo Academy in 2011. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle also honored Dr. Toussaint with a Certificate of Commendation for Innovation from the State of Wisconsin in 2005.
He has been a featured speaker at the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Shingo Prize, The Lean Enterprise Institute, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and many international conferences. He also presents regularly to legislators, Medicare leaders and government staff on the topic of healthcare value.
His groundbreaking first book, On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry, was awarded the 2012 Shingo Research and Publication Award. It reveals how healthcare can be fundamentally improved at the point of delivery using the proven principles of lean management. His second book, Potent Medicine: The Collaborative Cure for Healthcare, describes the three core elements necessary to transform healthcare and deliver better value: delivery of care designed around the patient; transparency of treatment quality and cost; and payment for outcomes. Dr. Toussaint is also the winner of ACHE’s 2014 Dean Conley Award for his article “A Management, Leadership and Board Road Map to Transforming Care for Patients,” published in the Spring 2013 issue of Frontiers of Health Services Management.
President & COOArea of focus: Network Development, Education, Administration
President & COO
Helen oversees the Center’s four value streams and manages its general operations, while connecting with customers. She is also responsible for identifying future initiatives that help drive value-based healthcare. Helen has 28 years of lean leadership experience in a wide range of industries, including automotive, capital equipment and high tech. Formerly, COO of the Lean Enterprise Institute for 11 years, Helen worked with Jim Womack to spread the topic of lean throughout the world and to every industry.
Helen has contributed to 15 published works on the topic of lean, as well as numerous educational programs and events. She helped to establish the Lean Education Academic Network, The Lean Global Network and the Healthcare Value Network.
Helen is on the board of directors of the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, as well as an advisor to EdNet at MIT and a steering committee member of the Lean Education Academic Network. She is faculty for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, and faculty and coach for the MBOE Program at Fisher College of Business at Ohio State.
Helen received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University, an MS in Operations Management, and an MS in Manufacturing Management from Kettering University.
Director of Finance and AdministrationArea of focus: Finance and Administration
Director of Finance and Administration
Angie is responsible for the finance, human resource, and administrative functions for the Center. Working with all of the value streams, Angie develops policies and procedures to ensure that the Center operates as effectively as possible using best practices.
Prior to joining the Center, Angie has worked in a variety of finance environments, including local government, job costing, and service management. Most recently, she managed the accounting, finance, and reporting functions for a rapidly growing, service provider in the energy supply chain market. As Controller at ECWRPC, she implemented managerial reporting systems and internal processes designed to comply fully with GAAP standards while providing timely access to key data. Angie also has four years of consulting experience with a local CPA firm.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Angie earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, as well as a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on Operations and Technology Management.
Operations ManagerArea of focus: Center Systems & Operations
Stephanie Van Vreede
Stephanie’s focus is on policies and processes related to the operations and systems of the Center. Her main focus is on developing and sustaining an integrated closed-loop information system for the organization.
Before joining the Center in 2010, Stephanie worked in both the paper industry and high tech, in roles that included executive support for CEOs and directors, and shareholder relations. Within these organizations, she also held positions that included public relations, marketing, software training and travel management.
Stephanie is a graduate of University of Wisconsin Colleges, with an Associate’s degree in Arts & Sciences.
Operations CoordinatorArea of focus: Accounts Payable, Customer Service, Education
Debbie supports the Administrative, Accounting, and Education areas of the Center. As the Center’s Operations Coordinator, she is responsible for organizing and coordinating a variety of office functions and processes to ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
Prior to joining the Center, Debbie spent 16 years at Humana Insurance Company where she held supervisory positions in the Finance and Small Business Quoting areas. Both roles included a strong emphasis on delivering a high level of customer service and quality, and building human capital. She also initiated and completed several process improvement projects.
Debbie earned her Associate’s Degree in Management Development from Fox Valley Technical College, where she is currently a member of the Business Management/Management Development Advisory Committee.
Office CoordinatorArea of focus: Operations & Clinical Business Intelligence Network
Nina is responsible for the fulfillment of book and DVD orders from individuals, and domestic and international health organizations. She monitors and maintains all e-mail lists for Centerline, the Center’s monthly e-newsletter. Nina is in charge of all shipping functions and assists with supply orders. She also assists with administrative and office support tasks.
Prior to joining the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, Nina worked as a human resources assistant with Appleton Cardiology Associates. She was responsible for submitting all open enrollment forms, assisted with benefit and insurance issues, and processed, submitted and maintained all records of physicians’ out-of-pocket medical expenses. Nina was a stay-at-home mother of three for 20 years prior to working at Skyline Technologies as the receptionist.
After receiving her secretarial certificate from the Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in Philadelphia, Nina advanced her abilities by completing an accounting course at the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton.
Executive AssistantArea of focus: Executive Support, Speaking Engagements
Megan supports the Center’s executive team: John Toussaint, CEO; Helen Zak, President and COO; and Julie Bartels, Executive Vice President of National Health Information. She coordinates logistics for all executive speaking engagements, manages the leadership team’s time and calendars, and serves as the main external point of contact to the executive team. Megan assists customers and the organization on a daily basis and is involved in a variety of improvement opportunities and lean activities within the Center.
Before joining the Center, Megan worked at Plexus Corp. in Neenah for eight years. She served in a variety of roles, focusing in the areas of executive administration, marketing research, and HR marketing and communications.
Megan obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and French from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2004.