At Catalysis, 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.
Kim Barnas is the CEO of Catalysis in Appleton, Wisconsin. She actively teaches, mentors, and supports healthcare executive teams around the world. Her current focus is a principle-based approach to executive management. This system builds a new set of competencies (rooted in the Shingo model) in senior leadership teams who are looking to improve organizational performance.
Prior to her role at Catalysis, Kim served as a senior vice president for ThedaCare and president of Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center. While in that role she enjoyed the opportunity to learn about operational excellence and implemented this work in hospital operations. The ThedaCare Improvement System (LEAN) path started in 2003, with value stream mapping followed by improvement events and projects. She was involved in leading two of the initial value streams for OB and Cancer Services.
As the journey continued, a new challenge emerged—the need for a systematic method to sustain improvement, clarify daily continuous improvement opportunities, and deliver on strategic deployment. To meet this need, Kim and her team led the development of a management system designed to deliver improved performance through a predictable process that developed leaders, identified defects, solved problems, and developed people. In 2014 Kim authored Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare based on that journey. She also co-authored Becoming the Change: Leadership Behaviors Strategies for Continuous Improvement in Healthcare in 2021.
Kim has a Master of Science in Health Care Administration.
Program Director – Innovation/ Marketing and CommunicationArea of focus: New Product Development
Program Director – Innovation/ Marketing and Communication
Heidi is responsible for the new product development process at Catalysis, from design to implementation. Her work involves understanding customer needs and industry trends to determine opportunities to innovate and differentiate. She leads teams to test and launch new business ventures. Prior to joining Catalysis, Heidi supported a broad spectrum of improvement work across ThedaCare as a lean facilitator for the ThedaCare Improvement System (TIS). She also served as Project Manager for the system-wide spread of the Inpatient Collaborative Care Model and for the construction of a new hospital, among others. Heidi earned her bachelor’s degree from Lakeland College in 2012 in Business Management and Marketing. She also received her Masters of Business and Project Management from Lakeland in 2013.
Angela is responsible for designing and improving educational experiences including custom and public programs for healthcare leaders. She also completes a variety of operational and financial support functions to aid in organizational efficiency. Prior to joining Catalysis, Angela worked in banking and higher education holding various positions relating to customer service and writing instruction. Angela received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in English. She also received her master’s degree in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Program Director - Education
Karen is the Director of Education where she is responsible for the development of curriculum and educational services. In her role, she works with healthcare organizations to understand their current state and design a transformation journey roadmap to help them reach their goals of attaining operational excellence.
Karen joined Catalysis after 20 plus years at healthcare organizations, including ThedaCare where she worked in process improvement and operations in both clinical and hospital settings. During that time, she served on the steering team and piloted the initial development of ThedaCare’s lean management system created to support leaders to better understand their business, develop strong collaborative teams, and create visual management to see and improve performance. You can read about her integral role in the development of ThedaCare’s lean management system in the book Beyond Heroes, by Kim Barnas. Prior to joining our team, Karen served as faculty for Catalysis where she worked with healthcare organizations across North America.
Chief Administrative OfficerArea of focus: Human Resources, IT, Finance
Chief Administrative Officer
Peter is responsible, in collaboration with the President and Chief Development Officer, for developing the strategy in support of the mission, administrative execution of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization. Specifically, his areas of responsibility are financial administration, human resources, operational activity and support, succession planning, talent management, organizational and performance management, training and development, and compensation. Peter ensures Catalysis is compliant with all Federal, State and local regulations. Peter acts in the absence of the President and exercises management responsibility over Catalysis operations.
Prior to joining Catalysis, Peter worked overseeing technology and human resources, as well as operations management. Most recently, he managed these areas at Modern Business Machines, A Xerox Company (MBM). In his tenure at MBM, Peter implemented Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, fostered an evolution of employee benefits and maintained compliance with HR regulations. Peter is an avid volunteer in leadership positions with multiple non-profit organizations locally and nationwide.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Peter earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Administration.
Chris works closely with Catalysis Healthcare Value Network member organizations to help them assess their current state and develop a plan to reach their transformation goals. He facilitates opportunities for CHVN members to learn, share, and connect with one another. Chris also serves as a Catalysis faculty member, teaching healthcare leaders from around the world about the principles of operational excellence and how they are the foundation for a lean transformation. He previously held various operations leadership and lean deployment positions at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio, where he worked with teams to implement several projects and programs to instill a culture of continuous process improvement throughout the organization. Chris received his Bachelors Degree in Communications from The University of Toledo, his Master of Business Administration from Ashland University and his Master Business Operational Excellence from The Ohio State University.
Sara joined the Catalysis team in May of 2018. She is responsible for performing financial accounting procedures and office operations. Sara previously worked for an accounting firm for 11 years, gaining experience in business accounting, personal tax preparation, different accounting procedures and software, and customer relations. Sara is a graduate of Fox Valley Technical College, with an Associate’s degree in Accounting.