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.
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ADMINISTRATION & OPERATIONS
Kim Barnas is president of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. Kim is based in Appleton to support operations. Her focus is to coach, lead and support center teams that are working to help healthcare systems committed to:
- Transforming the patient experience
- Making quality more transparent
- Reducing healthcare costs across North America.
Prior to her role at the Center, Kim served as a senior vice president for ThedaCare, a seven-hospital system in Northeastern Wisconsin, and as president of Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center. While in that role, she led a team in the development of ThedaCare’s renowned lean management system. It is designed to deliver improved performance through a predictable process that develops leaders, identifies defects, solves problems and develops people. In 2014, Kim authored Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare based on her ThedaCare journey. After writing the book, she became a senior advisor to several national and international healthcare leadership teams implementing lean. She advised top leaders within healthcare organizations, providing the tools and framework for successful lean implementations. She also served as Center faculty before joining us full time. Kim has a Master’s of Science in Health Care Administration from Cardinal Stritch University.
Executive AssistantArea of focus: Executive Team Support, Speaking Enagements
Katie Beilke is the executive assistant for the Executive Team. She brings more than 15 years’ experience in coordinating, planning, and supporting daily operational and administrative functions. As part of her comprehensive executive-level support for the Center, Katie maintains administrative processes, coordinates staff travel, and supports marketing and research activities as needed.
Prior to joining the Center, Katie served in a variety of roles including director of client services for a Northwestern Mutual wealth management advisor. In 2011, she was nominated for the Athena Award, a recognition given to women business professionals in the Fox Valley for their outstanding service to the community.
Administrative AssistantArea of focus: Administration
Angela is responsible for providing customer service to guests and program attendees by organizing catering and other services for events. She also completes a variety of administrative and operational support functions to aid in organizational efficiency. Prior to joining the Center, 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.
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.
Program Manager, Payment InitiativesArea of focus: Payment Reform
Program Manager, Payment Initiatives
Rachel is responsible for the payment initiatives value stream, which focuses on exploring payment systems that reward health outcomes instead of volume. Her role includes facilitating payment experiments through the (Wisconsin) Statewide Value Committee, a multi-stakeholder organization that was formed to address the issue of accelerating the improvement of the overall value of healthcare in Wisconsin. Prior to joining the Center, Rachel held various roles during her ten-year tenure at the Lean Enterprise Institute, including Director of Events and Community Support, Operations Director, and Education Manager. Before LEI, Rachel supported numerous lean transformation initiatives in a wide variety of industries as a lean consultant through education and onsite support. She started her lean journey as a Quality Engineer with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in 1993. Rachel is a Shingo Prize Examiner and received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
Finance & HR CoordinatorArea of focus: Accounts Payable, Customer Service, Education
Finance & HR Coordinator
Debbie Strange serves as the Finance and HR Coordinator for the Center. In her financial role at the Center, she oversees the AP and AR functions to ensure they are correct, complete, and compliant. As an HR Coordinator, her role is to establish a consistent culture, research/revise workplace policies, and assist with employee interviewing/selection and benefits administration. In addition, Debbie edits, develops content, and proofreads customer-facing materials. 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.
John is one of the foremost figures in the adoption of lean principles in healthcare. Under his leadership, the Center has launched peer-to-peer learning networks, developed in-depth workshops, and created many products – including books, DVDs and webinars. The Center sponsors the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit each year – both in the U.S. and in Europe. The Center team has built C-suite coaching capability and partners with many organizations throughout the world advancing the idea of healthcare value through delivery redesign using lean, transparency of healthcare performance data, 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 and has directly worked with CMS leaders to broaden their understanding of lean for government.
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 Journal of Patient Safety, The Journal of Healthcare Management, Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation, Harvard Business Review and Frontiers in Health Services Management. His work on payment reform and the transparency of provider performance data has been featured in The American Journal of Managed Care, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Affairs, and the Commonwealth Fund publications. News publications such as TIME, The Wall Street Journal, the CNBC Blog, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Healthcare Finance News have featured articles about Dr. Toussaint’s work.
Dr. Toussaint has been recognized for his work in transforming healthcare by organizations such as The Business Healthcare Group of Wisconsin, which awarded him the “Driving Meaningful Change” award in 2014, 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.
Dr. Toussaint has written three books all of which have received the prestigious Shingo Research and Publication Award. His groundbreaking first book, On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry 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. His third book, Management on the Mend: The Executive Guide to System Transformation is a study of eleven organizations and the successful attempts to apply lean principles in healthcare. 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.
Project ManagerArea of focus: Website Administration
Stephanie Van Vreede
Stephanie’s focus is on website administration and customer-focused projects. 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.
Chief Development OfficerArea of focus: Product Development, Strategic Partnerships
Chief Development Officer
Helen oversees the Center’s payment initiatives, product development, summits and strategic relationships. Helen has 30 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.