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.
CEOArea of focus: Education and Networks
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.
Education ManagerArea of focus: Education
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.
Marketing ManagerArea of focus: Catalysis Communications & Events
Nicole is responsible for helping Catalysis create connections with customers by streamlining and coordinating all external and internal communications. She works with senior leadership to develop the communications and marketing strategies for the organization and, in addition, manages all of Catalysis' social media platforms. She organizes the event logistics for hospital tours, the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit, as well as assists with educational workshops.
Nicole has over ten years of experience in event coordination and management. She previously worked for Integrated Health Network of Wisconsin, the state’s largest Accountable Care Organization as the Executive Coordinator, and the Hilton Corporation as a Business Travel Sales Manager. In 2006, Nicole received a Bachelor of Arts-Speech with a public relations emphasis and a minor in marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Program Director - EducationArea of focus: Education
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.
Program Director- ForumsArea of focus: Education Programs
Program Director- Forums
Dr. Pam Helander (DNP) has spent more than three decades in healthcare in the roles of bedside nurse, quality team member and leader, and executive in the areas of hospital operations and system quality. She has worked as a coach/mentor of lean processes and as the leader of a value stream, transforming care and developing people. Much of her work life has been at ThedaCare, an integrated health system in Wisconsin.
Pam has also served on statewide task forces and local community forums (i.e. Rotary, Leadership Fox Cities, WNA Interprofessional Education) and is a member of the Outagamie Health and Human Services Board and WNA Work Force Advocacy Council.
She is a registered nurse with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, Executive with a Masters in Organizational Leadership and Quality and is a Certified Healthcare Professional (CPHQ). Pam most enjoys seeing the growth and development of others through coaching as they understand how they can make a difference and see positive outcomes from their efforts.
Program Director - NetworkArea of focus: Catalysis Healthcare Value Network
Program Director - Network
Jean M. Lakin is a Network Director for the Catalysis Healthcare Value Network and is excited to help member organizations learn, share and connect. She is passionate about teaching and coaching for application of improvement principles and is eager to help organizations understand and optimize the synergies that exist with other quality principles like high reliability.
Jean has extensive knowledge in healthcare delivery systems from ambulatory, hospital, and health system perspectives with 25 years of specific experience in administration, marketing & public relations, quality and performance improvement. Most recently, Jean was the Administrative Director of Continuous Improvement for The University of Michigan Health System where she led a team of continuous improvement practitioners and industrial engineers that supported clinical and patient safety improvement, quality improvement curriculum design & delivery, ancillary service advancements, and the organization’s daily management system. Previously, she served as a lean coach with the Lean for Clinical Redesign program, a unique improvement collaborative funded by BCBSM to work with physician organizations across the State of Michigan to develop sustainable cultures of problem solving and continuous improvement. Jean also served as the Director of Quality and Performance Excellence for Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital where she was responsible for clinical quality, risk assessment, infection prevention, regulatory, strategic planning, data analytics, and lean deployment.
Jean received a Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Michigan State University. She is also a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and holds multiple lean certificates.
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.
Program DirectorArea of focus: Summit Events
Rachel is Catalysis' chief engineer of summits in the US and Europe. Additionally, Rachel is responsible for the payment initiatives value stream, which focuses on exploring payment systems that reward health outcomes instead of volume. Prior to joining Catalysis, 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.
Program DirectorArea of focus:Catalysis Healthcare Value Network
Brian has been helping our Catalysis Healthcare Value Network members accelerate their Lean and Analytics journeys for five years. He has personally coached leaders in all aspects of their Clinical Business Intelligence program management to include their analytics maturity assessment, data governance and skills matrix development. Brian came to Catalysis from ThedaCare, where he provided Clinical Business Intelligence program leadership throughout its’ Lean journey. Before joining ThedaCare, he spent over four years as a national Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse consultant and five years as an IT Director for a Fortune 500 retail chain. Brian has experience working in healthcare and also in the retail and manufacturing sectors. Brian has presented Business Intelligence subjects at the National Retail Federation (NRF) the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and various Data Governance conferences.
Network DirectorArea of focus: Catalysis Healthcare Value Network
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.
AccountantArea of focus: Financial Accounting
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.