Graduating with a B.S. in biochemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Laura began her career as a scientist working in drug discovery research at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. After completing her MBA from Western CT State University, Laura took a position as a project planner in Development. Now, as Associate Director of Medicine/Regulatory Affairs Project Management and Process Improvement, Laura leads process improvement and strategic projects. Laura began her work with process improvement in 2010. She certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt in 2013 and as a Black Belt in 2015. In her free time, Laura enjoys running, gardening and beekeeping.
Undergraduate: John Carroll University BS Class of 1993
Medical School: Jefferson Medical College Class of 1997
Internship and Residency: Combined training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, 2001, Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital
Chief Residency: Pediatric Chief Resident at Penn State Children’s Hospital, 2002
Michael Beck has been practicing hospital medicine since finishing his chief year in 2002. He is married to a Med Rheumatologist who trained at UPENN and CHOP. They accepted their first faculty positions at Case Western and Rainbow Babies and Children in Cleveland, OH and were there from 2002 to 2007, during which time they had two daughters. In 2006, they returned to HMC as faculty and have been here since.
Dr. Beck is a dedicated clinician-educator. Over the years, he has been involved in multiple interdepartmental QI projects while also occupying leadership positions for internal or organization’s medicine and medical-pediatric residency programs.
In 2015, he accepted the position Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Penn State Children’s Hospital and also obtained his Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma and certification. As novice leader, he has become interested in how LSS methods can be applied to organizational redesign and process improvement in order to lessen physician burnout and improve engagement and work-life balance.
Clinical interests: Hypercoagulability, Pulmonary embolism, Kawasaki disease, quality improvement, lean methodology, cognitive errors in medicine, periodic fevers syndromes, identifying, reporting and addressing physician burnout
Jerry Berlanga is a respected Lean healthcare teacher, coach and author. Jerry has supported Lean transformations with leading healthcare organizations across the US and Canada. Jerry co-authored Lean Daily Management for Healthcare Field Guide (CRC Press), which is key to Lean transformation. Jerry works closely with healthcare senior leadership, middle management and frontline staff to develop a daily cadence for improvement using Lean Daily Management methods. Jerry’s work includes emergency department (ED), operating room (OR) and discharge throughput work to optimize flow, reduce length of stay, and improve quality and profitability. Jerry has a unique understanding of the challenges that clinicians, administrators and frontline staff face in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. Jerry works alongside clinicians and administrators in hospitals, clinics and long-term care homes to bring Lean methods to improve patient care as well as overall efficiencies. Jerry founded the University of Texas at San Antonio’s continuous improvement professionals (CIP) group several years ago to bring Lean Six Sigma professionals together to share innovations, best practices and advances in Lean Six Sigma as well as to create mentorships, internships and job opportunities for junior Lean coaches and engineers. Jerry is a former US Naval Officer and holds an M.S. in systems and engineering management from Texas Tech University.
Samantha Bureau-Johnson is the Vice President of Business Process Excellence and the Project Management Office at BCBSNC. She is currently accountable for an enterprise portfolio of projects that has an annual investment of more than $260M, as well as delivering over $80M in improvement initiatives since the Business Process Excellence program began in 2008. Her responsibilities also include Enterprise Business Architecture and the Annual Enterprise Initiative Planning. She has been with BCBSNC since 1996 and has served in leadership roles in functions across the company, including Network Management, Sales and Marketing, Core Operations, and Human Resources.
She is a dynamic transformational leader and champion for the enterprise deployment of Lean Six Sigma and Enterprise Business Architecture. Her passion for developing emerging talent can be seen in her commitment to coaching and mentoring employees and leaders of all types and her appointment as an adjunct professor for Leadership Development curriculum in BlueUniversity.
Samantha is actively involved in her community and an avid supporter of the Girl Scouts, CORA Emergency Food Bank and the Carolina Tiger Rescue. She has dual masters degrees (MBA/MHA) and more than 29 years of business experience, 25 of them in healthcare insurance, where she has led core operational teams, network management operations, large project implementations, leadership and change management initiatives, business process redesigns, and IT teams. She is also certified in Coaching, Change Leadership and Business Leadership Development, and is a Six Sigma Greenbelt.
Andrew Chadwick is a Business Process Manager leading process improvements across the study management environment. Married to one and father to two, he champions the “MAMIL” cycling look when not taxiing offspring around Britain and Europe to sailing events.
Originally from “Oop North,” his qualification in Sheffield led to work in London as an histologist in the field of neuroscience at the Alzheimer’s Disease Brain Bank, then down to Clinical Phase One Unit on the South West coast before joining Hoffman La Roche in leafy Hertfordshire. His last decade has involved clinical operations, process improvement and training. Andrew currently leads a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from early planning activities to patient-centric initiatives at study close out. Aligned to operational strategies and goals, his leadership has contributed to reduced start-up and “faster-to-market” times as well as reduced patient costs. Home is now the nearby village of Wheathampstead, which marked the border between Viking and Anglo-Saxon Britain in c800AD.
Kit Erlebach (Head of R&D Continuous Improvement) works at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies where he previously worked as a Biochemical Engineer until Lean Six Sigma was introduced in the business and he moved into R&D continuous improvement. The adaptation of some of the tools to the lab environment was essential and subsequent Black Belt qualification has shown that R&D departments can embrace LSS. Kit has a first degree from Nottingham University in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in chemical engineering, and he is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers. Kit has also worked in a volunteer sector, where he managed a church for two years.
Dennis has acquired extensive continuous improvement/Lean operational knowledge during 30+ years in operations, supply management and transportation, initially as a logistics supplier to Toyota Motor Co. in Georgetown, KY in the early 1990s. Dennis has led operational and Lean organizations, as well as Toyota Way process efforts at a variety of Fortune 500 organizations such as Amazon.com, Starbucks and T-Mobile, and most recently as an internal Lean consultant at Liberty Mutual Insurance. He is a speaker, lecturer and Lean coach and has taught sustainable operations and supply management at several universities — the last 13 years at The Presidio Graduate School (PGS), the nation’s first sustainable MBA program. Dennis received a B.A. from Northwestern University in economics and geography, a graduate degree in business from the University of Toronto, and an M.S. in business logistics from Penn State. He lives on Bainbridge Island, WA with his family.
Joel Gross is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and certified Change Agent with more than a decade of continuous improvement experience within the pharmaceutical industry.
Joel began his career at Merck, where he led the Lean Six Sigma deployment for the Global Vaccine Technology and Engineering division. He further developed his Lean expertise through three years of study under top Toyota senseis, and led the Lean transformation of a critical vaccine manufacturing unit. Joel joined Sanofi in 2014, leading the Lean deployment for the North America Site Services and Supply Chain organizations, as well as serving as the head of medical operations for two major product launches.
Outside of work, Joel is a father of four and enjoys finding new ways to incorporate Lean principles to improve home and family life. Joel also volunteers his time by working with nonprofit organizations to improve operations through the adaptation of Lean principles. He shares his study of Lean and continuous improvement with the world via his personal blog, TheKaiZone.com. His work has also been featured by the Lean Enterprise Institute and on the Gemba Academy podcast.
Leslie Henckler is currently the Senior Manager leading business process improvement for Paychex, Inc. She joined Paychex in August 2006 and has been engaged in using Lean and Six Sigma methodologies to craft an enterprisewide deployment. As a practitioner in the skills of process improvement, she drives results directly and educates and mentors Paychex team members so they may successfully do the same.
Leslie achieved her Black Belt certification in 1999 and has studied and practiced Lean manufacturing methods since 2001. She has extensive experience driving process improvement through the direct application of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies in production operations and administrative and back office applications throughout Asia, Europe and North America. In addition, she has delivered leadership events worldwide designed to educate leaders and their teams in Lean and Six Sigma thinking.
Interesting fact: Leslie appears as both a fictional and a real character in the same book.
Brock is a certified Lean healthcare coach and consultant; author (including Lean Daily Management for Healthcare Fieldbook by CRC/Productivity Press, as well as an upcoming book from the same publisher); instructor (IISE, ELSS, UTSA, HSPIC); speaker; and researcher. Brock was an Associate Vice President (AVP), executive coach and Senior Operations Excellence Consultant at Baylor Scott & White Health, where he was an integral part of the deployment of a holistic Lean approach throughout the 13-hospital, 13,000 employee system. A case study from Brock’s Ph.D. dissertation (based on his consulting work) was recently featured in Professor Jeff Liker’s new book, The Toyota Way to Service Excellence. Brock was one of first three Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grant-funded industrial engineers at Denver Health & Hospital System who trained and mentored their initial class of “Lean Black-Belts,” helped create the foundational structure for their Lean program, and facilitated the initial Rapid Improvement (Kaizen) Events throughout the integrated safety-net health system. The results of these initial efforts were demonstrated operational expense savings of $124,000,000 (as of June 5, 2013), as well as Denver Health becoming the first healthcare delivery organization to win the coveted Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence (March 2011). Brock has worked as a Lean facilitator at a variety of different healthcare facilities, as well as an instructor for the University of Michigan Practicum in Healthcare Systems Engineering Senior Design Course (IOE 481). Prior to his work in healthcare, Brock worked as a Process Assurance Engineer/Corrective Actions Engineer for the Space Shuttle Program at the Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral, FL), and as a Technical Assistant at Car and Driver Magazine.
Ram is a Lean Sigma master coach and AI consultant specializing in process design, continuous improvement and robotic process automation (RPA) using lean, six sigma and AI techniques at BMS, GE, Ford, BP, eBay, Cisco and HP. He has guided dozens of global R&D projects in discovery, clinical operations, and pharmacovigilance that created a value of over $20 million. He has been mentoring and developing Master Coaches in Pharma industry since 2007. Ram holds Master of Science degree from MIT in Technology Management and Policy and Bachelor of Technology from IIT Madras. His specialty is leadership development, program deployment and value creation in highly regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals and nuclear energy.
Justin is the South Region Director of Intermountain Healthcare’s Continuous Improvement. In his role, he works with leaders, physicians and staff to develop systems that engage Intermountain’s 5,500 employees and more than 1,000 physicians to implement best practices to improve the quality and safety of healthcare while lowering costs to patients and members of the community. In his role, Justin actively works with leaders, physicians and staff to successfully integrate Intermountain’s method of improvement into the South Region’s strategies, goals and processes.
Prior to his current role, Justin helped Intermountain’s North Region hospitals develop continuous improvement practices as a leader in both the Continuous Improvement and Supply Chain teams. Justin earned a degree in business administration from Weber State University and is nearing the completion of his MBA from West Texas A&M.
Jerry started on his process improvement journey when he entered the world of medical device manufacturing and packaging in 1996 as an engineer and production supervisor. Although not yet formally trained in the tools of Lean and Six Sigma, he was successful at reducing waste and variation and implementing standard work. The teams he led improved throughput and yields by using traditional methodologies and tools (e.g., Plan, Do, Check, Act).
Jerry formally earned his Lean Six Sigma Certifications while working in the pharma space over the next several years. Since then, Jerry has served multiple organizations as an employee, an independent contractor and a consultant, and now serves as the Head of Continuous Improvement for US Pharma Commercial Operations at GlaxoSmithKline. His expertise is applying OpEx (manufacturing) principles to commercial environments and he has authored several articles and spoken on this topic.
Jerry earned a BSME from Purdue University and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago. Jerry grew up in Buffalo, New York and he and his wife now make their home in Philadelphia.
An experienced Lean consultant, coach and practitioner, Karyn is the coauthor, with Jeff Liker, of the Shingo award-winning The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: Lean Transformation in Service Organizations. Focused specifically on services, Karyn has worked with small, medium and large organizations in sectors as diverse as insurance, financial services, HR, transportation and retail. Using her unique Practical Creativity™ approach, Karyn teaches people how to combine creativity with Toyota Way/Lean practices to ensure that businesses continuously deliver the peak service experiences that retain current customers and attract new ones.
Karyn is a practicing artist with an MFA in sculpture. She lives in Naperville, Illinois with her family.
Kathleen Sharp is a Senior Performance Innovation Consultant who supports large-scale innovations in population health at Geisinger. In this role, she works with leadership, physicians and frontline staff to develop, test, implement and measure new methods to optimize care delivery.
With more than 25 years of experience in healthcare, she is a representative on the CMS Provider Outreach and Education Advisory Group; an assessor of Lean maturity for the Healthcare Value Network; and a leader of interprofessional teams in work that has garnered national and international awards for quality and innovation in medication safety, care delivery and workflow efficiency.
She earned a degree in business administration from Muhlenberg College, completed a Improvement Advisor fellowship with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and received her masters in business operational excellence from The Ohio State University. She is an advocate of lifelong learning and became a Lean Black Belt in 2009 and achieved her Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt from Villanova University in 2017.
Kevin E. Thornberry, MBA, serves as Director of Business Consulting supporting Merck’s Global Supply Chain and External Manufacturing networks as well as leading all lean capability development within the Merck Manufacturing Division. Previously, Kevin served as Manager, Toyota Supplier Support Center, a division of Toyota Motor America and spent more than 16 years at Toyota in various leadership roles supporting manufacturing and logistics. Kevin is an active guardsman where he currently commands the 123d Logistics Readiness Squadron in the Kentucky Air National Guard. Kevin holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Xavier University Williams College of Business and holds an undergraduate degree in Finance from Eastern Kentucky University. Kevin is a graduate of the Academy of Military Sciences, Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and is currently enrolled in Air War College. Kevin has been deployed three times in support of both contingency and humanitarian relief operations and has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal (numerous occasions) and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
Dr. Jeffrey “Jeff” Weide is the Director of Performance Improvement at Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) and an adjunct faculty member at CSU-GC (Project Management) and Colorado Community College System (Computers). He is a certified Project Management Professional, a trainer in Lean methodologies and a Doctor of Business Administration with an emphasis in project management. Jeff has worked on improvement and management analysis projects since 2007 for the US Air Force, Denver Health and MCPN. His focus has been on how to integrate the concepts of continuous improvement, project management and leadership to allow managers at every level to effectively leverage limited resources with the goal of improving key performance indicators.
In his current role at MCPN, Jeff oversees the Quality and Control and Professional Development departments, as well as the start of Lean implementation into the organization. For CSU Global Campus, Jeff has taught and developed undergraduate- and graduate-level courses for the Project Management program. Jeff has been sought after to speak at local and regional Lean seminars and to provide input to white papers and program offerings for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.