2021 Best in Healthcare Continuous Improvement Award

We at MLC know there were so many Michiganders whose hard work and dedication led to putting Michigan on the frontline of the vaccine roll-out, and we want to recognize them for their contributions at our upcoming Virtual MLC Healthcare Symposium on June 16, 2021. Thank you to the following nominees for all of their work in the Healthcare field. 

State of Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget


Brett Gleason and Pam Burgess

The MLC would like to thank Brett Gleason, State Administrative Manager - Lean Projects Section, and Pam Burgress, Certified Lean Process Improvement Analyst for the State of Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, for their work in Lean in the State of Michigan.

"Brett and Pam used Lean concepts and activities to set up the Novi field hospital last year. This was a huge undertaking that involved lots of CI planning and tools. Although its not vaccine related its a cool healthcare/COVID success story that involved Lean concepts and tools. 

Brett and Pam quickly implemented an emergency facility for COVID patients including hospital area/staff areas/emergency entrances/transition areas/pharmacy/cafeteria/morgue/etc."

Submitted by Anne Cram, Training Manager at State of Michigan Department of Treasury.

Download the Award for Brett and Pam

Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing

Thank you to the Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing group for all of their hard work on the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing efforts!


"I'm nominating GRAM (Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing) because they are a little-known, small business in West Michigan who has added over 100 employees in the past year in order to partner with the US Government and J&J to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine. 

GRAM was able to accelerate completion and qualification of a state of the art aseptic manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids (during a pandemic!), and add over 100 employees in response to the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing efforts under Operation Warp Speed. This small West Michigan contract manufacturing company let with heart, agility and grit to transfer in production of J&J's COVID-19 vaccine in record time. GRAM is probably one of the smallest companies in this fight, but the team was 100% aligned behind the mission to save lives!" 

Submitted by Colleen Herczak, Vice President, Quality at Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing.

Download the Award for Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing

Munson Healthcare


Kaleb Foss

We would love to recognize and thank Kaleb Foss, Manager, Continuous Improvement at Munson Healthcare, for all of your work opening vaccination clinics for Northwest Michiganders. 

"Kaleb was integral to Munson Healthcare vaccinating the employee population as well as opening up clinics to the Northwest Michigan communities. 

Kaleb brought his project management and Lean mindset to a multi-disciplinary group of people to find the best processes possible for scheduling, registering, and running vaccine clinics. 

From how the flow set up pre appointment (scheduling and registration) to when employees had their walk in clinics (making sure that everyone was distanced safely and there were NO lines) to the community members that did drive-thru visits. There were minimal to no wait times throughout the entire process."

Submitted by Heidi Grubb, Continuous Improvement Specialist at Munson Healthcare.

Download the Award for Kaleb

Munson Healthcare Vaccination Team

Thank you as well to the whole Munson Healthcare Vaccination Team for their tireless work administering over 84,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Northern Michigan!

"The Munson Healthcare Vaccination Team responded immediately to the community need for vaccine administration beginning their efforts in December. Since that time they collaborated with Area Health Departments and Physician offices to successfully administer over 84,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the Northern Michigan Region. 

This Team came together quickly with representation from key stakeholders and in collaboration with regional agencies and fellow community members. Lean and continuous improvement principles were foundational for the approach as evidenced by: leading with humility, focusing on process, and incorporating quality practices at every step. Lean standards for the Clinical Practices and Processes were established including:

• Prevention strategies for documentation error detection and correction
• An emphasis on Quality at the Source with early intervention
• A scheduling process with Standard Work, Scripting, Twice daily virtual shift huddles, Real Time chat board for announcements, updates, and electronic process observation
• The use of Systems Thinking to assure quality throughout the process both upstream and downstream

Those not yet familiar with Lean embraced the continuous improvement practices and have taken them forward. Many expressed their deep gratitude for being involved in the vaccination efforts and were humbled to be a part of this community service."

Submitted by Terry Donahue Cousins, Senior Continuous Improvement Consultant at Munson Healthcare.

Download the Award for the Munson Healthcare Vaccination Team

Henry Ford OptimEyes


The MLC is excited to recognize an organization that not only survived but thrived despite the restrictions placed on them through the pandemic, Henry Ford OptimEyes.

"During the pandemic OptimEyes made great strides in providing a safe environment for patients to receive eyecare and employees to work. While many optical practices closed their doors and put in many restrictions, OptimEyes was able to continue servicing patients while following guidelines set forth by the CDC. 

In addition to the previous comment, OptimEyes continued to strive to improve their customer experience through the pandemic. They were able to increse their Google ratings from 4.5 to 4.71, patient loyalty scores from 88.5% to 92.31% and likelihood to recommend from 4.69 to 4.79 (out of 5). Optimeyes did this through a series of continuous improvement projects that reduce the time it takes to manufacture lenses, reduce the number of remakes below the industry standard, integrating a telehealth experience that includes an online webstore and chat feature, and consistantly providing the latest trends in frames. While other eyecare organizations shut down, OptimEyes implemented many CI projects that allowed them to thrive during one of the most difficult years in present history. For that, I would like to nominate not just a single person, but the organization as a whole for the healthcare award!"

Submitted by Josh Foster, Quality Manager at Henry Ford OptimEyes.

Download the Award for OptimEyes

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