The 2013 Healthcare Symposium

  • Friday, October 25, 2013
  • 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Wayne State Medical Center, Scott Hall, Detroit, Michigan (Gordon H. Scott Hall, 540 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI)
  • 56


Parking details: Lot 75 (545 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI) – across the street from Scott Hall. To get parking for free: Participants have to come before 9:30AM and can only leave after 4PM, as parking attendant will be there only for 4 hours (6:45AM-9:30AM and 4PM-5:15PM).

·   Theme:

o    The theme of the symposium is “Navigating through Healthcare Reform”.

o    Description:

We are looking to learn how other organizations are using continuous improvement principles and tools to navigate successfully through the changes to overcome the challenges and remain competitive in these highly volatile times!

·    Agenda for the day:

o    Volunteers and planning committee to arrive by 7AM

o    8:30-9:00: Registration and Breakfast

o    9:00-9:30: Introductions by MLC and IIE

o    9:30-10:30: Keynote Presentation

o     10:30-12:00: Breakout session 1 (pick 1 of the 5 options – pre-register for this during registration)

o    12:00-12:45: Lunch and fun networking activity

o    12:45-2:15: Breakout session 2 (pick 1 of the 5 options – pre-register for this during registration)

o    2:15-2:30: Break

o    2:30-4:00: Breakout session 3 (Pick 1 of the 5 options again – pre-register for this during registration)

o    4:00-4:30: Closing remarks


Keynote speaker: Richard J. Zarbo, MD and Rita D'Angelo, MS, Henry Ford Health System

o    Title:

Leveraging an Empowered Workforce to Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement in Healthcare

o    Bio:

Rita D’Angelo, MS CQE, SSBB


Rita D’Angelo is a laboratory professional who has a Masters degree in Health Administration and is pursuing her PhD in Industrial Engineering at Wayne State University.  She has been a regulatory Quality Assurance Specialist and served as Quality Manager at the American Red Cross in California.  Rita is a trained ISO 9000 auditor, an ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt, and Quality Engineer.  Prior to returning to healthcare, Rita was a Quality Manager in charge of FDA regulation in the chemical manufacturing industry.  She most recently served for the past 8 years as the Quality Manager in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Henry Ford Health System, Detroit Michigan, where she co-created the successful culture of the Henry Ford Production System for nearly 800 laboratorians and was in charge of regulatory and operational quality within the 12th largest hospital-based laboratory in the country with 4 hospitals and 30 Medical Centers. She was instrumental in guiding the Henry Ford laboratories to achieve ISO15189 accreditation as an integrated system.  Rita oversaw a system-wide quality division that educates, reinforces and sustains the worker empowered Lean culture of continuous improvement and the system-wide ISO 15189 accreditation requirements.


Rita is an effective quality speaker and Lean educator who has taught thousands internally, at national professional societies and international venues.  She has been recognized with first and second place quality awards for 2 years running at the Lab Quality Confab national conference, first place in the student technical paper competition at American Society for Quality and has been a Henry Ford Health System Quality Expo winner for 3 consecutive years. Rita is an adjunct professor at Macomb Community College where she taught the theory of continuous process improvement in healthcare to include hands-on instruction and adjunct instructor at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Rita is the principal of D’Angelo ADVANTAGE quality consulting.



Richard Zarbo, MD, DMD


Richard Zarbo, MD, DMD is the senior vice-president and KD Ward Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Henry Ford Health System and past-president of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.  He is a board certified anatomic and clinical pathologist and an expert in head and neck pathology, laboratory quality and continuous process improvement. Dr. Zarbo has been instrumental in defining national benchmarks of laboratory quality over the past 20 years through the CAP Q-Probes and Q-Tracks programs. These collaborative studies of laboratory quality have produced more than a hundred peer reviewed publications and – in the successful Q-Tracks – the only currently available, national set of pathology and laboratory quality measures that have been validated to show quality improvement, overtime, in real practice settings. 


 Liker's new book- The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement: Linking Strategy and Operational Excellence to Achieve Superior Performance. The Henry Ford Laboratories recently obtained ISO 15189 accreditation as the first ISO 15189 accredited integrated, multi-setting medical laboratory system in the US. Dr. Zarbo’s curriculum vitae includes over 200 peer reviewed publications, with over 50 directly related to laboratory quality. He is clinical professor of Pathology at Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Richard Zarbo, MD, DMD is the senior vice-president and Chair and Rita D'Angelo served as the Quality Manager of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Henry Ford Health System. Dr. Zarbo is a transformative leader who has integrated the laboratories of the Ford System into a service-line and has been one of the pathology profession's early pioneers in applying quality techniques and principles of Lean manufacturing to pathology and laboratory medicine for the past 8 years. Together they have created the Henry Ford Production System continuous improvement culture based on quality manufacturing principles developed by Henry Ford and the management approach of W. Edwards Deming that later inspired the innovations of the Toyota Production System. This successful Lean culture of the Henry Ford laboratories that produced thousands of process improvements is featured in Dr. Jeffrey Liker's book- The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement: Linking Strategy and Operational Excellence to Achieve Superior Performance. They are popular educators and speakers who have taught lean quality to thousands at Henry Ford, at national professional societies and international venues. They both hold academic appointments at Wayne State University School of Medicine.


Breakout Sessions:

1)       Hugh Hufnagel:

o    Program Title:  Do's and Don'ts for implementing lean in primary care offices.

o    Synopsis:  In the past few years, many primary care physician office practices have turned to lean as a proven way to implement Patient Centered Medical Home elements, improve patient care and office visit flow and reduce wasted staff time.  Some practices have been very successful, while others have not.  This program will describe the approaches, characteristics and experiences of practices that have been successful with lean and compare them to the practices that have not been successful.  Initial lean success will be discussed as well as sustainability.

o    Bio:  Hugh Hufnagel has worked in the healthcare industry for over 42 years.  While working for BCBSM, he started and managed what are now Blue Care Network HMO sites in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Lansing.  He also started an managed two PHO's (Muskegon and Zeeland) and has managed cardiology and orthopedic specialty physician group practices.  His career includes work for two hospitals (Grand Rapids and Lansing).  For the past 19 years he has been a healthcare consultant and has spent approximately half of his professional time over the past five years assisting physician practices and hospitals implement lean process improvement programs.    


2)       Cynthia Seaver:

o    Program Title:

Lakeshore Health Network & Mercy Health Stronger Together…

Using Process Excellence Principles, Tools & Methodology to Prepare for the Future of Healthcare in Muskegon

o    Synopsis:

Two case studies about how Mercy Health Muskegon Hospitals and Mercy Health Physician Partners have joined with their PHO, Lakeshore Health Network, to utilize Process Excellence to transform how healthcare is being provided to the lakeshore community.

Mercy Health Hospitals are scheduled to build an addition onto Mercy Health Mercy Campus to consolidate the acute care from two hospitals, Mercy Health Hackley and Mercy Health Mercy Campus into one location.  They are utilizing A3 Methodology and 3P Workshops to transform the future of healthcare delivery from the patient’s point of view prior to designing and building their new tower.  Although construction will not have been initiated prior to this presentation, the methodology utilized for the planning process will be shared with the audience along with future plans for ongoing process improvement.

The second case study will discuss how Lakeshore Health Network is leading the clinical integration changes throughout the provider’s offices and hospitals utilizing the new “Practice Coach Model”.  These "Practice Coaches" are trained process improvement facilitators and use the methods and tools of process excellence in their work with the provider’s offices and hospital teams to change and improve their processes to meet the ever changing requirements from payers throughout the system.  Success stories and challenges from both case studies will be presented and discussed.

o    Bio: Cynthia Seaver is Manager of Process Improvement for Mercy Health Muskegon.  She is certified by Allied Signal (now Honeywell) as a Six Sigma Black belt and Lean Expert.  She has been working in healthcare process improvement for over 6 years.


3)       Gregory Boos:

o    Program Title:

Lean Flow Simulation

An overview of a simulation exercise where a mini production area is created that helps to demonstrate many lean concepts.

o    Synopsis: Use of simulation at Lean Boot Camp at Henry Ford to allow the students to see and feel waste during a production run of making a tray of cups. In between the 4 runs of the exercise, various principles of lean will be taught and allow the students to make adjustments to the production based on the concepts just covered in class. It allows the students to demonstrate what they have learned as well as small increments of change can make a big difference.

o    Bio: Greg Boos is a Six Sigma Black Belt with expertise in lean for healthcare.  After many successful years as an IT Analyst and Project Manager, he was chosen to be part of the Six Sigma program at St. John Health.  Greg was instrumental in helping to develop standards for leading kaizen events. Greg was also a co-developer of the lean education and project manager classes, as well as one of the primary instructors. Greg now works as a Project Manager in the Performance Improvement department at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital performing similar duties. Greg received BAs in Chemistry, Education and Computer Science from Wayne State University.


4)       Jo Mcglew:

o    Program Title: “Holding Precious What it is to be Human”:  Why Your Work in Health Care is So Important

o    Synopsis: The ACA provides for measures to improve the individual experience of care, improve the health of populations, reduce the per capita costs of care for populations (“The Triple Aim”) and improve patient safety. In addition to reforms to insurance coverage, payment structure and preventive care accessibility, among others, a major concern is improvement in health care delivery processes that are viewed as unreliable, ineffective and frequently unsafe. For example, despite efforts little progress has been seen in improving patient safety in the past 15 years, suggesting a much more complex human performance environment than previously appreciated. Importantly, new information will be presented that details the paradoxical presence of harm – both physical and psychological - being encountered by millions of health care workers while committed to caring for patients at their most vulnerable times. Demoralization, burnout & high turnover are wasteful byproducts adversely impacting positive health care organizational change. Given Lean’s recent entry into the health care industry and emphasis on “respect for people,” the presenter will engage the audience in exploring insights and inspiring lessons that Lean practitioners can offer in building Lean Behaviors toward performance improvement in this challenging environment.

o    Bio: Dr. McGlew has more than 30 years of experience as a pediatric intensive care unit physician, primary care physician and medical director with extensive work in health care based performance improvement and exploration of human error evaluation. She has found Lean to be one of the most useful constructs for meaningful improvement despite the challenges faced in the health care setting.


5)       Todd Sperl: Managing Partner, Lean Fox Solutions. Jen Carpenter: Nurse Director Emergency Services Genesys Hospital. Dr. Hank Lansgaard: ER Physician.

o    Program Title: Utilizing Lean to redesign care processes while deploying an EHR: Physicians, Nurses, IT and Training working together.

o    Synopsis:

During their upgrade of the Emergency Department’s Electronic Health Records (EHR), the leadership in Genesys Hospital, Grand Blanc, MI viewed the EHR adoption and implementation as a means of facilitating the redesign of outdated, inefficient, and error-prone care processes as well as a vehicle for organizational changeundefinedrather than just another information technology (IT) innovation. The team consisted of front-line Emergency Physicians, Nurses and Techs, as well as IT Designers, Trainers and Lean experts. In this presentation, there will be real-world examples of EHR deployments that have encountered many difficulties and produced mixed outcomes. This presentation will discuss their journey from initial kick-off meetings to deployment and beyond. As they tell their story you will see how they successfully leveraged implementation of an electronic health record (EHR) to promote process redesign and continuous quality improvement in the Emergency Department. The successful implementation depended on: strong leadership, full involvement of clinical staff in design and implementation, mandatory staff training, and strict adherence to timeline and budget. The end product facilitates patient safety and quality improvement through: use of checklists, alerts, and predictive tools; embedded clinical guidelines that promote standardized, evidence-based practices; electronic prescribing and test-ordering that reduces errors and redundancy; and discrete data fields that foster use of performance dashboards and compliance reports. Focus is on how the team used Lean and Change Management principles to break down barriers between departments, improve communication and streamline processes that has led to improved patient flow, fewer duplicative tests, faster responses to patient inquiries, more complete capture of charges, and federal incentive payments (Meaningful Use Stage 1).


Todd Sperl is an enthusiastic, creative speaker, lecturer, author, trainer and process improvement expert who looks beyond today’s problems to find tomorrow’s solutions. As Managing Partner of Lean Fox Solutions, Todd’s vision is to improve the patient care experience from one health care touch point to the next. Along with facilitating process improvement projects, Mr. Sperl is an adjunct professor lecturing on Lean and how it can impact the quality of patient care - Oakland University’s Executive MBA program.  

Currently, Todd is partnering with MCS Media to develop a series of apps for mobile devices, focusing on the practical side of Lean management. The initial app – Practical Lean for Healthcare – was launched in Dec 2013 and has been downloaded in over 27 countries.

Mr. Sperl is an accomplished author with several books to his credit including “Practical Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare”, “Value Stream Management for Lean Healthcare” and “The New Lean Healthcare Pocket Guide-Tools for the Elimination of Waste in Hospitals, Clinics, and Other Healthcare Facilities.” 

Todd presents at numerous regional and national conferences on Lean Six Sigma, change management and human resource assessment. Mr. Sperl received his BS in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls and an MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX.

Todd can be contacted at or visit to learn more about Mr. Sperl’s range of experience, recent presentations and blogs.

Jennifer Carpenter graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 1995 where she received the Clinical Excellence Award.  Jennifer began working for St. John Health in 1993 at Providence Hospital as a Nurse Extern.  In 1995 she started working in the Emergency Department at Providence Hospital as a Staff Nurse and has since been the Hazmat Coordinator and Outcomes Analyst with a focus on quality and regulatory compliance.  During her time at St John Providence, she was part of a team to design and implement the Cerner Electronic Medical Record and Electronic Patient Tracking Board in multiple Emergency Departments within the health system.  Jennifer began incorporating Yellow Belt Training into process improvement for the Emergency Department in 2004 and joined St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital as a Black Belt in February 2007, with a focus on Emergency Department processes utilizing Lean and CAP.  In 2009, Jennifer combined her process improvement experience into her management role at Henry Ford Macomb Emergency Department and again utilized Lean principles to implement the Cerner Electronic Medical Record in the Emergency Department for nursing and physician documentation.  She took an interim Director position and moved this experience into her new Director of Emergency Services position at Genesys Regional Medical Center in 2011.  Jennifer gained additional experience while working with a team of physicians, nurses, and ancillary support staff to design and implement the Allscripts Electronic Medical Record for nursing documentation, computer physician order entry (CPOE), and the Electronic Patient Tracking Board in the Emergency Department and Observation Units.


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