Meet our team

Different from any other lean healthcare consultancy, RCG is the only assembly of senior healthcare executives who have implemented lean methods in complex healthcare settings with a demonstrated record of success. RCG has an in-depth understanding of authentic lean methodology and philosophy, with many team members having been students of John Black and Chihiro Nakao of Shingijutsu, Japan. The principals at RCG bring leadership experience from Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Park Nicollet Health Services in Minneapolis and Sutter Health in Northern California — early adopters in the country that have fully adopted and implemented the Toyota Management System. The RCG team also brings extensive knowledge in developing and advising on large-scale transformation programs for companies outside of healthcare, including Boeing, Ford and Toyota.

Team

Grace Bourke MBA

Grace Bourke is an experienced healthcare professional with a 20-year track record of successfully using lean, six sigma, and TQM to develop teams to improve or design processes to improve quality, meet strategic goals, and reduce waste. Grace has experience coaching frontline staff and executives in standard work, kaizen, daily management, and PDSA with sustained results and continued improvement.

Brenda Peterson Bublitz BSN, MSN, NEA-BC

Brenda is a registered nurse with 30 years of experience and more than eleven years working with lean methodology. She is also a healthcare executive with 18 years of progressive and successful experience in complex, fast-moving and demanding environments. Brenda studied the Toyota Production System under Katsuya Koide of Shingijutsu Global. Recognized for building cross-functional partnerships to connect diverse groups to a common goal, she is a leader in planning and facilitating the execution of organizational strategy and operational performance to achieve results. Brenda achieved financial and operational results through interdepartmental collaboration and strong physician partnerships to deliver the highest quality patient care.

Shirl Diaz MA

Shirl is a certified lean leader with more than 30 years of operational experience in primary care, specialty care, and satellite facilities. She has deep experience in many facets of lean, including implementing new models of care focused on a team-based approach to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Her expertise includes the 3P lean method (Production Preparation Process) and she has trained management teams in the reduction of waste through 5S, kanban, standard work, and flow production.

Shirl previously held roles as senior director of primary care and director of clinical improvement at Providence Health and Services in Renton, Washington as well as administrative director of satellite clinics, director of ambulatory services, and manager of the department of ophthalmology at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. She received the Terin Guinn Management Leadership Award from Virginia Mason Medical Center in 2007.

Jon Felton MHA

Jonathan has been in the health care industry for over 15 years. As a lean certified health care executive, he focuses on helping clients with leadership, team, and cultural development. Through his extensive experience working for health care organizations, Jonathan possesses a deep understanding of hospital and health care operations, physician services and program development, and strategic planning and deployment. Jonathan has led lean implementation and has expertise in creating alignment through the use of leader standard work and daily management systems. Before joining Moss Adams, Jonathan served as the senior vice president and chief operating officer of a large medical center, where he was responsible for overall operations as well as lean implementation and transformation.

Beth Frisken

Beth has served as an accounting consultant to business owners and management teams for more than 25 years. Her experience includes full-cycle accounting and bookkeeping services (including financial statement preparation, presentation, and analysis) and implementation and training for accounting software and processes. She has a diverse background in small business operations, accounting, technology, customer service, sales, and banking. 

Heidi Gehris

Heidi is a certified lean leader with professional expertise in strategic marketing, communications, and branding across written, visual, and interactive platforms. She has directed marketing campaigns and strategies for healthcare-related organizations, including medical practices, academic institutions, consultancies, and pharmaceutical law firms. She has also directed the development of case study materials on lean application and results in healthcare. An innovative thinker and creative problem solver, Heidi is also trained in hoshin kanri. 

James Hanson MD FAAP

James has been in the health care industry for more than 30 years. He is a respected physician executive who has held progressive management responsibility for quality and performance improvement, medical staff affairs, clinical education, electronic health records implementation, and medical group operations. He has a strong clinical background with expertise in patient safety, Toyota Management System, telehealth, and clinical outcomes management. In addition, James has practiced as a pediatric intensivist in the PICU at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital since 1988, and is a clinical professor of pediatrics at UCSF.

Marnee Pierson Iseman MHA

Marnee served as Vice President at Virginia Mason Medical Center, Vice President of Physician Services at Providence Health and Services, and COO of Providence Medical Group. She provided leadership and direction for the development of EHR with Providence and its ambulatory partners. Marnee has expertise in the application of 3P for redesign of ambulatory facilities in primary and specialty care. She is the recipient of several healthcare awards and has presented to the healthcare community nationwide on topics including Lean and TPS as it applies to ambulatory care, process improvement, patient access, supply and demand, and quality. Marnee was on the faculty of IHI (Institute for Healthcare Improvement) and is a GPIN (Group Practice Improvement Network) member. 

Thomas L. Jackson JD MBA PhD

Tom has more than 30 years of experience in lean management. He has helped numerous global companies implement the Toyota Management System to improve cost, quality, delivery, and overall organizational health. A recognized authority on hoshin kanri (strategic deployment) and lean business systems, Tom’s expertise is based on the method of policy management that combines the balanced scorecard, evidence-based problem solving, and leadership development. He’s knowledgeable in the A3 and PDCA (plan-do-check-act) process pioneered at Toyota, and implements lean production, lean management, total quality, and total productive maintenance in organizations—both large and small—in health care and other industries.

Tom is a student of Ryuji Fukuda and Iwau Kobayashi, and has authored several books on lean production. He’s an editor of the Lean Tools for Healthcare series from Productivity Press, and his book Hoshin Kanri for the Lean Enterprise received a Shingo Prize for Excellence in Research.

Bonnie Jacobson LCSW

Bonnie began her career in 1997 as a clinical social worker in the state of California. She became immersed in lean in 2010 while working at California Pacific Medical Center, where she was selected for the inaugural class within the Quality Delivery Promotion Office. She worked with the medical center to plan, implement, and facilitate kaizen workshops and events for emergency departments on four campuses to align with A3-T objectives, and to support executive leadership goals. As a member of the Quality Delivery System faculty, she also taught lean modules and developed QDPO promotional materials.

Ryan Joyner MPH PhD

Ryan Joyner combines his advanced problem solving experience with a passion for patient care to drive quality improvement in healthcare.  While completing his PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology at Berkeley, Ryan began his journey in healthcare through volunteer work at a local diabetes center where he leveraged his proficiency with data analytics to help improve patient engagement and operations.  He then went on to complete an MPH at Berkeley where he focused his studies on health care operations and the application of health information technology to improve patient care.  Since joining RCG, Ryan has developed innovative tools to model healthcare operations and capture the value of improvement work, while also facilitating improvement events and strategy sessions (hoshin kanri).  Ryan has a PhD and MPH from UC Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in genetics from the University of Georgia.

Ann Kernan RTRMCT

Ann began her career in health care in 1983. She is an accomplished lean leader with a proven track record for implementation and change management. A skilled facilitator who organizes and coordinates disparate and cross-functional teams, Ann is recognized for her follow-through, integrity, and commitment to excellence.

In a prior role, Ann was manager of the radiology service line for Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. She was responsible for coordination and alignment of radiologic services throughout the enterprise, which included a 336-bed hospital and multidisciplinary clinic in downtown Seattle as well as six regional satellite clinics located throughout the greater Puget Sound area. Ann’s background at Virginia Mason included working in the renowned Kaizen Promotion Office for five years, where she was an internal consultant and kaizen expert providing leadership and support for kaizen activities throughout the organization. Ann is a registered radiologic technologist with certifications in radiography, mammography, and computed tomography.

Shaunté Kinch ME

Shaunté started her career as a mechanical engineer with previous work experience at Boeing and Northrop Grumman, where she was Shingijutsu trained in lean as well as Six Sigma, respectively. As a senior specialist in UCLA Health System’s Performance Excellence department, she led significant improvements in patient satisfaction, call bell response, missing and incorrect orders, discharge times, patient and staff communications, scheduling and charges. Prior to joining RCG, Shaunté worked on the Performance Excellence team at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics as KPO Manager of the Cancer and Cardiovascular service lines.

Miwa Kudo MSW MHA

A native Japanese speaker, Miwa worked closely with Shingijutsu sensi’s for over six years. Her expertise in applying the Toyota Management System concepts to the healthcare setting is unmatched. As a kaizen leader, Miwa has a passion for servant leadership and strongly believes in respecting people by empowering them to make improvements that will impact the quality of their daily work. She has experience in leading kaizen events of all levels and in a wide variety of healthcare settings.

Erica Lorie PT MS

Erica has worked in the health care industry for over 20 years. She is a lean transformation leader and executive coach passionate about developing problem solving and leadership capabilities to catalyze organizational improvement. Erica consistently delivers results to achieve exceptional patient experience through collaboration, facilitation, and strategic planning through lean consulting.

Prior to joining Moss Adams, Erica worked with a large hospital system as a senior lean consultant. She is a physical therapist and former assistant clinical professor.

Dahlia Mak MHA

Dahlia is an accomplished healthcare management leader with over ten years of experience in operations, quality improvement and project management. As a certified lean leader, Dahlia has a proven ability to consult and manage interdisciplinary teams in the design and implementation of change initiatives. Dahlia’s expertise is in process improvement, change management, team development and coaching, patient safety and quality improvement, program and project leadership, and strategic planning and implementation.

Steve Mattson MBA

Steve has over 25 years of experience in the health care industry. He works with clients to improve quality, patient experience, and process and facility design. His background in finance helps him connect quality and cost while assisting clients in their pursuit of high quality health care.

In his former position as senior director of quality improvement and care innovation at a large integrated health system, Steve was involved in one of the early implementations of the Toyota Production System in health care. He studied under Katsuya Koide and Takeshi Iwata of Shingijutsu Global and has experience leading and guiding kaizen and 3P (production preparation process) teams in hospital and clinic settings.

Maura May

Maura has extensive experience directing strategy and operations in both small and large companies, leading work groups using a team-based, knowledge-driven approach. As publisher at Quality Resources and Productivity Press, she published and distributed seminal works on quality management and Toyota management and production methods, including many Shingo Prize-winning publications. She collaborated extensively with Japanese organizations to translate, edit, publish, adapt, and distribute books by influential authors and Deming Prize recipients, including Kaoru Ishikawa, Hitoshi Kume, Yoji Akao, Genichi Taguchi, Taiichi Ohno, Shigeo Shingo, Hiroyuki Hirano, and Ryuji Fukuda. Maura has also edited and published important works by many prominent U.S. authors and lean practitioners in the U.S., including Jeffrey Liker, Thomas Jackson, and David Mann. 

Malie Maysilles ME MPT

Malie has provided quality improvement to clients in the health care and consumer products industries since 1993. She is a skilled educator and assists clients in the development and implementation of processes and strategies. Malie began her health care career as a physical therapist at a university-based hospital, where she was selected to participate in the hospital’s Quality Academy for her high quality patient and family care. She also worked as a senior lean specialist at a regional medical center, where she managed the revenue cycle and primary care service lines.

Joanna Omi MPH

Joanna held senior roles in the public hospital system and the Mayor’s Office in New York City, as well as in community-based organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. As an SVP and AVP at New York City Health+Hospitals, Joanna led efforts to implement a Lean Operating System, redesign and rebuild multiple campuses, improve access to ambulatory care and secure funding for new programs. A superb collaborator, Joanna has built consensus among diverse internal and external stakeholders, developing training programs and encouraging innovative approaches to emerging health care needs related to primary care, the emergency department, HIV/AIDS and managed care.  Joanna was an editor and contributing writer to Lean in Behavioral Health (2014).  

Kim Pittenger MD

Kim has firsthand experience implementing kaizen in his prior role as director of quality and innovation for primary care at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. As a result of his work, the medical center experienced quantitative results including positive primary care financial margins, disease management and screening attainments exceeding national averages, and a consistently favorable patient satisfaction rating. Additionally, Kim implemented flow production of indirect care using Toyota Management System principles, contributing to provider satisfaction and sustainability rates that are atypical in today’s primary care practices. He also developed a best practices tactical force which sought to align clinical practice patterns with operational practice patterns to support evidence-based care.

Erin Ressler

Erin has over 25 years of experience in the health care industry and has extensive experience in quality improvement, eliminating waste, and improving efficiencies. She was a founding member of the Kaizen Promotion Office at Virginia Mason Medical Center, and received eight years of extensive kaizen training with Shingijutsu senseis including Chihiro Nakao.

Erin’s experience includes translating original Toyota Production System teaching material from its manufacturing-based context to health care. In addition, she trained and certified numerous leaders at Virginia Mason in kaizen tools and methods; created training materials and curricula for all levels of kaizen, from introductory courses to certification tracks for executive leadership; and has extensive experience in leading kaizen workshops and events. She has also served in multiple instructor roles of lean concepts and methods for a variety of audiences.

J. Michael Rona MHA

Mike has more than 35 years of transformative health care leadership experience. He guides health care organizations, from major health systems to large medical group affiliations, through the implementation of lean principles via the Toyota Management System. Mike has designed and led groundbreaking applications of lean management, improving critical functions in emergency and operating rooms, labs, revenue cycle, supply chain, clinics, inpatient flow, administrative support, human resources, medical records, group practice management, and credentialing and clinical research. Results have included improved patient safety, reduced lead times, and associated costs.

His leadership experience includes serving as president of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, where he oversaw and directed all management aspects of the medical center. Under Mike’s leadership, Virginia Mason Medical Center became the first major medical facility to adopt the concepts of lean manufacturing and translate them into a health care setting. Mike is certified in lean through the Shingijutsu Corporation, and has participated in nine Gemba Kaizen study trips to Japan.

Ritsuko Sumii Travis

Ritsuko began her work as an interpreter/facilitator along side Shingijutsu consultants from Japan — including Chihiro Nakao, Senji Niwa and Katsuya Koide — teaching Kaizen to U.S. businesses. She spent extensive time with the Boeing Corporation, and worked with Shingijutsu consultants in Charleston, South Carolina, to improve the quality and efficiency on their Boeing 787 production lines. Ritsuko and Shigijutsu consultants took their teachings to healthcare. Her passion for bridging cultures, strong desire to learn, and problem-solving mindset, earned her the reputation “most trusted kaizen interpreter.” 

Richard Summers MBA

Rick Summers is a proven senior operations leader in manufacturing, supply chain, engineering, QA, distribution/logistics, finance, IT, facilities and human resources/labor relations. He has had success in both turnarounds and rapid scaling environments leading teams of 100 to 1,500. Rick is recognized for improving tactics and strategies designed to build cohesive high-performing work teams, improving systems and efficiencies, reaching best-in-class quality, on-time delivery and collaborative customer/vendor relationships. He has led successful transformations using lean production and Six Sigma process improvement implementation within nine different organizations.

Jessica Turner PhD

Jessica has provided lean consulting services since 2009. Her expertise includes engagement and contract management, lean quality improvement, project management, and the scientific method (stemming from 11 years of experience in biological research). She helps build client relationships through coaching and problem solving while guiding contract activities, managing client delivery teams, and delivering both lean and technical instruction to diverse audiences across the health care spectrum.

Craig Vercruysse MBA

Craig has over two decades of health care leadership experience. He works with large health systems and medical groups to develop and implement lean management practices, collaborating with senior leadership to identify cross-functional areas for operational improvement and integration of lean principles. His vision is to improve the overall health and performance of health care organizations by achieving zero defects, increased patient satisfaction, staff empowerment, and improved financial performance—all through the application of the Toyota Management System.

Prior to joining Moss Adams, Craig served as chief operating officer for Sutter Health West Bay Region and California Pacific Medical Center, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the four-campus, tertiary and quaternary care medical center. Before that, he was chief process officer for Sutter Health West Bay Region, where he served as a regional executive accountable for deployment of the Toyota Management System. While under his leadership, the medical center won the Sutter Top Hospital in Quality Award; the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Meritorious Award; the AARP Safest Hospitals in America Award; and the Leapfrog Top Hospital. In addition, Craig has held leadership roles in information technology and project management, and served as an executive at two high-tech ventures.

Pamela Westerlin

Pamela is a quality-driven professional with more than fifteen years of experience working with the highest levels of leadership and board executives. She has a proven track record for making sense of complex projects and innovating new ways to execute and streamline them. Pamela exhibits outstanding organizational and interpersonal skills with the ability to thrive under pressure. And she has experience supporting more than fifteen community boards in multiple states as a program manager.