Newswise — SEATTLE – (Jan. 10, 2018) Sarah Patterson has been named executive director of the Virginia Mason Institute, which provides education and training for health care professionals and others in the organization’s innovative management methodology, the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS).

Patterson had served as interim executive director of the institute since July 2017.

“She has had a long career as a health care executive and brings deep knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in the ever-changing health care landscape,” said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Health System. “Sarah is an expert at teaching, coaching and applying Virginia Mason Production System processes and techniques.”

Patterson joined Virginia Mason in 1984 and has held numerous leadership roles with the health system. She was the executive accountable for implementation of VMPS and its progressive approach to improving health care in the early 2000s.

In 2016, she transitioned from executive vice president and chief operating officer of Virginia Mason to executive sensei (teacher) at the institute. She coached executive teams in implementation of VMPS methods designed to improve care quality, patient safety and operational efficiency.

“Having worked with Sarah for more than 30 years, I cannot think of a better person to lead the institute as it grows regionally, nationally and internationally,” Dr. Kaplan said. “Her background, knowledge, skills, experience as a sensei and passion for improving care delivery are unparalleled.”

Since it was established in 2008, the Virginia Mason Institute has provided education, training and executive coaching in VMPS lean management implementation to more than 5,000 health care leaders and others from 20 nations. VMPS was inspired by the philosophy and lean methods of the Toyota Production System.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to lead the Virginia Mason Institute,” Patterson said. “The institute’s focus on education and training accelerates the work of the entire Virginia Mason organization in developing opportunities to improve care delivery that will benefit patients everywhere.”

In addition to her tenure at Virginia Mason, Patterson has served in many community leadership roles. She was a founding member of the Washington Health Alliance and is a past chair of the Washington State Hospital Association board of directors.

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