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Helen Zak

Helen Zak

Chief Development Officer, Catalysis
hzak@createvalue.org

Helen Zak is chief development officer at Catalysis where she oversees the European strategy, Executive Forums and strategic relationships for the organization.

With more than three decades of lean leadership experience, Zak has contributed to 15 published works on the topic of lean, as well as numerous educational programs and events. She helped establish the Lean Education Academic Network, The Lean Global Network and the Catalysis Healthcare Value Network.  She recently was inducted into the Association for Manufacturing Excellence’s Hall of Fame, which recognizes industry thought leaders and influencers who support the values, principles, and practices found within leading enterprise excellence organizations.

Zak holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Marquette University and master’s degrees from Kettering University in operations management and manufacturing management, respectively.

Articles by Helen Zak
The Time for Healthcare Leaders to Implement Lean Is Now – Stat!
Pioneering healthcare leaders have demonstrated that lean applied to healthcare can help solve the problems of quality, delivery of care, and cost. It’s time for other leaders in healthcare to step up. Lean management is a necessity in healthcare, not a luxury. More »
Books by Helen Zak
Management On the Mend / On the Mend 2-book Set Management On the Mend / On the Mend 2-book Set
On the MendIn On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry John Toussaint, MD, former CEO of ThedaCare, and Roger A. Gerard, PhD, its chief learning officer, candidly describe the triumphs and stumbles of a seven-year journey to lean healthcare, an effort that continues today and that has slashed medical errors, improved patient outcomes, raised staff morale, and saved $27 million dollars in costs without layoffs. Find out:How lean techniques of value-stream-mapping and rapid improvement events cut the average “door-to-balloon” time for heart attack patients at two hospitals from 90 minutes to 37.  What ThedaCare leaders did to More »
Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare Beyond Heroes: A Lean Management System for Healthcare
Hospitals have long relied on heroics to save the day – on one brilliant nurse or physician to fix the problem at hand. The result is a lot of people rowing in opposite directions, putting safety and quality at risk while increasing costs. This is the story of an organization breaking that habit.   Beyond Heroes shows the reader, step by step, how ThedaCare teams developed their management system, using the stories of its doctors, nurses and administrators to illustrate. The book explores each of the eight essential components of the lean system:Team HuddlesManaging to Established StandardsProblem SolvingTransparencyAdvisory TeamsScorecardsStandard Work for LeadersPhysician’s More »