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Wendy Korthuis-Smith
Wendy Korthuis-Smith

SEATTLE – (Feb. 10, 2021) – Wendy Korthuis-Smith, EdD, has been named executive director of Virginia Mason Institute (VMI).

She joined VMI in 2018 as associate executive director and, early in her career, worked for Virginia Mason Medical Center as a leadership development consultant and business partner. Her role as VMI associate executive director included additional leadership and oversight across the institute, specifically in the business development areas of marketing, sales and research. In 2019, she accompanied several Virginia Mason team members to Japan, where she participated in practical training in the Toyota Production System.

Toyota Production System principles inspired Virginia Mason’s innovative management method, the Virginia Mason Production System.

Korthuis-Smith succeeds Sarah Patterson, who served as VMI executive director since 2016. Patterson has transitioned into a part-time role as principal executive sensei (teacher) at the institute. She will provide counsel on strategy and large-scale deployment, as well as serve VMI clients while they adopt Virginia Mason Production System as their management methodology. Patterson has been a member of the leadership team at Virginia Mason Medical Center for 36 years. During her tenure, she has overseen all operations of the clinic and hospital, along with the Kaizen Promotion Office, Human Resources, Quality and Compliance, Facilities and Pharmaceutical Services.

Virginia Mason Institute, established in 2008, provides education and training in the Virginia Mason Production System. The institute’s programs equip executives and other leaders to develop, align, deploy and achieve their visions for transforming their organizations.

About Virginia Mason Franciscan Health
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health brings together two leading health systems in Washington state – Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan – into one integrated health system with the most patient access points in western Washington. With a team of 18,000 team members and staff, and nearly 5,000 employed physicians and affiliated providers, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health provides expert, compassionate medical care at 11 hospitals and nearly 300 sites of care throughout the Puget Sound region. The integrated health system has nearly 1,500 hospital beds and also includes Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; and Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management method for improving quality and safety. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health includes hospitals throughout Washington state, including Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Michael Medical Center, Silverdale and Bremerton; St. Anne Hospital, Burien; Rehabilitation Hospital, Tacoma; and Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital, Tacoma.

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is committed to caring for the most vulnerable in our communities, including the poor and underserved, providing nearly $200 million in community benefit – free, subsidized, and reduced cost health care and programs.

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is affiliated with CommonSpirit Health.

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Media Relations Manager
Virginia Mason Hospital
(206) 341-1509

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