Health Care Improvement Team

The Center for Health Care Improvement Science at Virginia Mason consists of providers, researchers and support staff who are committed to advancing Virginia Mason’s quality, safety and improvement initiatives. You can contact the Center for Heathcare Improvement Science team to learn more about our work at Virginia Mason by calling (206) 341-1486.


Craig Blackmore, MD, MPH
C. Craig Blackmore, MD, MPH

Craig Blackmore is Director of the Center for Health Care Improvement Science and a radiologist at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. Dr. Blackmore underwent radiology training at Dartmouth Medical School and earned a master’s of public health degree from the University of Washington, through the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. He has authored more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, has edited three textbooks on evidence-based imaging, and has lectured extensively on quality improvement and evidence-based care throughout the Americas and Europe. Dr. Blackmore is former chair of the Washington State Healthcare Technology Clinical Committee, responsible for implementing evidence-based medicine in the care of patients covered by Washington state health plans. He is also an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington. Through the Center for Health Care Improvement Science, Dr. Blackmore’s current research focuses on improving health care quality and efficiency through the use of the Virginia Mason Production System, with specific focus on patient safety, evidence-based appropriate care, patient-centeredness, Lean transformation and health care policy.

Barbara L. Williams, PhD
Barbara L. Williams, PhD, Research Scientist

Barbara is a valuable contributor to the center's mission of publishing Virginia Mason quality, safety and improvement initiatives. Barbara comes to VM from the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Social Work, where she has extensive experience looking at outcomes associated with implementing best practices in a clinical setting, and outcomes associated with school-based interventions to improve student health. Barbara earned a BS in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and has a PhD from the University of Washington. She enjoys the problem solving associated with data analysis, and simplifying complex data for teaching and publication.

Center for Health Care Improvement Science Fellows

Eli Quisenberry, 2020-21 Fellow

Eli Quisenberry, 2020-2021 Fellow

Eli brings his experience with the Virginia Mason Production System including team building, process improvement, and organizational change to our Center for Health Care Improvement Science. We will be working with Eli to implement training and education to equip leaders and staff with skills to support their success.

Sarah Hermanson, DNP, ARNP, 2019 Fellow

Sarah Hermanson, DNP, ARNP, 2019 Fellow

Dr. Hermanson is passionate about making health care better. She completed a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in the History of Medicine, Science, and Technology with a certificate in Global Cultures. She went on to earn a Nursing Degree from Marquette University and then a Doctorate of Nursing Practice at the University of Washington. Her doctoral research focused on the quality improvement of patient reported outcomes in neurosurgery. Her current quality improvement projects span a breadth of interest from studying the impact of the Rapid-Access Transient Ischemic Attack Clinic to the implementation of the Center for Integrative Medicine. She also spends half her time working as nurse practitioner in Neurology caring for patients with headache and cerebrovascular concerns.

Wade Weigel, MD
Wade Weigel, MD, 2017 Fellow

Dr. Weigel completed a residency in anesthesia at the University of Washington and Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He has been a Virginia Mason anesthesiologist since 2007, with research and clinical interests focused on quality improvement, graduate medical education, airway management and regional anesthesia.

Norifumi (Norris) Kamo, MD
Norifumi (Norris) Kamo, MD, MPP, 2015-2016 Fellow

Dr. Kamo underwent medical training at Harvard Medical School and completed an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also earned a Master in Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is currently the Director for Quality and Innovation of the Department of Primary Care and the Medical Director for the Puget Sound High Value Network. Dr. Kamo’s research interests include incorporation of appropriateness criteria and evidence-based guidelines into clinical practice, and defining value in health care.

Alison Bradywood, RN, MN, MPH
Alison Bradywood, RN, MN, MPH, 2014-2015 Fellow, Administrative Director, Clinical Quality

Ms. Bradywood received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Washington, with a concurrent MPH in social and behavioral science. She also completed a National Patient Safety-AHA Fellowship in 2013. Ms. Bradywood is currently Administrative Director for Clinical Quality, charged with directing organizational quality and safety initiatives. Her research interests are in understanding the impact of clinical pathways on care delivery and quality metrics, and on the nursing/physician partnership in quality improvement.


Gary S. Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, Chairman and CEO

Gary S. Kaplan, MD, FACP, FACMPE, FACPE, has served as chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason Health System since 2000. He is also a practicing internal medicine physician at Virginia Mason.

Dr. Kaplan received a degree in medicine from the University of Michigan and is board certified in internal medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), the American College of Medical Practice Executives (FACMPE) and the American College of Physician Executives (FACPE).

He is chairman of the National Patient Safety Foundation Lucian Leape Institute and is a former chair of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Board of Directors.

Dr. Kaplan was a founding member of Health CEOs for Health Reform and has held leadership positions with numerous organizations, including the Medical Group Management Association and the Washington Healthcare Forum. He is recognized as one of the most influential physician executives in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine.

Farrokh Farrokhi, MD
Farrokh Farrokhi, MD, Section Head, Neurosurgery, Deputy Medical Director for Quality

Dr. Farrokhi is a neurosurgeon who graduated from Baylor School of Medicine, and underwent internship at the University of Texas and residency the University of Washington. Dr. Farrokhi also completed fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Farrokhi’s clinical interests include deep brain stimulation, skull base tumors, and complex spine procedures, and his research targets process and quality improvement in surgery.

Robert S. Mecklenburg, MD
Robert S. Mecklenburg, MD, Medical Director, Center for Healthcare Solutions

Dr. Mecklenburg attending medical school at Northwestern University, completed residency at Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, and fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Mecklenburg is the former Chair of the Department of Medicine at Virginia Mason, with research focused on market-based healthcare reform.

Evan Coates, MD
Evan Coates, MD, Hospitalist Service

Dr. Coates is a graduate of the University of Chicago School of Medicine, and completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington. He is section head for Hospital Medicine Service with clinical and research interest in improving the quality and efficiency of care for hospitalized patients.

Alvin Calderon, MD, PhD, FACP
Alvin Calderon, MD, PhD, FACP, Core Faculty, Internal Medicine Residency

Dr. Calderon is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign School of Medicine, and completed residency in internal medicine at Virginia Mason Medical Center. He now serves as a hospitalist physician. He is a Virginia Mason Kaizen Fellow, with research interest in resident and hospitalist workflow.