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Sarah Patterson
Sarah Patterson

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.

About Virginia Mason Health System
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound region, the system includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; regional medical centers in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; 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 from around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management methodology for continually improving quality, safety and efficiency.

Virginia Mason Health System also includes Virginia Mason Memorial, a 226-bed hospital serving the Yakima Valley in central Washington since 1950.

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

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