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Tachibana Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow

SEATTLE - (July 13, 2009) — Virginia Mason Medical Center is pleased to announce Charleen Tachibana, RN, senior vice president, hospital administrator and chief nursing officer, was one of 20 nurses nationwide and the only one in Washington state selected as a 2009 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation® (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellow. The national fellowship program focuses on expanding the role of nurses to lead change in the U.S. health-care system.

Now in its 12th year, the three-year fellowship program provides extensive leadership development for nurses in executive roles in public or community health, science and research, corporate health, academia, government or military health service. As part of the fellowship, Tachibana will design and implement a leadership project focused on driving out waste from health-care services using the Virginia Mason Production System.

"Nurses provide a unique perspective in the health-care system, understanding both the patient experience and the way policies and procedures affect health outcomes," said Marilyn P. Chow, DNSc, RN, FAAN, the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows national program director. "We are thrilled to have Charleen Tachibana join the 2009 group of fellows."

"Charleen is a perfect choice for this honor because of her in-depth knowledge of the nursing profession, her leadership track record, and her passion for making things better for our patients," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason. "We are proud to have her on our team and look forward to all she will accomplish through her fellowship."

About Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health-care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area; manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and Chronic Care Management program for people living with HIV and AIDS; and operates Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety.

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Alisha Mark, (206) 341-1509

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