Virginia Mason Medical Center 
Intermediate level
Value Stream 3 Innovation

Moonshine in a health care environment

Lessons from the trenches
Wednesday, Oct. 26 Location Code
9:45am-10:45am Houston Ballroom B/C, 3rd floor WP/21

Learn about the definition and intent behind “moonshine” and how to recognize opportunities for using it instead of your ‘go to’ equipment catalog.


Discover how Virginia Mason Medical Center is using lean prototyping processes (aka “moonshine”) to stimulate staff creativity when the right products don’t exist in the market or fit the organization’s needs. Attendees will learn about the organization’s approach, rooted in a “get your hands dirty” philosophy, along with project examples involving patient care and staff equipment, and challenges being addressed.  Gain information on high-level steps to tackle a moonshine project, including ways to mitigate for potential barriers.


Virginia Mason Medical Center was founded in 1920 as a nonprofit regional health care system, serving the Pacific Northwest, and employs more than 5,300 people. Comprised of a 336-bed acute-care hospital, a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians, with satellite locations throughout the Puget Sound area, and Bailey-Boushay House. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste and improve quality and patient safety.

Presenters: Jennifer Phillips / Valerie Marquardt

Jennifer Phillips has more than 20 years of experience in health care, the last several years providing daily leadership of Virginia Mason’s Strategic Innovation Plan and integrating innovation methods with the Virginia Mason Production System.  Prior to this, she worked in aerospace communications and as a newspaper reporter. Areas of focus have included fostering a culture of organizational innovation and creativity, staff idea systems and fueling innovation through study of customer experiences and involvement. Phillips received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and her master’s in mass communications from Arizona State University.

Valerie Marquardt has been at Virginia Mason since 1998, working in a variety of roles. She has spent the past six years working on the Kaizen Promotion Office, supporting and accelerating the application of the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS) throughout the organization. In 2015, she had the opportunity to organize and co-facilitate Virginia Mason’s first ever ‘Moonshine Challenge’. This was an opportunity to learn from others (like Boeing) and translate that into a health care environment. Marquardt received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington.