Continuous Improvement Transformational Summit

April 12, 2019 | 7:30 am to 5:00 pm
Contact AME: 224-232-5980 |
Non-Member Fee: $395
Member Fee: $295


Gettysburg Hotel
1 Lincoln Square
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Transform your organization into a continuous improvement mindset.

This special one-day event brings together lean practitioners in health care, manufacturing, business and other industries to deep dive into continuous improvement principles and methodologies that will help improve operational excellence in your organization. Your registration includes break-out sessions that will showcase how health care, government and business industries use continuous improvement to change their culture and improve their way of doing business. Grow your network of continuous improvement professionals across multiple industries, and gain new best practices from examining how other industries apply the lean mindset. 


This event is hosted by AME's Mid-Atlantic region and the Lean Healthcare Association.

The Lean Healthcare Association started in 2015 as a means of sharing implementation ideas, tools and templates, and best practices between healthcare organizations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. The association has been a catalyst for growth in many of the attendee’s continuous improvement journeys. Although each organization brings their own unique way of doing things (lean, six sigma, PDCA, Kata, etc.) For more information, contact

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is the premier organization for the exchange of knowledge in enterprise excellence. Members come together to explore lean thinking and other enterprise improvement methods, exchange best practices and network in order to advance their careers and improve the competitiveness and overall value of their organizations. Since its creation as a not-for-profit in 1985, AME has grown to represent 4,000 members ranging from executives to senior and middle managers who wish to improve both their organization’s and their personal performance.


Sessions are included in your registration. Attendees may choose up to two breakout sessions!

Getting continuous improvement to the frontline staff using Kata

Meritus Health has become a model in the healthcare industry for its focused effort on continuous improvement through daily kata and employee engagement. Hosted by Meritus Health, this session will provide practical advice and hands-on opportunities to see and learn how Kata is being practiced in a large and diverse health care organization.

People-centric leadership 101

This course was designed to provide organizations with a comprehensive overview of people-centric leadership and the behaviors required to build a culture where every day, everyone goes home fulfilled by pursuing excellence and everybody flourishes. Building relationships and engaging the minds of everybody in the organization are the two key components of a people-centric culture which are explored in depth in this program. During the course, participants evaluate how traditional leadership behaviors may or may not support these components.

Process observation to capture drift

A great gemba walk is more than just “walking around." Learn how to get the most from your gemba walks. In this session, you'll learn what practical drift is and why understanding it is critical to your lean culture, discover the real purpose of standard work, and learn tips for making gemba walks part of your leader standard work.

Having a ball with 5S

Are you ready to have a ball with 5S? Do you want to get your feet moving and blood flowing while experiencing a fun and interactive way to teach 5S principles? In this on-your-feet session, participants will take part in a colorful relay race where the use of 5S principles will help your team to get across the line first. By alternating lessons on 5S principles with trials of the relay, along with time to discuss lessons learned and make changes, instructors will help participants see how they can benefit from utilizing 5S principles fully. Don’t let your team down and fall short by believing the common misconception that 5S is nothing more than simple spring cleaning to have a neat work area!

Standardizing a lean management system across multiple hospitals

LifeBridge Health (LBH) is one of the largest providers of health-related services in the Baltimore region. LBH consists of four hospitals, as well as subsidiaries and affiliated units. These four hospitals joined LBH at different times, and each had its own approach to operational excellence. Several years ago, there was an effort to deploy a common lean management system (LMS) across the system. In 2017, a current state assessment of the program was conducted using a maturity model, which revealed significant site-to-site variability along with episodic improvement and sporadic results. Based on the assessment, the network's operational excellence (OPX) team, site OPX champions and a set of OPX governance committees at the site and system levels deployed an enhanced lean management system called LMS 2.0. This learning session will provide a basic overview of LBH's lean journey, the assessment process and results, the original and enhanced versions of its lean management system, and change management strategies to support a sustainable and viable operational excellence program.

We’re different: Applying lean to office & service

“Everything varies.” / “I don’t just do one thing.” / “Demand is unpredictable.” / “I don’t make a product.” These are just a few of the reasons people give for why lean won’t work in an office and service environment. However, it is this highly variable nature that screams for the application of various lean concepts. This presentation will examine how key concepts of lean do indeed apply to office and service. You will learn about organizing by value stream, standardized work, visual management, flow, pull, leveling, and more!


7:30 a.m.   -   8:30 a.m.   Registration & networking breakfast
8:30 a.m.   -   8:45 a.m.   Welcome & host introductions
8:45 a.m.   -   9:45 a.m.   Keynote - Maria Elena Stopher
9:45 a.m.   - 10:00 a.m.   Break
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.   Breakout sessions
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   Networking lunch
12:00 p.m. -   3:30 p.m.   Breakout sessions
3:30 p.m.   -   3:45 p.m.   Break
3:45 p.m.   -   4:45 p.m.   Keynote - Drew Locher
4:45 p.m.   -   5:00 p.m.   Closing remarks
5:00 p.m.                          Adjourn

Maria Elena Stopher, President, Ultimate Lean, Inc.

Maria Elena is an award-winning lean practitioner with demonstrated results in private business and government. She started her career in continuous improvement in the late 1980s at Xerox Corporation and Danaher Motion (formerly American Precision Industries). Later, as director of National Lean Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, she established the first nation-wide, government-sponsored program to make manufacturers more competitive globally through lean management. Her vision to provide lean training nationally to businesses trained over 2,000 field engineers in 50 states and Puerto Rico. For this, she earned the Commerce Department’s Bronze Medal. Maria Elena also served as a senior advisor to the Office of the Under Secretary of the Air Force, where she advised senior leaders on establishing strategic performance goals and implementing continuous improvement initiatives, earning her the Air Force’s Meritorious Service Award.

In addition to working with numerous manufacturing industry sectors, she is nationally recognized for leading successful lean transformations within the federal government at USHUD, USDA, USAF, CMS and US EPA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has served as chairman of the board of AME, director of AME's people-centric leadership program and as conference chair. 

Drew Locher, President, Change Management Associates

Drew Locher first became involved in the development and delivery of innovative Business Improvement programs while working for General Electric in the 1980s. In 1990, he formed Change Management Associates, to provide enterprise excellence consulting and organizational development services to industrial and service organizations representing a wide variety of industries including: health care, transportation, distribution, education, financial services ,and manufacturing. Since 2001, he has been a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). He is on the University of Michigan’s ISD instruction team for its Kata and lean leadership programs. He has authored and co-authored multiple Shingo Prize-winning books, including “The Complete Lean Enterprise – Value Stream Mapping for Administrative and Office Processes,”  “Value Stream Mapping for Lean Development,” “Lean Office and Service Simplified – the Definitive How-to Guide” and “Unleashing the Power of 3P: The Key to Breakthrough Results.”  He speaks on the subjects of lean enterprise and enterprise excellence at conferences in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Discover the value and benefits of building a people-centric culture and the underlying thinking which is critical to drive people-centric behavior.
  • Learn the key leadership behaviors necessary to build a people-centric culture, including honest and persistent self-reflection, reflective listening and effective communication, building relationships, coaching for development of people, celebration and recognition.
  • Discover he link between building a people-centric culture and the lean/CI tools.
  • Deep dive into vision, goal setting, feedback and alignment in a people-centric culture.
  • Learn how to get the most out of your gemba walks.
  • Learn how you can benefit from utilizing 5S principles in your organization in a fun, interactive session.
  • Learn to apply continuous improvement in an office setting.
  • See the standardization of a lean management system (LMS) across multiple hospitals.
  • Lean leaders and practitoners at all levels
  • Members of the health care, government, business and other industries.
  • Anyone who is on a lean journey or looking to start a lean journey.

You can become an AME member during the registration process for $150 per year and obtain the discounted AME member rate for this event. Your membership will also entitle you to a registration discount for all future AME conferences, seminars, workshops and webinars for one year. Additionally, you will receive a subscription to the award-winning Target magazine and much more.

Payment or purchase order must be received by the AME office five days prior to the event start date. If no payment or PO number is received, you will be asked to pay with a credit card or check at the event before entry.

Cancellation Policy: Enrollment fee less a $100 non-refundable registration charge will be refunded up to one week before the event. Substitutions may be made up to three days prior to the start of the workshop.

Notes: This event may be canceled by AME for any reason. AME is not responsible for incidental costs incurred by registrants. By registering for this meeting, I hereby acknowledge and agree that AME or its agents may take photographs of me during events and may use those photographs for AME’s purposes, including but not limited to news and promotional purposes, without further compensation to me.