Meritus Health 
Beginner level

Kata improvement

Getting continuous improvement to frontline staff

Discover how Meritus Health became a model in the health care industry for its focused effort on continuous improvement through daily kata and employee engagement. This workshop will provide practical advice and hands-on opportunities to see and learn from kata being practiced in a large and diverse health care organization.


In this interactive workshop, you will experience the basic routines of Toyota Kata through a hands-on simulation. Learn the value of improvement and coaching kata and how to improve processes or solve problems using the scientific method. Set a challenge, understand the current condition, establish the target condition and utilize rapid PDSA cycles. Engage frontline staff in continuous improvement using kata.


Meritus Health is Western Maryland’s largest health care provider, and includes Meritus Medical Center, a not-for-profit 256-bed community hospital that opened in 2010 to replace the aging Washington County Hospital. Located five miles from the original facility, the new hospital was constructed with a link to Robinwood Professional Center, a medical mall of independently-owned individual condominiums housing a variety of outpatient clinics and health services. This combined campus comprises the largest health services footprint in Maryland, offering providers, patients and families access to one million square feet of inpatient and outpatient health services that are physically linked for convenient access.


Sara Abshari is the manager of operations improvement at Meritus Health. She is a green belt certified lean practitioner and has 10+ years of experience in the fields of biotech, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and health care. She is an AME volunteer and a member of Leadership Washington County Class 31. She also serves on the board of directors for the Lean Healthcare Association and SanMar of Hagerstown. Abshari holds a bachelor's in science and a master's in biotech management from the University of Maryland. 


Odessa Englehart is a program manager in the operations improvement department at Meritus Health. She has 20+ years of health care experience, including cardiac nursing, utilization/care management, denials management, quality, accreditation and patient safety. Previously, she was the manager of accreditation and patient safety and the patient safety officer at Meritus. Englehart is a green belt certified lean practitioner and holds a master’s in health care administration from Mount St. Mary’s University, Maryland. She is also an accredited case manager and a certified professional in patient safety.