Meritus Health 
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From death by kaizen to daily improvement

Leadership support


Practitioner Presentation
Wednesday, Oct. 11 Location Code
9:45am-10:45am Hynes Center, Level 3, Ballroom A WS/26

Learn how improvement should be useful throughout daily work and how it should include structured practice routines for beginners. Gain insights into the role of senior leadership in the transformation and  how to overcome organizational inertia.


Hear about Meritus' six-year journey and how its approach evolved to achieve the true objective of lean - developing a people-centric culture of continuous improvement. Discover how it designed a small-scale experiment incorporating Toyota kata into the daily huddle on one of its nursing units and how the increase in nursing engagement convinced the CEO to lead an advance group of leaders for kata training at the University of Michigan. With the help of its lean sensei, the company had its official ‘kata kickoff’ with 20+ department leaders. Hear how its cadence is transitioning from monthly meetings and events, to daily coaching and senior leader rounding, allowing for a daily feedback loop across organizational tiers. Learn how the leader standard worksheets follow the same kata starting script used by improvement coaches. Hear how siloed problem solving is now nearly nonexistent as leadership immediately recognizes and coordinates units working toward a common challenge.


Meritus Health is a community focused, not-for-profit health care system serving the residents of Washington County and western Maryland, southern Pennsylvania and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. With a workforce of more than 2,500, it is the largest health system in the tristate area. Meritus Medical Center, a 243-bed, state-of-the-art, Joint Commission-accredited community hospital, was built to replace Washington County Hospital in 2010. The hospital’s link to Robinwood Professional Center, a multi-service medical mall, creates a combined one-million-square-foot main campus, the largest medical footprint in the state. For more than a century, Meritus Health has cared for the community by bringing clinical excellence, technology and needed health services to the region. The health system places a strong emphasis on preventative care through Meritus Medical Group, a medical neighborhood of primary and specialty care practices offering patients a full spectrum of patient and family-centered care.

Presenters: Eileen Jaskuta / Sara Abshari

Eileen Jaskuta is vice president of quality management at Meritus Health, responsible for data management and reporting, performance improvement, safety, evidence-based care and clinical risk management. Previously, she was VP of quality at Mercy Health System and VP of nursing and quality at Mercy Suburban Hospital. She has affiliations with the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Association for Healthcare Quality. She is a member of the MHA Council on Clinical and Quality Issues and the American College of Healthcare Executives. Jaskuta received her MS degree in health care administration from St. Joseph University in Philadelphia, PA. She has a black belt in quality and continuous improvement: six sigma lean methodologies. She is certified in kata through the University of Michigan. 

Sara Abshari is a green belt certified process improvement program manager at Meritus Health. She facilitates the learn journey and provides training, coaching (through Toyota Kata) and advisory services. She has more than 10 years of experience in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and now the health care sector. She has trained and implemented lean methodology in both manufacturing and health care settings. Abshari has a BA degree in biology from the University of Maryland and is currently pursuing an MA degree in management.