'On the Mend' Earns Shingo Research Award

March 19, 2012

Book Honored for Contributions to Lean Healthcare and Operational Excellence

John S. Toussaint, MD, and Roger A. Gerard, PhD, have earned the prestigious Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award for their book On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry.

The award is given annually by The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, a not-for-profit organization that is part of the John M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. It recognizes a book’s contribution to increasing overall operational excellence. 

In 2010’s On the Mend, Dr. Toussaint, CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, and CEO emeritus of ThedaCare, and Dr. Gerard, chief learning officer for ThedaCare, candidly describe the triumphs and stumbles of a seven-year journey toward lean healthcare at their five-hospital healthcare system in northeastern Wisconsin. It’s an effort that continues today and that has dramatically reduced medical errors, improved patient outcomes, raised staff morale, and saved the system more than $27 million without layoffs.

Dr. Toussaint makes the case that if other healthcare systems apply lean principles, they will generate similar results, and patients will benefit. “Lean healthcare exemplifies operational excellence and value for our patients, in terms of quality over cost,” he said. “It is gratifying to be recognized with the Shingo Research Award for our work.”

Dr. Gerard shares that viewpoint. “We wrote On the Mend to encourage others to expand on the work we have done at ThedaCare, because we believe this is the path we must take to get better care to more people. This recognition will help us reach others interested in improving healthcare.”

The Shingo Prize promotes excellence in organizations through application of universally accepted principles of operational systems and seeks to empower people and transform organizational culture. The authors will be presented with their award at the 29th Annual Shingo Prize Awards Gala during the International Conference, April 30 – May 4, in Jacksonville, Fla.

For details about On the Mend, visit www.createvalue.org/delivery/books-media/ or www.lean.org/Bookstore.

For details about Potent Medicine, the follow-up to On the Mend, visit www.createvalue.org/delivery/books-media/.

About the Authors

In addition to his leadership of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, Dr. Toussaint is chairman of the board of directors of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, has served as chairman of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality. His second book, Potent Medicine: The Collaborative Cure for Healthcare, outlines the essential framework for redesigning America’s healthcare system by increasing transparency of quality and cost data, paying providers based on patient outcomes, and designing care around the patient. He has also been published in The Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare and The Harvard Business Review.

Dr. Gerard has been with ThedaCare since 1991. He specializes in executive and management development, process improvement and the use of lean methodologies in generating significant and measurable organizational improvement. He has more than 35 years of experience leading executive and management development initiatives, with a specific focus on organizational performance process improvement. Additionally, he operates his own management consulting firm and creative photography illustration agency, which he shares with his wife, Debra.

ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value
Founded in 2008, the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value strives to create a healthcare marketplace that rewards providers for delivering value. As a worldwide connecting point for those on the continuous improvement journey, the Center is a conduit to spread the healthcare industry’s best practices and experiments for creating patient value and accelerating improvement. Learn more at: www.createvalue.org.   


ThedaCare™ is a community-owned health system in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley. It consists of Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, Shawano Medical Center, ThedaCare Physicians, Ingenuity First and other healthcare services. Learn more at: www.thedacare.org