Impacting Culture – HR and Lean

Presented By:

Carrie Youngblood & Catherine Bambrick

Session Abstract:

People are our most valued resource and any strategic change to their workflow or daily work life necessitates an understanding of Lean fundamentals within the HR team. When implementing Lean concepts into an organization, Lean and Human Resources cross paths. No one aspect of the workforce is influenced more by this transformation than culture. At Kittitas Valley Healthcare we have begun to pave the path of learning how Lean and Human Resources can work together to redefine or enhance organizational culture.

During this session, we will share our improvement events and methods that helped bridge the gap from a series of Lean tools to actually implementing the philosophy of Lean across our workforce while impacting culture and morale. We will also discuss the use of Lean methodologies within the Human Resources team to better support overall organizational initiatives and strategies.

Learning Objectives:

“In this session you will learn…”

  • Overview of Lean implementation strategies in a rural healthcare setting and the collision of vision, improvement strategies, and other initiatives that impact and can define your culture
  • How to partner Human Resources and Lean to utilize traditional Lean tools and strategies to redefine organizational culture and include front line employees in the transformation
  • How to address the inevitable overlap with culture and morale during improvement work
  • Perspective from experience; a hindsight view of what we learned from the impact of a five year Lean implementation on our workforce that you can leverage in your journey

About the Facilitator:

Carrie Youngblood is a Human Resources professional and Lean Practitioner working in a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in Washington State – Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH). The HR work produced by the team at KVH has gained regional and national attention for it’s simple yet innovative solutions to some of today’s top trending HR issues; acquisition, development and deployment of exceptional talent. Carrie brings real working examples and tools as well as a sense of humor and realism to her presentations making Lean and HR blend seamlessly into continuous improvement.


Catherine Bambrick is the Chief Operating Officer for Kittitas Valley Healthcare.  She joined the organization in 2010 and has led the successful efforts of the organization to transition to a Lean management philosophy.  Catherine has worked in health care in Washington State for more than 20 years. She has devoted her career to preventive health care, primarily working in the areas of health education and population health, strategic planning, assessment, program evaluation, and fund development. Before joining KVH, she held the position of Administrator for Kittitas County Public Health Department. Cathy earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Central Washington University.  An actively involved and dedicated member of the community, Cathy is also the Superintendent of Kittitas County Public Hospital District No. 2 which owns and operates the Upper Kittitas County Medic One ambulance program.