Our Thought Leaders

The leaders and advisers behind the Center for Lean Healthcare Research bring decades of experience in medicine, academia, and industry based lean implementation.

Sharon Schweikhart, Director

Sharon Schweikhart is associate professor in the Division of Health Services Management and Policy at The Ohio State University’s College of Public Health. She also is program director of the Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree program. She teaches courses in operations management, information technology, and strategic management in the MHA program. Schweikhart has been an affiliated faculty with the Fisher College of Business Master of Business Operational Excellence degree program since 2011.

She began her career in health care as an operations analyst at Henry Ford Health System after receiving a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit. She later earned an MBA and PhD in operations management from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Schweikhart's long-standing passion for health care operations improvement led to her current faculty position in Ohio State’s College of Public Health and her role with the Center for Lean Healthcare Research.

Schweikhart’s research has resulted in numerous articles that have appeared in operations management, health care management, and medical informatics journals. She is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Medical Quality. Her research focuses on process improvement, work redesign, and intelligent use of IT in health care.

Dr. John Toussaint, CLHR Leadership Council

John Toussaint, MD, is CEO emeritus of ThedaCare and CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. He was the founding Chair of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, as well as the non-executive leader of the Partnership for Healthcare Payment Reform in Wisconsin. He has also participated in many Institute of Medicine subcommittees.

Dr. Toussaint’s healthcare improvement work using Toyota Production System principles has been well documented in articles published in Health Affairs,the Harvard Business Review Blog,and Frontiers in Health Management. His work on payment reform and the transparency of provider performance data has been featured in The American Journal of Managed Care and the Commonwealth Fund publications,as well as news publications like The Wall Street Journal,the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,and Healthcare Finance News.

He has been a featured speaker at the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Shingo Prize, The Lean Enterprise Institute, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and many international conferences. Dr. Toussaint has written two books: On the Mend, Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry, winner of the 2012 Shingo Research and Publication Award, and Potent Medicine, The Collaborative Cure for Healthcare.

Peter Ward, CLHR Leadership Council

Peter Ward is professor of operations management and holds the Richard M. Ross Chair in Management at Fisher College of Business. Ward also is chair of the Department of Management Sciences, co-director of the Center for Operational Excellence, and academic director of Fisher’s Master of Business Operational Excellence program. He participates frequently in executive education programs, including developing several successful certificate programs in lean management. He is the first president of the Lean Education Academic Network (LEAN), a global community of university educators dedicated to teaching systems thinking in universities.

Ward has served as a member of the advisory board of Ford Motor Company's Lean Resource Center and as a judge for Industry Week's America's Best Plants Program.  He has also been appointed the Otto Mønsted Guest Professor at the Technical University of Denmark. Ward has served as a consultant to a number of leading corporations and currently serves on the boards of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) and the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS).

Ward's research has resulted in numerous articles which have appeared in leading operations management journals and he has been recognized with a number of awards, including the 2007 distinguished operations management scholar from the Academy of Management, Shingo Prize for research in 2004, and Fisher College’s Pacesetters Research award in 2003. His research focuses gaining competitive advantage through operations.