Joanie has been working with lean methodology since 2007 and has extensive experience in patient safety, data analytics, quality improvement, and compliance. A doctoral-level nurse, she began her clinical practice specializing in complex pain management, which prompted a deep passion around patient advocacy, incident reporting, and event investigation. Joanie’s commitment to quality and patient safety led to progressive leadership roles across ambulatory care systems, including at University of Washington Medical Center, where she implemented incident reporting systems, event investigations, and pain management campaigns, among other clinical and outreach initiatives.

When she joined Virginia Mason as administrative director of quality and safety, Joanie advanced her expertise in clinical quality control through lean methodology, as well as regulatory compliance, infection prevention and wound management, and legislative advocacy. She has since served at Swedish Medical Center, where she oversaw quality, patient safety, infection prevention, and employee health across its five hospitals. Among her significant accomplishments were implementing enterprise-wide initiatives that produced dramatic results around reducing patient harm and developing future performance measures for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Joanie is an executive nurse fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and has presented at a variety of national conferences and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications.

Selected Publications

  • "Improving Transitions in Care through Collaboration and Technology" (Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 2016)
  • "Engaging Staff in Real-Time Improvement" (Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 2016)
  • "Using Lean to Advance Quality Improvement Research" (Journal of Healthcare Quality, 2015)
  • "Why Lean Doesn’t Work for Everyone" (BMJ Quality and Safety, July 2014)
  • "Opening the ICU Doors" (Healthcare: The Journal of Science Delivery and Innovation, 2014)
  • "Using Lean ‘Automation with a Human Touch’ to Improve Medication Safety: A Step Closer to the Perfect Dose" (Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 2014)
  • "Using Lean to Improve Medication Administration Safety: In Search of the ‘Perfect Dose’" (Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 2013)

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Basic Improvement Science Workshops; Community Consortium for Ambulatory Care Nurse Leaders
    (NWone Conferences & Workshops, Washington, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Creating a Culture of Safety, Reducing Medication Errors, Transforming Nursing Care Delivery
    (National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, Florida—Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2010, 2011, 2014)
  • Recognizing Opioid-induced Respiratory Depression and Minimizing Its Occurrence
    (American Society of Pain Management Nurses Annual Symposium, South Carolina, 2014)
  • Engaging Patients and Families in Reducing Falls
    (Safe Table Collaboration, Washington—Washington State Hospital Association, 2011, 2013)
  • Using Lean to Improve Medication Safety, Reduce Falls & Pressure Injuries, Using Evidence to Inform Nurse Staffing
    (Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes Conference, California, 2010, 2013)

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, American Nurses Association
  • Member, National Association of Healthcare Quality
  • Member, Washington State Nurses Association


  • BSN, nursing, Seattle Pacific University
  • DNP, nursing, Seattle University
  • MS, nursing, University of Washington