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Faculty

Victoria Adams, CSSBB

Vicky is a Performance Improvement Consultant at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She actively leads blackbelt projects throughout the organization, coaches Greenbelt candidates, and serves as an instructor for our training programs. Vicky also consults and supports departments interested in undergoing 5S initiatives.

Vicky began her career at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Supply Chain where she held a variety of operations leadership roles including Supply Supervisor and Operating Room Inventory Coordinator. As a Value Performance Specialist in Supply Chain, Vicky led supply and logistics focused implementation and improvement projects across the institution and also helped to develop others on her team to gain experience in this area. She served as the designated Logistics Chief for the D-H Incident Command System where she worked with other D-H leaders to mitigate, prepare, respond to, and recover from emergency events that significantly impacted hospital operations and services.

Vicky received her Six Sigma Blackbelt Certification from the American Society for Quality. She has also attended many courses to advance her knowledge and skill set in Lean and Six Sigma. She completed her Lean training with the Altarum Group & Valumetrix.

Nicole Batulis, MHA, LSSBB, CPHQ

Nicole is a Senior Performance Improvement Consultant at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She actively leads blackbelt projects throughout the hospital, provides consultative support to leaders on strategy deployment, coaches Greenbelt candidates, and serves as an instructor for our training programs. She has also served as Program Leader for the Value Institute Learning Center, overseeing the curriculum development and delivery of both our Yellowbelt and Greenbelt training programs.

Nicole began her career at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois as an Administrative Fellow. During her fellowship, she completed her Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt training and certification. Nicole then managed the patient billing call center, patient registration, and prior-authorization departments for the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation’s physician organization. Continued interest in performance improvement work led her to take a Senior Consultant role in Performance Improvement at the University of Minnesota Physicians and then the Director of Operational Excellence role at United Hospital in Saint Paul, Minnesota where she provided performance improvement consultation and expertise for the hospital’s senior leadership team.

Nicole received her B.A. in Chemistry and Violin Performance from Emory University and her M.H.A in Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health.

Nicole received her Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt training from The Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and her Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt certification from The Value Institute at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Nicole is currently pursuing her Lean Six Sigma Master Blackbelt with The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and Moresteam.com. Nicole is also a Certified Professional in Health Care Quality (CPHQ) from the National Association of Health Care Quality (NAHQ).

Joseph Caristi, LSSGB

Joe is the Senior Practice Manager of Anesthesia and the Pain Management Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He is responsible for developing and mentoring staff, developing a problem-solving culture, and for the overall operations and financial productivity of both Anesthesia and the Pain Clinic. Joe is currently an instructor for our training programs.

Joe began his career as a business analyst at a private practice in Charleston, South Carolina before coming to D-H to work as a business analyst in the Radiology department. During his time in Radiology, Joe earned both his Yellowbelt and Greenbelt certifications through the Value Institute and led improvement projects in the department. In 2015, Joe transferred to the Value Institute as a Performance Improvement Associate. Here he led blackbelt level projects throughout the organization, coached Greenbelt students, and served as an instructor for our training programs.

Joe earned his B.S. in Finance from Plymouth State University.

Joe earned his Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt Certification from the Value Institute at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. He is currently working on his Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt Certification through Moresteam.com.

Paul Christman, LSSBB, PMP

Paul is a Senior Performance Improvement Consultant at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He actively leads blackbelt projects throughout the hospital, provides consultative support to leaders on strategy deployment, coaches Greenbelt candidates, and serves as an instructor for our training programs.

Paul spent the bulk of his career at IBM where he received his test/electrical engineering training. During his time at IBM, he designed a formal Operator Training Package and developed and taught Mainframe final test classes. He also created a system designed to reduce defective parts and processes in the Supplier Engineering department. Paul continued to grow his skill set and experience at IBM, eventually transitioning into a Lean Transformational Coach, Facilitator, Manager, and Instructor. He supported IBM improvement proposals across multiple locations before joining Dartmouth-Hitchcock in 2013.

Paul attended Penn State University and earned his A.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Lincoln Technical Institute.

Paul received his Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt training from The Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and his certification from the Value Institute at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. He has a Master’s Certification in Project Manage from George Washington University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Erin Gooch, LSSBB

Erin is the Manager of Perioperative Support Services at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Perioperative Services encompasses the continuum of care that begins when a patient is scheduled for surgery and ends when a patient is admitted to the hospital or a rehabilitation facility for post-operative care or is discharged home. Erin oversees a team of Perioperative Support Technicians who support the work done by both surgical and anesthesia teams in the main operating room and other locations throughout the facility. She is currently an instructor for our training programs.

Prior to her current role, Erin worked at D-H as a Performance Improvement Consultant on the Performance Improvement team where she led blackbelt projects throughout the organization, coached greenbelt students, and served as an instructor for the VILC training programs.

Erin received her A.B. in English from Dartmouth College.

Erin received her Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt training and certification from Caldwell Butler and Associates. She also has a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Value-Based Health Care from The Dartmouth Institute.

Dennis McGrath, MA, LSSBB

Dennis is a Senior Analyst in the Analytics Institute at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dennis helps support the D-H system by providing data and analytics support to many user groups. He currently serves as an instructor for the VILC training programs.

Dennis began his career with the Navy as an engineer at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Lakehurst, New Jersey where he was introduced to Total Quality Management. From there he worked on naval combat systems at Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, New Jersey, spent a decade working as a research associate at Dartmouth College, and then as the Director of the Cyber Conflict Studies Institute at the Norwich University Applied Research Institute. Dennis joined Dartmouth-Hitchcock in 2013 in the Simulation Center before joining the Performance Improvement Team as a Senior Performance Improvement Consultant. He led blackbelt projects, provided consultative support to leaders on analytics and patient flow, and coached Greenbelt candidates. Dennis also used modeling and simulation to help departments complement descriptive statistics with predictive analytics.

Dennis received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and his M.A. in Liberal Studies from Rutgers University.

Dennis received his Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt training from The Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and his certification from the Value Institute at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Otelah Perry, MS, MT, CMQOE, LSSBB

Otelah is a Senior Performance Improvement Consult at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She leads blackbelt projects, coaches Greenbelt candidates, and serves as an instructor for our training programs. Otelah is also the Laboratory Operations Manager at Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center. She provides leadership for laboratory staff and is responsible for the laboratory’s regulatory activities, quality management plan, and the day-to- day operations of running a hospital-based laboratory for a critical access hospital.

Otelah began her career at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Clinical Microbiology and then spent five years as the Quality Systems Manager in Pathology. In 2013, she led a team in Pathology that was awarded the Operations Excellence Award for their implementation of Lean in the laboratory. All of those team members completed their Yellowbelt Certification and some have gone on to complete their Greenbelt Certification. Otelah was recognized with the Varnum Quality Award for her commitment to improving patient safety and quality at Dartmouth- Hitchcock.

Otelah received her B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of New Hampshire and her M.S. in Health Care Administration from New England College.

Otelah received her Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt training from The Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and her Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt certification from The Value Institute at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. She is certified through the American Society for Clinical Pathology as a Medical Technologist and a specialist in Molecular Biology. Otelah is recognized as a Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence by the American Society of Quality.

Danielle Potter, MS, LSSBB, PMP

Danielle is the Program Manager for the Value Institute Learning Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She is responsible for overseeing all of the training programs at the Value Institute Learning Center including Yellowbelt, Greenbelt, Essential Elements Workshops, Project Management, and Error Prevention training. Danielle also coaches Greenbelt candidates, serves as an instructor for the various training programs, and helps to develop new training content.

Danielle began her career at Dartmouth-Hitchcock as a Registration Representative in the General Ambulatory Services department. From there, she worked as a Senior Clinical Secretary in the Connection Center, and a Residency Program Coordinator in Neurosurgery. Danielle received her Lean Six Sigma Yellowbelt training and certification from the Value institute during her time at the Connection center and her Greenbelt training and certification from the Value Institute while in Neurosurgery. With a strong passion for continuously improving the workplace and the patient experience, Danielle transferred to the Value Institute where she worked as a Performance Improvement Associate leading blackbelt projects throughout the hospital, providing consultative support for process improvement initiatives, coaching Greenbelt candidates, and serving as an instructor for our training programs.

Danielle received her B.A. in Psychology from Saint Michael’s College and her M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.

Danielle received her Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt training and certification from Moresteam.com. She is also certified through the Value Institute at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. She is also a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Joel Preminger, MS, LSSMBB, PMP

Joel is a Senior Performance Improvement Consultant at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He leads blackbelt projects throughout the organization, coaches Greenbelt candidates, and serves as an instructor for our training programs.

Joel comes to Dartmouth-Hitchcock after 14 years at Hewlett Packard, working as a Business Transformation Leader managing strategic cross-business transformations and innovative management of change programs in the areas of marketing, order management, pricing, leasing, and customer service. Joel led project teams while also providing Lean Six Sigma consulting, coaching, mentorship and training to team members and executives. Before joining HP Joel was with i2 Technologies, a global provider of supply chain and content solutions. As Director of Consulting Services, Joel developed the practice and directed dozens of successful customer implementations of global multi-million dollar enterprise supply chain solutions. Prior, Joel was the Business Information Systems Manager for Indigo America, where he led the development and marketing of a novel remote diagnostics system for digital color offset printers. Earlier in his career Joel held a number of engineering and management positions in product development and manufacturing in the Aerospace and Defense industry. Outside of work Joel volunteered his time with the board of trustees of a newly created non-profit STEM-focused public charter school.

Joel received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tel-Aviv University in Israel and his M.S. in Computer Information Systems from Boston University. He is currently working on his M.B.A. in Health Care Management at Northeastern University.

Joel received his Lean Six Sigma Master Blackbelt training and certification from Hewlett Packard. He is also certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Samuel Shields, Jr., MBA, CSSBB, CPHQ

Sam is the Director of Operational Excellence at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Value Institute. He leads the Operational Excellence team consisting of both Performance Improvement Specialists and Project Managers, oversees the Value Institute Learning Center, coaches Greenbelt Candidates, and serves as an instructor for our training programs. He also serves as an instructor for the Conaty Institute for Transformational Health Care Leadership program.

Sam spent much of his career working in Supply Chain in various industries. He has served in management and leadership roles at Cabot Corporation, Timken, and Labsphere, Inc. He spent three years as the Supply Chain Manager at Dartmouth-Hitchcock before taking a role as the Director of Performance Improvement.

Sam received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his M.B.A. from Texas A&M University. Sam is currently pursuing his Master of Health Care Delivery Science at the Tuck School of Business and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI).

Sam received his Six Sigma Blackbelt certification from the American Society for Quality. He is also a Certified Professional in Health Care Quality (CPHQ) from the National Association of Health Care Quality (NAHQ).

Sara Simeone, MSN, RN, LSSBB

Sara is the Director of Quality and Patient Safety for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Sara works in collaboration with operational leaders across all of the NCCC campuses, including Lebanon, St. Johnsbury, Manchester, and Nashua to plan, direct, and coordinate programs designed to enhance patient care, operational efficiency, and clinical effectiveness. Sara also provides leadership and direction for the development and implementation of the NCCC Quality Management Plan. She currently serves as an instructor for the VILC training programs.

Sara started her career as a surgical unit clinical nurse before transitioning into the ambulatory care setting where she worked as an oncology triage nurse and an oncology clinical research nurse within the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. She went on to serve as the Nurse Manager for Clinic Operations and Clinic Research at NCCC for five years. During that time, she received her Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt certification from the Value Institute at D-H and participated in and led many large and small scale improvement projects within the Cancer Center. In 2013, Sara moved into the Value Institute where she worked on the Performance Improvement team as a Senior Value Performance Specialist for three years. Prior to her current role, Sara also worked as the Director of Integration and Performance Improvement at the Visiting Nurse and Hospice for VT & NH. She has been instructing with the Value Institute since 2013 and is also an instructor for the School of Nursing at Franklin Pierce University.

Sara received her B.A. in Psychology and Education from Boston College, her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Masters of Science in Nursing Leadership from Franklin Pierce University.

Sara received her Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt training from The Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and her Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt certification from The Value Institute at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. She has also received Lean Management Systems training from ThedaCare.

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