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February 18, 2014
Western Regional Medical Command Staff Report

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash -- Sixteen military and civilian personnel from across the Western Regional Medical Command recently graduated from a four-week Lean Six Sigma Program and became the Army Medical Department?'s newest black belt candidates.

Lean Six Sigma is a business strategy that places emphasis on a set of practices designed to improve business processes and to eliminate waste and defects. In the health care industry, the results of those practices inevitably benefit hospital staffers and customers, according to Michael Mboob, Process Improvement Specialist with the region.

The LSS course, organized by Mboob, was the first-ever conducted by the region. During the graduation ceremony, the commander of the Western Region charged the black belts candidates to go forward and apply the critical thinking skills they gained from the course.

"Army Medicine is facing some interesting challenges," Brig. Gen. John Cho, commander of Western Regional Medical Command, said. "You are now prepared to meet those challenges by applying the critical problem-solving skills you've learned. You can ultimately make a positive difference in the Army Medical Department."

Nearly a decade ago, Lean Six Sigma was selected to be the process improvement methodology to support the Army's Business Transformation. The Army subsequently launched a comprehensive Lean Six Sigma program to specifically assist with overcoming the service's unique challenges and complexities. Today, LSS methodology is used throughout the Department of Defense to solve complex process problems and streamline business processes.

To date, more than 470 Lean Six Sigma projects have been conducted throughout the MEDCOM since 2006, resulting in over $545 million dollars in financial benefits to the AMEDD. They have also become instrumental in streamlining and enhancing health care processes for the region?'s nearly 400,000 military beneficiaries.

"The Lean Six Sigma projects conducted within the western region have produced significant financial and operational benefits across WRMC" Mboob said. "The savings and operational benefits show the significance of the return on investment. Completed projects not only help to decrease costs, but more importantly, help to increase patient and provider satisfaction."