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Operational Excellence Community Projects

Akron Children’s Hospital is dedicated to improving the health of children through outstanding quality patient care, education, advocacy, community service and research. By partnering with non-profit organizations in the Akron area, our Center for Operational Excellence staff has provided training and managed projects to help these organizations streamline and improve processes. By helping other organizations improve their services and expand their capabilities, we are ultimately improving the health and well-being of the children of our community whom we all serve.

St. Damian Hospital in Haiti

St. Damien’s Pediatric Hospital in Haiti

Akron Children’s Office of Pediatric Global Health has partnered with St. Damien’s Pediatric Hospital in Haiti since 2001. When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the country in 2010, staff from our Center for Operational Excellence volunteered to assist. Some of the team members traveled to Haiti to help efforts in person, while others provided training to St. Damien’s staff members who came to Akron Children’s. This collaboration has been an amazing experience and team members from both hospitals have benefited greatly.

APS North High School

Akron Public Schools – North High School

Akron Children’s has partnered with North High School to create the Academy of Health and Human Services, which allows students to explore various health care careers and prepare for life after graduation. Staff from the Center for Operational Excellence served as educators during an eight-week long summer internship program for students. The staff members provided focused training activities to help students develop their problem-solving abilities. Students were also taught Lean principles to improve process workflows and physical space design.

Annual North Hill Flu Shot Clinic

Annual Flu Shot Clinic in North Hill

Since 2011, Akron Children’s has hosted an annual flu shot clinic for families who speak English as a second language, including many refugees who have immigrated to Akron in recent years. In 2014, the Operational Excellence team assisted in improving process workflows for the clinic. The team developed a new layout, and improved processes and communication. Through a partnership with Summit County Public Health, adult flu shots for parents were added to the clinic. The number of vaccinations given has increased dramatically, reducing the risk of illness for an extremely vulnerable population.

Food Bank Before & After

Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank

A major challenge for food banks is how to quickly process donated food so it does not go to waste. In 2015, our Center for Operational Excellence staff partnered with the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank to help redesign their workspace and food sorting/inspection processes, which resulted in significant improvements. The team successfully reduced the processing time for donated food from 92 days to a single day. This increased the amount of food that can be processed, created a safer work environment for employees and volunteers, made it possible for the food bank to accept larger groups of volunteers with little training, and allows them to reconfigure their space for special projects and events. Most importantly, the food bank can now be as effective as possible in feeding those in need. Center for Operational Excellence staff continue to partner with food bank staff for ongoing process improvements.