Ramirez pledges $1 million for joint health care initiative

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

March 27, 2015

WAUKESHA - The Agustin A. Ramirez Jr., Family Foundation has pledged $1 million to launch the Ramirez Lean Scholars Program, a joint initiative between the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The initiative intends to train a new generation of scholars in Lean health care management techniques, according to Thursday’s announcement.

“This is a passion of mine - continuous improvement strategies can transform the health care system to reduce costs and waste while improving the quality of the health care that is delivered, and that’s why it is critical to train the next generation of improvement scholars in this area through a program such as this,” said Ramirez, the executive chairman of Husco International, in a statement.

According to the announcement, Ramirez used six Sigma and Lean quality principles as part of his company’s operation during the past decade, which helped to create global growth in the business and developed a large base of customers.

The Ramirez Lean Scholars program will provide MSOE seniors an opportunity to work closely with Lean managers at Froedtert Hospital and other clinical locations. Students also will undertake a capstone project aimed at improving the efficiency of clinical practice, and address the challenges of communicating and instituting change in a real world, high-pressure environment, according to the announcement. MCW and MSOE also are planning a Master of Science program component.

Ramirez, a MCW emeritus trustee who sits on the MSOE Board of Regents, called the close working relationship between the two institutions “crucial” to the successful development of the program.

“We couldn’t be more grateful to Gus and the Ramirez family for providing this opportunity,” said Hermann Viets, president of MSOE, in a statement.

The Lean scholars program will welcome its first class of six students in September.

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<<EARLIER: HUSCO International, Inc. named Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year