Haiti: Russell Maroni’s Personal Journal

This is a post I edited for another site but wanted to share the information here as well.

Lean in Action: Russell Maroni’s Personal Journal


Most people have probably never heard of Russell Maroni, an X-Ray Technician at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio. But to those in the lean world, Russell’s time spent as a missionary in Haiti in early 2010 is an amazing, real-life example of lean in action.

Because both Six Sigma and Lean methodologies make a huge impact on operational performance and healthcare processes and procedures, Six Sigma and Lean methodologies are being utilized in doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals all over the world.

The benefits of Six Sigma and Lean in the healthcare system include the prevention of medical mistakes, reducing defects and variation, decreasing mortality rates, lessening lengths of stay, improving patient care, eliminating non value-added steps and increasing quality.

Although Russell was already busy working in healthcare full-time and learning the lean methodology when the devastating earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, he immediately volunteered to assist in earthquake relief efforts.

It was there that Russell put his Lean training to use, and turned a quick trip to provide medical assistance at a Haitian orphanage into a streamlined, selfless medical mission that helped change the lives of thousands of people.

In an effort to document his daily experiences, he kept a journal with riveting entries telling of death, despair, anguish and devastation. Amazingly, the entries also tell of hope, perseverance and the innermost strength and courage of even the youngest of victims.

He offers a compelling, albeit candid view of earthquake relief efforts; readers become immersed in his painstaking trials and tribulations which he encounters from the first few minutes of his trip until the final moments of his departure. He also tells how his lean training was utilized as he found himself in the midst of a global catastrophe. Russell’s life was transformed, much in the way he transformed the lives of those he met.

Now, to raise both awareness of the ongoing struggle in Haiti, as well as funds for Haiti’s arduous recovery, Russell has graciously shared his personal journal with www.leanforhaiti.org. In an eBook titled, “After the Haiti Earthquake: A Healthcare Missionary’s Personal Journal,” Russell provides a touching, personal account of his experiences and how he applied his lean training in the most unorthodox of circumstances.  The account includes stunning photos, all taken by Russell or his fellow volunteers.

From Classroom to Field Hospital

Russell was able to immediately apply his methodology at a field hospital on the first day he arrived in Haiti. His training allowed him to design tools, customize equipment and perform other necessary tasks without a tremendous amount of time or thought.

Russell recounts, “I felt like David, staring up at Goliath with a fishbone diagram loaded into my sling. As intimidating as it was, it all worked out beautifully, and I’m thankful that I could be a part of the relief effort.”

Russell was able to apply his training across multiple areas – from training a local X-Ray Technician to fixing wheelchairs to finding on-site child psychologists at the orphanage. He applied his lean knowledge and was able to provide ongoing solutions, long after he had returned home.