Antonio DePaolo is helping to shape the Sheppard Pratt Health System in Towson through what is called “lean transformation.” The objective behind lean transformation is to improve communication, collaboration and engagement of staff, while focusing on improving patient outcomes by reducing costs and implementing more effective methods.
DePaolo has 18 years of experience working within industrial sectors and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Buffalo. He has a Ph.D in management from Walden University.
What inspired you to go into helping industrial sectors?
“During the recession of 1980, my father’s factory closed and he lost his job as a plant foreman. He tried to find equal work but was locked out because of high unemployment at the time and he did not possess a college degree. Living in a household with six other siblings and watching my parents struggling year after year to make ends meet propelled me to focus on gaining a degree with a technical skill set. I specifically wanted a career where I could develop skills geared towards helping workers. Industrial engineering provided a unique and challenging curriculum that supported this goal.”
What are the responsibilities of your current role?
“My role is to lead the lean transformation efforts at Sheppard Pratt through training, coaching, facilitating, and implementing improvement.”
What is your favorite part about your daily duties?
“I get to work on a variety of improvement projects across the health system. It’s always enjoyable to learn about our various work processes and how they all connect together to form the health system we work within. But, the most satisfaction comes from working with staff to improve our organization.”
How has your education prepared you for your current role?
“Right from the start, my education gave me enough knowledge to jump into a special role where I could gain experience implementing improvement in the workplace. Over the years, I have had several mentors that advanced my learning. But it wasn’t until I finished my Ph.D. program that I felt ready to jump from industry to health care. My education was the most important factor in both starting and progressing in my career.”
What do you do to continue your education and training?
“My latest research endeavors center on the ties between organizational behavior and achieving positive organizational change. I continue to read and attend seminars each year to keep current on the latest thinking in my field.”
Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?
“I have found that learning is synonymous with continuous improvement. The more I learn, the more I understand how much more I need to learn. It doesn’t stop after high school, and it doesn’t stop after four years of college. Learning is a journey that never ends. So, my advice is to pick a field of interest that you would enjoy spending the rest of your adult life learning about.”
Laura Catherine Hermoza has a lifelong love for writing. In addition to serving as a contributor to various media publications, she is also a published novelist of several books and works as a proofreader/editor. LC resides in Baltimore County.