HSCA Expo: A Must-Attend Gathering

By Curtis Rooney

Effective supply chain management and optimization have never been more critical to the success of the overall healthcare system and its participants. The Healthcare Supply Chain Association’s annual Expo (co-hosted by the Healthcare Industry Supply Chain Institute) has dramatically revamped and refocused its programming this year to reflect the industry’s influence and magnitude.

The emphasis of the Expo this year will be on supply chain innovation, leadership and ethics. Running from October 15-17 at the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C., the Expo includes a number of new and highlevel executive opportunities that will provide a comprehensive look across the supply chain and deep into the future. New features at this year’s Expo include:

  • Executive Summit Series, featuring HSCA’s board leadership and their provider and supplier partners. Various board members will discuss how they like to conduct business, the strategies that go into business decisions, the state of the industry and their outlook on things to come.
  •  GPO Showcases, during which GPO executives will provide updates on their individual GPO offerings, initiatives and best practices.
  • A new event and association mobile app intended to facilitate networking and include links to product demonstrations.
  • Interactive half-day workshop on technology, standards and modernizing the supply chain. Informative one-page white papers on unique device identification (UDI), Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) and electronic health records will also be provided.
  • Pre-conference workshop by the Association of National Account Executives (ANAE), featuring a GPO 101 session withexecutive presentations on how contracts work and guidance on stakeholder collaboration (both GPO and IDN) to ensure contract success.


These new sessions are very exciting, yet the core of this year’s Expo will continue to be the innovation, leadership and ethical business practices the industry brings to the healthcare system, and focusing on how to build on these successes.

Supply chain technology
The Expo will feature sessions on key innovations in supply chain technology. Discussionswill range from forthcoming technological developments to how such advances will affect GPOs and their supplier partners. Harry Glorikian, managing director of strategy at Precision for Medicine and the founder of Scientia Advisors, will keynote that session. There will also be a half-day workshop dedicated to modernizing the supply chain into the 21st century, consisting of the following segments:

  • A presentation by Bob Carpenter, president and CEO, GS1 US, on the importance of standards in modernizing the supply chain.
  • Industry experts – including Dirk Rogers from RxTrace; Jay Crowley, vice president of UDI practice at USDM life Sciences; and Jim Scott, president and CEO of Applied Policy – will offer brief summaries of several topics, including the Drug Quality Security Act, unique device identifier regulation and the “meaningful use” requirements for electronic health records. These experts will then lead roundtable Q&A sessions, document their discussions and report their findings back to the general audience.
  • A panel of industry experts – Mike Schiller, director of supply chain at the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM), and Elizabeth Gallenagh, senior vice president of government affairs at the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) – will offer their reactions to the previous panel reports and discuss what their organizations are doing to address these challenges.

Supply chain leadership
The Bellwether League, the supply chain’s Hall of Fame, will host a session on supply chain leadership. Patrick Carroll (Bellwether founding board member and secretary) will lead a panel discussion in which previous inductees will share their insights on leadership, how management can navigate the challenges of healthcare reform and the leadership expectations these Bellwethers have of the supplier community.

Participants will be:

  • Raymond Seigfried (Bellwether Class of 2012), senior vice president, Christiana Care.
  • Mary Starr (Bellwether board member and treasurer), assistant vice president, AdvantageTrust, HealthTrust Purchasing Group.
  • John Strong (Bellwether Class of 2011), Bellwether board member and principal, John Strong LLC.
  • William Donato (Bellwether Class of 2013), vice president, strategic account management, DePuy Synthes companies of Johnson & Johnson.

In addition to the seminars on innovation and leadership, prominent industry experts at the Expo will talk about the importance of ethical business practices in the healthcare supply chain. Former Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah), co-coordinator of the Healthcare Industry Group Purchasing Initiative (HGPII) will moderate an executive-level panel entitled “Promoting Transparency and Ethics in the Supply Chain.” It will feature Phil English, former congressman (R-Pa.) and executive director, HGPII; and Terry Chang, MD, JD, associate general counsel and director, legal and medical affairs, AdvaMed.
In addition to the important sessions, new Expo features and networking opportunities, attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain valuable insight on mid-term elections from former Governor Haley Barbour (R-Miss.).
  •  Take part in an in-depth analysis and discussion regarding the evolving U.S. healthcare clinical, business and regulatory environment as seen by Jacque Sokolov, MD, chairman and CEO, SSB Solutions.
  • Participate in a welcome reception andorientation for first-time attendees.

Innovating, leading and working ethically have always been the hallmarks of this industry, and this year’s Expo will help emphasize the great work already done as well as the leading role for the supply chain going forward. Always well-regarded, this year’s event promises to be our best.

Curtis Rooney is president of the Healthcare Supply Chain Association, www.supplychainassociation.org.