Diversity symposium brings together supply chain players

Representatives from minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses (MWVBEs) joined with professionals from healthcare providers, supply chain companies, and healthcare manufacturers this fall at Owens & Minor’s 8th Annual Healthcare Supplier Diversity Symposium, held in Richmond, Va.

Owens & Minor has sponsored the symposium for the last eight years, with the assistance of the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council, the Healthcare Supplier Diversity Alliance, and the National Association of Health Services Executives.

The annual event is intended to explore ways to improve the diversity of the healthcare supply chain, and to provide an opportunity for MWVBEs to meet with supply chain professionals representing major health systems, group purchasing organizations, healthcare manufacturing companies and industry service providers.

“While in the early years, we may have initially approached supply chain diversity out of a sense of fair play, we now know with certainty that improving the depth and breadth of the players in the healthcare supply chain is a business imperative and a potential source of mutual business opportunities,” said Owens & Minor Chairman and CEO Craig R. Smith.

Symposium participants heard from a range of speakers. A panel of professionals who serve on various boards of directors discussed ways to encourage companies and other organizations to embrace diversity as a business imperative. A second panel featured senior leaders from Novant Health, the board of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, Premier Healthcare Solutions, and Catholic Health Partners, who debated the particular challenges faced by a health system in trying to improve the diversity of the healthcare supply chain.

Sidebar: Diversity awards

A highlight of this year’s Healthcare Supplier Diversity Symposium was the presentation of the annual Earl G. Reubel Award, which Owens & Minor established to honor the life and legacy of the late Earl G. Reubel, who co-founded Kerma Medical Products, Inc., with his wife Joyce Kershaw. This year the award was given in three categories – entrepreneur, healthcare system, and civic leader.


  • Winner: Akhil Agraawal, President, American Medical Depot.
  • Runner up: Mary Harroun, CEO, Merry Walker Corporation.

Hospital or healthcare system:

  • Winner: University of Maryland Medical System.
  • Runner up: Catholic Health Partners.

Civic leader:

  • Winner: Darrel Mogilles, assistant vice president, purchase service contracts and supplier diversity, HealthTrust.
  • Runner up: Rosalyn Carpenter, director, supplier diversity, Catholic Health Initiatives.