Donna Van Vlerah
Senior Vice President, Support Division
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Nomination submitted by Bobbie Smith, account manager, Intalere, St. Louis, Missouri.
Donna Van Vlerah joined Parkview Health in 2010 from ITT, for whom she served as chief compliance and ethics officer in the Space Systems Division. Prior to this, Donna served a 20-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring in 2005. She served in various positions within the logistics and acquisition community, specializing in supply chain, facility maintenance and change management. She served as the deputy director for the Maritime Supply Chain for the Defense Logistics Agency, serving worldwide customers.
Her supply chain strategies at Parkview have included: Collaboration with suppliers to manage flow of goods and achieve cost reduction; deployment of Parkview Health’s Distribution Center (PDC), enabling centralized purchasing activities, consolidated receiving functions, and enhanced distribution management practices across all of its hospitals and clinics with “point-of-use” technology; automation and management of inventory at each point-of-use to support clinical staff’s ongoing needs and facilitate just-in-time delivery; and real-time visibility across the hospitals’ network, including “virtual inventory” for supplies used at clinics and nursing stations.
Regarding mentors and/or key events in her life, Donna Van Vlerah says: “I was aide to General Charles Krulak during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield in 1990-1991. He taught me three lessons: 1) the importance of having the right people around you, 2) the importance of technology platforms, as they become an enabler to what you’re trying to accomplish, and 3) the importance of effective processes. General Krulak [who became 31st Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps in 1995] was a visionary navigator, that is, someone who not only has a great idea, but someone who can get you to that dream. That’s the true mark of the leader. He was also someone who appreciated and empowered women, and said that without the women reporting to him, he would not be combat-effective. He advocated for us at every level.”