Khatereh Calleja joined HSCA – the trade association for GPOs – in April 2019, following 20 years in the healthcare system, most recently as senior vice president of technology and regulatory affairs for AdvaMed, the association for manufacturers.
She was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, the child of a scientist and physician. “Johns Hopkins brought both my parents to the area to study, teach or work, and we never left,” she says.
Calleja originally wanted to work as a healthcare provider. “I have a passion for helping people, and I wanted to do what I could to help people become healthy and stay healthy,” she says. “Then I learned that working in healthcare policy could have a similar and even broader impact on patient care. Having the right policies in place enables providers to deliver the best care for patients and allows the healthcare industry to continue to innovate and improve.”
Over the years, Calleja has seen how vital the healthcare supply chain is in safeguarding patient care. “Even minor disruptions to the supply chain can have significant impacts on the healthcare system,” she says. And as president and CEO of HSCA, “I continue to advocate for patient health and be a strong voice for the healthcare supply chain in Washington.”
Describe a key mentor or event in your life.
“I spent one summer during college doing genetic research while also working on a Congressional campaign,” she says. “We lost the campaign, but I won with the knowledge that I could make a difference in understanding how our laws and regulations affect everyday people, healthcare providers, the healthcare system at large, and the lives we lead. I did not know that you could advocate in such an important way.
“I realized I wanted to work in healthcare policy and help impact people through my work there. I changed my major to political science and biology, and started to actively seek internships in global and U.S. healthcare policy. I’ve been involved in healthcare policy ever since.”
In what way(s) are you a better supply chain leader than you were, say, five or 10 years ago?
“Although I have only been directly involved in the supply chain this past year, during my time as president and CEO, I have witnessed so many ways in which healthcare group purchasing organizations are shaping the supply chain,” says Calleja. “GPOs are on the front lines of patient care, working with providers and other stakeholders on everything from identifying innovative technologies to spearheading emergency response efforts to preventing and mitigating drug shortages.”
Describe the key characteristics of the successful supply chain leader of the future.
- Innovation. “We need to keep innovating and improving to bring the best expertise to our customers.”
- Collaboration. “Listen intently to member needs and strive to meet them every day. Maintaining a partnership with the members that you serve is critical to helping them thrive and meet the quality, performance, and value needs of the healthcare industry.
- Leadership. “As an industry, it is critical that we educate other stakeholders and the broader public on what we do. The [GPO] industry must not simply fulfill our commitment, but rather demonstrate our commitment to the very best in healthcare. Whether we are working to support the everyday needs of a member, or we are on the front lines of a disaster relief effort, we are key partners that work alongside providers so they can take care of patients.”
“I am proud of our industry’s commitment to bring the best and brightest minds to help solve healthcare problems. GPOs do not simply provide cost-savings. We are acting as information powerhouses to foster value and optimal healthcare.”