Comments by nominator Ken Freeman, vice president, Virginia Mason Medical Center:
For the past six-plus years, Dr. Moonka has served as clinical supply chain liaison working in medical products and physician preference item value analysis and GPO utilization. After practicing medicine for over 25 years within the hospital and surgery center environments, she joined Virginia Mason as the supply chain physician advisor in 2012. Dr. Moonka currently provides expertise and experience in the following areas:
- Physician engagement to implement PPI (physician preference item) supply standardization.
- Supplier PPI negotiations.
- Implementing and maintaining a value analysis process as well as new technology analysis.
- Understanding of system-based thinking as well as the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS); the Toyota Production System-based process improvement program.
Virginia Mason Medical Center at a glance: Includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; nine regional medical centers; and Bailey-Boushay House, a skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program for people with HIV/AIDS.
- Year joined Virginia Mason: 2012
- Born/raised: Born in India, raised outside of Philadelphia; lived most of my life in New York and New Jersey.
- Degrees: BS, major in biology, Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania; medical degree from Temple University; residencies in anesthesia and pediatrics at New York University Medical Center.
- First “real” job: Attending anesthesiologist at NYU Medical Center
Some prior work highlights: I have had many jobs in my life, from being a short order cook to establishing a pre-operative clinic in a large community hospital, and now working in supply chain. I am an analyst at heart, so I like to increase efficiency and improve quality in whatever work I am involved in. I am also a lifelong learner and enjoy learning about the healthcare supply chain and understanding how supply chain impacts both the clinical and financial aspects of healthcare.
A key mentor or event in your life: The single most impactful event in my life was going to medical school, especially Temple University, in north Philadelphia. In medical school, I met people from all backgrounds – social and economic. Being a physician meant asking questions and listening to people talk about the most personal aspects of their lives with openness and without judgment. I have heard many stories during my time in medicine and have developed an understanding that almost everyone in life has struggles and needs help and support. That learning has been strengthened throughout my life by mentors, a high school teacher, my children’s pediatrician, and now the leader of our group purchasing company. Healthcare is the business of caring for people, and I try to extend that to my relationships with the supply chain, with my clinical partners and with my supplier partners.