Publisher’s Letter January/February 2008

Supply Chain Leaders

In the 2007 January/February issue of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting, we started a tradition of recognizing a Contracting Professional of the Year. This year, JHC recognizes Donna Drummond, chief procurement officer of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Healthcare System, as the Contracting Professional of the Year (story begins on page 14).

North Shore-LIJ is 10 years old comprising 15 hospitals serving Long Island, Queens and Staten Island, N.Y. It has an operating budget of $4 billion and is the largest employer on Long Island. Drummond has the daunting task of optimizing North Shore-LIJ’s internal supply chain capabilities, as well as focusing on primary cost reduction opportunities. I think you will find it fascinating how she goes about it!

Many of her keys to success seem like common sense, and have been re-occurring themes covered in JHC over the years. She emphasizes the need to work with clinicians. This touch point is never going away, and the ability to drive and manage this relationship is and will be invaluable to contracting professionals’ success. Drummond emphasizes the need for all the soft components of success that I worry too many of us overlook. She talks about listening to the needs of supply chain stakeholders. She ensures her team’s roles and responsibilities are clear and consistent, so objective alignment is transparent. She requires substantial training, effective communication and participation from the team.

All of this from a financial analyst. Aren’t financial analysts the ones that make us measure everything so we can put results of measured outcomes into decision models? If you can’t measure, you can’t manage? Drummond has leveraged characteristics that great leaders in many areas seem to have in the contracting arena.

This is the beginning of our fifth year of publication. In the early years, the discipline of supply chain seemed focused on cost reduction and containment and contracting was the primary vehicle. We are starting to see more from supply chain leaders like Donna Drummond. And I really think the C-suite is starting to expect more.

So congratulations to Donna Drummond for being JHC’s Contracting Professional of the Year. And thanks for sharing your insight!

About the Author

John Pritchard
John Pritchard is the publisher of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting.