Formed in 2016 with the merger of Renton, Washington-based Providence Health & Services and St. Joseph Health System of Irvine, California, Providence St. Joseph Health is a 50-hospital system with facilities in seven states. The system employs 106,000 people, and recorded 23 million visits/admits in 2016, and $21 billion in revenue.
Prior to becoming regional vice president of supply chain, Justin Freed was executive director of supply chain at Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he worked for more than six years. He also worked at Adventist Health West, where he held leadership positions in supply chain and human resources. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Adventist University and a master’s in health administration from Loma Linda University.
Freed’s areas of responsibility include supply chain, engineering and hospitality for the 18 Providence St. Joseph hospitals in his region. His primary focus is working with hospital executives, leadership and physicians on improving service value and lowering supply expense costs.
Journal of Healthcare Contracting: What has been the most challenging and/or rewarding supply-chain-related project in which you have been involved in the past 12-18 months?
Justin Freed: When I joined Providence St. Joseph nearly two years ago, my primary focus was to support the California region supply chain team while improving supply chain performance, whether it be contract compliance or service. A number of surgeons in the region were using an off-contract total joint vendor. I worked closely with our system sourcing team as well as the local surgeons and hospital executives to renegotiate pricing with an off-contract vendor, saving the region over $800,000 annually. It was truly a team effort among surgeons, supply chain and hospital execs to achieve the savings goal, which will help in future projects and initiatives.
JHC: Please describe a project on which you look forward to working in the next year.
Freed: I look forward to:
- Continuing the integration work of the Providence St. Joseph supply chain organization.
- Measuring the service value and performance at each of our 50 hospitals.
- Identifying and developing best practices to share and cross-pollinate throughout the system, while eliminating uncontrolled variation by partnering with our caregivers, physicians and strategic vendors.
- Continuing to engage and develop relationships with our hospital executives and physician leaders to maximize our supply chain influence and effectiveness.
JHC: In what way(s) have you improved the way you approach your job or profession in the last 5-10 years?
Freed: Healthcare supply chain is continuing to evolve and advance in order to catch up to supply chain in other industries. Being open to new ideas, thoughts and strategies is something I try to build into my professional DNA. I was extremely lucky early in my supply chain career to be mentored by Brent Johnson and Joe Walsh of Intermountain Healthcare. I met them while I worked at Loma Linda, and they allowed me to spend time with them and their teams, which was great exposure early on for me.
JHC: What do you need/want to do to become a better supply chain executive in the coming year(s)?
Freed: I want to continue to be exposed to creative thinking and innovation that advances my development as a supply chain executive. Engaging with supply chain leaders in other industries allows me to open my mind to new concepts and strategies to improve outcomes and lower the cost to serve patients.