The opportunity before us

Graham Garrison

In the 15 years I’ve helped put together each issue of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting, this year has (obviously) been unlike any other. Thus a small tweak to the annual People to Watch in Healthcare Contracting.

Along with the traditional insights into their initiatives, influences, goals and thoughts on leadership, I asked this year’s group an additional question – “What lesson or lessons do you think supply chain leaders will take from the COVID-19 pandemic?”

Their full responses are in this issue’s cover story, but I will share a handful of them in this column:

“COVID-19 presented the healthcare industry with an unprecedented set of problems and exposed major issues within the supply chain,” said Chaun Powell, MBA, group vice president, strategic supplier engagement, Premier Inc. “My biggest takeaway is ensuring that we have a sophisticated supply chain capable of enduring smaller disruptions or large-scale pandemics like this in the future.”

“If you think you are prepared for a pandemic, you likely aren’t until you actually experience the situation,” said Mike Halmrast, senior director of contracting at Banner Health. “Often times the work that we have done to prepare for a pandemic tends to be outdated once the time come to utilize the info. So we need to constantly update our information and spend more time preparing for future pandemics.”

“There’s a silver lining to everything that has happened,” said Marisa Farabaugh, BS, MBA, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, AdventHealth. “It has catapulted healthcare supply chain to the forefront of discussion. Let’s seize this opportunity to make meaningful changes to our industry that have a sustained impact on a stronger supply chain.”

Indeed, the healthcare supply chain has an incredibly opportunity in front of it to learn from the pandemic and make some pretty significant changes as a result. I suspect we will be covering those changes in the months and years ahead in future pages of JHC.