Executive Training Program Aims To Improve Health Care Supplier Diversity

Four years ago, board members of the Healthcare Supplier Diversity Alliance (HDSA), a not-for-profit corporation focused on education and awareness of supplier diversity in the health care supply chain, recognized that diverse business owners needed help building more capacity, connections and industry-specific knowledge to be more successful in the health care supply chain. Over the next two years, several options were explored, including developing a separate program and partnering with a university. However, none were the right fit.

In 2014, a clear pathway emerged. A new collaboration was formed between the HSDA; Tuck Business School at Dartmouth (Tuck), a graduate-level business leadership educational program in New Hampshire; and Vizient, the nation’s largest member-driven health care performance improvement company, along with Novant Health, an integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient centers and hospitals.

Offering an executive training program for minority business owners in the health care industry, the collaboration was designed to create pathways to potential opportunities for historically underutilized businesses.

“The health care supply chain has unique complexities that can be daunting even for larger suppliers. For diverse suppliers, who possess the needed product or service expertise but tend to be smaller in scale, the challenge is often greater,” said Mark Cartwright, senior director of supplier diversity, Vizient.

“This executive training program helps minority business owners better understand the industry and levels the playing field. This is our third year collaborating to provide this program, and we are excited to enable education, training and important network connections to help them be successful.”

The program’s curriculum has been designed to increase participants’ skills in the areas of:

  • Strategy development and implementation
  • Analysis of financial statements
  • Managing the “customer asset”
  • Refining the management structure
  • Assessing operations
  • Navigating health care supply chain

In the spirit of collaboration, many stakeholders have engaged to make the program a success. As part of HSDA’s support and overall commitment to promoting and preserving the role of diverse suppliers in the health care industry, it offers partial scholarships, contributed by the companies of board members, for the five-day training program.

“This is the type of program we had in mind when we founded HSDA years ago,” explained Angela T. Wilkes, founder, HSDA.

Additional stakeholders include the Minority Business Development Agency (MDBA) Business Center Project Director Donna Ennis, C.P.F., and other MBDA centers across the country, Institute for Supply Management’s Supplier Diversity Pharmaceutical Forum, Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“Novant Health is committed to developing mutually beneficial and successful partnerships that support and encourage diversity,” said Kevin J. Price, supplier diversity & performance director, Novant Health. “Our organization believes that these are the right strategic partners to continue sharing ideas, resources and strategies for success.”

Echoing Price’s sentiment is board chair Cathy Mock, who is the director of supplier diversity for Cardinal Health.

“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with these outstanding organizations and combine resources that will further our mission, benefit members and ultimately impact the health care supply chain and patient care,” Mock said of the program.

Leonard Greenhalgh, Ph.D., professor of management and director, programs for minority and women owned businesses of Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth commented, “Tuck is honored to continue partnering with such an exceptional group of organizations committed to minority business education.”

“Building a High-Performing Minority Business” will be hosted at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth from Nov. 13-18. Attending owners and senior executives of minority-owned companies will develop the skills necessary to help their business thrive. HSDA members can apply for a scholarship during program registrations.

To learn more or to sign up, please visit http://exec.tuck.dartmouth.edu/programs/minorityprograms/building-a-high-performing-minoritybusiness/apply-now