Latest HDA Videos Highlight Industry Value, Supply Chain Careers

August 03, 2023

Over the past year, HDA’s Faces of the Supply Chain series has showcased the talented professionals working across the healthcare supply chain. At the most recent Distribution Management Conference, we sat down with 19 industry experts to cover a range of perspectives, including how each person got their start in the sector, what opportunities have made their career rewarding and the important role distributors play in ensuring medical products are delivered whenever and wherever needed. Highlights from these conversations are summarized below.

The Supply Chain Found Me

HDA asked several of the individuals interviewed to share what led them to work in the healthcare supply chain. Experts including Pam Forster of Inmar Intelligence, Christopher Reed of AmerisourceBergen and Michael Rowe of Two Labs all spoke about how they ended up in their roles after initially pursuing other fields or degrees of study.

“Originally, [I] was thinking healthcare in the actual operating room, and now, [I’m] working to help the operating room with the supplies,” reflected Rowe. 

What Motivated My Healthcare Supply Chain Career

Rowe and Forster also went on to explain the motivation behind their respective supply chain careers

“My daughter went to college and actually received a minor in supply chain, and is now working in [the] supply chain as well,” shared Forster. “That opportunity wasn’t available when I was getting my education and all that, so I think it’s great that they are offering it now and all the different avenues, and especially for women.”

As Forster alluded to, there are an increasing number of students looking to pursue supply chain careers. Understanding this need, HDA is working to increase student awareness of the healthcare supply chain and connect future leaders with hiring companies through its new Career Center. (Read our recent blog for additional information.) 

What Makes a Healthcare Supply Chain Career Special

Many of the participants, including Celia Weber of AmerisourceBergen, Georg J├╝rgens of Spherity and John Blackington of LifeScience Logistics, spoke candidly about the experiences that made their careers special.

Weber explained, “I think the people that are intentional about getting into logistics or supply chain in healthcare many times are doing it because they do want to be impactful on patients’ lives.” 

Healthcare Supply Chain: A Purpose-Driven Career

What drives a supply chain professional’s purpose throughout their career? Leon Nevers of HEB and David Yankana of Amatheon Animal Health spoke to their unique experiences prior to working in the healthcare supply chain and what about their current roles inspires them most. 

Nevers put it simply, stating: “There’s really nothing else that changes the way that people live, in a nutshell, than healthcare.”

What Health Delivered Means to Me

Earlier this year, HDA adopted a new tagline, “Health Delivered,” to highlight distributors’ essential role in delivering medicines, vaccines and other healthcare products. Industry experts, including Natalie Adams of Cardinal Health, Sean Spears of Eisai and Devray Kirkland of Cardinal Health each explained what this tagline means to them. 

Adams shared that Health Delivered “to me, means that there’s never any doubt that our patients are going to have what they need.” 

How Diversity Enhances Healthcare Solutions

Industry leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) also shared their insights on the role that diversity plays within the supply chain. Devray Kirkland of Cardinal Health, Trinh Clark of Henry Schein and Kelly Copes-Anderson of Lilly USA each spoke to the impact that DEI efforts have in enhancing solutions and innovations within healthcare distribution.

Kirkland explained, "You can't include what you don't have. So, you have to figure out ways in which to bring those voices to the forefront so that you can leverage them to really help your organization grow in ways in which you can provide the best solutions to your end users.”

For more unique perspectives, check out the full Faces of the Supply Chain series.