University of Chicago Medicine nets honor for supplier diversity

University of Chicago Medicine nets honor for supplier diversity

September 14, 2012

The University of Chicago Medicine has been awarded the 2012 Supplier Diversity Leadership Award by UHC, a prestigious nationwide alliance of non-profit academic medical centers, in recognition of its commitment to expanding the use of certified women-, minority- and veteran-owned contractors as business partners throughout its campus.

UHC cited, among other factors, letters of support for the University of Chicago Medicine from diverse suppliers in the area, a clearly articulated plan for its supplier diversity program, spearheading an annual business diversity symposium since 2008 and the accolades received throughout Chicago for its business diversity manager, James Williams.

"UHC is proud to honor the University of Chicago Medicine for its strong supplier diversity program. We encourage our members to develop these programs to help cultivate their communities' economic growth and foster competition and best practices," said Irene M. Thompson, UHC president and chief executive officer.

One of the key projects underscoring the University of Chicago Medicine's commitment to diversity is the new 1.2 million-square-foot hospital pavilion. Its goal is to grant 40 percent of contracts to build and run the facility to women- and minority-owned businesses. The new $700 million hospital will open to patients in February 2013.

"The University of Chicago Medicine has had a long-standing commitment to working with and developing diverse suppliers. With the new hospital, we have awarded significant contracts for construction, construction labor and even items such as new computers and scrubs to diverse suppliers," said Jonathan Stegner, vice president of supply chain and logistics. "I am delighted with the recognition UHC has given the University of Chicago Medicine for our ongoing commitment to diversity and our recent outstanding results."

The award is based on several criteria:

  • Structure and strength of the organization's supplier diversity program
  • New programs or techniques that facilitated the growth of diverse businesses in 2011
  • Community involvement and outreach to minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses
  • Senior leaders' involvement in supplier diversity development
  • Utilization of diversity contracts, especially from Novation, a health care supply contracting company with 65,000 members and affiliates nationwide
  • Use of Novation's supplier diversity suite of solutions

Even before the formal launch of its Office of Business Diversity in 2002, the University of Chicago Medicine has had a strategic focus to draw on a diverse network of firms to help it deliver outstanding, compassionate care while also strengthening the economic fabric of the multicultural communities it serves.

UCM also supports business diversity outside its community through leadership roles in the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Black Contractors United, the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association, the Federation of Women Contractors and other organizations.

Among others who have played significant roles in this goal: Joan Archie, executive director of construction compliance; Alder Derose, manager of construction compliance; Mike Carey, director for purchasing; and the construction team under Bill Huffman, vice president of facilities, design and construction.

UHC represents 116 academic medical centers and nearly 280 affiliated hospitals, covering about 90 percent of the nation's non-profit academic medical centers.

Fletcher Allen Health Care, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, University of Colorado Hospital, Oregon Health & Science University, and Wake Forest Baptist Health were recognized by UHC for their excellence in supply chain management. Denver Health was a top performer among participating public hospitals.

The awards were presented Sept. 13 at the UHC Annual Conference 2012 in Orlando.