Premier Honors Healthcare System, Contracted Supplier For Efforts to Promote Diversity in Supply Chain Process

July 9, 2008

The Premier healthcare alliance has named Summa Health Systems of Akron, Ohio, and Abbott of Abbott Park, Ill., as winners of the 2008 Premier Diversity Award. The annual award recognizes a Premier member hospital or health system and a Premier contracted supplier for efforts to purchase goods and services from Premier contracted diverse suppliers, as well as develop procurement strategies aligned with the communities they serve.

Premier President and CEO Richard A. Norling and Deborah A. Williams, senior director of supplier diversity, presented the awards June 12, 2008, at Premiers Annual Breakthroughs Conference and Exhibition in Nashville, Tenn. Some 3,000 representatives of healthcare systems and suppliers attended the meeting from June 10-13.

It is important that we have a robust community of diverse suppliers to serve the healthcare industry, Norling said. Competition helps hold down the cost of healthcare supplies. Doing business with diverse suppliers is not only the right thing to do, its good for business, for communities and for patients.

The member award identifies Premier member hospitals and health systems that have established active programs to evaluate and support minority, women-owned, and veteran-owned contracted suppliers available through the Premier contract portfolio. The award considers members that have established programs to encourage the development of diverse suppliers in their own community. Of the more than 2,000 hospitals in the Premier alliance nationwide eligible for this award, Summa is the only hospital/health system to receive this distinction.

It is Summas goal to become an industry leader through continuous growth of our diversity program, as this is critical to our success in all arenas, said Tom Strauss, president and CEO of Summa Health System. Winning this supplier diversity award is recognition of the focused efforts of our staff who have developed and fostered these essential business relationships and partnerships, which will allow us to better serve our patients, employees and community.

The supplier award for diversity recognizes Premier contracted suppliers that support efforts to increase purchases from diverse suppliers and provide economic development opportunities for communities throughout the U.S. Of the more than 800 suppliers contracted with the Premier alliance eligible for this award, Abbott is the only organization to receive this distinction.

"Abbott is pleased to accept this award and thanks Premier for its recognition of our long-standing commitment to supplier diversity," said Sarah Catterson, divisional vice president of purchasing.

Premier recognized one additional hospital and supplier with honorable mentions for their programs to support supplier diversity: Nationwide Children's Hospital of Columbus, Ohio, and Herman Miller, Inc. of Zeeland, Mich.

These organizations realize the value of this initiative and its positive impact nationwide, said Williams. Each organization has recognized and embraced supplier diversity as an essential strategy for managing product costs and creating fair market conditions for all. Access to diversity suppliers expands choice and strengthens the availability of quality products.

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About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at