“The things that influence health go beyond the care provided within a traditional care setting. That’s why our new program offerings include customized services and consulting to address a range of socio-economic factors, including access to jobs, housing, health care, healthy foods and more, that can have a positive economic impact on our members’ communities." — Shaleta Dunn, senior director, program services, supplier diversity

As income and health care inequality reach crisis proportions across the country, the inclusion of local and diverse suppliers in hospitals’ supply chains is one way hospitals can help impact their communities. Vizient recently launched four additional offerings through our Supplier Diversity Program to help support members’ goals of inclusivity and supply chain diversity and utilization, resulting in economic development in their communities.

The optional offerings build on the more than 20 years that our Supplier Diversity Program has offered members agreements with high-performing and price-competitive suppliers, as well as provide expertise and robust data reporting capabilities to help them attain their diversity goals.

Solutions to address socio-economic factors

With income inequality and the rising cost of health reaching crisis proportions, an increasing number of hospitals and health systems are seeking support for local contracting, especially in economically distressed communities and regions. This is part of a growing understanding that that shifting supply and service spend to local suppliers will help promote job growth and economic improvement, ultimately helping to improve community health.

The four additional offerings include dedicated resources, contracting in local communities, consulting, and supplier management tools to address a range of socio-economic factors that can have a positive economic impact on our members’ communities.

Dedicated Resources—As hospitals and health systems develop goals for diverse supplier inclusion, spending with diverse suppliers is often the primary goal. To support this effort, Vizient offers a multiyear, comprehensive plan to develop a custom national-, regional- or community-level diverse strategy, which includes alignment to bid opportunities, outreach, local and diverse supplier development, data analytics and metrics and capacity-building.

Community Contracting—For hospitals and health systems who would like support with local contracting, especially those serving economically distressed communities and regions, a community contracting program can help. Vizient’s Community Contracting option provides members with accessibility to vetted and Vizient-contracted local suppliers in members’ own communities, including small and HubZone businesses. The initial rollout of the Community Contracting program has started in four economically impacted areas in the country: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco. The program will eventually expand to 50 cities throughout the U.S.

Supplier Diversity Consulting—For hospitals and health systems that would like to partner with an expert to help develop, build, implement and advance a supplier diversity program, we offer access to vetted consultants focused on health care supplier diversity. Services often include designing and establishing a program, setting spend goals, establishing and following best practices and advancing an existing program to a higher level.

Premium Supplier Diversity Platform – Created to support members increased needs to tracking and reporting their goals of engagement, spend, and impact with diverse suppliers, the Premium Supplier Diversity Platform will allow participants to custom search for customer-contracted suppliers in participants’ local communities, as well as report and track associated Tier I & Tier II spend, source, identify economic impact, financial risk monitoring, and many other analytics.

"With income inequality and the rising cost of health reaching crisis proportions in the communities our members serve, we strive to use contracted local and diverse suppliers to help build strong, local economies, support small business and entrepreneurship, create wealth and address poverty as one of the socio-economic determinants of health in the communities where we live, work, learn and play,” says Shaleta Dunn, senior director, program services, supplier diversity.

In response, Vizient also offers members access to vetted and Vizient-contracted local suppliers in members’ own communities. Through the Vizient Catalog, members can view locally contracted certified diverse suppliers.

These new services complement Vizient’s core supplier diversity offerings, which include:

  • Access to a diverse supplier base through our online Vizient Catalog that contains details about every active Vizient contract, including more than 200 agreements with certified diverse suppliers and small businesses across all categories
  • The Supplier Connection online platform that provides access to Tier I and Tier II diversity contracted spend reports and tools to aid in expanding your supplier diversity program
  • Quarterly engagement with peers via Vizient’s Expert Panel
  • Partnerships with diverse business advocacy and certifying organizations
  • Data and analytics reporting to track opportunities with Vizient contracted diverse suppliers

Vizient’s Supplier Diversity team works closely with staff, members, suppliers, and certification and advocacy organizations to help support members in achieving supply chain diversity goals. We work closely with several organizations that support certified minority-, woman-, LGBT-, disability- or veteran-owned enterprises. We also convene a member-led Supplier Diversity Advisory Council that meets monthly to guide Vizient’s overall supplier diversity strategy and tackle industry-wide opportunities together. These efforts support long-term viability for diverse suppliers, as well as local economic development in the communities that members serve.

During 2020, Vizient’s Supplier Diversity program was recently recognized for the second consecutive year by Minority Business News USA as one of its 2020 All-Stars of Supplier Diversity. The annual recognition honors corporations for their commitment to managing and growing supplier diversity.

Because everyone deserves the same opportunity to lead a healthy life, we proactively embrace diversity and commit to equity across the entire value chain. Last year, Vizient also launched its Environmentally Preferred Advisory Solutions to support members in building stronger, healthier communities. The comprehensive solution supports members as they establish or augment sustainability programs to reduce human and environmental harm and improve patient and staff safety.

To learn how Vizient’s Supplier Diversity Program helps members reach their purchasing, healthy community and economic development goals, visit our website or contact us.

Published: February 23, 2021