IRVING, Texas (BUSINESS WIRE), November 18, 2021 - Vizient, Inc. has awarded Ignite, a Chicago nonprofit organization that provides housing, access to employment and education opportunities to homeless youth, the 2021 Norman Borlaug Humanitarian Award. Since 1976, Ignite has cared for children and youth ages 14 to 26 with primary and mental health care, lasting connections to caring adults and the skills to live a healthy and independent life. Vizient announced the award, which includes a $50,000 grant, at the 2021 Vizient Connections Summit held Nov. 15-18.

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Vizient’s humanitarian award is named for the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, an agronomist who was known as “the man who saved a billion lives” for his revolutionary approach to plant breeding that resulted in exponentially increased yields of a wheat variety that actively resists drought and disease.

“It is a pleasure to honor Ignite with the Norman Borlaug Award,” said Colleen Risk, chief people officer for Vizient. “Providing homeless youth with not just a stable place to live, but opportunities to grow and thrive, is work of utmost importance. Ignite honors the legacy of Dr. Borlaug, and we are excited to contribute to their efforts to address factors that contribute to homelessness in young people.”

Each year at its annual Connections Summit, which is attended by thousands of health care professionals, manufacturers and suppliers, Vizient presents the Norman Borlaug Humanitarian Award to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to make a real difference in the world. Nominations for the award are submitted by Vizient member health care organizations, suppliers and employees.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for the 45 years of service that Ignite has provided to youth experiencing homelessness," said Stephanie Piccirilli, president and CEO of Ignite. "This recognition not only celebrates how all of us are connected in creating meaningful change—but it truly honors the spirit of every young person to thrive and live into a future that’s meant for them.”

Learn more about Ignite.

About Vizient, Inc.

Vizient, Inc. provides solutions and services that improve the delivery of high-value care by aligning cost, quality and market performance for more than 50% of the nation’s acute care providers, which includes 97% of the nation’s academic medical centers, and more than 20% of ambulatory care providers. Vizient provides expertise, analytics and advisory services, as well as a contract portfolio that represents more than $110 billion in annual purchasing volume, to improve patient outcomes and lower costs. In 2021, Vizient acquired Intalere, which expanded its footprint with ambulatory and rural acute care providers. Vizient has earned a World’s Most Ethical Company designation from the Ethisphere Institute every year since its inception. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Vizient has offices throughout the United States. Learn more at


Donna Ledbetter
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