Five of the region’s top health care institutions and Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) members hosted a health care vendor fair on September 16 at University of Maryland, Baltimore.
The event, held at the Health Sciences Facility I, introduced members of the health companies’ procurement staffs to more than 100 minority and women entrepreneurs who attended and discussed the procedures for doing business with host organizations. MWBEs also met with local business resource providers.
“Today is about relationship business… getting to know us and how you can do business with us,” said Herb Buchanan, senior vice president and COO, University of Maryland Medical System. Institutional purchasing representatives are here to help participants “get better at doing it,” rather than talking about it, he said.
For more than four years, the participating health care organizations have collaborated through the GBC’s Bridging the Gap initiative to explore and implement ways of increasing their procurement from local MWBEs. The effort has been successful in producing significant increases in their MWBE procurement.
“This is heavy lifting and we want to work with as many of you as we can,” said Ken Grant, vice president, general services, Johns Hopkins Hospital. “This is a business decision for us, not a giveaway.”
“With the GBC hospital initiative in its fifth year, the hospitals have been tracking their spending with minority and women-owned business vendors,” said GBC President and CEO Donald C. Fry. “From the base year to present, there has been roughly a 100 percent increase in the amount of money spent – and this year, the hospitals exceeded $50 million in spending for the first time.”
Participating organizations were:
Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Johns Hopkins Medicine
The University of Maryland Medical System
Sponsors for the GBC Health Care Vendor Fair were: Program Sponsor University of Maryland Medical System and Media Sponsor The Baltimore Times.