Bellwether League, Inc.Lynn Britton

Lynn Britton
Advancing the Profession through Performance

Introduced/pioneered new concepts and ideas within supply chain operations

Influenced the C-Suite and/or physicians and other clinicians and/or fellow department heads on the benefits of optimal supply chain strategies and tactics

Served as a mentor either within the organization or on a national, regional or local level

Excelled as a leader in expense management and quality measures?

Led and actively participated in strategic and tactical committee decisions

Contributed to an organization’s financial, operational and even clinical success?

Work Experience

Named a Mercy senior vice president in 2004, Britton continued to have corporate oversight for supply chain but also had responsibilities for all hospital and clinic operations in the state of Arkansas. Additionally, he led the organization in the selection, design and implementation of a comprehensive electronic health record. Led by Britton, the team installed and trained more than 20,000 physicians and clinical co-workers across Mercy’s hospital and clinic settings. Mercy subsequently launched MyMercy, the personal Internet portal to the health record, moving from 7,000 patients accessing their medical record in a pilot phase to 160,000 patients in nine months. Additionally under his leadership, the organization built a $60-million data center in Washington, MO, to support Mercy’s clinical and operational functions with 99.9 percent availability across the multi-state service area.

Britton was promoted to president and chief executive officer of Mercy in January 2009.  Mercy today is a $4.5-billion health system, with 38,000 co-workers across a seven-state service area, including Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

But Britton has never forgotten his roots. He routinely positions ROi prominently in leadership discussions and strategy at Mercy, and two-thirds of his Executive Vice President staff (Mercy’s next-highest level) originated in supply chain. Additionally, other leaders from supply chain have been promoted to significant leadership positions within Mercy, and today the supply chain is considered as one of the key exporters of leadership talent for Mercy. 

Professional/Humanitarian Activities


In His Own Words…

What do you think about Bellwether League Inc.’s mission and philosophy and how do you feel about becoming an Honoree?

As someone who was able to personally and professionally grow through supply chain management, I am delighted that the Bellwether League seeks to honor and recognize the critical contributions of healthcare’s supply chain and those who manage it effectively.

Conscious that supply chain management is still a young profession, I am honored to have been a part of its first era, and look forward to the great progress the next generation of supply chain managers will make. 

What attracted and motivated you to join the healthcare supply chain management field when you did?

It was clear to me that supply chain management at Mercy was an opportunity to make a significant impact on healthcare delivery, which also impacts the lives of individuals. I was fortunate to be able to contribute to what was already a progressive supply chain within the ministry, and as it grew, I was able to grow with it. 

For what one contribution would you like to be most remembered?

I have never desired to be identified with a single contribution – the goal of my career has always been to make a continual contribution, and that’s what good supply chain management requires as well – it’s never done.

If you were to encourage people – either outside of healthcare or just out of school – to enter healthcare supply chain management and strive to be a future Bellwether League Inc. Honoree, what would you tell them?

First, I would share with anyone who is interested in this dynamic field to be ready for it. This is an industry in the midst of big, profound changes – but if they want an opportunity, they’ll find it here. I would also advise them to lead the change rather than being dragged along with it.

What is the one industry challenge you would like to see solved in your lifetime?

The challenge I would most like to see solved is establishing a sustainable business model that provides right clinical outcomes for America...and sophisticated supply chain management will be critical for that model to succeed. 

How important is effective and innovative supply chain management during tough economic times?

It is critical during tough economic times – but it is also critical during economic booms, so savings can expand care and ministry in new places.

I believe everyone in supply chain management should be actively honing their skills at all times so you can make as big a contribution as possible to the bottom line – which is what we should focus on regardless of economic highs or lows.

In two sentences or less, what defines healthcare supply chain leadership?

Healthcare supply chain leadership is innovative, persuasive and relentless about both quality and efficiency. And by delivering excellence in the supply chain, it fulfills a far greater organizational vision.

If you traveled back in time to when you just started in healthcare, what would you tell yourself?

I would encourage myself to cultivate patience because change can take a long time. I would then promptly ignore myself, convinced change couldn’t take that long!