Bellwether League, Inc.Gary L. Wagner

Gary L. Wagner
Healthcare/Supply Chain Management Experience:

Gary Wagner dedicated 43 years of his career to healthcare supply chain management with a plan to retire in late 2017.

Hall of Fame-worthy accomplishments:
Industry impact:
Commitment to ethical standards, honesty and integrity:

I (nominator John Gaida) have known this individual for over 25 years and can certainly vouch for his high level of honesty and integrity! He is someone that has personified a solid career in multiple organizations leaving each of them much better than when he arrived. He has a great reputation in the field and has held a number of positions in professional organizations locally and nationally attesting to his dedication to the profession and those he has mentored along the way.

Commitment to mentoring, education, and/or advocacy: 
Demonstrations of leadership:
Degree of professional influence:

Gary has contributed at a high level to the profession by his individual accomplishments at the organizations where he has worked, the professional organizations he has participated in, and those individuals which he has mentored. He partnered with numerous vendors to improve supply chain and the way it was delivered – helping create state of the art systems and improving upon new ideas. Gary “partnered” with others at a time when it was not in vogue to do so. Improving the profession, those you work with, and those you serve is what the Bellwether award is all about. Gary has successfully done that over his long career. He was instrumental in helping start the Network of Networks organization that led to the formation of Strategic Marketplace Initiative. He also has contributed greatly to a number of AHRMM local chapters in the areas where he has worked.

Application of Hall of Fame-level of knowledge and experience:

Gary has demonstrated a “hall of fame” level of knowledge in almost every area of supply chain activity. He has worked with key departments like the OR to develop new systems of supply delivery. He adopted just in time processes for supply deliver at a time when they were revolutionary. He helped his distributors create systems to supply the OR with needed supplies in a revolutionary manner. And lastly, he took major cost out of his current employer in excess of $100 million.

Professional worthiness

Bellwether League has inducted many notable and accomplished individuals over the years. Gary Wagner is an individual who has contributed to the growth and professionalism of the supply chain profession. Bellwether League would be remiss if it did not acknowledge this individual for his solid 43 years of work to improve his organizations, his professional relationships, and those he has mentored along the way.

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?

I am privileged to be recognized by Bellwether League, a very honorable association. With those honored over the past nine years, I am joining an elite group of men and women who have led healthcare supply chain into the 21st century!

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

In the early 1970s, I attended college at night while working in housekeeping in a small hospital in Ohio. Two years later, I became their Director of Purchasing and enjoyed helping people. After completing a two-year degree in Electrical Engineering, I changed my major to Business Administration and since 1972, I have been devoted to healthcare supply chain. It has been most enjoyable and quire rewarding on a daily basis! 

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

Partnerships and relationships built throughout the industry have been my cornerstone of success.

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?

I would advise others that healthcare is the most rewarding career financially and professionally. It allows one to work with industry leaders on both sides of the table; great physicians, hospital administration, and government officials interested in improving healthcare. Healthcare today is at a pivotal point. 

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

What a joy it would be to see Invoicing and payment process taken to the next level to allow for reduced costs on both sides and improve payment flexibility in supply chain and vendor community.

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

With thin margins healthcare systems rely on, it could make – or – break a healthcare system.

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

Such a leader has knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience to confidently establish partnerships that eagerly work toward common goals within and outside the organization.

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

Knowing what I know today, I would be amazed at our electronic capabilities and changes in our reimbursement, our ability to partner with physicians, and how interesting and challenging this role has become.