SCHAUMBURG, IL (January 22, 2021) – When it came to passion for healthcare supply chain fiscal and operational improvement, Br. Ned Gerber, OSB, CPA, CGMA, possessed a heart of gold.
Solid, not gilded.
As an Anglican brother, Gerber (Bellwether Class of 2010) not only was devoted to God, family and ministry here on Earth, but he also was dedicated to charity, healthcare access to all and healthcare supply chain performance improvement.
Bellwether League Foundation recently learned that Gerber died on Saturday, August 15, 2020, from a sudden and unexpected pulmonary embolism, according to a statement release by Benedictines of Christ the King in Chicago. He was 69.
Gerber served the last 25 years in Sydney, Australia, after relocating there for the Order of St. Benedict in 1995. He happily lived as a “life-professed member” of the Anglican Benedictine Order, serving as the second Prior for three decades and as a theologian without seminary training. He considered his favorite Biblical character to be the prophet Nehemiah, whom God called to ministry and “granted great success in rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem and restoring proper worship,” according to the Benedictines’ profile of Gerber.
Br. Kirt Gerber, Ned’s older brother both in life, in healthcare supply chain and in Anglican Benedictine ministry, represented him at his official induction into the 2010 Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership.
Gerber developed the national Performance Indicators program for the American Society of Healthcare Materials Management (ASHMM) in the 1980s that was one of the earliest metrics for healthcare supply chain management. ASHMM now is known as the Association for Healthcare Resource and Materials Management (AHRMM).
Gerber steadfastly advocated for industry benchmarks and was a prolific author and speaker, considered by many as the “voice” of healthcare materials management in the late 20th century.
Gerber served in supply chain at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital before moving to Coopers & Lybrand to become the consulting firm’s resident healthcare supply chain expert. During his consulting career, which also included PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Health Consulting Practice (later sold to IBM) and North Sydney’s O’Connell Advisory, clients included many Fortune 500 companies, religious order hospital systems and the New South Wales Health Department. Gerber earned his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designations, which reinforced his reputation for valuable insights and leadership effectiveness.
Deborah Templeton, R.Ph., Chairman, Bellwether League Foundation, saluted Gerber’s contributions, impact and legacy.
“Whether as a consultant, author or speaker, Br. Gerber’s expertise in benchmarking and the development of the national Performance Indicators Program was used to drive excellence in supply chain,” Templeton said. “He continued to push the envelope for new ideas and worked tirelessly to serve his clients and make them a top priority. Br. Gerber’s contribution to supply chain will be carried on by those he educated throughout his career. We applaud this legacy and are grateful for these contributions.”
Mary Starr (Bellwether Class of 2018), Vice President, Member Services, Greenhealth Exchange, worked closely with Gerber in the 1980s on the healthcare supply chain metrics project.
"Ned was a brilliant man and incredibly committed to the work we did on those first performance indicators,” Starr recalled. “He had a wonderful knack for translating the data into real life scenarios when he spoke to the audience about the numbers. His work really had a large impact on our industry.”
Starr also served as on Bellwether League’s Board of Directors from 2010-2016 and as Board Treasurer from 2012 to 2016.
Ned Gerber's death will touch many and in so many ways, according to Jamie Kowalski (Bellwether Class of 2017), Bellwether League Foundation Co-Founder, Founding Chairman and Board Secretary.
“In his career, Ned contributed valuable guidance and provided assistance to many hospital clients that needed to find ways to operate more efficiently and enhance performance in their supply chains,” Kowalski noted. “Further, he orchestrated the first initiative to establish performance indicators for many aspects of materials management – as it was called back in the 1980s, on behalf of AHRMM, which was better known then as ASHMM.
“He was a gifted and convincing speaker, and his presentations were full of valuable content,” Kowalski remembered. “I had the privilege to present at a conference in Brainerd, Minnesota, where Ned was the headliner. His was a tough act to follow.“We shared a rental car to drive back to Milwaukee and had about seven hours to talk. That is when I learned about Ned as the amazing human being that he was; even more impressive than the professional that he was. So much to appreciate and admire. He just wanted to make this world, industry and profession … better. And he accomplished that. I am proud to say we became friends. May God bless him, and may he rest in peace. He’s earned it.”
Bellwether League Foundation comprises two operating divisions that educate, endow and evaluate professionals in healthcare supply chain performance excellence: The Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership and Bellwether Philanthropy.
The Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership evaluates and validates professionals submitted for consideration in its three award programs: Bellwether Honorees, Future Famers and Ammer Honorees. The Hall of Fame also offers educational content via the Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership Forum and its “Leaders & Luminaries” multimedia brand of live, online and printed content.
The Board selects deceased, retired and currently active professionals with a minimum of 25 years of exemplary service and leadership performance in supply chain operations that meet its criteria to be recognized publicly as Bellwether Class Honorees. Those honored demonstrate their qualifications by advancing the profession through work experience and performance and active participation in professional organizations and their communities.
Honorees include professionals from hospitals and other healthcare providers, manufacturers and distributors of healthcare products and services, group purchasing organizations, consulting firms, educational institutions and media outlets.
Future Famers represent supply chain professionals early in their healthcare careers who do not yet qualify for Bellwether consideration but have contributed meaningfully to the healthcare supply chain profession.
Honorees who receive the “Dean S. Ammer Award for Healthcare Supply Chain Performance Excellence” represent noteworthy executives and professionals in the middle of their careers who, through their innovative leadership and influential project management experience, best exemplify the practice and spirit of healthcare supply chain performance excellence.
To date, The Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership has honored 120 innovators, leaders and pioneers in healthcare supply chain management in five distinct categories: Education & Media, Supply Chain Management, Group Purchasing, Supplier and Consulting Services. Bellwether League also has recognized 30 Future Famers, and one Ammer Honoree.
Bellwether Philanthropy offers scholarships to college-bound high school students who plan to study supply chain curricula, current collegiate students who major in supply chain-related careers and professionals who pursue continuing education through associations and universities.
Launched in late July 2007 by a group of influential veterans in the healthcare supply chain industry, Bellwether League Foundation began as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation that identifies and honors men and women who have demonstrated significant leadership in, influence on and contributions to the healthcare supply chain. It upgraded to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in January 2021.
Bellwether League Foundation currently is funded by six Founding and Platinum Sponsors – HealthTrust, Intalere, Owens & Minor, Premier, Vizient and Wingfoot Media – and a host of additional sponsors.
For more information on how to become a sustaining or corporate sponsor or to nominate Bellwether Honoree, Ammer Honoree and Future Famer candidates visit BellwetherLeague.org.