Bellwether League, Inc.Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership salutes 4 in Future Famers Class of 2022

SCHAUMBURG, IL (June 27, 2022) – Bellwether League Foundation’s Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership will recognize and welcome four professionals into the Future Famers Class of 2022 this fall. They join 33 earlier recipients of this notable honor.

The Hall of Fame’s Future Famers recognition honors supply chain professionals making significant contributions to their organizations and industry during the first decade or so of their careers as “rising stars” in the profession.

The Future Famers Class of 2022 includes the following professionals: Ryan R. Burke, Vice President, Strategic Sourcing, Pandion Optimization Alliance, Rochester, NY; René A. Gurdián, Assistant Vice President, Supply Chain Finance and Strategy. Ochsner Health, New Orleans, LA; Caroline Marion, Manager, Supply Chain Clinical Engagement and Implementation, Novant Health, Wilmington, NC; and Allison T. Tidd, Assistant Vice President, Contracts, Atrium Health/Atrium Health Supply Chain Alliance, Charlotte, NC.

All four represent examples of the next-generation supply chain leader with deep ties in the clinical and information technology realms that motivate colleagues to unite around a common mission and vision during crises and day-to-day operations.

The Future Famers Class of 2022 will be recognized at the 15th Annual Bellwether League Foundation Induction & Recognition Event (BLFIRE), scheduled for Monday, October 3, at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.

“I am so pleased to welcome these professionals to our Future Famers Class of 2022,” said Deborah Templeton, R.Ph., Chairman, Bellwether League Foundation. “It is apparent that they are already contributing to the healthcare supply chain in so many positive ways. It is our honor to recognize them as they continue to grow in the profession.”

Future Famers Class of 2022

Ryan Burke began his healthcare supply chain career earlier than many because he started as a purchasing intern while an undergraduate in college before becoming an Operating Room and Emergency Room buyer for a Rochester hospital. From those frontline roots he consistently worked his way up, learning the fine art and science of product planning, vendor sourcing, contract negotiations and management – particularly honing skills during the COVID-19 pandemic. In his current role, Burke conducts daily online safety checks with staff as well as routine one-to-one leadership huddles to reinforce morale. He also mentors industrial engineering students and speaks at Rochester Institute of Technology. Through Burke’s efforts, his regional organization has netted year-over-year contract volume growth exceeding 40%, and his organization’s members have generated more than $10 million in aggregate savings.

During 2020 and 2021, René Gurdián faced a confluence of crises as his organization battled as a spiking COVID-19 hotspot, and then experienced a Delta Variant surge the following year, coupled with Hurricane Ida hitting the Gulf Coast and significantly damaging multiple rural hospitals within the system. Through it all, Gurdian buttressed the supply chain: He helped set up personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and a strategic stockpile initiative for necessary PPE, intravenous fluids and respiratory products that was housed in a former department store facility accessible to system hospitals. During the pandemic, Gurdian also worked with his team of sourcing directors to track and improve service lines for savings opportunities, realizing nearly $9 million in cost reductions, as well as evaluated and strengthened a purchased services contract for standardization and savings goals even as his organization acquired and merged with another system.

Caroline Marion consistently demonstrated how to keep cool under pressure, particularly when demand surges generated urgent, rushed and panicked requests with little time for proper planning. Instead, Marion exhibited calm resolve, showcasing her ability to be creative, flexible and strategic in thinking and actions that built and reinforced organization-wide confidence in supply chain. Under her leadership, a new asset tracking program was implemented for equipment needed for patient treatment during the pandemic. She also worked with clinician, information technology and supply chain staff to manage more efficiently the use of critical care and medical/surgical products as part of a project that netted more than $500,000 in savings. This also included the development and implementation of an N95 disinfection and repackaging process to create sustainable inventory to weather surging demand. Marion also converted in-person supply chain education criteria to computer-based learning modules during the pandemic, which continues as an available method and option.

In leading contract negotiations for a hospital system-launched regional group purchasing organization, Allison Tidd fuses firmness and transparency with fairness and professional courtesy in a way that benefits both provider and supplier. With her background in value analysis, Tidd cultivates and generates administrative and clinician support internally so that both groups are empowered to make optimal decisions for their respective operations and procedures. Tidd also served as a beacon when staff had to navigate through remote workflow just as the organization was onboarding another organizational acquisition. She brought disparate groups together when product access and sourcing issues required a meeting of the minds between data integrity, operations, purchasing and clinical end users. Tidd consistently advocated for collaboration and support between relevant clinical and administrative groups that occasionally included C-suite executives so that everyone remained united under common goals and objectives.


About Bellwether League Foundation

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 and professional development content via the Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership Forum and its “Leaders & Luminaries” multimedia of 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.

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 profession and industry.

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 129 innovators, leaders and pioneers in healthcare supply chain management in five distinct categories: Education & Media, Supply Chain Management (Provider), Group Purchasing, Supplier and Consulting Services. Bellwether League Foundation also has recognized 37 Future Famers, and two Ammer Honorees.

Bellwether Philanthropy offers grants, scholarships and capstone educational and developmental projects 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 upgraded to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in January 2021.

Bellwether League Foundation currently is funded by six Founding and Platinum Sustaining Sponsors – GHX, HealthTrust, Owens & Minor, Premier, Vizient and Wingfoot Media – and a host of additional sustaining sponsors at multiple levels.

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.