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Steve Lawler receives national S.U.R.E. award

March 05, 2012 by Carissa D. Etters

GREENVILLE,NC— Steve Lawler, president of Vidant Medical Center, is one of three healthcare executives in the United States named a 2012 national winner of the HealthCare Purchasing News magazine S.U.R.E. award.  

The prestigious award recognizes presidents and chief executive officers of health care systems and hospitals that support supply chain activities. 

S.U.R.E. stands for supports, understands, recognizes, and empowers supply chain managers to be successful as strategic partners at the executive table.  Lawler was chosen as a finalist because he understands that buying good products and good value are the key to Vidant Medical Center’s future success. 

Lawler’s selection was aided by several key initiatives that he has led.  He was instrumental in creating  the Central Atlantic Health Network, LLC, (CAHN) a three-state, five-member regional purchasing coalition supported by VHA Inc., the national health care network. By aggregating their product spend that reached $800 million in 2011, these five health systems have been able to negotiate additional contract savings beyond what they could have achieved individually. He is also recognized for his national leadership on reducing hospital acquired methycillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections.  Vidant Medical Center was the nation’s first hospital to test all incoming patients for MRSA.  Such testing virtually eliminated patients being admitted with community-acquired MRSA by immediately treating them for the infection.  Thus it reduced the antibiotics patients received during their stay while improving the quality of care delivered.  Lawler also works with physician leaders to drive down the costs of supplies.  In November 2011, Vidant Medical Center  supply chain management reported supply savings of nearly $7 million for their 2011 fiscal year. Those savings are reinvested back into patient services.   

“I would call Steve the ultimate coach,” said Preston N. Comeaux III, Vidant Health vice president for financial support services and supply chain management. “He provides us with, or enables us to have, the tools necessary to do a good job for our function and ultimately for our patients, and tries to eliminate any barriers we might have to accomplishing our goals.”  

“It is certainly an honor to be selected for this award,” said Lawler. “However, it truly represents the superb efforts of our supply chain team, our physicians and other  valued partners in helping us explore and deliver new and innovative ways to improve the care of our patients and how we run our business. I am pleased to accept this recognition on the behalf of our entire team.” 

Taylor White, senior vice president, VHA SupplyNetworks™ said, “Steve appreciates the strategic value of applying a broad array of supply chain processes and strategies in a collective environment. His work with CAHN has proven that sophisticated supply chain strategies can result in bottom-line savings, better quality of care and improved patient satisfaction.”  

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