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Management students analyze supply chains at Kaleida Health

From left: Hongtao Wang, Akshay Belawadi, Ying-Long Wang, Siddarth Prakash and Shaochen He

By Kevin Manne

During the spring semester, 10 students in the Master of Science in Supply Chains and Operations Management program worked to help optimize how Kaleida Health, Western New York's largest health care provider, serves its patients.

For their integrative study course, students formed two groups and analyzed different areas of the $1.2 billion organization. One group focused on materials management processes at Buffalo General Medical Center, the other on strategic sourcing and value analysis for Kaleida Health overall.

The materials management group attended a surgery at Buffalo General Medical Center and toured health care supplier Cardinal Health. They looked at how operating room supplies are prepared and identified opportunities to reduce waste.

The value analysis group studied the supplies doctors use throughout Kaleida Health and developed a process flowchart for the entire organization.

From the school's Operations Management and Strategy Department, Nallan Suresh, UB Distinguished Professor and chair, and Jurriaan de Jong, assistant professor, served as faculty advisors for the project.

"With the rising cost of health care, reducing supply chain costs while maintaining high clinical quality is more important than ever," says De Jong. "These students are spearheading efforts to improve supply chains in a hospital environment."

Kaleida Health representatives Rick Tresmond, vice president of supply chain management; Diane Artieri, director of materials management; and Janet Bezinque, director of value analysis, all worked closely with the students throughout the project.

Tresmond says the project was informative and collaborative.

"We hope to create an alliance between the two organizations to support the clinical sector in supply chain management strategies," he says. "I look forward to future engagements with the university."