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Health Care New Castle County News Statewide

ChristianaCare launches supplier diversity program

Katie Tabeling
ChristianaCare Wilmington Campus. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING

ChristianaCare Wilmington Campus. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING

WILMINGTON — ChristianaCare has launched a supplier diversity program that aims to give minority-owned suppliers a greater opportunity to obtain contracts with the state’s largest health care system.

Announced at the end of January, the new program opens the door for businesses owned and run by minorities, women, veterans, service-disabled veterans, LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities to become part of ChristianaCare’s supply chain. Companies that qualify as a diverse business supplier have 51% or more stock or equity in the business.

ChristianaCare, which is the largest private employer in Delaware, spent more than $100 million on supplies in 2022, according to representatives. The health care system hired Etmara Offe as its first senior program manager of supplier diversity.

“ChristianaCare’s commitment to expand and strengthen our partnerships with diverse vendors and suppliers is integral to our strategic plan to embed equity throughout our operations and culture,” ChristianaCare Vice President of Supply Chain Jennifer Garvin said. “We want to continue to grow and develop our diverse network of suppliers and vendors and obtain the best products at the best price. This program gives us a platform to connect with smaller, historically disadvantaged firms.” 

ChristianaCare is also planning an internal supplier mentoring program and outreach events for 2023.

Back in August, ChristianaCare officials first hinted that it was building a diverse supply chain dashboard when U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Rachel Levine met with business leaders to discuss how First State is working to support the LGBTQ+ community.

ChristianaCare Director of Inclusion & Diversity Natalie Torres told Levine at the roundtable event that her role was to ensure a team of diverse practitioners in a system that spans the tri-state region.

“But more importantly, it’s also to curate a culture that aligns to our organization’s values,” she said on Aug. 19. “We often talk about systemic changes that need to happen within our bounds, as we continue to grow and expand the business landscape of giving care.”

Supply chain diversity is on the minds of company and state leaders in the past years, with millions spent on contracts with major companies with a large footprint. 

Delaware alone spent $1.8 billion between 2015 and 2020 on construction, goods and services, but businesses owned by people of color received less than 7%, according to a study completed by  MGT Consulting Group. That equates to $113 million.

For more information of ChristianaCare’s diversity supplier program, visit christianacare.org/about/supplier-diversity/

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