Ryan Ouellet Ryan Ouellet, CMRP     

Supervisor, Supply Chain Services, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, La Mesa, CA    

Joined AHRMM in 2008

1. Please share your history of involvement with AHRMM committees/task forces/activities:

I have been an AHRMM member since 2008 and received my CMRP certification in 2010. I became interested in serving on a committee after receiving a committee election email. I applied and was fortunate to be selected by the Annual Conference Education Committee. I am currently in my second and final year with the Education Committee and looking into opportunities to serve on another committee in the future.

2. Tell us more about your specific job responsibilities in your company/hospital/organization:

Sharp HealthCare is a not-for-profit integrated regional health care delivery system located in San Diego, California. We are four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, two affiliated medical groups and a health plan. Sharp has 2,100 beds, approximately 2,600 physicians on medical staffs, more than 1,000 physicians in affiliated medical groups and more than 16,000 employees. As Supervisor of Supply Chain Services for Sharp Grossmont Hospital, my job is to support facility improvement projects at a continuously growing and evolving hospital. My team is involved in capital equipment planning/procurement/installation and we also oversee equipment tracking/utilization/disposition. I also serve as the site coordinator for our Physician Value Analysis Committee.

3. How many years have you been in your current role; how many years in supply chain?

I recently celebrated my eight year anniversary with Sharp HealthCare and have been in the Supervisor role for almost five years after being promoted from a Project Coordinator. Before my time with Sharp, I worked for another local healthcare system where I held the positions of Distribution Tech, Warehouse Buyer and Contracts Administrator. All together I have worked in healthcare supply chain management for 13 years.

4. What aspect of your job do you like best?

The best part of my job is helping the people of Sharp Grossmont Hospital. I strive for customer success in all my interactions and see my job as a facilitator tasked with simplifying the “work” of our support staff and frontline clinicians and physicians so that they can focus on providing the best patient experience. In my position, I am lucky to get to see the overall operations of the facility and the decision process guiding them, but I most enjoy meeting and working with a different group of people for each new project and getting to see the finished result.

5. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

For me the most challenging parts of my job can also be the most personally rewarding. Whether it is helping facilitate a Lean Six Sigma project as a Greenbelt or doing research for the Value Analysis team, any assignment that engages my problem-solving skills or academic background gives me the greatest sense of accomplishment.  

6. Who is your mentor/key influencer, and why?

Throughout my career I have been really lucky to have many influencers and mentors willing to share knowledge, offer guidance, and go out of their way to provide a learning opportunity. These people have all helped shape my work style as well as my career path. The most influential include Anthony Acosta from Palomar Health who convinced me to get onboard the supply chain train while I was finishing my undergraduate degree and undecided about my career path, Lynn Neidert my current Director of Supply Chain Services who continues to encourage and challenge me with new assignments, and my colleague Andy Grossman from Sodexo facilities management who is a gifted leader and my guide for finding balance in work and life.    

7. What AHRMM board/committee/task forces/activity/experience stands out/is most memorable for you?

I have only been involved in one AHRMM committee so far as an Annual Conference Education Committee member from 2015-2016. Our team is responsible for reviewing and approving the submissions, developing the educational tracks and schedule, supporting the speakers as they fine-tuned their presentations, and facilitating sessions at the conference. After attending the annual conference for years as an audience member it was even more energizing to be a part of the conference team. Making new friends and professional connections is definitely fun and what makes the experience enjoyable, but being an active participant and knowing that the team is shaping the direction of the volunteer opportunities in the future.

8. Why did you join AHRMM/what keeps you coming back?

I joined AHRMM on the suggestion of one of my past VPs and his recommendation to seek the CMRP certification. Since then it has become a resource for staying current on industry trends and my go-to source above all other healthcare supply chain industry publications. What keeps me coming back is the quality of the educational content, the responsiveness to member feedback and coverage of changing trends, and advocacy for healthcare supply chains. 

9. Name one AHRMM tool you “cannot do without”:

When AHRMM rolled out the Cost, Quality, and Outcomes (CQO) Movement a couple years ago, I think they did a great job in priming members for value based purchasing (VBP) by translating that methodology into a framework that the supply chain understands. I also think that when we as supply chain professionals approach purchasing decisions using this kind of model (that aligns with a hospital’s strategic goals) we elevate our status within the organization.

10. What are key AHRMM resources you use to leverage your supply chain processes?

I am a regular user of the Knowledge Center and the ListServ for researching new product requests for our Value Analysis Committee. Not having a clinical background, I start new requests by first educating myself on the technology, the competitors in the marketplace, and what other adopters are experiencing.

11. What is the best part of being involved in your professional association?

My personal philosophy on professional organizations and certifications is they are must-have career building blocks and enhancers, but the real value is in participating either in your local chapter or on a committee. To me, active involvement shows that you are committed to promoting and advancing both the organization and the profession. 

12. What is something most of your peers don’t know about you?

I am an avid cook and am always trying new recipes with my girlfriend. We enjoy cooking shows and are often inspired by an ingredient or a cooking technique that we have never used before. A typical Saturday evening is “fancy dinner night” where we try more complicated recipes with a lot of ingredients and steps. We started our Saturday tradition this past year and so far we have made some amazing meals… just don’t ask me about the paella.

13. In my free time I like to:

Working in the hospital setting gives me a daily reminder that my own health is something I need to protect. Keeping fit also has the added benefit of giving me the energy to stay sharp at work all day long. I try to maintain an active lifestyle by choosing enjoyable activities like mountain biking, hiking, running, and snowboarding.

14. Personal Motto or Favorite Quote:

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." ~ Thomas Edison