Timothy Hale, MSHS, CMRP
Military Instructor, Ministry of National Guard – Saudi Arabia’s medical command
Joined AHRMM in 2004
1. Please share your history of involvement with AHRMM committees/task forces/activities:
I attended my first AHRMM conference in 2004 and became a member that year as well. I studied and received my CMRP designation four years later in 2008. I was a member of the Issues & Legislative committee from 2008-10 when I researched Emergency Preparedness as it applied to Hospital Supply Chain management. An Army Officer at the time, I was deployed for the 2008-09 timeframe and the committee was very accommodating to my unpredictable work/operational schedule. During this time, I was able to provide research about how supply chain operations impacted and affected costs, quality, and outcomes of their efforts to supporting local disasters and emergency preparedness efforts.
2. Tell us more about your specific job responsibilities in your company/hospital/organization:
I actively manage three sections that teach medical operations, logistics and information technology/management to the Ministry of National Guard – Saudi Arabia’s medical command. I use my background as an Army medical logistics officer and AHRMM member to provide and integrate our best practices with the doctrine used in Saudi Arabia to provide logistics and health service support across an integrated battlefield. In classes such as life cycle management as well as warehouse management I’ve used the tenets of AHRMM to augment the lessons provided and relate what the soldiers do on a daily basis back to commercial ventures and examples.
As we develop and advise the Soldiers on military doctrine, I also incorporate what I’ve learned from personal research into our field and shamelessly pull from the AHRMM Lexicon and Knowledge Center to provide real-world definitions. Additionally, I pull from our industrial resources, domestically and internationally, comparing how AHRMM conducts supply chain management with other industry leaders such the International Society of Logistics, HIMSS, Healthcare Financial Management Association, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (an international logistics association). These organizations provide me a great depth and breadth of knowledge on how others are providing supply chain management, so I may be able to provide even more to my immediate client – the Medical Command of the Ministry of National Guard.
Finally, as we teach and provide best practices on tactical/operational supply chain management, we also look at the future and what is on the horizon for healthcare as well as in foreign policy. So, I’ve added to list of resources another personal membership group under the AHA - The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD). I believe that in order to provide the best supply chain management possible to our clients, customers and peers, we need to continue growing in our knowledge base of our profession, as well as in those that we coordinate and partner with – healthcare leadership, marketers, financial advisors and process improvement/quality control officers. As a coordinated effort, we can achieve more, be more efficient, and reduce overall costs to healthcare.
3. How many years have you been in your current role; how many years in supply chain?
I began this position March of 2014, and have contracted for an additional year while I job search stateside. I began my healthcare supply chain career as a medical logistics officer in 1997 (nearly 20 years ago) when I attended the Army’s ‘Kilo Course’. Since then, I have worked as a healthcare supply chain professional during deployments to South Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I’ve also served in progressive leadership positions at medical hospitals and ambulatory care clinics as a Logistics Readiness Officer and Chief of Logistics.
4. What aspect of your job do you like best?
I have a great peer group and the soldiers that I train are welcoming. I am able to mentor soldiers on best practices of healthcare supply chain management while they conduct their daily duties and support their commander’s orders and operations. My part is providing them all the tools available so they can complete their tasks as best as they can while sustaining the health of their military peers.
5. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Sometimes the most challenging aspect of this position is being able to train. Schedules get miscommunicated and training has to be adjusted or moved. That is alright, provided we are still able to eventually train the soldiers on what they’ve asked us to provide as well as inserting our own understanding and best practices to facilitate professional growth.
6. Who is your mentor/key influencer, and why?
That is a very hard question to respond to; I’ve had many mentors over the course of my military career. The first was a healthcare administrator (Medical Operations) that instilled in me the importance of belonging to a community of like-minded individuals.
I’ve carried that lesson with me throughout my career and beyond. Recently, Greg Glassman, CEO of CrossFit, spoke to the Harvard Divinity School on the importance of community. Through community we gain strength, have peers that we can reach out to, see advice, share ideas. Our community of AHRMM is the embodiment of that as well. We are executives, warehouse operators, material handlers, and item managers. We all share the same common goal – provide the best healthcare possible through our actions and skills.
7. What AHRMM board/committee/task forces/activity/experience stands out/is most memorable for you?
My best experiences of AHRMM have to be the annual conferences. No other time do we see and have so many of our peers together discussing issues, sharing ideas, and proliferating best practices.
8. Why did you join AHRMM/what keeps you coming back?
I received some excellent advice early in my military career “seek certification and maintain it”; that is what I have done since 2004 when I joined AHRMM. I knew that my military career would only run for a number of years and following that I would need to pursue another career. Through my involvement with AHRMM and what it’s provided me, I maintain in constant contact with the leading healthcare supply chain practices (in the United States) while operating outside of its influential power base overseas in Saudi Arabia. I should note that internationally I have been unable to find a similar organization that provides the specificity of healthcare supply chain that AHRMM provides. CIPS is an internationally known logistics organization/association, but their area of expertise is more general logistics, not specific sectors of the logistics market. In fact, CIPS reported last year that due to its differences, healthcare supply chain practitioners need to avoid practicing the standard supply chain model – for the sake of simplicity and flexibility.
9. Name one AHRMM tool you “cannot do without”:
The Lexicon - it serves as a standard benchmark that I can rely on and trust when training and advising on best practices of supply chain management.
10. What are key AHRMM resources you use to leverage your supply chain processes?
• Knowledge Center
• Supply Chain Strategies & Solutions articles
• Case studies
• Leading practices
• White papers
• RFP Library
• Career Advancement Guide
11. What is the best part of being involved in your professional association?
I believe that our community has a shared belief and practice; we seek to improve the delivery of healthcare through our part in supply chain management. We reduce costs, improve efficiency, and directly impact healthcare and how it's delivered. That shared belief means that we can share our strengths and witnesses with each other. We can collaborate on best practices and methods – seeing what works in an urban setting and re-working it to fit a rural setting. There is so much that we can contribute to healthcare that is a bit overwhelming to think about.
12. What is something most of your peers don’t know about you?
I am a CrossFit L1 trainer and Regional Competition Judge; I completed a Healthcare MBA graduate program and now i'm studying Lean Six Sigma methodologies.
13. In my free time I like to:
My current free time is filled with programming my personal CrossFit workouts as well as researching healthcare and logistics topics.
14. Personal Motto or Favorite Quote:
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” - Theodore Roosevelt; and “Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.” – Dag Hammarskjold