Pictured at the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC) Choice Awards in Philadelphia in December are (left to right) Calvin Johnson, MD, Highmark board member; Gary Foster, vice president of procurement for Highmark Health; Valarie Cofield, president of the EMSDC; and Robert James, program manager for supplier diversity at Highmark Health. Highmark Health was recognized at the Choice Awards as the Regional Corporation of the Year, and Robert James received the Corporate Advocate of the Year award.
PITTSBURGH (Dec. 13, 2017) In recognition of its commitment to supplier diversity, national health and wellness organization Highmark Health was named "Regional Corporation of the Year" by the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC) at its Choice Awards held December 1 in Philadelphia.
"This prestigious recognition is bestowed upon Highmark Health for its commitment to Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council diverse suppliers in its supply chain and for creating substantial business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises," said Valarie J. Cofield, president of EMSDC.
Accepting the supplier diversity award was Gary Foster, vice president of procurement for Highmark Health. In addition, Robert James, Highmark Health's program manager for supplier diversity was recognized at the Choice Awards as the "Corporate Advocate of the Year." Said Cofield, "We are honored to recognize you not just for supporting the mission of the EMSDC, but also for serving as a strong supporter of other organizations dedicated to diversity and inclusion and minority business enterprises."
In addition to supporting a robust and growing supplier diversity program in which 90% of its requests for proposals in 2016 included a bid from a certified minority supplier, Highmark Health launched an inaugural small business forum in 2017 that offered corporate procurement-supplier matchmaking and how-to seminars related to accessing capital and delivering a winning pitch. Highmark Health served as presenting sponsor for the annual EMSDC golf outing and learn-to-golf event, the proceeds from which support scholarships for minority youth and for entrepreneurs to attend prominent executive schools of business. And Highmark Health also initiated a mentor-protégé pilot program in 2017 that provides mentoring to diverse suppliers in reaching their growth objectives.
"We appreciate the recognition by the EMSDC," said Karen Hanlon, Highmark Health's chief financial officer. "As an organization, we make diversity and inclusion a top priority. We know that diverse employees and suppliers fuel innovative solutions and competitive advantages.
"We truly value the goods and services as well as the savings that EMSDC suppliers have yielded us enabling us to continue to meet our mission of providing access to high-quality, accessible and affordable health care solutions for our customers," said Hanlon.
The Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC), a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). There are 23 regional councils across the country with more than 1,750 corporate members. The EMSDC certifies and connects minority-owned businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American) throughout Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware with member corporations who are committed to supplier development and want to purchase their products, services and solutions. To learn more, visit emsdc.org.
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, Pa. based enterprise that employs more than 40,000 people nationwide and serves nearly 50 million Americans in all 50 states, is the second largest integrated health care delivery and financing network in the nation based on revenue. Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to nearly 5 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware as well as dental insurance, vision care and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses that include United Concordia Companies, HM Insurance Group, Davis Vision and Visionworks. Allegheny Health Network is the parent company of an integrated delivery network that includes eight hospitals, more than 2,800 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions focuses on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge and integrated cloud-based platforms. To learn more, visit www.highmarkhealth.org
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