The desk you’re sitting in, the computer you’re typing on, the equipment in your biology lab, the hospital’s medical and surgical supplies, the equipment used for patient care and the food you eat in the Jaguar Student Activities Center or Terrace Dining are all examples of goods and services procured by Enterprise Supply Chain Management office at Augusta University and the health system.
Every item bought for the campus or hospital flows through the Enterprise Supply Chain office, at least in some capacity, explains Gregory Woodlief, senior manager for Purchasing and Contract Management for Augusta University.
“We also help the facilities team on construction bids,” Woodlief said. “That means helping to select the best construction company to build new buildings. We all play some role in acquiring a good or service on campus. The departments start with a need and we expedite the purchase and get them what they need as quickly as possible.”
Margaret Tanksley, Buyer II, has worked for the hospital purchasing team for more than 20 years. She purchases medical supplies, equipment and anything else hospital staff needs.
“Purchasing is the heart of the hospital,” she said. “We try to make sure everyone has what they need to in order to do their job to the best of their ability, because at the end of the day it’s all about the patient and making sure they receive the best care possible.”
In addition to standard items such as copy paper, computers and desks, sometimes the purchasing team is asked to procure some pretty unique items, such as cephalous specimens or cadaver heads, which are used by students to provide realistic learning experiences.
“Students use the specimens to review intricate anatomy and refine their surgical techniques in order to provide patients higher quality care,” Woodlief said.
Woodlief and his team are also responsible for purchasing the mice and rats used in cancer research. Additionally, they provide researchers with dosimetry services, which are radiation detection devices worn by technicians in labs that use X-ray equipment.
“We send the tags back to the provider so exposure to radiation can be monitored,” said Woodlief.
The purchasing office has also bought nurse call stations for the Georgia War Veterans Home to improve nurse response times and patient care. In the past, the Purchasing Team has also bought simulation lab mannequins which are used today by students in the Medical College of Georgia, College of Nursing, Allied Health Sciences and more as tools to learn key skills prior to engaging real patients.
Jacqueline Cooper, senior contracting specialist, is a buyer for The Dental College of Georgia. She is responsible for buying software, medical supplies and, sometimes, even teeth. Since the consolidation, Cooper has also been charged with buying for athletics.
She purchases sports equipment, maintains contracts for uniforms and makes sure all courts and fields and maintained.
“It’s been fun because it’s new and something we’ve never done before,” she said. “It’s a learning experience. I love sports and I’m getting to go behind the scenes. It’s something different that I enjoy doing.”
Tanksley said she’s passionate about her work in the purchasing office.
“It’s rewarding because I know I’m doing something that makes an impact on our patients, the medical staff and the remainder of the employees for the entire hospital,” she said.
In January, Gov. Nathan Deal declared March as Purchasing Month in Georgia.
“This is an opportunity to recognize the hard work of Enterprise Supply Chain and all staff on campus that assist with the purchasing process from the end-users that request items to the receiving and distribution team that delivers products to the departments,” said Woodlief.