2017 Provider Seat Candidate

Richard A. GuernseyRichard A. Guernsey, MBA, CMRP
Project Manager, Supply Chain Transformation Office
VA - Veterans Health Administration
Washington, D.C.


View Candidate Flyer »

Describe why you are a good candidate for this leadership role.

I have been involved in leadership positions with the United States Navy and as a civilian in the Federal Government for over 30 years. In 2012 I received a Senior Executive Service (SES) certification from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). I have been involved in leading supply chain initiatives for my entire career including contingency operations in Iraq and other foreign countries. In order to be an effective leader, you’ve got to be on the front lines. I have made it a point to do that throughout my career. In a healthcare setting, you can’t know what your customers need unless you see with your own eyes and feel their pain. Effective healthcare supply chain managers are critical members of the patient care team. You can only be accepted as a member of the team by creating an atmosphere of trust and instilling in your customers (your team mates) a confidence that you've got their back, they will get their stuff, and you will be there for them when needed.

Describe where you see healthcare evolving, and what you see supply chain’s role being in those future models.

Healthcare is evolving more and more to a patient-centered focus. Administering healthcare at the micro (patient) level is much more difficult than providing healthcare at the macro (regional or national) level. While we need to keep the big picture in mind, if we fail the patient we have failed indeed. This renewed emphasis on patient-centered healthcare will become more complex as patients demand (and deserve) better customer service. It will be Supply Chain's role to make this complex system simple and transparent. We work behind the scenes, solving tough problems so that crises are averted before they even happen. The successful Supply Chain Manager will anticipate clinical needs before the clinician knows what his or her needs are. Much more emphasis is needed on standardization and uniformity while maintaining the flexibility to serve one patient at a time.

How will your leadership and vision strengthen AHRMM?

The VA is currently undergoing the largest transformation in its history. I am pleased to be a part of that as it relates to supply chain. CQO (Cost, Quality, and Outcomes) is at the center of everything that I do. Through my efforts, the VA has adopted the CMRP (Certified Materials & Resource Professional) as our own supply chain certification program. It makes more sense to have an industry recognized certification than developing a home-grown certification like many other government programs have tried to do, with varying levels of success. Being leaders in the healthcare supply chain is not for the faint of heart. Long gone are the days in which the profession could be taught by word-of-mouth or on-the-job training. We cannot any longer be satisfied with the way things have always been done. I have the lead on instituting a new classification standard for supply chain management professionals at the VA which for the first time will include a positive education requirement (advanced degree preferred) and a professional certification requirement (CMRP preferred). Partnering with AHRMM, understanding their mission, and using the AHRMM strategy map as my professional guide has helped me to be successful in my organization. AHRMM is a good partner that I will continue to rely on in the difficult days ahead.

I would be pleased to take what I have learned, using my leadership and experience to help others catch the vision of advancing healthcare through supply chain excellence!


Total number of years as AHRMM Member: 5
Years in healthcare: 5
Years worked in the healthcare supply chain profession: 5
Years worked in current position: 1
Number of direct reports: 0
Number of employees in your department: 10
Type of Organization you are employed by: Military/VA/Government

Describe your current position and responsibilities:

I am a project manager in the Supply Chain Transformation Office. This is a new office that was stood up at VHA Central Office (VHACO) in January 2017 to oversee the transformation of VA’s supply chain. I am a former Facility Chief Logistics Officer (FCLO)/Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO), have led nation-wide efforts to standardize organization, structure and positions at VA Medical Centers across the country, and have been a strong proponent of improving supply chain practices for the benefit of our Veterans. I am retired from the Military (U.S. Navy Captain) and have worked in Supply and Logistics for my entire career.


List service to local chapter and to AHRMM national, including all committee/task force involvement, and whether you served as a member or as chair, within the past 5 years.

  • I am active in my local AHRMM (Rocky Mountain) Chapter, presenting on Supply Chain Transformation.
  • I currently serve on the AHRMM Membership committee.

List Annual Conferences, Leadership Training Conferences, and Thought Leader Summits attended, including dates and locations, within the past 5 years:

  • AHRMM14, Orlando
  • AHRMM16, San Diego
  • CMRP Course Bundle - 2015
  • Various webinars and seminars

Service to professional associations or community organizations to which you belong, including all committees, whether you served as a member or as chair, the year(s) of service, any elected offices held and the year(s) held:

  • President, Great Salt Lake Chapter of the Navy Supply Corps Foundation – 2 years, Founding President (2011-2012), current member.
  • Lead Facilitator for Community Emergency Operations Team – 2 years (2012 – 2013).  See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhPV-3oKXWo&feature=youtube_gdata_player. I remain active in my community.
  • Scout Master, Venturer Coach and active adult leader, Boy Scouts of America, 25 years (1980 – 2005).