Allen Archer, CMRP
System Director of Supply Chain, Houston Healthcare System, Centerville, GA
Joined AHRMM in 2007
1. Please share your history of involvement with AHRMM committees/task forces/activities:
My first experience was in July 2009 when I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the AHRMM Conference. In August 2009, I obtained my CMRP. Then from 2010-2012, I attended and presented at the conferences. In January 2013 I joined the Education Committee and returned to the conference in 2015. I am still active on the Education Committee and am now heavily involved at the affiliate level, having been named Chair-Elect for the Georgia Society for Healthcare Materials Management (GSHMM).
2. Tell us more about your specific job responsibilities in your company/hospital/organization:
In my current role as System Director of Supply Chain Management for Houston Healthcare, I am challenged with transitioning Houston Healthcare’s traditional hospital based Materials Management Department into a clinically integrated Supply Chain focused on managing the intersection of cost, quality, and patient outcomes.
3. How many years have you been in your current role; how many years in supply chain?
I have been at Houston Healthcare in Warner Robins, GA since April 2015. Previously, I worked for 17 years in various roles for Wellmont Health System supply chain in Kingsport, TN.
4. What aspect of your job do you like best?
I love how we get to engage at multiple points in the healthcare enterprise. Whether it’s insuring that a Cardiologist has the Drug Eluting Stents they need, or working to insure that our Emergency Medical Service’s new Ambulance is correctly outfitted, we have the opportunity to affect change in a variety of ways.
5. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
The most challenging aspect would be balancing the traditional mindset of reduce expense at all cost versus insuring that our clinicians have the most advanced supplies and technology they need to produce high quality patient outcomes. Often these requirements contradict and we must understand the need to build bridges with our clinicians and providers to balance cost and clinical outcomes.
6. Who is your mentor/key influencer, and why?
Looking back through my career, I have had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with numerous individuals in the supply chain industry. Many have impacted my career, all have taught me something, but no-one has had more of an impact on my career than Brent Petty. Twelve years ago I went to work for Brent as a Buyer and two weeks later he invited me to meet with our Revenue Cycle and Finance leaders. For the first time in my life I could not follow the conversation around the table, and everyone looked at me seemingly asking “who is this kid?” But Brent kept “bringing me to the table” and just like he told me, “eventually they got used to seeing me there” and after a while “they missed me when I wasn’t there.” Now that I have the opportunity to lead the conversation, I know just how important that mentorship is to professional development.
7. What AHRMM board/committee/task forces/activity/experience stands out/is most memorable for you?
For me the most memorable effort has been the rollout of the Cost, Quality, Outcomes (CQO) Movement and the role that the national education committee has had in sustaining that movement through the development of national education initiatives over the past three years.
8. Why did you join AHRMM/what keeps you coming back?
I see AHRMM as an opportunity to share and to learn from others. One of the basic truths that I learned from my mentor is that “the sign at the road may be different, but the problems we face are all the same.” Having transitioned to a new organization, I am learning first-hand just how true this statement is. With this in mind, I am convinced that the answers to our biggest issues can be found by working alongside our colleagues miles away from each other - collaborating. Together we can reshape our industry.
9. Name one AHRMM tool you “cannot do without”:
The number one AHRMM tool that I have is the collaboration with my colleagues on the Education Committee and the numerous other members that I have had the opportunity to get to know over the years. There is no better resource for me than the knowledge and experience that my fellow members have shared with me and I hope that I too can be a resource for them.
10. What are key AHRMM resources you use to leverage your supply chain processes?
11. What is the best part of being involved in your professional association?
I enjoy the great conversations with my peers. Learning from each other and understanding that the effort we put in, the successes we share all have the ability to impact the quality of care not just at my facility, but across the country and even around the world.
12. What is something most of your peers don’t know about you?
I enjoy working with Hot Air Balloons. Leonardo Da Vinci once said “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” There is nothing like being just above the treetops flying with the wind feeling nothing but the warmth of the sun on your face, and then seeing the eyes of those who stand in awe of the balloon. While I am not a pilot, yet, one day I hope to complete my training and surf the wind.
13. In my free time I like to:
I like to spend my time with my beautiful wife and our two dogs. We like to take long walks and we are amused by our dogs, and how they interact with each other. One is very small and the other is not, and surprisingly the little one rules the roost and it is so funny watching them together. Up until recently I would spend most of my spare time working with teenagers with a ministry called YoungLife. With a mission to reach kids where they are, our goal is to show our high school friends how much they are loved. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 says it best: “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well”
14. Personal Motto or Favorite Quote:
"You must be the change you hope to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." ~ Mark Twain
"If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers." ~ Edward Hodnet