Have a story idea
Have a story idea? Send it to us here.
Source : Contractor News
January 14, 2023
Author : Patty Allen
There is an unprecedented effort by federal and state government agencies to provide equal opportunities to previously discriminated sections of society across the country and in various sectors.
Contractor News has reported on how various city and state agencies undertake Disparity Studies to measure disparities in contracts for government construction and procurement.
The largest municipal healthcare system in the country, NYC Health + Hospitals, has announced that it has spent over $747 million on minority- and women-owned firms during fiscal 2022. This represents a 3,000% increase in M/WBE spending when compared to the $24 million dedicated to M/WBE firms in the fiscal year 2017. It also represents 32% of the health system's total qualified procurement spending.
The unprecedented amount of support for M/WBE comes as a result of a determined effort to improve how the healthcare system contracts and manages its supply chain services by encouraging and finding more M/WBEs to respond to requests for bids and other requests. They introduced new regulations to promote M/WBE participation, such as awarding points to M/WBEs or M/WBE subcontractors in solicitations and allowing M/WBEs to make discretionary purchases worth less than a million dollars.
Its management team launched its first vendor diversity strategy in 2021. In the same year, the system spent $419 million with minority and women-owned firms, up from $124 million in 2020.
The hospital system did business with 363 M/WBE companies in the last financial year. M/WBEs are in charge of various commodities and services essential to the healthcare system, such as information technology, office furniture, facility maintenance, marketing, moving services, and temporary staffing.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “This administration is committed to increasing utilization of minority- and women-owned business enterprises, and NYC Health + Hospitals is a perfect example of this effort. Over the past five years, the city’s health system has been dedicated to expanding and purchasing from its pool of eligible businesses, and that has paid off with a record $747 million spent with M/WBEs. As a city we will continue this trend and expand our investments in M/WBEs."
Over the years, the health system's vendor diversity and procurement teams used these technologies and invested in them further by employing additional people. Executive leadership subsequently formalized these methods in the health system's first vendor diversity policy, which was implemented in 2021.
NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD has remarked that the health system aims to invest in the communities it provides care for, including maximizing the money it spends with minority- and women-owned enterprises. The procurement team is always looking for methods to expand their M/WBE portfolio.
“The Board of Directors are extremely conscious of our responsibility to minority- and women-owned businesses, which is why we carefully evaluate every contract that comes before us for approval," said NYC Health + Hospital's Chair of the Board, José A. Pagán. "Dr. Katz, Dr. DiBari, and the entire team have increased the number of M/WBEs in our portfolio and the amount spent year over year. It's a model for other health systems."