Actions, not titles, make a great leader: Q&A with Mass General Brigham's supply chain VP

Lisa Scannell, vice president of supply chain management at Mass General Brigham, joined the Somerville, Mass.-based health system 28 years ago. In that time, she's worked her way up from materials management manager to VP.

Here, she answers five supply leader questions from Becker's.

Editor's note: responses have been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

Question: What piqued your interest in healthcare supply chain?

Lisa Scannell: I was exploring a career change at the time and a friend mentioned that Mass General Hospital was hiring. I was immediately intrigued, as I had many family members who were treated at MGH and received such compassionate, world-class care. The mission really resonated with me. Today, I couldn’t be prouder to be part of the Mass General Brigham system and ensure our facilities have the supplies and services needed to deliver care centered around our patients.

Q: What are a few of your top priorities for 2023?

LS: Supporting Mass General Brigham’s strategic initiatives, like advancing the system’s Home-Based Care strategy, is a top priority. Our other top priorities are enhancing resiliency, digital and analytics, and spend governance. Our supply chain strategic plan changed significantly because of the unprecedented global supply chain disruptions we experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the new resiliency challenges we are grappling with in the post-pandemic world. Supply chain resiliency is a complex problem that leaders across industries are trying to address. In response, my team formulated a resiliency roadmap, and we are working on refining and advancing our strategy.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment as chief supply chain officer?

LS: The biggest accomplishment of my career has been leading my team throughout the pandemic to address all the obstacles and the demands put on supply chain. We have a responsibility to protect Mass General Brigham staff and patients, and we are achieving this goal.

Q: If you could pass along a piece of advice to other hospital supply chain leaders, what would it be?

LS: I believe great organizations and leaders invest in their teams, surround themselves with people with diverse ideas and talents, and always strive to do the right thing for their organization. Without a strong, collaborative, innovative team, a leader cannot be successful.

Q: What's the best piece of leadership advice you ever received?

LS: I have been fortunate to work with strong leaders throughout my career and the most effective leaders demonstrated that a title doesn’t make a great leader, actions do.

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