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Ed Hardin (1967-2021), bridge builder, mentor and partnership evangelist, remembered by Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership
Edmond D. Harding, Jr. (1967-2021), Bellwether Class of 2020
SCHAUMBURG, IL (February 13, 2021) – If you characterized Ed Hardin as a man of faith, he would have considered it accurate, a compliment and an honor.
Verily, Hardin was a man of faith – in God first, of course. But he loved his wife of 30 years Julie, with whom he had been lifelong friends since the fourth grade, and family; he cherished and respected his team and colleagues at Froedtert Health and believed in the mission of healthcare and in the supply chain profession.
As an educator and mentor Hardin emphasized creating collaborative work environments that cause people “to wake up every day loving what they do and loving who they’re doing it with.” He advocated for relationships between clinicians and administrators, between suppliers and providers, to extend beyond the transactional, tactical and strategic and into authentic partnerships united on common goals.
And his philosophy was completely real, deeply embedded and wholesomely genuine. Coupled with his solid ethics, Hardin represented a class act all around.
Hardin, 54, passed away peacefully at his home in Milwaukee on Wednesday morning, February 10, after a courageous and valiant battle with stage 4 colon cancer, Bellwether League Foundation learned.
Last October, Hardin was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership as a member of the Bellwether Class of 2020.
Deborah Templeton, R.Ph., Chairman, Bellwether League Foundation, commended Hardin for his commitment, dedication and devotion to and servant leadership in healthcare supply chain.
“Bellwether League was founded and funded for a purpose,” Templeton said. “Within the rankings of those chosen as Bellwethers we find individuals that meet that purpose, to recognize those individuals for their innovative and visionary achievements, accomplishments and dedication to leadership and high-quality healthcare delivery. Ed Hardin was one such individual. Although taken at a relatively young age, we are proud to have been able to recognize Ed before his passing. He will leave a legacy, true to Bellwether standards. Those that were fortunate enough to have received his mentorship and guidance will cherish those moments. For others, they will be served by the lessons that he leaves behind.”
For more remembrances from the Bellwether Community, read on below. If you would like to share your own thoughts about Ed Hardin, please email them to Bellwether League Foundation at email@example.com to be recorded in this memorial.
Hardin stitched together a solid but storied career, roughly split between healthcare supply chain executive roles in the latter half and management consulting positions in the former half with university teaching and humanitarian work interwoven throughout.
Hardin most recently served as Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Froedtert Health, Milwaukee. He came to Froedtert in 2018 after serving as Senior Vice President, Supply Chain Management, at Beaumont Health, Southfield, MI, for nearly two years, before it was sold to HCA.
Prior to Beaumont, Hardin served for nearly five years as Vice President, Supply Chain Management, at CHRISTUS Health, Fort Worth, TX, a faith-based, international healthcare system with locations in the United States and Latin America. Under his leadership, the CHRISTUS Supply Chain team earned the 2016 Supply Chain Department of the Year Award from Healthcare Purchasing News. The industry magazine credited Hardin’s organization with forging effective relationships between clinicians and department head and C-suite administrators through value analysis and financial intelligence, establishing strategic supplier and diversity supplier councils with performance reporting measures, the latter of which focused on matching suppliers to patient demographics. Hardin began similar initiatives at Froedtert in 2019.
For these achievements, the Federation of American Hospitals honored Hardin in 2018 with the Corris Boyd Leadership and Diversity Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in fostering leadership and workplace diversity in healthcare. Boyd served as a supply chain executive and diversity expert at HCA Healthcare and HealthTrust Purchasing Group during the mid-1990s through early 2000s before his death from leukemia in December 2005.
Hardin joined CHRISTUS in 2011 after nearly two years at Resource Optimization and Innovation, the Mercy Health division focused on performance improvement and supply chain operations.
Before his healthcare supply chain career, Hardin spent more than 13 years as senior manager or principal at five different prominent management consulting firms, from Ernst & Young to Deloitte to CSC to BearingPoint to Alvarez & Marsal.
Throughout his management consulting and healthcare supply chain experience, Hardin lectured at the University of Dallas’ Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business, and volunteered at Milwaukee’s Best Buddies Wisconsin, dedicated to assisting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and at Young Life, a faith-based humanitarian organization dedicated to encouraging and helping kids.
As a high school and college student, Hardin spent his summers working as an intern at The Methodist Hospital, Houston. His healthcare pathway started there. After finishing graduate school and earning a Master’s in Health Administration, Hardin spent two years as an Administrative Fellow at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas.
Hardin, CMRP, was a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), served on the National Board of the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM) from 2017-2020 and as a board member and officer at several local/regional AHRMM chapters. He frequently spoke at numerous industry conferences and trade shows and regularly contributed to HPN as a featured columnist, specializing in supply chain professional development, as well as to other industry publications, such as AHRMM’s “Supply Chain Strategies & Solutions,” Journal of Healthcare Contracting and Modern Healthcare.
He also founded and chaired the SolVerum (Latin for “light” and “truth”) group in 2015, a supply chain collaborative of six Catholic integrated delivery networks (IDNs), focusing on the sustainability of Catholic healthcare through improved supply chain performance.
Hardin also remained committed to talent management, demonstrated through mentoring, educating and advocating for the profession. He enjoyed coaching young people and colleagues to help them advance their careers. Further, he supported the placement of two to three supply chain interns at his organization annually since 2012.
Throughout his life, he was active in his church, often in leadership roles.
Hardin is survived by his wife Julie, with whom he had been married for more than 30 years, and two adult children, son Jonathan and daughter Jordan. Ed and Julie were lifelong friends after having met at the age of 10 in fourth grade together in elementary school.
The Hardin Family held visitations on Saturday, February 13, and Sunday, February 14, followed by a celebration of life worship service, in Brookfield, WI. The family also plans to hold a visitation in Brenham, TX, on Thursday, February 18, and an outdoor worship service in Independence, TX, on Friday, February 19, before being laid to rest in Texas. Contact Bellwether League Foundation headquarters for additional details.
About Bellwether League Foundation
Bellwether League Foundation comprises two operating divisions that educate, endow and evaluate professionals in healthcare supply chain performance excellence: The Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership and Bellwether Philanthropy.
The Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership evaluates and validates professionals submitted for consideration in its three award programs: Bellwether Honorees, Future Famers and Ammer Honorees. The Hall of Fame also offers educational content via the Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership Forum and its “Leaders & Luminaries” multimedia brand of live, online and printed content.
The Board selects deceased, retired and currently active professionals with a minimum of 25 years of exemplary service and leadership performance in supply chain operations that meet its criteria to be recognized publicly as Bellwether Class Honorees. Those honored demonstrate their qualifications by advancing the profession through work experience and performance and active participation in professional organizations and their communities.
Honorees include professionals from hospitals and other healthcare providers, manufacturers and distributors of healthcare products and services, group purchasing organizations, consulting firms, educational institutions and media outlets.
Future Famers represent supply chain professionals early in their healthcare careers who do not yet qualify for Bellwether consideration but have contributed meaningfully to the healthcare supply chain profession.
Honorees who receive the “Dean S. Ammer Award for Healthcare Supply Chain Performance Excellence” represent noteworthy executives and professionals in the middle of their careers who, through their innovative leadership and influential project management experience, best exemplify the practice and spirit of healthcare supply chain performance excellence.
To date, The Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership has honored 120 innovators, leaders and pioneers in healthcare supply chain management in five distinct categories: Education & Media, Supply Chain Management, Group Purchasing, Supplier and Consulting Services. Bellwether League also has recognized 30 Future Famers, and one Ammer Honoree.
Bellwether Philanthropy offers scholarships to college-bound high school students who plan to study supply chain curricula, current collegiate students who major in supply chain-related careers and professionals who pursue continuing education through associations and universities.
Launched in late July 2007 by a group of influential veterans in the healthcare supply chain industry, Bellwether League Foundation began as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation that identifies and honors men and women who have demonstrated significant leadership in, influence on and contributions to the healthcare supply chain. It upgraded to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in January 2021.
Bellwether League Foundation currently is funded by six Founding and Platinum Sponsors – HealthTrust, Intalere, Owens & Minor, Premier, Vizient and Wingfoot Media – and a host of additional sponsors.
For more information on how to become a sustaining or corporate sponsor or to nominate Bellwether Honoree, Ammer Honoree and Future Famer candidates visit BellwetherLeague.org.
Remembering Ed Hardin
“Thoughtful, caring, courageous….and joyful. That is how I will always remember Ed. He was always willing to do the hard work, beyond painting a vision of what is possible, he set out to make it happen, most notably in his work to foster constructive collaboration between suppliers and providers. Ed thought big, but he touched so many of our lives in a very personal and individual manner. He was a staunch advocate for his staff, and a devoted husband and father. Ed’s faith lifted him up and in turn those around him. He lived life fully and filled our lives in the process. Yesterday, as we mourned, and remembered, and celebrated his life, several of us noted how much we appreciated his smile, his laugh and the genuine bear hugs of a man who fully lived his beliefs and passions. Ed was bigger than life. He has left this world far too young, but his spirit will live in our hearts and in heaven forever.”
Karen Conway, Bellwether League Foundation Advisory Council member, Bellwether League Inc. Board Member (2018-2020)
Vice President, Healthcare Value, GHX
“I’ve known Ed for over 10 years, and he was a mentor to me, taking time to discuss successes and opportunities we both shared professionally; connecting his teams with others for resource development; sharing ideas and thoughts within collaborative teams throughout our industry. He will be missed by so many.”
Karen Kresnik, R.N. (Future Famers Class of 2017)
Director, Supply Chain, Nebraska Methodist Health System
“Earlier this week, Ed Hardin, Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Froedtert Health in Milwaukee passed away. He was a young man – in his early 50s. He was called away far too soon.
“Professional profiles don’t tell you what kind of person someone is. Here is what Ed’s LinkedIn profile says about him:
‘Ed Hardin serves as Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer for Froedtert Health, a nearly 1,000-bed, multi-hospital system headquartered in Milwaukee, WI. The flagship facility, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, is an academic medical center affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin. The supply chain is staffed by more than 125 personnel with an annual spend of nearly $500m. Before joining Froedtert Health, Ed served as Senior Vice President, Supply Chain Management at Beaumont Health, Michigan’s largest health care system. Prior to Beaumont Health, he served in a similar capacity at CHRISTUS Health, a faith-based, international health care provider with locations in the United States and Latin America. Prior to CHRISTUS Health, he served at Resource Optimization & Innovation, the supply chain division of Mercy in St. Louis, Missouri. His more than 25-year career in supply chain performance and management solutions also includes consulting positions at Alvarez & Marsal, Deloitte & Touche and Ernst & Young.
‘Ed is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Certified Materials & Resource Professional for the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management. He was elected to the national board of AHRMM to begin a three-year term in January 2017. A strong advocate of his profession, he serves or has served on several industry advisory boards. In addition to his professional associations, Ed is active in his church, serves on the board of Best Buddies Wisconsin, volunteers for Project Search and Wisconsin Young Life, and is a mentor and frequent guest speaker to students entering the healthcare and supply chain fields. Ed earned his master’s degree in health care administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and his bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.’
“But what kind of person was Ed Hardin? I have known Ed for over a decade. He was open and accessible. When you talked with him, he looked you in the eye and listened … listened with the intent of understanding, not with the intent of replying. Ed was a fun guy with a great sense of humor. While he took things seriously, he didn’t take himself seriously. He was an easy person to spend time with.
“Ed was an industry thought leader. He gave back. On the continuum of giving versus taking, Ed gave far more than he took. He was a champion of staff education and staff development. He taught at local colleges. In Ed’s relatively brief time here, he definitely left his personal spheres of influence better than he found them.
“Last year, I was fortunate to have been selected as a recipient of the Bellwether League honors. The Bellwether League is the National Healthcare Supply Chain Hall of Fame, and to be selected for induction is a great honor. What made my selection even better on a personal basis was the fact that Ed was going to be inducted in the same class.
“I will miss seeing Ed at industry gatherings in the coming years. He was a great Supply Chain leader.
“He was an even greater person.”
Fred W. Crans (Bellwether Class of 2020)
Healthcare Business Development Executive, St. Onge Company