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News | July 17, 2020

DLA, VA partnership grows into the Northwest

By Nancy Benecki Public Affairs

The partnership between the Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is growing into the Northwest region of the United States.

As a result, VA facilities in Spokane and Seattle Washington will now use DLA Troop Support Medical supply chain’s Medical/Surgical Prime Vendor program to acquire medical and surgical items through the program’s worldwide procurement system as of July 15.

In the interim, until Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support Retail ordering system can be rolled out to the VA, the sites in the Veterans Integrated Service Network 20, or VISN 20, will utilize the electronic cataloging platform to order through DLA’s MSPV program, said Nora Steigerwalt, Director of Customer Operations for the Medical supply chain.

VISN 20 is part of the Veterans Health Administration nationwide system of hospitals and clinics providing service to more than 27 million veterans in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, according to the VA website.

“It is very gratifying to see DLA Troop Support’s partnership with the VA continue to grow with the addition of Cardinal Health in the Northwest,” said William J. Kenny, Executive Director and Head of Contracting Activity at DLA Troop Support. “This new partnership furthers DLA’s mission of building strong relationships with government partners and supporting the whole of government by using our resources to supply a wide array of materials at a cost savings. Above all, these efforts ensure that veterans will continue to get the medical care they need.”

Cardinal Health already supports the VA as a vendor in the northwest region and will continue to support the agency without disruption, said Dorothy O’Connell, a customer support liaison for Operations and Plans at DLA Troop Support.

“For the customer, for the facilities that are flipping the switch, it’s seamless,” O’Connell said. “Cardinal Health is already providing their services, so they’re not going to see a difference other than the better pricing and the expanded aperture of items they can choose from. They don’t have any bumps as far as their level of support. They don’t have to change anything.”

This is the second facility to utilize DLA Troop Support’s Medical supply chain as a result of DLA’s partnership with the VA. The first was the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, which started using these services in April 2019.

“This is just the beginning of DLA and VA partnering and moving together as joint efforts for two agencies,” O’Connell said. More partners are being added next month in Seattle and American Lake in Washington.