October 30, 2007 17:16 ET

Health Care Alliance VHA Inc. Partners With Local, Minority-Owned Business to Save on Printing and Other Office Services

New Contract Is Part of VHA's Extensive Supplier Diversity Program That Supports a Fair and Competitive Health Care Marketplace

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - October 30, 2007) - VHA Inc., the national health care alliance, has signed an agreement with the CRC Group, a joint venture comprised of three woman-owned and minority suppliers, for printing, copying and mailing services. The joint venture includes CRC Group Inc., CESCO Office Products, Inc. and Q2 Marketing Group, all based in the Dallas area. The agreement with CRC is part of VHA's commitment to encourage greater diversity and competition in the health care marketplace.

The 36-month contract is expected to generate a savings of more than $1.3 million dollars on projects for VHA and its family of companies, which includes Novation, Provista and Goodroe Healthcare Solutions.

VHA is a cooperative that is owned by not-for-profit health care providers across the country, including Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. As a cooperative, VHA strives to reduce its operating costs whenever possible, and distributes a significant portion of its net cooperative income to its members.

"Our providers serve extraordinarily diverse communities, and it's important that VHA reflect similar diversity in our supplier network and in everything we do," said Michael Regier, general counsel and senior vice president, corporate affairs. "In our business, emphasizing diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do -- clearly, it also makes good business sense."

The CRC agreement begins in November and runs through October 2010. Printing and mailing services will be available for VHA's Irving, Texas, headquarters and the Alliance's 17 regional offices across the country; copying services will be provided for the Irving location.

"Our approach is centered around service and, installing the right equipment to meet our customer's needs. Our solution combined in-house management services for mail and document management as well as a customized commercial print solution, that will result in time and budget savings for VHA, as well as improved service," added Patricia Rodriguez Christian, president of CRC Group Inc.

Through its purchase of business services in the communities in which it operates, VHA actively supports minority-, women- and small, veteran-owned businesses that meet high-quality standards. This practice is an extension of the company's supply chain management business that serves community-based hospitals nationwide.

"VHA is committed to actively seeking out diverse suppliers to support our corporate activities, and, whenever possible, creating barrier-free, equal-access opportunities for them to participate in our national supply chain management efforts," said David Gillan, senior director for VHA's Supplier Diversity program. "Increasing diversity within the supply chain is a key element in meeting the business goals of VHA, Novation, our members and our suppliers."

About VHA -- VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national health care alliance that provides industry-leading supply chain management services and supports and promotes the formation of regional and national networks that help not-for-profit health care organizations improve their clinical and economic performance. With 17 offices across the U.S., VHA has a track record of proven results in serving more than 1,400 hospitals and more than 21,000 other health care providers nationwide.

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