SOURCE: Novation

October 18, 2007 11:12 ET

Novation Participates in Department of Homeland Security's Largest Counterterrorism Exercise

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - October 18, 2007) - Novation, LLC, the health care contracting services company of VHA Inc. and the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), participated in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Top Officials 4 (TOPOFF 4) emergency management exercise on October 16, 2007. The purpose of the TOPOFF 4 exercise was to help federal, state and local authorities, key public services and hospitals prepare for potential disasters or other emergencies and was the first to include the supply chain industry. Novation, the only health care group purchasing organization in this activity, worked collaboratively with its alliance partner UHC to provide supply chain crisis management.

"We were very excited for the opportunity to participate in the nation's premier terrorism preparedness event. We were especially grateful for the opportunity to put Novation's disaster plan to the test with realistic, incident-specific challenges," said Bob Benson, Novation's senior director of contract services and disaster team lead.

The exercise involved more than 15,000 participants from all levels of government, international partners and the private sector in a full-scale, simulated response to radiological dispersal devise or "dirty bomb" attacks in Portland, Phoenix and Guam. UHC member Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon also participated in the event.

"We were pleased to support OHSU in this exercise, which allowed us to test our ability to lessen the impact of a regional or local disaster on our members by helping maintain effective and efficient supply chain operations, thereby supporting their provision of patient care," said John Cunningham, UHC's vice president for supply chain.

As functional participants, Novation and UHC set up command centers at both Novation's office in Irving, TX and at UHC in Oak Brook, IL where UHC enacted its disaster plan, receiving live video feeds from DHS's broadcast with interviews of the injured, as well as workers, being played by nearly 1,000 actors. As OHSU's primary contact for supply chain management needs, UHC determined their needs and coordinated procurement of supplies with Novation. Testing the effectiveness of its own disaster plan, Novation staff then simulated supplier and distributor roles to get the necessary supplies and equipment as needed delivered to OHSU for treatment of the injured and mass "casualties."

"The invaluable knowledge and experience we all gained with this exercise will go a long way towards helping us coordinate effectively with government agencies and respond to our alliance members even more quickly and efficiently during an actual disaster," said Stephanne Hale, Novation's senior clinical manager.

About Novation

Based in Irving, Texas, Novation is the leading health care contracting services company, delivering unmatched savings and value to nearly 2,500 members of VHA Inc. and the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), two national health care alliances and nearly 9,000 members of Provista, LLC (formerly known as Healthcare Purchasing Partners International, LLC (HPPI)). Through its competitive bid process, Novation develops and manages contracts with more than 500 suppliers, both large and small. By combining scale and agility with clinical knowledge and product expertise, Novation offers the most extensive range of advanced contracting services, including: contract development, contract and supplier management, custom contracting, enhanced savings programs, online contract management and analytical tools, order management and online supplier connectivity. VHA, UHC and Provista members used Novation and alliance purchased services contracts to purchase $31.6 billion in 2006.

About UHC

The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) is an alliance of 97 academic medical centers and 153 of their affiliate hospitals representing nearly 90 percent of the nation's non-profit academic medical centers. UHC offers its members specific programs and services to improve supply chain, clinical, operational, and financial performance. Visit "About UHC" at www.uhc.edu for more information.

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