Contributor: John Barkett, WG’09
To learn more about John, click here.
It was the first week of school and Dave Kerwar was giving me the quick bio: he’s from New York, went to Hamilton College, worked at Broadlane.
"What's Broadlane?" I asked.
"It's a GPO."
"Uh huh...What's a GPO?"
- - -
I'd come to Wharton wanting to gain a better understanding of how money flowed in our healthcare system. Group purchasing organizations, I learned, offer providers discounts on the $100B of supplies they buy each year. And now I had a classmate who could teach me their ins and outs.
I'd come to the right place.
- - -
This is half of the magic of the Wharton HCM program: your classmates are up-and-coming experts from every corner of the healthcare system. The other half? These experts become your friends.
Dave and I got along so well that he invited me to his wedding in San Francisco (which everyone enjoyed) and even tried to set me up with his wife’s best friend (ok, maybe not everyone). We don’t talk as much now, but I know we’ll run into each other soon at some industry event and it will be like we never left West Philadelphia.
- - -
Maybe Dave and I will meet at the Leonard David Institute’s 50th Anniversary Symposium. The two-day conference (Oct. 5-6) at the Inn at Penn already boasts a terrific set of speakers. Dues-paying WHCMAA members can register at a discounted rate, and are invited to the WHCMAA’s pre-symposium event on the evening of Oct. 4th, where we’ll hear from a special guest speaker, hand out alumni awards, and honor the student recipients of the this year’s Kissick and Kinney Scholarships.
If you attend you’re likely to run into outgoing WHCMAA President John Harris WG‘88, Secretary Peter Mueller WG’09, and Treasurer Tom Kupp WG’85 – all Philadelphians – whose terms ended in June. Incoming Vice President Maria Whitman WG’05, Secretary Bob McDonald WG’92, and Treasurer David Kibbe WG’80, are likely to be there as well, as will over a hundred other WHCMAA grads.
Gatherings like these never fail to remind me of my days on campus, which were filled with fun, friends, and healthcare. Attend a WHCMAA event this year and you’ll know what I knew when I met Dave ten years ago: you’ve come to the right place.
I hope to see you there.
John Barkett WG’09