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Robert C. Byrd Institute plans virtual expo focusing on health supplies

HUNTINGTON — The Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University and Advantage Valley with the West Virginia Development Office will sponsor a free virtual expo from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. May 5 to link small suppliers with major state healthcare providers.

Participants in the West Virginia Health Supply Chain Expo will learn about the processes to become suppliers to healthcare providers such as Charleston Area Medical Center, Mountain Health Network (Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center) and Thomas Health (Thomas Memorial Hospital and St. Francis Hospital).

Among things the healthcare providers are looking for include:

* Hospital furniture

* Personal protective equipment

* Patient monitoring devices

* Vendor check-in and credentialing services

* Cleaning and disinfecting products or services

* Facilities management services

Individuals and small businesses can register for the free conference at www.rcbi.org/healthcareexpo.

Derek Scarbro, RCBI director of business development, said previous expos were win-win situations for participants, enabled several small businesses in the region to secure new contracts with large companies while helping those large companies find goods and services at competitive prices closer to home, resulting in reduced costs and a shorter supply chain.

“It can be difficult for small businesses capable of supplying goods and services to connect with large state companies,” Scarbro said. “Our expos bridge that gap while helping create new business-to-business relationships.”

“Our local hospitals take pride in currently doing business with a number of local suppliers, but we will continue our efforts to introduce the procurement teams to individuals or companies they may not know,” says Terrell Ellis, executive director of Advantage Valley. “Bringing the supply chain close to home will strengthen the local economy. The pandemic reminded us how critical supply chains are and how disruptions can be problematic. We hope to build networks and open dialogue and build business between companies that might not have existed before.”

In partnership with Advantage Valley, the supply chain expos are a project of RCBI’s Appalachian Hatchery, which is part of POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization), a multi-agency initiative that delivers federal resources to help communities affected by job losses in coal mining and related industries. Funding is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Appalachian Regional Commission and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

For more information about the May 5 expo, contact Scarbro at 304 781-1684 or Advantage Valley’s Terrell Ellis at Advantage Valley at 304 546-7323.

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