Employee Heartbeat – Thinking on Her Feet

How Marne Roemer and the Purchasing department answer the Hospital’s diverse needs

At Bethany Children’s Health Center, our employees truly are the heartbeat that drives the organization. Every day, through the care and service they provide, they live our mission of maximizing the potential of every child and exemplify our core values of compassion, integrity, excellence, service and stewardship. We hope you enjoy getting to know our amazing employees through our Heartbeat profiles.

National Healthcare Supply Chain Week (SC Week), October 2-8, 2022, is an opportunity to recognize the importance of the healthcare supply chain professionals and honor them for their exceptional contributions to patient care and the innovative ways in which they support their health care organizations and communities.

Providing exceptional care at a growing hospital doesn’t start and end with direct patient care. There are many layers of support that are vital to ensuring patients are well cared for and thriving. Marne Roemer, Purchasing Assistant Director at Bethany Children’s, plays a key role in making sure the Hospital has anything and everything it needs on a daily basis.  She’s been at Bethany Children’s since 2009 and has seen the impact of the Hospital’s growth.

“We buy all the things and then get them where they are supposed to go,” she says. “I recently ran our numbers, and we are making four times as many purchase orders per week as we were when I started in Purchasing in 2010. It’s very fast-paced and complex – you really have to think on your feet.”

Luckily for Bethany Children’s, Marne’s mom had served as Mrs. Claus for the kids and recommended it as a very special place. Marne came to the Hospital to work on Special Projects for Nursing Administration after working the twilight shift at UPS as an Industrial Engineering Supervisor. “My life has contained much cardboard,” she quips.

The Purchasing department stocks all the basics needed for care, such as diapers, wipes, cleansers, towels and linens, but it doesn’t end there. Marne says, “I am always surprised by the wildly varying items people wish for us to order.”

She enjoyed purchasing items used to create Mattie Town in the Adaptive Recreation and Fine Arts Center, and is fascinated by the adaptive equipment purchased for the Rehab team. Technology plays a growing role at the Hospital and Marne admits, “I’m looking forward to someday understanding 3D printing. I’ve bought a lot of items used for it without understanding it in the slightest!”

The Purchasing department also manages in-kind donated items, providing a fair market value for each item for internal accounting and inventory purposes.

 As we approach the holiday season, the Hospital sees a surge in these types of donations. “We very much appreciate the generosity of those who donate to us, especially those who select gifts from the wish lists found on our website, because those items have been carefully selected for our patients and can be used in a timely manner,” Marne explains. “Alternately, a monetary donation can go a long way in meeting the children’s needs.  Due to our purchasing contracts, our buying power can be quite strong.”

Although Marne admits she doesn’t have the fortitude for direct patient care, she says, “I like to think of the Purchasing department as vital support staff supplying everything our patients need to flourish.”

Fun Facts

Something you might not know: “My name is from a very terrible Alfred Hitchcock movie (“Marnie”, 1964). I once took a film class about Hitchcock and the film was never mentioned once.”

Favorite ways to spend time: “I’m a big Thunder fan. I share a ticket plan and enjoy the games a lot. I’m also a big St. Louis Cardinals fan. I’m a Texas A&M alum and fan, which is very painful this year.”

Pets: “I’m definitely a cat person. I am staff for three cats.”  A favorite quote from Terry Pratchett: “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”

Travel: “Travel is my jam! My favorite trip is a tie between walking in Biblical places in Israel and meeting the tortoises on the Galapagos Islands. I also loved standing next to Stonehenge stones, which was awe-inspiring.” Bucket list items include more travel: Iceland, Australia, and a cruise to Antarctica.

Favorite Food: Sushi

Dream weekend: “Either traveling somewhere new and amazing, or reading on my couch under some cats.”

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