Wunderkinds 2013: Marie Yezzo, 29
Director of Supply Chain Operations, Westchester Medical Center
Marie Yezzo’s job at Westchester Medical Center (WMC) is all about efficiencies—how to get physicians and nurses the supplies they need when they need them, and how to save money on healthcare products so the hospital can use its limited resources to serve patients directly.
Yezzo, 29, joined WMC, a Valhalla-based Level-1 Trauma Center with 635 beds, in 2008 as an operations analyst, following stints in Kenya volunteering for an AIDS orphanage, working as an elementary school teacher in New York City, and earning her Master’s in Public Health at New York Medical College. It was in Kenya, after she saw how the children’s limited access to medicine and supplies impacted their health, that she knew what she wanted her work to be.
From the beginning, Yezzo, who lives in Riverdale, New York, realized she was working in an “institution where there were a lot of creative and progressive initiatives,” and started suggesting ideas for how to achieve efficiencies the hospital, stuck in a financial crisis, desperately needed.
She worked with senior management to optimize some of the supply chain tasks to help save a bit more money. It was her idea, for example, to start putting supplies like Band-Aids and other items in bins attached to scales, which would alert the supply team when the weight dropped, signaling the need for a refill. She also worked with doctors to ensure they were all using the same brands (something they didn’t do before), so the company could get better prices through bulk ordering.
It is no wonder that, after her proposals saved more than $4 million a year, the center promoted her to her current role, director of Supply Chain Operations, in which she helps, along with another director, to oversee a staff of more than 50 members. But it didn’t come easy. “A lot of hard of work was put in gear,” says Yezzo. “You have to put your money where your mouth is, and you have to prove through actions, not through words.”