My Baystate Story: Jacob Jamilowski Supervisor, Supply Chain and Materials Management, Baystate Wing Hospital
I’ve been working for Baystate Health since 2010, so it has been 12 years now! I had originally worked in Food Services and when I saw an opening in Materials Management, I jumped on it. The work I do at Baystate Wing Hospital is often behind the scenes, but it keeps everything running. From medical technology to basic office supplies, it almost all comes through our loading dock. What I like the best about the work we do in Supply Chain and Materials Management is knowing that from implantable donor tissues to the tissues on a bedside table, my team and I play a role in healthcare. I am proud that in my own small way I am helping our team members provide the care people from our communities come here for when they have a healthcare need.
A lot of things have changed because of COVID, primarily the volume of supplies needed has gone up during the surges exponentially, for example, personal protective equipment (PPE) usage. Providing N95s, goggles, face shields, gloves and gowns became a daily necessity for our team, and there were times when they were difficult to acquire. We had numerous back-order situations that we had to work through with our inventory control and purchasing teams to address.
Another issue has been allocations. Sometimes a product may have very little usage but is a critical supply. My community hospital colleagues from Baystate Franklin Medical Center and Baystate Noble Hospital and I worked together to fill in the gaps we each have had to face with supply needs. Always being ready to step up and help track down products our healthcare providers need is my primary way of connecting with my colleagues. Helping my colleagues get the things they need always puts a smile on their face. In healthcare sometimes it can be the smallest things to make someone’s job that much easier.
We are the main touch point for all the PPE, hand sanitizers, and sanitizing wipes coming into the building. I have frequently made trips throughout the buildings with carts loaded with these supplies and have distributed them to all areas where they were needed. These trips were not by request but as a sort of “good will” mission, to make sure our team had plenty to keep their care units and our patients safe. While I’m doing my work, I often stop to help anyone who may be looking for directions. I can always help point them in the right direction since we deliver to everyone in the building.
One thing about Materials Management is just how much goes on behind the scenes and what it takes to get supplies in the hands of caregivers; even from our stockroom we do not see the whole picture. In addition to us, the inventory team, purchasing team, the value analysis team and the Holyoke Warehouse team, we all work on many things behind the scenes to get the job done. There are many moving parts to supply chain that all have to be orchestrated.
I feel pretty optimistic these days and glad to see the reemergence beginning. It’s great to see it come with spring, with all the birds coming back, the sun shining brighter and all of the life returning, I hope it’s a sign for better things to come. Though we should still be guarded and vigilant, seeing the number of COVID cases lower doesn’t mean it’s gone, but hopefully it’ll stay under control. Having seen how much of the pandemic restrictions have changed our lives, I find myself cherishing the small details of life such as walking around in the woods, keeping an eye on the tiny songbirds, or looking out at the squirrels and chipmunks playing around.
During January of 2020 I transitioned into the role of Materials Management supervisor at Baystate Wing Hospital. I had about a month of pre-COVID experience before the pandemic really set in and everything changed. I have spent many hours taking courses online through Baystate for first-time managers. Entering into the new position during such a time of change and learning how things will be as we to return to normal will be a whole new learning process for me.
I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the help from my team: Brett Robinson, Rich Jabry, Bruce Specht, and Bill Myers and all the support from Pat Duffy and Bill Sepaniak with the administrative side of everything! I’m proud to be a part of Baystate Health!