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May 6, 2022

Hartford HealthCare hosts Bridgeport event to promote diverse suppliers 

Photo | Contributed Millicent Bowens, owner of B & W Painting & Remodeling of Bethany, at Hartford HealthCare's Supplier Diversity Summit in Bridgeport on May 4, 2022.

Amid its rapid expansion in the New Haven and Fairfield areas, Hartford HealthCare hosted business owners at an event in Bridgeport on Wednesday as part of efforts to bring more diversity into its supply chain.

The health system hosted its second St. Vincent’s Medical Center Supplier Diversity Summit at The Knowlton on Knowlton Street. Certified minority businesses were invited to the event and informed about the system’s diversity goals and its supplier needs. 

In concert with the event, Hartford HealthCare (HHC) announced that it had increased its spending in 2021 with minority, small-business and women-owned suppliers to $69 million, an boost of 21% over the prior year. The system said it expected to increase its spending with diverse suppliers to $75 million this year.

Of the 12,907 companies that provide goods and services to HHC, 383 currently qualify as diverse suppliers, according to the health system. 

Among those suppliers is New Haven entrepreneur Alisa Bowens-Mercado, who secured a multiyear contract with distribution support for her Rhythm Roasters coffee company with the HHC system. 

HHC operates seven hospitals, including MidState Medical Center in Meriden and St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport.

Speakers at the Supplier Diversity Summit included HHC President and CEO Jeff Flaks, CFO Chibueze (Okey) Agba and St. Vincent’s Medical Center President William M. Jennings. Sarah Lewis, HHC’s vice president, health, equity, diversity and inclusion, also spoke. 

Contact Liese Klein at


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