Employees of CMEPP bid a sad farewell to Anthony Zanardo who retired as Director of Participant Operations at the end of September. Ten years ago, Anthony had imagined taking on a different kind of job after departing from his longtime employer J&J, and he learned about an opportunity at CMEPP. He eagerly embraced the mission and was soon contributing to changes to the organization. He discovered he was well suited to help modernize processes, push for stronger relationships with Participants and Suppliers, and take on a mentorship role to both young and seasoned employees.
“As we reflect on Anthony’s remarkable career, we cannot help but marvel at the wealth of knowledge, innovative thinking and dedication he brought to our organization,” said CMEPP CEO Nils Clausen. “He leaves a legacy of empowered people ready to carry the torch forward.”
We asked Anthony to reflect on his journey with CMEPP.
How did you first learn about CMEPP?
I knew about CMEPP when I worked with Ortho (an organization within J&J). I worked with (former GM) Bob Hooper and Beth Christensen on the Supplier side. I was always intrigued by the model and thought it was quite good the way they were doing it. Being the person I am, I also had ideas – some they liked, but they weren’t always receptive! When Beth Christensen moved out west, I was hired to fill her vacancy. We were seven employees at that time.
Were you able to make the changes you wanted when you came in?
Ten years ago, we didn’t put a lot of effort into nurturing Supplier relations, but fortunately over time those relationships have gotten better based on a new and invigorated approach. Now CMEPP manages the whole service delivery model. We provide options and leading practices on how to best manage the equipment, be it through a contract or time and material. We slowly brought this principle into play, the idea that we have line of sight of all equipment in a hospital and help Participants manage that equipment. That was my vision for the organization when I came in, and it’s expanding even further now with great success.
You’ve been a mentor and a coach to many younger employees at CMEPP. Why is that important to you?
As I got older and more secure in my role, I found it satisfying seeing people grow and take on more responsibilities. I believe a lot of younger people have a hard time putting their finger on what it is they want, and what they’re good at. But you can guide them, give suggestions, lay the seed for them to consider certain things based on their strengths. Helping them find their niche is extremely rewarding.
Mentoring can take different forms – when Nils (Clausen) came in as GM 7 years ago, I coached him on how the program worked, what is important to Participants, and what the dynamics are with the Suppliers. I needed to gain his trust and so I was extremely transparent. I wanted to help him understand how things work with the program. That set us up for having a strong working relationship.
What do you think when you look at CMEPP today?
With everything that’s in play, I’m excited about the future of CMEPP. First thing is how encouraged I am by our Board – they come from different disciplines, they’re engaged, and they want to see the program grow and be successful. I’m so proud of the calibre of people we have in the organization. Everyone here believes in CMEPP and its mission and vision.
The fact that we’re recognized as a significant player in the marketplace on providing alternative ways of managing medical equipment, the hospitals see value in that. Managing Supplier relationships is paramount for our future growth and so our added focus with the expertise of Todd (Presswood), Director of Operations and Supplier Relationships brings value to these stakeholders.
I believe the organization is in a really good spot overall, so it’s an exciting time. There will be continued change, that’s a given but I’m confident it will always be for the betterment of the organization and hospitals in Canada.