Our Story

Preparing for change

In 2009, in anticipation of massive changes in the healthcare industry, Ascension empowered the creation of a centralized resource and supply management function focused on achieving costs savings necessary to stay viable in the changing healthcare environment. This group, known as Ascension Resource and Supply Management, would eventually become The Resource Group.

From the basement to the boardroom

The Resource Group was born out of the need for supply cost reduction. However, supply cost reduction in and of itself was not enough. In 2009, a small team led by Mr. Caldwell, began exploring this challenge and realized a patchwork solution might deliver some immediate savings, but would not be sustainable or deliver value over the long-term.

If an organization is structurally unsound, simply painting it will not prepare it for the additional weight of responsibility that would surely be added in the future. This proved true for the healthcare supply chain; the team had to build a new model from the ground up, rather than superficially modifying what already existed.

Supply chain in healthcare was not historically top of mind to healthcare system executives. For it to be relevant, adequately invested in, and transformed, it had to become an organizational priority. It had to be elevated from the basement to the boardroom.

The first step in developing this new solution would be to focus on the following opportunities:

Key dates

The collective implementation of the User-Directed Integrated Solutions  has delivered over $1.2 billion in annual savings, surpassing the initial expectation of $400 million. 

This success validated the new model of healthcare resource and supply management which is now implemented at non-Ascension organizations across the nation. As of this year The Resource Group serves over 2,900 locations across the nation with a contract portfolio valued at $9.05 billion in annual supply, purchased services, pharmacy, construction materials, capital, and IT spend.


Ascension is formed through the sponsorship of the Daughters of Charity, Sisters of St. Joseph, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.


Ascension commissions a study to see what could be accomplished in supply cost reduction.


Ascension consolidates its contracting in St. Louis and begins to explore new models for a more efficient, scalable model. It implements Strategic Sourcing.


Ascension supply chain leadership begins to develop a nationally-coordinated supply chain and contracting function across Ascension.


Ascension introduces its centrally-coordinated contracting and supply chain model under single leadership. The new organization is called The Resource Group.


The Resource Group receives a favorable opinion from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to become the first and only wholly provider owned group purchasing organization (GPO).