Stepping in to control a $300 million yearly budget, Phillip Profeta has been hired as the new corporate director of purchasing for UR and Strong Hospital. Profeta, who has a broad background in the field of procure-ment, will be responsible for overseeing purchases for the Medical Center, and the River Campus. Approximately 60 percent of the $300 million budget is spent at Strong Hospital and the Medical Center, while the remaining 40 percent is allocated for the university and its affiliated research centers such as the Laser Lab.

According to Profeta, the single largest yearly expense is pharmaceuticals, which cost $65 to 70 million a year. Profeta does not purchase these drugs directly, but works with the pharmacy to create joint contracts for their acquisition.

The broad category of capital equipment costs around $100 million, and includes everything from x-ray and cardiology machines to automobiles.One of the biggest challenges faced by the director of purchasing is keeping costs down. According to Profeta, the daily challenge is to determine, “How can we buy smarter, better, faster and more effectively?”

“Our role is not only to buy stuff but to facilitate the acquisition of supplies in a cost efficient way,” Profeta said. “As much as we possibly can, we lead the way in curtailing cost increases.”

Beyond receiving his bachelor’s degree at St. John Fisher and completing the Managed Care Executive Program at Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Profeta’s work history spans a wide range of fields.

“I’ve been very fortunate and I have a broad range of experience in every aspect of the field of procurement — healthcare, education and international [work],” Profeta said.

He worked for 12 years at Strong Health as materials manager for Highland Hospital, as well as working in the arenas of group purchasing and e-commerce.

At one point Profeta also spent a year working for the Association of Czech Hospitals of Prague, Czechloslovokia.

Through visits, phone calls and emails he helped reconstruct the decaying hospital system after the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union.

DeSantis can be reached at

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