Hi there! My name is Myra Knouff and I’m the national account manager for CHAMPS Group Purchasing (GPO)’s senior living members. Since we’ve launched our Supply Chain Solutions blog in July, you’ve been introduced to two of my colleagues, CHAMPS GPO director Maria Summers and fellow account manager Connor Hurley. Today, I’ll be giving you a window into the senior living industry and my work with its deeply dedicated professionals.

My career with CHAMPS will reach 13 years in October. I came to CHAMPS as a former nursing home administrator – that experience is something I believe gives me the unique ability to understand my members’ needs, not only from a purchasing standpoint but from a clear understanding of the day-to-day activities that go into caring for our greatest generation, our elderly. I feel a genuine connection to this population and have a great respect for the incredibly important job my members are tasked with.

If you’ve engaged with CHAMPS at any point, you might know that our membership is expansive, diverse and reaches beyond healthcare group purchasing. You could be wondering, then – what is comprised as a “senior living” member under our model? Our membership is made up of standalone nursing homes — that could be small chains of locations to the largest being over 125+ locations in several states. Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, independent living locations are all considered senior living facilities, and continuum of care communities include all three of these.

What’s most fulfilling about my work is knowing we serve a practical purpose to my members. Not many people may know that most senior living facilities rely on reimbursement from governmental agencies to pay their bills. Over the years, they’ve been asked to do more with less financial rewards. That’s where we come in – any savings I assist them with achieving through our program offerings brings me great joy. Education is a large part of my role, as I teach those who aren’t aware of the savings available to them. I’m always excited when a member shows interest in learning what is available and goes all-in. I owe a lot of credit to our vendor partners as well, as their knowledge, expertise and offerings make the available savings a reality. 

To wrap things up, I’d like to make an acknowledgment of the work my senior living members have accomplished during the pandemic. It’s no secret: The pandemic has been hard on everyone. It was especially challenging for my senior living members who had lives to protect and care for under once-in-a-generation circumstances. There was so much that came about in those initial days, from scrambling to find the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to the locking down of the facilities to family and friends, closing down of dining rooms, ceasing all group activities as well as helping their residents combat loneliness. I have first-hand knowledge, not only on the professional side of things but also the personal, as I have an 89-year-old father in an independent living facility. I have seen the lows and it was a tough time for residents, families, staff and vendors, so my thanks go out to all of my members for their compassionate work.

Are you a senior living facility looking for a GPO relationship? Contact us to learn more about the benefits of being a CHAMPS GPO member!

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