CC Salonga, GFM class of 2020, joined the program from a career as a U.S. Navy officer where she specialized in logistics and inventory management for the Defense Department. She entered GFM with an interest in retail operations and will continue her studies in the fall at Iowa State University’s doctoral program in the department of Apparel, Merchandising & Design. But in the meantime, CC is back in Washington, dedicating her military expertise to the country’s most crucial work of the moment. The GFM program takes great pride in her academic and professional accomplishments and wish her success in this critical phase of her career.
When I learned that supply chain consultants were needed to support the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) efforts towards COVID-19, I reached out. Within a few days I found myself at the Federal Emergency Management Agency Headquarters (FEMA HQ) operations center where I assisted with tracking supply requisitions for the Strategic National Stockpile. HHS and FEMA coordinate efforts with local emergency response officials to provide supplies and address medical needs.
The team I worked with specializes in disaster relief and tracks requirements and incoming and outgoing inventory on commodities such as ventilators, test kits, pharmaceuticals, and Federal Medical Systems which are deployable 250- and 50-bed sets with bathroom and shower capabilities. We pulled information from multiple supply chains and different tracking systems to include reviewing thousands of emails requesting support for the states, tribes and territories. We also tracked deliveries to designated sites — primarily convention centers, but also school gyms, warehouses, hospitals, and national guard sites.
As pharmaceuticals requirements gained momentum, I was moved to an HHS mission support building in Frederick, MD where there is a warehouse that holds some national stockpile stores for pharmaceuticals, devices and supplies designated for disaster and health emergencies. There, I helped the staff with inventory and administrative efforts to get caches ready for deployment.
The needs of HHS continue to change, and I am now in a third location, the HHS operations center close to FEMA HQ. I still support resource allocation efforts but also have the ability to observe videoconferences involving multiple groups within the government and the military. I have an even greater appreciation for the monumental and collective efforts of private industry and the government. Having spent some time in the military, I have found it rewarding to continue serving in times of need.
CC Salonga, Washington, D.C.