Throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley, medical supply companies provide equipment to people, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies and more.
One supplier with a strong presence in the region is Hospital Central Services Inc. & Affiliates in Allentown.
Here to answer this week’s “Behind the List” questions and talk about the services provided by the company is Peter J. Castagna, president and CEO.
Lehigh Valley Business: Health care is a constantly evolving industry. What services does Hospital Central Services provide and how does it stay ahead of new challenges and opportunities?
Peter J. Castagna: Hospital Central Services was founded right here in the Lehigh Valley 50 years ago, when several of the area hospitals decided to outsource and build a shared linen rental and laundry service. Three years later, many of those same hospitals along with local business leaders formed Miller Blood Center, which eventually became what is now known as Miller-Keystone Blood Center after merging with the community blood bank in Reading. It is now is an affiliate of HCSC.
MKBC annually collects, manufactures, tests and distributes more than 121,000 units of blood for transfusion at our local hospitals, while HCSC processes more than 114 million pounds of hygienically clean patient bed linens, scrubs, gowns and other related items.
LVB: What is your guiding philosophy as a business owner?
Castagna: Any successful business starts with its people and culture. Having accepted the position in 2013, I was immediately impressed with the culture of HCSC and Miller-Keystone, the longevity of service, the depth of industry expertise and unwavering commitment to serve our customers.
LVB: What is the best piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?
Castagna: Early on in my career, I was fortunate to have a great boss and mentor who shared a phrase that continues to resonate with me: “Passionate People Perform.” It sounds pretty simple, but it taught me that a career is about doing what you love and loving what you do.
LVB: If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be?
Castagna: Our greatest challenge in this dynamic environment is ensuring our customers understand the value that we provide beyond the basic cost of our service. The blood supply needs to be safe and immediately available when the patient requires it. Clean and hygienic linen, scrubs and apparel contribute to lowering the potential for infections and readmissions and cannot be compromised. As hospital systems get larger in size and scope and covering larger geographies, it will benefit all stakeholders to continue to work together on what is best for the health of the patient and the community.
LVB: What motivates you to get out of bed every morning to go to work?
Castagna: HCSC and Miller-Keystone play a vital role in the health and wellness of this remarkable community. Getting the opportunity to work with many amazing people is inspirational and not a day goes by that we get a firsthand view into what makes the Lehigh Valley so special.
LVB: What are some of your personal interests outside of the workplace?
Castagna: In our free time, my wife, Angela, and I enjoy traveling and spending time with our three daughters who all live and work in New York and New Jersey. I’m also an avid golfer and enjoy reading a good book for relaxation.