Representatives from across the U.S. Department of Defense attended the most recent Military Health System Vendor Day from September 21-23. The event, which is hosted and promoted by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, continued its recent trend of virtually-based meetings as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. The event is designed to showcase emerging medical devices, technologies and tools developed by small businesses to agencies and organizations within the DOD.

“Military Health System Vendor Day enables a wide array of small business firms, researchers, engineers, and scientists an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of their innovative and military-relevant products, equipment and supplies,” said Jerome Maultsby, assistant director of U.S. Army Medical Command Office of Small Business Programs. “The small, intimate and barrier-free setting is precisely what small business and prospective contractors have long desired in their efforts to market to the DOD military community.”

To that end, several dozen representatives from DOD attended the most recent event –which usually takes place at Fort Detrick – along with more than 30 small-business vendors who presented a range of products encompassing everything from biomedical testing equipment to portable surgical tables to ventilators. Following short initial presentations by the vendors themselves, attending DOD employees were encouraged to ask questions to flesh-out product details, testing efforts and intended uses across a variety of military medical settings.

“Vendor Day creates an opportunity to educate people on the medical products that are available, and grants an opportunity to see the functionality of a product and ask specific questions,” said Katherine Ramsburg, a business development specialist with USAMRDC who continues to develop and promote the MHS Vendor Day system on a monthly basis. “There are multiple focus areas throughout the year so it is likely that there is a product that fits within every group’s area of interest.”

Typically, the event books around 30 vendors while fielding the attendance of around two dozen DOD representatives. Attending government organizations routinely include USAMRDC, the Defense Health Agency, the Defense Logistics Agency and the Air Force Medical Logistics Office, among many others.

“Vendor Day provides a convenient platform for representatives from the Services, who are working on modernization of medical technologies and new solutions, an opportunity to see the products that are currently available and – in some cases – a forecast of the next version of a product,” said Ramsburg, who notes that USAMRDC has taken great pains to preserve the intimate nature of the event despite the obstacles presented by the pandemic.

MHS Vendor Day events are currently scheduled monthly until the end of the year, with events taking place on October 27, November 17 and December 15. If you are a DOD employee and would like to attend the next MHS Vendor Day on behalf of your agency, please email the MHS Vendor Day mailbox at: dha.detrick.j-1-8.mbx.dmlc-vendor-day@mail.mil