August 29, 2023

For VUMC materials management supervisor Kelvin Devane, surgical patients’ needs are top of mind

“I don’t know these people on the table having surgery, but it’s somebody’s dad, somebody’s mom, somebody’s child. I just want to help take care of them.”

Credo Award Winner Kelvin Devane poses for a photo on August 2, 2023. Photos by Donn Jones/Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Kelvin Devane, Materials Management Supervisor. Photo by Donn Jones. 

Kelvin Devane, raised by his mother and grandparents in Ivanhoe, North Carolina, grew up seeing them always put others before themselves. A U.S. Army veteran — four tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan — further engrained those values into his warm and respectful personality.

Devane, a day shift Materials Management supervisor at the Case Cart Operations Center for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, always has the patient in mind as he makes sure that critical supplies needed for surgeries are secured on time and in place for the surgical teams across VUMC.

For his devotion to his job, his determination in handling the complexities of an often-stalled supply chain, and for juggling the transfer of items from the Case Cart Operations Center to dozens of operating rooms at Vanderbilt University Hospital, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Bone and Joint in Franklin, Tennessee, Vanderbilt Belle Meade, and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt Surgery and Clinics Murfreesboro, Devane received a Credo Award at the August virtual Leadership Assembly held Aug. 23.

Devane, who has worked at VUMC for about six years, manages a staff of 30. As surgeries are planned (usually 300-400 cases a day), he and the day and night staffs at the 24/7 Briley Parkway location select the needed materials a day in advance, place them in a plastic tote or case cart, and ship them to the specified OR by one of eight trucks.

In February, because of global supply issues, VUMC was running out of surgical tourniquets. Devane drove to Clarksville and Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, where he has connections from his time in the Army, and secured a loan of tourniquets, especially vital for the care of trauma surgical patients.

“Kelvin is always willing to go above and beyond to make sure the OR has the supplies we need,” according to a colleague on Devane’s nomination form. “He brought them back and dropped them off at the hospital and notified our team in the OR that they were here so that we could make sure we had them when we needed them.”

Devane repeated the trip to Fort Campbell in June when VUMC was running out of chest tubes used for cardiac surgeries.

“If the hospital is out of something at our facility, there are times I might have to drive to Fort Campbell or reach out to other hospitals or other resources to get supplies,” Devane said. “I do what I need to do because at the end of the day it’s about taking care of patients. If we are out of it and I have other means, I’m going to get it.  That’s what we do here at Vanderbilt. It’s all about taking care of patients and saving lives,” he said.

“We have probably hundreds of these stories of how Kelvin listens to us and acts on our needs,” another nomination read. “He is always helpful. He is committed to his team, us, our patients, and makes sure that we have what we need to do our job. I can’t even begin to express how much we appreciate him and how deserving he is of the Credo award. Honestly, we should have an award that is specifically named after him. He is the epitome of what everyone wants in a colleague.”

Devane said he appreciates being recommended for the award and is honored to receive it.

“But I’m just doing my job. The behind-the-scenes stuff is critical. We have to exhaust every avenue to make sure the supplies are there. I would want someone thinking of me like that if I had surgery. I don’t know these people on the table having surgery, but it’s somebody’s dad, somebody’s mom, somebody’s child. I just want to help take care of them.”








If you are a VUMC employee, you can nominate a colleague for an Elevate Credo Award, Five Pillar Leader Award, or Team Award. Visit the Elevate website to fill out a nomination form. Employees demonstrate credo behaviors when: they make those they serve the highest priority; respect privacy and confidentiality; communicate effectively; conduct themselves professionally; have a sense of ownership; and are committed to their colleagues. Elevate award nominations are accepted year-round. If a nomination is received after the cut off for an award selection period, the nomination will be considered for the next period. VUMC VOICE will post stories on each of the award winners in the weeks following their announcement.