Local Hospital System Uses DEI To Evaluate Purchases

JPS Health Network | Image by JPS

Tarrant County hospital system JPS Health is under scrutiny following revelations it evaluates potential equipment purchases on a 100-point scale that prioritizes “diversity.”

According to the scale, minority-owned, MWVBE (a minority, women, or veteran business enterprise) certified firms automatically receive 15 points for “diversity and Inclusion” as race and gender are considered whenever vendor owners are evaluated, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The scale has a “Price — Best Value” component valued at 20 possible points. The extent to which the goods and services meet the system’s needs is valued at 25 possible points. The quality of the goods warrants 20 points, and the reputation of goods can be awarded as many as 20 points.

JPS Health’s evaluation system has been met with sharp criticism.

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk blasted JPS Health on X for the race-based element in its vendor selection, calling it “insane” and “evil.”

“In Tarrant County, Texas, the public hospital system evaluates potential equipment purchases on a 100-point scale. Price is 20 points. Quality is 20 points. ‘Diversity’ is 15 points,” he wrote. “In other words, in Tarrant County’s hospitals, a heart valve that patients’ lives will depend [on] that gets just 5/20 on “quality” will be rated the same as the best heart valve available, just as long as the first option is supplied by a minority or a woman.”

“This is insane. This is evil. And most importantly, this is happening in a red state. Texas must ban this kind of sick race-first decision-making immediately,” Kirk argued.

Still, some support the use of “supplier-diversity programs.”

“Inclusive procurement … delivers broader societal benefits by generating economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities. The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates there were 8 million minority-owned companies in the United States as of 2018. The National Minority Supplier Diversity Council reports that certified MBEs generate $400 billion in economic output that leads to the creation or preservation of 2.2 million jobs and $49 billion in annual revenue for local, state, and federal tax authorities. And those numbers are steadily increasing,” wrote Alexis Bateman, director of MIT Sustainable Supply Chains, an initiative in the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics; Ashley Barrington, founder of MarketPearl; and Katie Date, MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics Corporate outreach manager and leader of the Women in Supply Chain Initiative, per Harvard Business Review.

Some Tarrant County leaders have criticized the diversity points and have called for accountability.

“When a hospital system is using ‘diversity’ as part of its measure for healthcare decisions, you know that the best interest of the patient is less important than appeasing Marxist ideologies. This poison that has infiltrated … our institutions must be exterminated at all levels,” Tarrant County Republican Party Chair Bo French told The Dallas Express. “The majority of voters in Tarrant County reject this nonsense, and I believe [they] will hold our officials accountable for allowing this to take place.”

Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare called for action from JPS’s board.

“The JPS Board needs to clean up this nonsense immediately. There is no place for DEI scoring in the awarding of any government contracts,” O’Hare told DX. “Practices like these are simply bad policy and bad government. Contracts should be awarded based on price and quality, period.”

Last year, Tarrant County commissioners voted to eliminate mandatory “unconscious bias” training for employees after a 3-2 vote.

DX contacted JPS Health for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

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