Bellwether League, Inc.15 march into healthcare supply chain ‘hall of fame’
At 3rd Annual Honoree Induction Dinner, Bellwether League Inc. honors past and present stars, retires two and welcomes two

SCHAUMBURG, IL (October 29, 2010) – Bellwether League Inc., the healthcare supply chain “hall of fame,” inducted its largest class of noteworthy honorees, 15 influential professionals from providers, suppliers and service organizations, on Tuesday, October 5, at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel.

The emotionally uplifting and intellectually captivating ceremony occurred during National Healthcare Resource & Materials Management Week.

Comprising a group of past and present industry innovators, leaders and pioneers selected by Bellwether League Inc.’s 11-member Board of Directors, the Bellwether Class of 2010 includes Ted Almon, Carter F. Blake, Br. Ned Gerber, George R. Gossett, Frank D. Kilzer, Michael Louviere, Robert Bross Majors, Franklin J. Marshall, Daniel E. Mayworm, Foster G. McGaw, Mark M. McKenna, G. Gilmer Minor III, Curt M. Selquist, Donald G. Soth and Louis Vietti.

Bellwether League Inc.’s Board chose these individuals for their intellectual and operational contributions to healthcare. They represent creative thinkers who take the initiative, expand the boundaries of what’s possible, and perform in a way that improves and promotes the principles and profession of supply chain management among hospitals, group purchasing organizations (GPOs), manufacturers and distributors, consulting firms, educational institutions and media properties.

Three are former presidents of the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM); one is a former chairman of the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) and current chairman of National Distribution and Contracting Inc. (NDC); and three led a trio of the largest product suppliers in healthcare.

Visit Bellwether League Inc.’s Web site (www.bellwetherleague.org) for their profiles.

Bellwether League Inc. Executive Director Rick Dana Barlow opened the ceremony by emphasizing that the supply chain represents two tent poles in quality healthcare delivery. “Supply chain not only represents the lifeblood of healthcare but its backbone as well because without it clinicians couldn’t perform their duties, and patients wouldn’t heal.”

During his introductory remarks, Bellwether League Inc. Chairman Jamie C. Kowalski noted that “all of us at the Bellwether League are humbled, honored and thrilled to be able to give these men and women their ‘props’ [because] they deserve it. This group contributed leadership, creativity and passion – three attributes that helped make supply chain management a noble profession.”

Deborah Sprindzunas, AHRMM executive director, expressed her organization’s proud support of Bellwether League Inc. and complimented Bellwether League’s commitment to supply chain management.

Sprindzunas recognized one Bellwether Class of 2010 Honoree in particular, the late George R. Gossett, who served as AHRMM’s first president in 1962 and for which AHRMM named its highest leadership award. Further, she identified 11 Bellwether League Honorees, Inductees and Board Members who have earned AHRMM’s George R. Gossett Leadership Award, which demonstrated how both AHRMM and Bellwether League Inc. are united in tradition.

Sprindzunas also read a prepared statement from AHRMM President Ray Moore in which he lauded Bellwether League Inc. for “connecting the dots in the profession’s history.”

Barlow spotlighted Lee C. Boergadine and Samuel G. Raudenbush (Bellwether Classes of 2008 and 2009, respectively) in the audience.
“Being inducted with the class of 2009, I felt it again was an honor and privilege to be invited to the Induction Dinner and ceremonies for the class of 2010,” Raudenbush said. “It also provided me the opportunity to not only congratulate the class of 2010, but to renew the many valuable friendships with those that were present.” 

Boergadine echoed those sentiments. “I enjoy attending the [Bellwether League Inc.] dinner because it allows me to reconnect with those who are and were leaders in the supply chain management field,” Boergadine said. “Since retirement, I do not have the opportunity to be in contact with the leaders in my professional field, and it creates a  feeling of well being and satisfaction to be associated with those who continue to carry the torch if only for one evening.”

Of the 15 individuals inducted as part of the Bellwether Class of 2010, four were honored posthumously, five were unable to attend and six accepted their awards to rousing standing ovations befitting their contributions.

Remembering excellence

Two of the prevailing themes that circulated throughout the acceptance speeches of the 10 Honorees and relatives of Honorees included a sense of humility at being recognized for their past and present efforts and achievements as well as heartfelt thanks to those who served as examples, mentors and motivators.

“Anything I may have done to deserve this honor was probably done by them first,” said Ted Almon, president and CEO, The Claflin Co. “I’m happy to take credit but will share this award with all of them.”

Brother Kirt Gerber, a Benedictine Brother, accepted the award for fellow Brother in the Benedictine Order and brother-by-family Ned Gerber, CPA. Ned Gerber currently is stationed in Sydney, Australia, where he does healthcare consulting work on behalf of IBM for public and private hospitals, as well as Fortune 500 companies.

Gerber said the two of them were “encouraged and heartened by the contributions being made” by supply chain and Bellwether League Inc.

Phyllis Soth, wife of the late Donald G. Soth, accepted the award for her husband who served as the popular face of American Sterilizer Co.
“I’ve heard the word ‘humbled’ so many times,” she said. “Don would have been so humbled by this award.”
Another prevalent theme involved selflessness.

Kim C. Gossett, oldest son of the late George R. Gossett, enlightened the audience about his father’s selfless, servant-oriented spirit as most attendees knew the elder Gossett by name only and not the man behind the name.

“My father had a heart for people and taught us to be a servant first,” Gossett said. “He taught us that if you want to get ahead in life you serve others and be an example to them.

To Gossett, who gained prominence at such renowned facilities as Johns Hopkins Hospital, “healthcare wasn’t just a business,” he continued. “He felt that everyone who walked into the hospital got the best healthcare they could so he worked diligently to help people who walked in to walk out healthy.”

St. Alexius Medical Center’s Frank D. Kilzer credited his wife and fellow Inductee Frank Marshall, who he met as a teenager, for inspiring and molding him throughout his career. He listed a plethora of awards he’s received throughout his career and a variety of world traveling experiences where he promoted the use of bar coding and electronic commerce, “but none of these experiences mean as much to me as this award from some of my peers.”

Baptist Health System’s Michael Louviere attributed his induction to all the great people who supported him throughout his career. “I’m not afraid to ask for help and not afraid to borrow ideas,” he added.

As someone who early on had trained to be a Catholic priest, Louviere stressed being a servant and proper alignment as keys to whatever success achieved to date. Both concepts, he noted, help him deal with the continual orders to reduce costs more, “something that’s never ending in this economy.”

Daniel E. Mayworm orally walked through the highlights of his career, first as a manufacturer of medical packaging who battled against a “sacred cow” mindset of what truly defines a product as sterile, to an educator and publisher exploring the importance of supply chain’s reach into the clinical areas.

“I tried to get [supply processing and distribution] reporting to where it belonged – materiel management – and not the [operating room],” Mayworm quipped. “Some of you guys still don’t know how to spell it,” he added, referring to his steadfast campaign to use an “e” versus an “a” at the end of material to signify a process more than a product.

Owens & Minor Inc.’s G. Gilmer Minor III reflected on how Bellwether League gathered together so many people with different backgrounds to support the need and value of such an important function in healthcare.

“This has been a trip down memory lane this evening,” Minor said. “What’s impressed me so much is that we’re bound by a supply chain that unites us. I’ve been part of a team that’s committed to success, and Bellwether League has given us a chance to recognize that. Supply chain is a link to success. If we don’t do it right or consistently well, it will break down.”

Curt M. Selquist, the retired chief of Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems and current GHX Board Member, reinforced that “we’re all at one end or another of the supply chain” and that “everyone has a distinct role.

“We have one person in mind when we get up in the morning and that’s the patient,” he said.

For more details from this event read the complete report on Bellwether League Inc.’s Web site (www.bellwetherleague.org).

Moving forward

Bellwether League Inc.’s third annual Honoree Induction Dinner also marked the retirement of two Founding Board members, and the debut of their successors.

Robert P. “Bud” Bowen, retired CEO of Amerinet Inc., and Thomas W. Hughes, executive director of Strategic Marketplace Initiative, finished their founding terms after nearly four years of dedicated service.

Following the recognition of Bowen and Hughes, Kowalski and Barlow introduced the newest Board members: Mark M. McKenna, retired president and CEO, Novation LLC, and Bellwether Class of 2010 Inductee, and Mary A. Starr, director, AdvantageTrust, HealthTrust Purchasing Group.

About Bellwether League Inc.

Launched in late July 2007 by a group of influential veterans in the healthcare supply chain industry, Bellwether League Inc., a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation, identifies and honors men and women who have demonstrated significant leadership in, influence on and contributions to the supply chain from healthcare providers, healthcare product manufacturers and distributors, group purchasing organizations, consulting firms, educational institutions and media outlets.

Bellwether League Inc. is funded by five Founding Sponsors – Hospira, Kimberly-Clark Health Care, MedAssets, Owens & Minor and Premier Purchasing Partners – and a host of additional sponsors.

Bellwether League Inc. selects retired and currently active professionals with a minimum of 25 years of exemplary service and leadership performance in supply chain operations that meet its criteria to be publicly recognized. Honorees demonstrate their qualifications through advancing the profession, work experience, work performance and active participation in professional organizations.

The Board of Directors of Bellwether League Inc. comprises a veteran group of industry advocates that includes:

For more information, to become a corporate or individual sponsor or to nominate honoree candidates visit Bellwether League Inc.’s Web site at www.bellwetherleague.org. Photos are available by request.