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Bellwether League, Inc.10 sponsors move healthcare supply chain ‘hall of fame’ forward

SCHAUMBURG, IL (July 17, 2008) – Through mid-July 2008, Bellwether League Inc., the Schaumburg, IL-based healthcare supply chain “hall of fame,” has recruited 10 corporate financial sponsors so far to support its ongoing mission to recognize, promote and honor supply chain excellence.

The sponsoring organizations represent four different market segments: Distribution, manufacturing, group purchasing and media.

Five Founding Sponsors include the following:

  • Owens & Minor Inc., Mechanicsville, VA, one of the nation’s largest healthcare supply distributors
  • Hospira Worldwide Inc., Lake Forest, IL, a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company
  • Premier Inc., Charlotte, a leading healthcare alliance owned by not-for-profit hospitals that operates one of the largest purchasing networks and a comprehensive repository of clinical and financial data
  • Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc., Dallas, the multi-national consumer products manufacturing company
  • MedAssets Inc., Atlanta, the investor-owned margin and cash flow improvement company for hospitals that operates one of the nation’s largest purchasing networks

Founding Sponsors agree to donate $10,000 to Bellwether League Inc. for the first year and $2,000 annually thereafter.

Other non-Founding Sponsors include: Amerinet Inc., St. Louis, one of the nation’s largest healthcare group purchasing organizations; Amerinet Central, Warrendale, PA, one of the two investor-owners of Amerinet Inc.; C.R. Bard Inc., Murray Hill, NJ, the multinational developer, manufacturer and marketer of products that focus on disease state management in vascular, urology and oncology segments; Cardinal Health Inc., Dublin, OH, the global manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products and services; and Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, IL, a content management services company with a specialty in healthcare supply chain management.

“We appreciate and welcome the support of these forward-thinking companies that are willing to invest in Bellwether League Inc. and recognize the importance of supply chain development industrywide,” said Rick Dana Barlow, Bellwether League Inc. co-founder and executive director.

“We feel that the industry needs and wants a ‘hall of fame’ for those innovators and trailblazers who have made, and may still be making, a difference in the supply chain process,” Barlow continued. “The generous contributions of these companies will go a long way toward helping Bellwether League Inc. gain traction and recognition in its own right as it strives to honor participants in one of the fundamental revenue- and expense-impacting functions in a healthcare organization.”

Launched in late July 2007 by a group of influential veterans in the healthcare supply chain industry, Bellwether League Inc. seeks to identify and honor individuals who have demonstrated significant leadership in and influence on and contributions to the healthcare supply chain, including professional from hospitals, non-acute healthcare providers, manufacturers and distributors of healthcare products, group purchasing organizations, consulting firms and educational institutions.

Bellwether League Inc. recognized its first group of nine noteworthy honorees in late April. The organization’s 10-member Board of Directors chose the late Dean Ammer, Lee Boergadine, Gene Burton, Charles Housley, Thomas Kelly, William McFaul, Tom Pirelli, Donald Siegle and Alex Vallas.

Bellwether League Inc., which has submitted its application for not-for-profit status, plans to host a recognition dinner for the 2008 honorees in Chicago at the end of October. The organization plans to recognize its second group of honorees in April 2009 and honor them at the recognition dinner in Chicago in October, a schedule that will continue annually.

Bellwether League Inc. selects individuals that meet its criteria to be publicly recognized and recorded in print and online media for their contributions in advancing and improving all segments of the healthcare supply chain. The criteria include ethics, innovation, integrity, leadership, longevity, mentoring, reputation, speaking, teaching, writing and volunteering.

The Board of Directors of Bellwether League Inc. comprises a veteran group of industry advocates who have volunteered their time and expertise to create and continually develop the organization and its ongoing educational activities. The Board includes:

  • Jamie C. Kowalski (co-founder and chairman), vice president of business development, Owens & Minor Inc., Milwaukee, WI
  • Rick Dana Barlow (co-founder and executive director), president, Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, IL
  • Robert P. “Bud” Bowen (secretary), retired CEO, Amerinet Inc., St. Charles, MO
  • Patrick E. Carroll Jr. (treasurer), president, Patrick E. Carroll & Associates, Cypress, CA
  • James F. Dickow, director of supply chain management, facilities and operations consulting, Lerch Bates Inc., Mequon, WI
  • John B. Gaida, senior vice president of supply chain management, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX
  • Laurence A. Dickson, retired corporate director of materials management, Sisters of Providence Health System, Seattle, WA
  • Thomas W. Hughes, executive director, Strategic Marketplace Initiative, Scituate, MA
  • Richard A. Perrin, president and CEO, AdvanTech Inc., Annapolis, MD
  • Derwood B. Dunbar Jr., president and CEO, MAGNET Co-op, Mechanicsburg, PA

For more information, to become a corporate or individual sponsor  or to nominate honoree candidates visit Bellwether League Inc.’s Web site at