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Bellwether League, Inc.9 to enter healthcare supply chain leadership hall of fame

SCHAUMBURG, IL (July 1, 2013) – Bellwether League Inc., the healthcare supply chain leadership hall of fame, chose 9 innovators, pioneers and visionaries as Honorees of the Bellwether Class of 2013.

Three are retired or semi-active and near retirement, three are deceased and three remain active and dedicated to service.

Bellwether League Inc.’s 10-member Board of Directors elected the following professionals to the Bellwether Class of 2013: Christopher J. Bale, Lynn Britton, James F. Dickow, William A. Donato Jr. , Nick Gaich, Donald E. Greenslade, Michael Rosser, Alan D. Weinstein and Paul E. Widman.

Bellwether Class of 2013 Honorees will be inducted at the 6th Annual Honoree Induction Dinner Event, scheduled for Tuesday, October 1, at the Sheraton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel.

Bellwether League Inc.’s Board selected these bellwethers for their achievements and contributions in the delivery of quality care through efficient and innovative supply chain operations. 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 profession of supply chain management among hospitals, group purchasing organizations (GPOs), manufacturers and distributors, consulting firms, educational institutions and media properties.

Companies or individuals wishing to honor any or all of the Honorees can visit Bellwether League Inc.’s Web site at to register to attend and/or sponsor the award dinner event or post congratulatory messages in the collectible dinner program.

“The Bellwether Class of 2013 represents another stellar group of Supply Chain pioneers and leaders,” said Jamie C. Kowalski, Co-Founder and Board Chairman, Bellwether League Inc. “In fact, the Board of Directors is proud to have learned about and included in this Class two Honorees from Canada and England.

“The individual and collective body of work of this year’s Honoree class serves as sterling examples of advancing the art and science of Supply Chain Management,” Kowalski continued.

“The Board of Directors of Bellwether League Inc. hope that all in our profession and our industry will join us on October 1 to  recognize and congratulate each of these Honorees who have shown the rest of us how to strive for and achieve excellence through their efforts and accomplishments.”

“As the Supply Chain grows in importance in healthcare business, we are honored to recognize and induct the 9 members of the Bellwether Class of 2013 who have demonstrated and reinforced the profession’s importance and prominence long before it became fashionable and necessary,” said Rick Dana Barlow, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Bellwether League Inc.

Bellwether Class of 2013

Christopher J. Bale pioneered modern-day healthcare supply chain journalism by bringing journalistic standards to reporting on the industry, through knowledgeable, insightful and thought-provoking reporting  back in the late 1970s. Through such publications as Purchasing Administration (later Hospital Purchasing News and then Healthcare Purchasing News) and Medical Product Salesman (later Medical Products Sales) magazines, Bale helped educate, inform and mentor a generation of healthcare supply chain journalists and association and trade group executives through his leadership and industry example.

Lynn Britton translated his early retail industry and initial hospital supply chain experience into the creation, founding and development of a comprehensive, consolidated and provider-based corporate supply chain operation that services a variety of healthcare facilities in multiple states for St. Louis-based Mercy Health System. Britton parlayed his leadership and expertise and leadership to the position of CEO at one of the largest regional integrated delivery networks in the nation. A weather-related disaster tested, shaped and refined his executive leadership resolve and resilience.

James F. Dickow used his corporate engineering background, which included simulating astronaut link-ups with the space station, and his executive posts with several national, regional and local hospital medical/surgical product distributors and management consultancies to help hospitals with their operations improvement and facility planning initiatives. With an emphasis on quality outcomes while reducing costs, Dickow routinely challenged the status quo and backed it up with solid analysis. He shared his knowledge and skills with Supply Chain leaders and staff in hundreds of hospitals across the United States and Canada.

William A. Donato Jr. demonstrates a keen knack for bridging clinical and supply chain operations, linking physicians and surgeons with those who fortify them in the surgical suites. Whether he’s leading supply chain operations at a nationally renowned hospital system, a national GPO, or product marketing and development efforts for a prominent medical products supplier, Donato expanded the art and science of authentic clinical supply chain operations to optimize the support to the caregiver and patient alike.

Nick Gaich was as pioneering and instrumental in giving physicians and surgeons authority and a voice in supply chain operations, as he was in implementing “stockless” supply systems for high-end clinical products and strategic point-of-use service center models in a prominent university medical center setting. Gaich then expanded his clinical service line management best practices program globally, promoting integrated supply chain excellence in the Middle East, Germany and China.

Donald E. Greenslade pioneered regional purchasing, storage and centralized distribution operations in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service for the first four decades of the NHS’ existence, before bringing his logistics and procurement expertise across the Atlantic. Greenslade guided supply chain leaders and their organizations in the United States and Canada, helping them to redefine and reshape their supply chain thinking and apply that to the redesign and reconfiguration of their practices and procedures, to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency.

Michael Rosser is regarded as “the father of the modern healthcare supply chain in Canada,” and is credited with spearheading both the initial design and operations of the original, consolidated “shared services organization model” for Canadian healthcare provider organizations. Since his retirement in 2010, after a 35-year healthcare supply chain career, Rosser has been consulting as well as volunteering in Haiti to rebuild a hospital and recreate their supply chain operations in the aftermath of a major earthquake.

Alan D. Weinstein spent more than three decades launching and leading businesses that provide shared programs and services to hospitals and other healthcare facilities, including the predecessor to Premier Health Alliance and its clinical- and data-driven successor organization Premier Inc. Since his retirement from Premier in 2000, Weinstein has shared his clinical and healthcare operational acumen with dozens of manufacturers, distributors, service companies and hospitals as board member and consultant. He also has mentored many supply chain leaders throughout his career.

Paul E. Widman was one of the “founding five” executives that “formed the nucleus of non-physician, professional operations” at the modern-day Cleveland Clinic. Widman didn’t have to promote supply chain management as a C-suite operation because he actually accomplished it back in the 1960s and 1970s. Widman was recognized internationally as a hospital purchasing authority, regarded for his love of people and known for his keen wit. He frequently published articles and served on the Editorial Board of the industry newsletter Hospital Materials Management.

About Bellwether League Inc.

Bellwether League Inc.’s Board of Directors selects deceased, 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 by advancing the profession through work experience and performance and active participation in professional organizations and their communities.

To date, Bellwether League Inc., has identified and honored 62 innovators, leaders and pioneers in healthcare supply chain management in five distinct categories: Education & Media, Supply Chain Management, Group Purchasing, Supplier and Consulting Services.

Launched in late July 2007 by a group of influential veterans in the healthcare supply chain industry, Bellwether League Inc., is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation that 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 six Founding and Platinum Sponsors – Hospira, Kimberly-Clark Health Care, McKesson, MedAssets, Owens & Minor and Premier Purchasing Partners – and a host of additional sponsors.

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

  • Jamie C. Kowalski (co-founder, chairman), CEO, Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting LLC, Milwaukee, WI
  • Rick Dana Barlow (co-founder, executive director), president, Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, IL
  • Patrick E. Carroll Jr. (secretary), president, Patrick E. Carroll & Associates, Cypress, CA
  • Mary A. Starr, (treasurer) assistant vice president, AdvantageTrust, HealthTrust Purchasing Group, Schaumburg, IL
  • James R. Francis, chair, supply chain management, and chief supply chain officer, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Michael Louviere, system vice president, supply chain, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, LA
  • Vance B. Moore, senior vice president, operations, Mercy, Chesterfield, MO
  • Jean M. Sargent, CMRP, FAHRMM, CRCST, director, Aspen Healthcare Metrics, MedAssets, Los Angeles
  • John W. Strong, principal, John Strong LLC, Fontana, WI
  • Mark A. Van Sumeren, senior vice president, strategy and business development, Owens & Minor Inc., Richmond, VA

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


Jamie C. Kowalski
Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting LLC

Patrick E. Carroll Jr.
Patrick E. Carroll & Associates

Mary A. Starr
Assistant Vice President, AdvantageTrust
HealthTrust Purchasing Group

Executive Director
Rick Dana Barlow
Wingfoot Media Inc.


James R. Francis
Chair, Supply Chain Management
Mayo Clinic

Michael Louviere
System Vice President, Supply Chain
Ochsner Health System

Vance B. Moore
Senior Vice President, Operations

Jean M. Sargent
Director, Advisory Solutions

John W. Strong
John Strong LLC

Mark A. Van Sumeren
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development
Owens & Minor Inc.


Jamie C. Kowalski
Rick Dana Barlow

Founding Sponsors:

Kimberly-Clark Health Care
Owens & Minor
Premier Purchasing Partners

Platinum Sponsor:


Bellwether League Inc. (BLI) is a non-stock, not-for-profit Illinois corporation, tax exempt under IRS Code Section 501(c)(6). BLI donations and sponsorships are not deductible as a charitable contribution for income tax purposes, but may be deductible as a business expense.