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Bellwether League, Inc.Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership salutes 6 honorees in Class of 2016

SCHAUMBURG, IL (July 18, 2016) – Bellwether League Inc., the Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership, chose six innovators, pioneers and visionaries as honorees of the Bellwether Class of 2016.

Bellwether League Inc.’s 11-member Board of Directors elected the following professionals to this year’s Bellwether Class: Edwin L. Crosby, M.D., Irving Mills, William E. Pauley, Carol Stone, Peggy Styer and Gary L. Wagner.

Three hail from the provider segment, two from the supplier segment and one from the consulting and education segments with a hospital clinical and operational background.

Bellwether Class of 2016 honorees will be inducted at the 9th Annual Bellwether Induction Dinner Event, scheduled for Monday, October 3, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Rosemont, IL.

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.

“What does a physician who supported supply chain throughout his career, the founder of a leading healthcare supply distribution company, a materials manager who pioneered the consolidated service center concept, an executive who has been a staunch supporter of data standards and supplier/IDN partnering, a long-time materials manager who spent her career on the leading edge of innovation, and a 43- year supply chain veteran of every size operation imaginable have in common?” asked Bellwether League Inc. Chairman John Gaida. “Well, they will all be inducted into the Bellwether League Hall of Fame! We celebrate six outstanding careers, nine years of celebrations, and now 86 Bellwethers! We are so proud of each and every Bellwether and encourage you to come celebrate with us in Chicago in October! There will be many past honorees who attend to welcome in the newest class.”

Bellwether Class of 2016

Edwin Crosby, M.D., as a medical intern and clinician during the 1930s and 1940s, recognized the inherent value of supply chain to healthcare, a philosophy he carried with him throughout his storied career that included being one of the youngest directors at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the founding director of what now is The Joint Commission and president and CEO of the American Hospital Association in the 1960s where he helped found what now is the Association for Healthcare Resource and Materials Management (AHRMM).

Irving Mills, from the 1920s through the 1950s, transformed his father’s garment factory into a leading medical supply distribution company that pioneered the use of consignment shipping for hospital customers. Following a brief retirement in the 1960s, Mills returned to healthcare distribution, helping his sons found one of the largest healthcare distribution companies in the nation.

William Pauley, during the late 1970s, was one of the pioneers who developed and actively operated one of the earliest consolidated service center models for hospitals. The centralized purchasing and distribution operation supported three hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Southern California. Furthermore, as far back as the 1960s, Pauley was publishing articles in industry publications about quality buying and value analysis in purchasing.

Carol Stone, during the 1980s, served as one of the earliest advocates for the adoption and implementation of data standards for product and organization identification and greater use of bar codes in the healthcare supply chain, long before it became fiscally and operationally fashionable. At a time when direct customer-to-supplier electronic data interchange (EDI) was considered “high-tech,” Stone was one of the first proponents of open EDI transactional capabilities whereby customers electronically could transmit data to any participating supplier via standard codes.

Peggy Styer, during the late 1970s and early 1980s, promoted the idea that supply chain should be connected electronically to revenue cycle transactions, working with a trailblazing software company at the time to incorporate that functionality into its systems. As a materials management leader, Styer also demonstrated keen proficiency in engaging physicians in supply chain issues by understanding their practices and preferences, recruiting them to participate in the process and maintaining professional connections between them and the C-suite.

Gary Wagner, as a hospital supply chain leader during the 1970s, understood the effectiveness and efficiencies of hospital supply chain departments working with suppliers. At one healthcare organization Wagner automated ordering processes and worked with a major supplier at the time to implement it and then roll it out to the market. In the early 1980s, he launched a novel automated “desktop delivery” service for forms and office supplies with two other suppliers. During the early 1990s, he integrated inpatient and outpatient surgical services operations, worked with surgeons to launch specialty orthopedic ORs and with a third-party distributor to handle OR case-picking processes.

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. Future Famers represent supply chain professionals early in their healthcare careers who do not yet qualify for Bellwether consideration, but have contributed to the healthcare supply chain profession in a meaningful way.

To date, Bellwether League has honored 86 innovators, leaders and pioneers in healthcare supply chain management in five distinct categories: Education & Media, Supply Chain Management, Group Purchasing, Supplier and Consulting Services. Bellwether League also has recognized 12 Future Famers to date.

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 currently is funded by three Founding and Platinum Sponsors – Halyard Health, Owens & Minor and Premier Purchasing Partners – and a host of additional sponsors.

Bellwether League’s Board of Directors comprises a veteran group of industry advocates:

  • John B. Gaida (Chairman), Senior Vice President, Supply Chain Management, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX
  • Patrick E. Carroll Jr. (Secretary), President, Patrick E. Carroll & Associates, Cypress, CA
  • Mary A. Starr, (Treasurer), Vice President, Member Services, Greenhealth Exchange, Reston, VA
  • Rick Dana Barlow (Co-founder, Executive Director), President, Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, IL
  • Todd Ebert, R.Ph., President and CEO, Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA), Washington
  • Nick Gaich, (Bellwether Class of 2013), CEO, Nick Gaich and Associates, Morgan Hill, CA
  • Jamie C. Kowalski (Co-founder, Founding Chairman 2007-2013), CEO, Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting LLC, Milwaukee, WI
  • Michael Louviere, (Bellwether Class of 2010), System Vice President, Supply Chain, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, LA
  • John W. Strong, (Bellwether Class of 2011), Principal, John Strong LLC, Fontana, WI
  • Deborah A. Petretich Templeton, R.Ph., Chief, Care Support Services, Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA
  • Mark A. Van Sumeren, Strategic Adviser, Medical Devices and Integrated Delivery Networks , Health Industry Advisor LLC, Richmond, VA

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


John B. Gaida
Senior Vice President
Supply Chain Management
Texas Health Resources

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

Mary A. Starr
Vice President, Member Care
Greenhealth Exchange

Executive Director
Rick Dana Barlow
Wingfoot Media Inc.


Todd Ebert, R.Ph.
President & CEO
Healthcare Supply Chain Association

Nick Gaich
Nick Gaich and Associates

Jamie C. Kowalski
Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting LLC

Michael Louviere
System Vice President, Supply Chain
Ochsner Health System

John W. Strong
John Strong LLC

Deborah Templeton, R.Ph.
Chief, Care Support Services
Geisinger Health System

Mark A. Van Sumeren
Strategic Advisor, Medical Devices & Integrated Delivery Networks
Health Industry Advisor LLC


Jamie C. Kowalski
Rick Dana Barlow

Founding Sponsors:

Halyard Health
Owens & Minor

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.