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Bellwether League, Inc.George Hansen, SPD/OR equipment planning, facility design expert, remembered by Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership

SCHAUMBURG, IL (May 20, 2020) – During his illustrious career that spanned the last four decades of the 20th century, George O. Hansen consistently set his sights on the big picture.

Starting in equipment sales before adding and specializing in Sterile Processing and Operating Room support workspace design for American Sterilizer Co. (AMSCO), Hansen introduced and incorporated the principles of throughput and workflow analysis as its lead systems design consultant. His efforts can be found within hospitals located around the world.

Bellwether League Inc., the Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership, recognized, honored and inducted Hansen into the Bellwether Class of 2012 – on his 80th birthday.

Bellwether League learned that Hansen died on Tuesday, May 5, from complications related to Myelodysplastic Syndrome, according to his published obituary. He was 88.

During his acceptance speech eight years ago, Hansen waxed humorously poetic about the leading issue affecting healthcare – and management in general: Change.

“If I talk to you about change I’d be preaching to the choir,” he said. “I see a few gray hairs and white hairs [in the audience] and hair that used to be gray,” he joked, eliciting a roar of laughter from the crowd.

“Success to me is being happy in your job, competent and creative in your job,” he continued. “I was fortunate enough to have a staff I worked with, and reported to, that gave me the confidence to do some of the innovative things we did.”


Jamie C. Kowalski, (Bellwether Class of 2017), Bellwether League Co-Founder and Founding Chairman, fondly remembers Hansen’s valuable contributions, professional relationship building and work ethic.

“Early in my career, I learned a lot about Sterile Processing, throughput planning and facility design from George,” Kowalski recalled. “He had a way with people, even those that did not agree with what he said. For example, maybe the SPD supervisor thought they needed a certain number of sterilizers, but George calculated what was needed. When he showed that supervisor how he arrived as his conclusion and what assumptions were made, and using his very genial and comedic approach, he almost always convinced the naysayer to accept his numbers. He was fun to work with and very serious about what he was doing at the same time.

“Over the years, I must have run into George at a number of hospital building projects,” Kowalski continued. “If he was on the team, I was confident Sterile Processing and OR were in good hands.”

After earning an honorable discharge the U.S. Air Force, newly married and with he and his wife Joan’s first child on the way, Hansen began his healthcare career in 1954 as an electric design draftsman for Delta Star Electric Co.

Two years later he joined AMSCO as a sales representative, but soon added equipment specification, design services and system engineering to his portfolio of expertise. When STERIS Corp. acquired AMSCO International in 1996, Hansen remained with the organization until his official retirement in 1998.

Hansen provided planning and design services for centralized material processing and equipment in facilities around the world, including hospitals and organizations in China, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and the Baltic republics.

Hansen is survived by his wife Joan, three children and two grandchildren.

Interment at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery in Palatine, IL, is private. A memorial celebration for family and friends will be scheduled at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, the Hansen family requests a donation to the MDS Foundation. Condolences can be given at or (847) 253-0168.

About Bellwether League

Bellwether League’s Board of Directors, a veteran group of industry advocates, evaluates and validates professionals submitted for consideration in its two award programs: Bellwethers and Future Famers.

The Board 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 as Bellwether Class Honorees. Those honored 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 and inducted into its Hall of Fame 112 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 27 Future Famers.

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 six Founding and Platinum Sponsors – HealthTrust, Intalere, Owens & Minor, Premier, Vizient and VIE Healthcare – and a host of additional sponsors.

The 2020-2021 Board of Directors of Bellwether League Inc. includes a veteran group of industry advocates:

  • Nick Gaich, (Chairman) (Bellwether Class of 2013),CEO, Nick Gaich and Associates, Morgan Hill, CA
  • Nathaniel Mickish, (Secretary) (Future Famers Class of 2015), Vice President, Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX
  • Deborah A. Petretich Templeton, R.Ph., (Treasurer), Chief Administrative Officer, System Support Services, Geisinger Health, Danville, PA
  • Rick Dana Barlow, (Co-founder, Executive Director), President, Wingfoot Media Inc., Schaumburg, IL
  • Karen Conway, CMRP, Vice President, Healthcare Value, GHX, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Dee Donatelli, R.N. (Bellwether Class of 2015), Vice President, Professional Services, TractManager,Newton, KS
  • Jamie C. Kowalski, (Co-founder, Founding Chairman 2007-2013) (Bellwether Class of 2017), retired CEO, Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting LLC, Milwaukee, WI
  • Nicholas C. Toscano (Bellwether Class of 2018), Founder & CEO, Julicon Advisors LLC, Saint Simons Island, GA

For more information on how to become a sustaining or corporate sponsor or to nominate Honoree and Future Famer candidates visit