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Industry Honors Excellence

Since 2011, the industry has recognized and honored an AAHomecare member for outstanding service to the HME community. This prominent award was renamed in 2016 to reflect the characteristics of an HME visionary, Van G. Miller, past CEO and founder of the VGM Group, as well as a previous Homecare Champion.  

Characteristics considered for a Homcare Champion include an AAHomecare member who has made an exceptional contribution to the homecare sector throughout their career in one or more of the following ways: 

  • Longstanding record of service within the homecare community;
  • Embodiment of the spirit of caring and generosity which are the hallmarks of this profession;
  • Active membership and engagement in the American Association for Homecare.

2019 Van Miller Homecare Champion - Karen Estrella

HME leader and icon Karyn Estrella was recognized as the 2019 Van G. Miller Homecare Champion .  The long-time leader of the Home Medical Equipment and Services Association of New England (HOMES), who passed away on July 4 of 2019, is remembered for her passionate advocacy for better HME policies and her selfless contributions to our industry.

Karyn took the reins as executive director for HOMES in 1998 and helped build the Association into one of the strongest HME advocacy groups in the nation.  She was not only a persuasive presence herself in meetings on Capitol Hill and with state-level legislators and regulators throughout New England, but also helped coach and inspire many others to add their voices to the fight for better HME public policy.

“Karyn was a force in her meetings with policymakers, but the way she encouraged and supported so many other individuals in New England to become strong HME advocates is probably the most important part of her legacy.” remarked Tom Ryan, AAHomecare president and CEO. “She also played a major role on AAHomecare State Leaders Council, both as Chair of the group and through her ever-present willingness to collaborate with and support her peers in other state and regional associations.”

“Karyn is also remembered as a great friend throughout the HME community,” added Ryan. “I’ve been fortunate to get to know a great number of terrific people in HME over the years, but there are very few who have had such a wide-ranging personal and professional impact on this industry.”

The 2019 Van G. Miller Homecare Champion Award was presented to Karyn’s daughter Lauryn Estrella, who served as the interim executive director of HOMES.  

The 2021 Van G. Miller Homecare Champion will be presented at the AAHomecare Update at Medtrade on October 19 at 8:00 am and recognized again that evening at the Stand Up for Homecare reception at Ventanas at 5:00 PM. You can help choose the next recipient by nominating a colleague.

Nominate an HME Friend



Past Recipients of the Van Miller Homecare Champion Award