Each year, AAHomecare recognizes outstanding Association members who have made exceptional contributions to the HME sector as its Homecare Champions.
In 2016 the award has been renamed to reflect the characteristics of an HME visionary, Van G. Miller, past CEO and founder of the VGM Group, Inc.
While the recognition of Homecare Champions may relate in part to involvement in government affairs, this award is not predominately focused on federal or state government advocacy. AAHomecare seeks to honor people who have been involved in various aspects of the business of HME and the care that is an essential component of it.
Missy Cross, vice president of the homecare division of O.E. Meyer Co was the first recipient of the newly-remaned first Van Miller Homecare Champion award for her commitment and leadership to the HME industry, which included service as president of the Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Services and leading successful efforts to stop a massive reduction to the Medicaid benefit for all Ohio HME providers. She is pictured here with 2011 Homecare Champion and AAHomecare president Tom Ryan.
Joey (left), who serves as president at Family Medical, along with Billy (right), the COO and vice president, have been effective advocates for HME through persistent lobbying of both the North Carolina State Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Their persistance and passion have helped them develop very strong relationships with key legislators at both the state and Federal levels.
Cara is a regulatory, legislative, government relations expert who has been on the front lines of defending the HME industry for almost 20 years, including time with AAHomecare as vice president of member services. Her strategic advice and counsel have helped guide the industry through some of its biggest challenges.
From starting in homecare at 16 and learning the business from the ground up to revamping and becoming CEO of Advanced Homecare, Joel Mills is well known for his passion for the industry, patients and employees. As one of the original members and chairman of the AAHomecare Board of Directors, he has played a pivotal role in leading the industry.
Scott's personal leadership on public policy issues is evident in his service as a member of the AAHomecare board of directors, in Pride Mobility’s dedication to working in close partnership with the DME provider community, and in his long-standing involvement in corporate philanthropy on both national and local levels.
Shelly's career in the homecare sector stretches over half a century, from when he was one of the first pharmacy owners to supply DME and oxygen, to his pioneering efforts as founder of the Homecare Providers Co-op, and work in government relations for Graham-Field. Today, his voice as an advocate for the DME community remains as vibrant and respected as ever through his influential blog and his service as a Medtrade ambassador.
Alan's steadfast commitment to the homecare sector, evidenced by his service as president of the New York Medical Equipment Providers Association and as chairman of the American Association for Homecare. One illustration of his lasting legacy: During his tenure as AAHomecare chairman, he secured a vital, long-term agreement with Medtrade that has benefited the entire HME sector.
Van's remarkable entrepreneurial achievements in the HME sector go back to the founding of Miller Medical Supply in 1976. He nurtured two companies that took off and were recognized by Inc. Magazine as among the fastest growing in the U.S. He founded VGM Group, which now employs more than 500 people. More than a successful businessman, Van is a visionary—a leader who fights for homecare.
Joe Lewarski is a gifted clinician whose deep concern about patient outcomes has been a hallmark of his decades of experience as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. His commitment and work to advance the understanding of respiratory therapy have been invaluable in communicating critical insights to policy and congressional audiences as well as to the provider and manufacturing communities.
Tom Ryan's contributions to his community, his dedication to patients, and success as a provider combine to make him a model leader for America’s homecare sector. On top of that, he assumed chairmanship of AAHomecare and provided selfless service during an extended period of change when threats to the HME sector required tough and courageous decisions in Washington.