VGM to bestow 'past due' honor

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Friday, October 21, 2016

When the winner of VGM’s inaugural HME Woman of the Year Award is announced on Tuesday, Nov. 1, a longtime oversight will finally be corrected.

“The time to grant recognition to females is past due,” said Christa Miehe, president of Waterloo, Iowa-based VGM’s Essentially Women division. “Thousands of women play significant roles in the HME industry each day by positively impacting their organizations, patients and communities. Women by nature are less likely to raise their hand and ask for recognition unprompted. The HME Woman of the Year award is a prompt to say to all women in the industry, ‘Raise your hand and tell us about all the great work you’re doing.’”

The presentation will take place at 8 a.m. in the C101 Auditorium of the Georgia World Congress Center, preceding the AAHomecare Washington Update.

In essence, the goal in creating the HME Woman of the Year Award is to encourage innovative thinking, participation and continued dedication to the industry by awarding the accomplishments of women leaders, Miehe said.

“We hope the award provides recognition and visibility for exceptional leaders within the industry, and in doing so, publicize some of the many positive things happening in our industry,” she said.

Four finalists were selected from 37 nominations. They are Rose Schafhauser, owner of Association Management, who serves as executive director for MAMES, AZMESA and WAMES; Dr. Kirsten Davin, owner and president of Precision Seating Solutions; Laurie Tomaszewski, chief sales and marketing officer for Handi Medical Supply; and Patricia Mastandrea, COO of MedCare Equipment Company. 

The criteria for selecting an award winner centers on the attributes of an effective leader. The award will honor a woman who has made “increasingly significant contributions throughout her career to both her company and the home medical equipment industry.”

The award was open to all women working in the HME industry, regardless of title or position “because we believe leaders are everywhere in organizations, not just at the top,” Miehe said.

Along with the award, VGM developed an online community on LinkedIn titled Women of HME. The group provides an accessible platform “to promote cohesion and community among women in the HME industry.”