Work hard, play hard


The last time I saw Van Miller was at the AAHomecare Washington Legislative Conference in May.

It was the first day of the event and things didn’t really get started until noon, but there was Miller in the lobby with CFO Mike Mallaro doing what he did best, working the crowd, shaking hands and patting backs, and even offering this reporter and another attendee water.

It turned out that, although the official legislative visits didn’t start until the next day, Miller and the rest of the crew from VGM had already been to the Hill and back that morning.

I’ll be honest: I’ve never said much more than, “Hello, how are you,” to Miller in my nearly 10 years at HME News.

But I have seen him at plenty of Legislative Conferences and Medtrades and Heartland Conferences, and to be at these events is to know Miller in an important way.

At these events and others, Miller defined the phrase, work hard, play hard.

On how he worked hard, see above.

On how he played hard—a Medtrade wouldn’t be a Medtrade without a themed party hosted by VGM, and a Heartland Conference wouldn’t be a Heartland Conference without a pig roast and fireworks.

Miller was a man who had our collective backs and showed us a good time to boot.

I suspect next week will be the HME industry’s first Medtrade without Miller in a long, long time. He won’t be there physically, but he will be there in spirit, and we owe it to ourselves to do what he always did, work hard but play a little while we’re at it.