Two to be honored with the 2023 Dean S. Ammer Award for Healthcare Supply Chain Performance Excellence

July 14, 2023

Bellwether League Foundation’s Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership proudly recognizes and welcomes two Honorees for the Dean S. Ammer Award for Healthcare Supply Chain Performance Excellence.

For 2023, the Ammer Honorees are Michael McCullough, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, Wellstar Health System, Marietta, GA, and Régine Honoré Villain, Vice President, Supply Chain Network and Chief Supply Chain Officer, Ochsner Health, Baton Rouge, LA.

The Ammer award is named for and dedicated to the first inductee into Bellwether League Foundation’s Hall of Fame for Healthcare Supply Chain Leadership in 2008. BLF reserves this honor for those professionals in the middle of their careers that it deems best exemplify the practice and spirit of healthcare supply chain performance excellence through their innovative leadership and influential project management experience.

Bellwether League Foundation honors McCullough and Villain this year as they join the 2021 honoree Donna Van Vlerah, Senior Vice President, Supply & Support Services, Parkview Health, Fort Wayne, IN, and the 2020 honoree Randy V. Bradley, Ph.D., CPHIMS, FHIMSS, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and Information Systems, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Haslam College of Business, Department of Supply Chain Management. Just as Ammer outlined how healthcare supply chain was progressing in the mid-to-late 20th century, Bradley, Van Vlerah and now McCullough and Villain represent how the profession is expanding in the 21 century.

McCullough and Villain will be recognized and saluted at the 16th Annual Bellwether League Foundation Induction & Recognition Event (BLFIRE), scheduled for Monday, October 2, at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.

Barbara Strain, Board Chairman, Bellwether League Foundation, commended McCullough and Villain for their innovative contributions to the profession and industry.

“The late Dean S. Ammer was inducted into the first Bellwether class in 2008 and is regarded as the father of healthcare materials management,” Strain said. “Ammer recipients are noteworthy executives and professionals in the middle of their careers but have not yet reached Bellwether honoree status. They are recognized for their healthcare supply chain leadership excellence, which was abundant in the most recent few years. We are pleased to honor these Ammer recipients this year who exemplify the spirit in which this award is named, and we congratulate Michael and Régine for their accomplishments.”

Observing the myriad accomplishments of McCullough might lead one to believe he sees the borders and boundaries long established around the healthcare supply chain to be nothing more than dotted lines. As a provider-rooted supply chain “go-to guy,” McCullough has partnered externally with manufacturers, distributors, group purchasing organizations (GPO) and online and technology-centered exchanges to help them fully understand the in-depth supply chain experience from hospital and integrated delivery network (IDN) perspectives as well as designing and launching consolidated service center operations for hospitals and IDNs. Even within his own organization, McCullough has developed and nurtured deep professional relationships with clinicians, physicians and surgeons that have generated respect, support and trust for supply chain in fortifying service lines for patient care. McCullough also remains actively involved in mentoring that identifies future leaders with high potential for performance as well as advocating for those with mental and physical disabilities, paving ways for them to contribute to organizational success and earn their own professional success and personal satisfaction.

Rather than merely “thinking outside the box” as a healthcare supply chain leader, Villain instead decided to change the mythical shape of the box as her organization was slammed by a double-whammy: It operated and served within a COVID-19 pandemic hotspot and an active hurricane season with multiple direct hits. Relying on her urban and suburban experience, she established a centralized warehouse and distribution center that serves as a hub for critical supplies for patient care and for community organizations – including schools and churches. She also oversaw the installation of a warehouse management software system to support the operation, allowed 20 outside-the-organization COVID test kit sites to use the warehouse for preparing the kits and stored relief supplies to support the community hurricane response. Navigating her organization’s supply chain through the challenges that the pandemic wrought – including product and service access – schooled Villain rather quickly on authentic servant leadership whereby command and control gives way to strategic decision-making and team support. During these turbulent clinical and operational times, she solidified ties with alternative manufacturing and distribution sources to keep the product lines flexible and fluid, and also convinced the C-suite to establish and invest in a self-manufacturing joint venture to support the organization and surrounding communities.

Visit Bellwether League Foundation for more information.

Contact: Rick Dana Barlow, Wingfoot Media Inc.

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