Remembering Betty Hanna, former executive director for IAHCSMM

July 10, 2019

HPN has been informed of the passing of Betty Hanna on June 16, 2019.

Hanna was the visionary executive director of the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management’s (IAHCSMM), until December 2012, and was part of the association since its inception in 1958.

Hanna was always passionate about supporting the entire family of professionals involved in central sterile/sterilization. She helped grow the appreciation for the support they provide the OR/Surgical teams, and the education programs that IAHCSMM provided.

In the early years, Hanna maintained records and planned conferences. At that time, she also served as assistant editor of Hospital Management, a Chicago-based trade publication, and provided management and secretarial services for the National Association of Hospital Purchasing Managers and the American College of Legal Medicine. Hanna’s roles grew rapidly at the National Association of Hospital Central Service (which later became IAHCSMM), and by 1964 she was managing the association full-time as executive director.

In 2011, Hanna won a Bellwether League award for her life team achievements in many facets of the hospital supply chain pieces she touched. She was especially honored for her abilities to build IAHCSMM, as an educational and mentoring association.

At that Bellwether ceremony, Hanna said she was honored and humbled with the recognition but felt “central sterile supply department professionals are the ones that should be recognized,” she said. “Those working in the CSSD have a difficult, and often thankless, job. They are committed to doing what’s right to ensure quality and patient safety. Despite being true instrumentation and sterilization experts CSSD professionals are often healthcare’s unsung heroes. This award is for them.” 

Hanna went on to explain, “I became involved with IAHCSMM many years ago and have stayed with the organization because I believe strongly in the need to support those responsible for processing instruments and supplying medical devices and equipment to their healthcare customers," says Hanna. "It’s a need that is just as important today as it was more than 50 years ago when this association got started. I have seen such positive changes take place in the profession and for IAHCSMM over the years, and I’m confident that the association will continue to do wonderful things for its members and the profession. IAHCSMM has an outstanding, dedicated and passionate team, and our membership, which continues to grow each week, is simply outstanding. As I step down from my role as executive director, I know that this association is being left in the most capable of hands.”

She will be missed by our Healthcare Purchasing News entire staff and many, many others.

Hanna retired from the industry in 2012.  At that time, HPN senior editor Rick Dana Barlow asked her to reflect on her career, her contributions to the profession, and her thoughts about the future. Read that interview here.

Photo 77197506 © Korn Vitthayanukarun |
Image courtesy of Kat Velez, LeeSar Regional Service Center, Fort Myers, FL, HPN’s 2017 SPD of the Year
261278015 © Александр Лебедько |