2017 HME Woman of the Year Finalists Announced

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The finalists for the HME Woman of the Year award have been selected. Out of 38 nominees, four women will travel to Medtrade in Atlanta for a chance at becoming the 2017 winner.    

The HME Woman of the Year finalists are Lelia Wilkerson, director, Heritage Medical Equipment & Supplies; Rita Stanley, vice president of Government Relations, Sunrise Medical; Barbara Smith, chief executive officer, Healthline Medical Equipment, Inc.; and Maxine Paul, director of sales and operations, NuMotion, formerly owner of Academy Medical Equipment, Inc.   

Industry Trailblazers

“These women are trailblazers and are passionate advocates for not only the industry, but for the patients they serve,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM & Associates. “They exemplify the dedication and innovation required to have a positive impact on their business, coworkers, customers and the communities they serve.”         

Each finalist has been working in HME for at least 19 years and was selected by recommendations from an honorary selection committee. Dr. Kirsten Davin, president and owner of Precision Seating Solutions, LLC, and the 2016 HME Woman of the Year; Rose Schafhauser, president and owner of Association Management, LLC, and executive director of MAMES and SWMESA; Quinton Hart, mayor of Waterloo, Iowa, where VGM is headquartered; Rick Rector, executive vice president of United Publications and publisher of HME News and Home Health Technology News; and Joan Eliasek, president of Extended Care Sales at McKesson Medical-Surgical comprised the committee.    

Criteria for Finalists

Nominees included a broad spectrum of providers, manufacturers, association executives, and other professionals in HME, rehab, respiratory, and mastectomy. The committee chose the finalists using criteria that included implementing new business processes, advocating on behalf of the industry, improving the lives of patients and impacting her community through volunteerism.    

Mike Mallaro, chief executive officer of VGM Group, personally notified each of the finalists.       

“There are so many in HME that do a great job, and to be acknowledged for that is amazing,” said award finalist Wilkerson. “I’m around a lot of great people, and it’s very humbling that I was selected as a finalist.”      

Winner to be Announced at Medtrade

The HME Woman of the Year award will be presented during Medtrade on Oct. 24 at 8 a.m. (EST) in C101 Auditorium. For more information about the finalists, visit, or connect with them in person at Medtrade during the VGM-sponsored Women and Wine event.   

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