Woman of the Year
VGM 2020 HME Woman of the Year Award Finalists
Four finalists have been named for the 2020 HME Woman of the Year.
The winner will be announced during a special virtual ceremony on Oct. 22, 11:00 CST.
Check out our keynote speaker!
Now in its fifth year, the award, sponsored by VGM, recognizes one woman in the industry who has made significant contributions throughout her career to her company, community, and the HME industry.
The nominees included a broad spectrum of providers, manufacturers, and other professionals in HME, rehab, respiratory, and mastectomy industry.
“These women are determined advocates and leaders—serving our industry selflessly for years,” said Clint Geffert, President of VGM & Associates. “They exemplify the dedication and innovation required to have a positive impact not only on their business and coworkers, but also the customers and the communities they serve.”
HME Woman of the Year nominations were open to all women, regardless of title or position, who work within the HME industry. The 2020 nominees have been selected by an honorary committee.
The HME Woman of the Year finalists are:
- Carol Gilligan-Chack, President and Owner, Health Aid of Ohio
- Patty Mastandrea, CEO, MedCare Equipment Co., LLC
- Tamme Dustin, CEO, Herron & Smith, LLC
- Terry Racciato, President, RAC & Associates
Carol Gilligan-Chack, ATP, founded Health Aid of Ohio, Inc. in 1984. As President, Gilligan-Chack has grown Health Aid to over 100 employees serving Ohio and neighboring states. Throughout her 36 years of service in the HME industry, she has worked to make a difference in the community, always putting patients and employees first.
Gilligan-Chack has served as Chair of the Ohio Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers (OAMES) Legislative Committee and was appointed to the Ohio Respiratory Care Board in 2004 where she developed licensure rules. She has worked closely with the United States Department of Veteran Affairs over the past 10 years, developing programs to save significant tax dollars through an equipment repurposing initiative. Currently, Gilligan-Chack works closely with U.S. Rehab and the University of Pittsburgh on the Functional Mobility Assessment (FMA) project, is an OAMES Rehab Committee member, and on the AAHomecare Rehab Council.
Patty Mastandrea has more than 30 years of healthcare experience, beginning her career in procurement. She then became a purchasing manager 25 years ago and soon moved to MedCare as director of operations where she worked to expand the scope of service to meet patient care needs beyond the hospital environment. She served as MedCare's Chief Operating Officer for 15 years before being named Chief Executive of the company which now operates seven distribution centers, employs 350 staff in clinical and customer service roles, and produces an annual revenue of $83 million.
Mastandrea’s business acumen led to the establishment of the highly successful joint venture that now exists between MedCare and eight health systems across Western Pennsylvania. During this period of growth, MedCare was recognized as an HME Excellence Award winner in 2015. Part of this recognition was based on Mastandrea’s commitment to hold MedCare operations to a higher standard.
Tamme Dustin is the Owner and President of Herron & Smith, LLC, which is located in Hooksett, New Hampshire. Dustin is a dedicated professional with over 30 years in the home medical equipment industry. She is the former Chairwoman of the Board for the Home Medical Equipment and Services Association of New England (HOMES) and still serves on the board of directors.
Dustin serves as State Chair for New Hampshire and functions in an advisory capacity for industry and state legislative boards as well as advisory roles in state and payor relations. She is active with the New England ALS Association and serves on the Advisory Council as Vice Chair. Dustin is recognized as a valued resource for her experience and understanding of the industry.
Terry Racciato started SpecialCare in her garage in 1979 with a B.S. in nursing, a minor in business administration, and $500. Always focused on nurturing and supporting her patients as a nurse, SpecialCare grew to become a major provider for TriCare for over 35 years.
SpecialCare eventually sold its home health agency and home infusion pharmacy to concentrate on their DME business, and a new spin-off company called Together We Grow was created for its pediatric day health and respite centers. Together We Grow is the first and largest pediatric day health and respite care center in California, and Racciato currently serves as the President of the California Pediatric Day Health Care Coalition.
Racciato also serves as the President of the California Association for Medical Suppliers (CAMPS). Most recently, CAMPS successfully appealed to CMS to block SPA19-0005, which would have cut the reimbursement rate for Medi-Cal to 80% of the Medicare competitive bid rate.
Meet the Honorary Selection Committee
The 2020 finalists were selected based on recommendations from an honorary selection committee.
Liz Beaulieu, Editor, HME News
Liz Beaulieu has covered the HME industry for more than 10 years. Prior to joining HME News, she worked as a reporter for a weekly newspaper in Kennebunk, Maine. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maine and a master's degree in nonfiction writing from the University of New Hampshire.
Rob Boeye, Executive Vice President, HME, Brightree
In his current role, Rob’s responsibilities include leading HME sales efforts, customer success, and revenue growth. Prior to joining Brightree, Rob spent 18 years with Invacare Corporation as a sales leader in both the home care and long‐term care markets, growing revenue annually in each of his positions. He also served in management roles at Abbott Laboratories. Rob has direct insight into the business challenges of post‐acute care providers, and he calls upon this experience to help them match their business needs with Brightree solutions.
Wendy Russalesi, Chief Compliance Officer, AdaptHealth
In her current role, Wendy is responsible for development and oversight of AdaptHealth’s enterprise corporate compliance program for DMEPOS and pharmacy. Wendy utilizes her vast experience to develop, implement, and manage the corporate compliance needs of a rapidly changing HME company that sits in an ever-changing industry. Throughout her career, Wendy has developed expertise in the key areas of OIG compliance program development; healthcare fraud and abuse laws; CMS policy and standards; and quality improvement and internal audit programs. Wendy’s previous industry experience includes serving as executive director of the Jersey Association of Medical Equipment Services and as a DMEPOS accreditation surveyor and consultant. She has also served on various industry-related committees. Wendy is certified in healthcare compliance and an active member of the Health Care Compliance Association.
Brad Mariam, Vice President of Post-Acute Care, Medline Industries
With a team of specialists, managers, and over 400+ sales reps and 300+ operational teammates, Brad’s strategic direction continues to guide the growth of the business unit that oversees the long-term care, home care, and managed care markets. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, Brad began his career with Owen’s and Minor. There, he spent 10 years in a variety of roles working to support and supply hospital before joining Medline in 2013 as an acute care division manager. Brad moved over to Medline’s Post-Acute division in 2015 and eventually relocated to Medline’s headquarters to take on responsibility for all field sales prior to taking on his current role. His diverse healthcare background has given him a unique ability to see industry trends across the continuum of care.
Eric Pauls, SRC Sales Leader, North America, Philips Respironics
In his 18 years with Philips Respironics, Eric has been responsible for sales organizations, led operations teams and business integrations, and has been a business leader in the respiratory care segment. Eric’s current responsibilities as the SRC Sales Leader, North America include accelerating revenue growth, P&L management, operational compliance, talent development, sales enablement, and customer solutions across North America. Prior to joining Respironics in 2002, Eric worked in the HME and sleep lab industry as a registered respiratory therapist and registered sleep technologist.
Jennifer Owens is Founder and President of Jenwork, a women’s content agency, and Senior Vice President of HealthyWomen, the nation’s leading source for independent women’s health information. She also blogs on CNBC, IvyExec, and The Huffington Post and has been quoted worldwide, including in The New York Times, CNN, Fox Business News, ABC News, and Fast Company.