For Hilton, Distribution Is A Family Tradition
January 2024 | From HIDA's Healthcare Distribution & Supply Chain™ magazine
At the fall 2023 Streamlining Healthcare Expo and Business Exchange, Brad Hilton assumed the role of Chair of the HIDA Board of Directors for 2024. He received the gavel from outgoing Chair Cara Skowronski, President of Delasco.
Brad has nearly 30 years of experience in healthcare distribution, including 11 years at McKesson, currently as Senior Vice President of Primary Care Sales and previously as SVP of Operations and Customer Experience.
Prior to that, Hilton spent 18 years at PSS World Medical as Chief Service Officer and SVP of Operations. He began his medical supply career at Hilton Surgical Supply in Houston, Texas, working for his father.
“Brad brings an up-close-and-personal understanding of this industry’s growth,” said outgoing Chair Cara Skowronski. “He has lived it and played an important role in leading the change to what is now a world class supply chain. With his 29 years of experience as a leader in medical distribution, he has the vision and experience to guide HIDA into the future. He is the right person to continue our momentum and serve our membership.”
“Brad is the right person to continue our momentum and serve our membership.”
— Cara Skowronski
Read excerpts below from Brad Hilton’s first address as chair at HIDA’s annual Chairman’s Dinner at the Streamlining Healthcare Expo and Business Exchange.
Our Industry Is Special
What we have here...our industry...is special. What we do matters. We help providers on the front lines of healthcare that are taking care of our family, friends and neighbors. Most of my buddies have a hard time finding the meaning and purpose behind what their businesses do; not us. And that feels good! And how we do what we do every day...that makes me proud! Integrity and excellence guide us as we focus on our customers and their patients. And that feels good! And we get to do that work with incredible people. I genuinely enjoy working with my teammates. I enjoy connecting and engaging with our competitors and suppliers. I don’t think that is common in most industries. And that feels good!
A Family Commitment
I grew up in this industry and I have a ton of mentors and friends. None stand out like one of our guests tonight: my dad, Herb Hilton! He started in the business about 60 years ago working for his soon-to-be father-in-law’s medical distribution company. Talk about pressure. He was trying to court my mom, impress her parents and not let down his new boss! Fortunately he aced it!
My dad and mom were very involved with HIDA. He was a member for 30 years and was on the board of directors for 11. My mom, as an RN and part-time sales rep for their business, helped contribute to the first AMS Training program.
Dad, here’s to you. Thank you for being a great dad and mentor, one of my best friends and an all-around great dude.
Funny story: My friends just thought HIDA meetings were code for my folks leaving town and it was time for big parties at the Hiltons' house.
Goals And Legacies
As I reflect on my dad’s journey it really makes me think about legacy. What legacy will I leave? What legacy will YOU leave? What will we leave as individuals, as business leaders, family leaders and industry leaders. Will we leave this industry better and stronger for the next generation than we received it?
I think focusing on our next generation of industry leaders is critically important. Michael DuBose talked about the importance of that while he was Chair. Having the right diverse talent in our pipeline is mission critical for us to be our best. That means sales and marketing talent, but also supply chain and back office talent. That means embracing human connections AND data connections. That means having an industry that better reflects the customers we serve across gender, race and other important dimensions.
Let’s make sure we are always doing the right thing. I think focus on self-regulation is critically important. As we learned during the pandemic, our great nation critically depends on us. The right level of coordination and collaboration is mission critical. The history books have tons of examples of industries that failed to do the right thing when nobody was looking.
As a result, governments stepped in, along with their regulatory exuberance and the pendulum swung and overcorrected to the detriment of their customers, the service they provide and how they differentiate as businesses. We are doing the right things AND we need to continue to do more of it with HIDA in a leadership role.
Let’s continue and expand our focus on making HIDA a great place to connect, share, engage, and grow. Look around this great room. We have old friends and new friends. We have current teammates, old teammates and likely future teammates. All with a quest to do better. HIDA has always been a great place to get out of your daily grind, lift our heads up, learn and network. That networking and peer sharing is just as important to our larger members as it is to our smaller members.
Check out the full magazine PDF
for all articles in the Winter 2024 issue.