ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 19, 2021)—The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) is proud to announce that Varner R. Richards, PharmD is the recipient of the 2021 Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor that NHIA bestows on a member of the home and specialty infusion community, and is given to an individual who has dedicated significant time, energy, and resources to advocating and working on behalf of patients and the industry. The award was established in 2006, and is named for Gene Graves, a home infusion pioneer that was instrumental to the founding of NHIA in 1991.
Richards will receive the award during NHIA’s 2021 Annual Conference, at the General Session on Thursday, April 22 at 11:15 a.m. Eastern.
Richards is CEO and owner of Intramed Plus, Inc., a South Carolina home infusion and specialty infusion services provider founded in 1991. He has nearly 30 years of home infusion experience. Richards earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the College of Pharmacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, completed a pharmacy residency at University of Kentucky, and began his career as Assistant Director for Clinical Pharmacy Services at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina, from 1982-1988.
Richards’ passion stems from the influences of assisting his mother in attending to his father’s care and medical needs in rural Nebraska. His is committed to making a difference for patients who need access to patient focused and supportive care, in an ever-changing heath care system. Richards also emphasizes fostering a strong, positive and professional work environment for experienced healthcare professionals to be successful in meeting the needs of patients.
In 1988, Richards and his business partner ventured out of hospital pharmacy to manage home infusion for a national home infusion provider. This opportunity led into the development and founding of Intramed Plus. Intramed Plus provides infusion therapy services in the home, ambulatory infusion suites or provider-based infusion center located in three locations—Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville, South Carolina—serving adult and pediatric patients statewide.
“I’m humbled and honored about being nominated for and receiving the Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award. It’s important to know that your effort and commitment in your role do matter. We have so many talented people in our industry who work in the trenches and really do the great work, and what NHIA and the board is trying to do is make it better today and make it better tomorrow, so that we can provide a quality service to our patients,” said Richards.
Richards reflected on his work and time in the industry, saying, “Throughout my time in the industry technology has dramatically improved with the new therapies and devices that have come about … and we’ve been able to broaden the types of therapies and services we can offer. What hasn’t changed is what we do for the patient. The patient is still the focus of all efforts in the home setting, with a balanced team that provides excellent customer service in a safe and cost-effective manner. You’re really walking with the patient on their journey with their disease or chronic illness. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served within NHIA as well as the opportunity to work alongside so many talented and great people in the industry, and I thank everyone that works in the industry for the valuable work that they do each day.”
Richards has demonstrated a commitment to NHIA’s work over several years. He has served on the NHIA Board of Directors for the past six years and served as chair of the board from 2017–2019. Additionally, Richards has been involved in promoting the National Home Infusion Foundation’s benchmarking programs and NHIA’s ongoing advocacy efforts.
“NHIA is honored to present this year’s Gene Graves award to Varner,” said NHIA’s President and CEO Connie Sullivan, BSPharm. “He has been a longtime advocate for home infusion and his commitment to his patients, his business, and the association is unparalleled.”
“As a board member and past chair for the association, Varner has led NHIA through important organizational transitions and the association is in a more secure and stable place today due to his leadership. While Varner is always reluctant to take credit and emphasizes the efforts of the team as a whole, his leadership within the association and in the home and specialty infusion industry make him a more than deserving recipient of the Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Logan Davis, NHIA board chair and director of franchise development for Vital Care Infusion Services.
For those that would like to attend the session when Richards’ will receive the award, registration for the conference is still open. To register now, visit bit.ly/nhia-2021-conference.