Press Release

NHIA Announces Penny Allen to Receive 2023 Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award

Contact: Jeannie Counce

Alexandria, VA (February 15, 2023)—The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) is proud to announce that Penny Allen, RD, CNSC, FASPEN, FNHIA is the recipient of the 2023 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 alternate site infusion profession who has dedicated significant time, energy, and resources to advocating on behalf of patients and the industry. The award was established in 2006, and is named after Gene Graves, a home infusion pioneer who was instrumental to the founding of NHIA in 1991. Allen will receive the award during NHIA’s 2023 Annual Conference, at the General Session on Monday, March 27 at 10:45 am Eastern.

As vice president of nutrition support for Optum Infusion Pharmacy, Penny Allen leads clinical programs focused on achieving better health outcomes for patients with malnutrition. With more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, her clinical expertise and unwavering commitment to patient care has put her in the forefront of clinical excellence, patient advocacy and earned her a reputation as a trusted and respected leader.

Most notably, Allen’s work with NHIA and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) was instrumental in changing Medicare’s coverage policy for home parenteral nutrition (HPN) to reflect current clinical practices, an advocacy effort spanning 20 plus years and multiple reconsideration requests. The revised Local Coverage Determination (LCD) was the first change to the HPN policy since it was created in 1984 and has resulted in significantly improved access to HPN therapy for beneficiaries. In the wake of Medicare’s decision, Allen leveraged her knowledge to promote the new coverage policies through publications, including NHIA’s INFUSION magazine, Practical Gastroenterology, and various webinars podcasts and conference sessions to ensure that all home infusion providers were informed and able to act on behalf of their patients.

Allen is a nationally recognized expert on nutrition practice and policy. She is also a teacher, mentor, and leader with the gift of clear, concise, and warm communication. She has influenced and advanced the clinical practice and home infusion careers of hundreds of practitioners—dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, and business leaders, inspiring them with her vision. Her team has the greatest respect for her knowledge, energy, and willingness to go the extra mile in supporting them and patient care.

In her seven years at Optum, Allen has established and grown the nutrition business unit by collaborating with teams to develop, manage, and improve standards of practice, clinical assessment and patient education tools; created continuing education for internal and external customers; and authored parenteral nutrition sales and marketing collateral as well as developed sales training programs.

Prior, she was the first national sales manager hired for the U.S. launch of Fresenius Kabi’s parenteral nutrition division. Earlier in her career, as National Director for Nutrition Support with a national home infusion company, she worked closely with Boston Children’s Hospital to safely provide the Fresenius Kabi product Omegaven® to critically ill pediatric patients in the home setting.

She has been an active supporter of the Oley Foundation and serves on their Industry Advisory Council. Allen is an active member of ASPEN and NHIA and was awarded Fellow status in both organizations in 2021 and 2022 respectively. She is the Past Chair of ASPEN’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and current Chair of NHIA’s Medicare Contractor Advisory Committee. Allen has contributed to more than 40 publications and abstracts and delivered over 100 presentations related to Medicare, drug shortages, HPN safety and clinical management and her expertise is consistently sought after in the industry.

“To have the opportunity to witness the impact of home infusion, specifically nutrition related therapies in patient lives, is what has kept me in this incredibly complex business for almost 35 years,” says Allen.  “My career in home infusion has honestly been such a blessing in my life. I have worked with some of the greatest people on the planet, many of whom are my best friends in life. Receiving the NHIA Lifetime Achievement Award is beyond humbling and I’m incredibly honored.”

“We are excited to recognize Penny with NHIA’s 2023 Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award. Her clinical knowledge and determination have made her an unparalleled partner in the long process of advocating for updated Medicare parenteral nutrition coverage,” said Connie Sullivan, BSPharm, NHIA’s President and CEO. “It’s clear to anyone who knows Penny that her laser focus on patients drove that effort forward and NHIA is truly honored to have worked with her on that and many other projects.”

“Penny is a key contributor to her field, a caring leader and mentor, and a fierce advocate for patients,” said Tim Affeldt, PharmD, NHIA Board Chair. “Her pursuit of excellence and willingness to share knowledge with colleagues elevates our practice and our industry.”


NHIA is a trade association that represents companies that provide infusion therapy to patients in their homes, as well as companies that manufacture and supply infusion and specialty pharmacy products. Infusion therapy involves patient-specific compounded medications, supplies, and a range of pharmacy, nursing, and other clinical services for delivering care to patients in the home setting. 

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