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Moving the HME Industry Forward

Legislative/Advocacy

No More Excuses

by Shelly Prial • May 15, 2017

GOOSE CREEK, SC - I recently turned 90 years old, and people have asked me: What do you think of Tom Price, the new secretary of Health and Human Services? Well, over the years, I’ve watched people come into many different places and jobs.

While it’s true that Dr. Price is a true friend of the industry, the voice of the people is heard only if we do it in an orderly fashion. We must show Dr. Price, and others, what we need, and show them what our customers want. We must get them to understand.

To whom should legislators be loyal? They shouldn’t be loyal to someone who has a pocket full of money. They should be loyal to the people they represent. I have always spoken for the people I work with, and for the people I am associated with. I don’t speak for myself. I was never looking for anything. All the people I supported, looking back on the years—they have all done well.

We have a great industry with wonderful people, but we need people to work together. If you and I do something that we both agree with, we should do it together. If other people like what we are doing then they will join us. If they don’t like what we’re doing, they’ll go somewhere else. I have never told anyone what I want them to do. I’ve listened to them telling me what they want me to do. There’s a big difference.

To those who say they don’t have the time to get involved, you have all the time to do everything you want if you really want to do it. If people say they don’t have the time, it means they don’t want to do it. It’s just an excuse. Thelma and I always found the time to do things that we had to do. The important things always get done rapidly and efficiently if you look at it correctly.

You must be positive about what you want to do, and then you have to do it with a smile and a little bit of enthusiasm, and other people will get on board. People cannot make a difference if they try to work alone and be the hero. You have to get together and work as a team.

Face-to-Face in a High Tech World
There’s nothing more important than meeting people, in person, who have the same interests as you, and that is why trade shows like Medtrade and Medtrade Spring are so important. Nothing can beat working with friends and associates, and you may end up with some very good friends. If you don’t meet, you don’t become friends. Sitting together is more important than anything else we do.

You can’t work by only writing letters and e-mails. You must work by seeing eye to eye; have a cup of coffee together, talk to one another, go for a walk. You must grow, meet, and become friends. We built a co-op that way. Every member of that co-op was responsible for those members near them. It was all communication. Communication is the most important thing we can do. If you and I don’t talk, I don’t know what you want to do, and you don’t know what I want to do. Find common ground, communicate, and make a difference in this industry that we all love.

Shelly Prial recently turned 90 years old. He is a long-time HME industry advocate, and served for many years as a Medtrade ambassador.