CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY – Teresa Lynne Aldridge, owner of American Mobility Products Inc, Campbellsville, Ky, found her calling after helping her very first customer. The elderly patient had suffered a stroke and was bedridden, and the woman did not know about the power mobility devices on the market.
“When I personally delivered the motorized wheelchair, helped her get into the chair, and watched her take a ride around her room, she stopped and just bawled,” remembers Aldridge. “She felt independent again. I cried with her and thought, ‘This is a fulfilling business.’”
About eight years after helping that first patient, Aldridge bought her own business in the Bluegrass State, where she has run the establishment for six years. The fights with Medicare have been bruising, but she has not given up. “The government is trying to get our small businesses out of business,” she laments. “I have to make a living, but I’m in business to support people and help to meet their needs.”
Prior to her 14 years in the DME business, Aldridge worked as an insurance specialists for an ophthalmologist, and for Blue Cross/Blue Shield before that. Her considerable experience helped her in the billing wars to follow, but she soon found out that legislative advocacy was a necessity, and she joined AAHomecare and the Kentucky Medical Equipment Suppliers Association (where she serves as vice president).
“AAHomecare takes an active role in fighting for our rights,” she says. “I can’t go all the time and be there, so it’s worth supporting an organization that can. I do not like negativity and I strive to be positive on every edge. Until competitive bidding is a done deal, and nothing else can be done, I stay very optimistic. I know it’s a battle, and that’s why we must let our legislators know that we are out here, we are serious, and we are asking for help.”
When she is not running the business, Aldridge is active in her local church where she plays the organ and acts as song leader. “I love to travel,” she enthuses. “And most of the time it’s following my favorite singing group, which is The Primitive Quartet, a Southern Gospel group.”