Moving the HME Industry Forward

Manufacturer/Provider

They Are the HME Industry

December 29, 2014

EVERYWHERE, USA – Exactly 23 people have shared their insights and anecdotes for the “I Am the HME Industry” feature in 2014. Here is a recap of all the victims, make that “subjects,” who showed us that HME providers are truly woven into the fabric of the United States.

Colleen Reisdorf
BROOKLYN PARK, MN – Running an award-winning regional DME is not easy, but Colleen Reisdorf, clinical services manager at Reliable Medical Supply, Brooklyn Park, Minn, always manages to make time for advocacy. As a member of AAHomecare and the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services, Reisdorf is determined to make her voice heard in Washington, DC.

Chris Malcom
CUMMING, GA – The vast majority of Chris Malcom’s customers are online, but the co-founder of At Home Medical, Cumming, Ga, is nonetheless concerned about the overall shopping experience. Despite solid business for the past 16 years, Malcom took the time, effort, and expense to usher in the next generation of its medical supply delivery business with the launch of a new web site.

Brian Best
CARROLL, IA – The HME industry saw one of its own swept into office earlier this month when Republican Brian Best won a seat in Iowa House District 12, defeating two-term Democrat incumbent Dan Muhlbauer. The 54-year-old Best has owned BestMED Respiratory, a one-location fixture in Carroll, Iowa, for the last 13 years.

Kurt Filiault
ENFIELD, NH – You can’t accuse officials at Enfield, New Hampshire-based Keene Medical Products of not pulling their weight. As dues-paying members of AAHomecare (back when it had a different name) since 1980, the Granite State company has never wavered in its support of industry efforts in Washington, DC.

Rob Cardone
IRMO, SC – Why leave the health technology sector for the HME world? For Rob Cardone, North Carolina/Virgina territory manager for South Carolina-based distributor Skye Medical, the answer is opportunity.

Joel Mills
HIGH POINT, NC – As a recipient of AAHomecare’s latest Homecare Champion Award (along with Cara Bachenheimer from Invacare), Joel Mills has put in considerable time on the legislative front. However, as president and CEO of Advanced HomeCare, High Point, NC, Mills understands the time limitations of business owners. If providers can’t meet in person with legislators, Mills urges colleagues to make the effort via other means.

Diane Abercrombie
CHATTANOOGA, TN – Diane Abercrombie has seen her fair share of challenges during nearly three decades in the HME business, but nothing compared to the ruptured brain aneurysm she suffered in 2011. “They found the brain aneurism by accident,” says Abercrombie, director of HME, ContinuCare HealthServices, Chattanooga, Tenn. “They were going to go in and clip it, and in surgery it ruptured—so I was very close to death.”

Diana Guth
LOS ANGELES – As the only independent HME provider from California to make the trip to AAHomecare’s Legislative Conference this year, Diana Guth, RRT, believes in doing her part. “It is easy to get disillusioned with government, and I am not immune,” says Guth, owner of Los Angeles-based Home Respiratory Care.

John Eberhart
FARMINGTON, NM – Last year was no picnic for John Eberhart, RRT, RPSGT, owner of Eberhart Home Health, Farmington, New Mexico. The 20-year HME veteran started 2013 with two businesses—one in New Mexico and one in San Clemente, California.

Ashley Wolfe Plauché
KNOXVILLE, TN – When Ashley Wolfe Plauché visited Rep Diane Black’s (R-Tenn) office earlier this year during the AAHomecare Legislative Conference, it was the continuation of a multi-year conversation. Thanks to previous visits, Black’s assistants knew all about the HME industry, and Plauche could talk about specific policy initiatives.

Dan Bowman
GALLIPOLIS, OH – Five co-owners of Family Oxygen and Medical Equipment, Gallipolis, Ohio, attended this year’s AAHomecare Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. The journey was no small commitment for Dan Bowman, president/co-owner, and his four colleagues, but all five had reached a boiling point.

Teresa Lynne Aldridge
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.

Herb Paserman
BAYONNE, NJ – After three decades in the HME business, Herb Paserman’s fighting spirit is undimmed. As marketing manager at Jerrys Drug and Surgical, Bayonne, NJ, the 64-year-old Paserman is fighting competitive bidding through state association membership and a little help from the media.

Mark T. Hatch
ROCKFORD, IL – Integrated HomeCare Services is bigger than a mom and pop, but not big enough to be called a regional operation. With three locations in the Chicagoland area, and an 11,000-sq-ft space in Rockford, Ill, the 26-year-old business finds itself in much the same situation as many other similar HME providers in the United States.

Brent Seward
MERIDIAN, ID – With a firm belief that “all politics is local,” Brent Seward started chipping away at local legislators in his home state of Idaho. That passion led to meetings with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and a powerful editorial in the May 5 issue of the Idaho Business Review (click here to read).

John Komuda
SYRACUSE, NY – After more than three decades in DME and complex rehab, John Komuda, ATP, remembers the good old days. But these days, the founder of Central New York (CNY) Medical Products is thankful for today’s technology, and what it does for patients.

Edric Huyke
BULLHEAD CITY, AZ – Almost a decade ago, Tri-State Respiratory-Anything Medical, began operating from a modest 800-sq-ft showroom in Bullhead City, Arizona. Today, the showroom measures 18,000 square feet, making it one of the largest in the United States.

Robert Andrews
SAN RAPHAEL, CA – When Robert Andrews joined the family business in 2008, the specter of competitive bidding remained comfortably on the back burner. When it finally came time to bid in the five California counties (San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, and Napa) served by Ron Andrews Medical Company, Robert spoke with experts and took several seminars. None of it worked.

Will House
UNIVERSITY PLACE, WA – When retirement got tiring, Will House went searching for something to do. After 15 years in the medical equipment business working for someone else, the 69-year-old House ultimately bought Affordable Medical Supply in University Place, Washington.

Violeta Arnobit
WAIPAHU, HI – Just 20 minutes from Hawaii’s bustling capital city of Honolulu, Oahu, Violeta Arnobit and her husband, Terry Arnobit, Jr., started Ace Medical Inc almost two decades ago in the town of Waipahu. The award-winning business is now a fixture in the local island community, the result of years of hard work that began when Violeta immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines with $25 in her pocket.

Regina Gillispie
BARBOURSVILLE, WV – After almost a decade in business, Regina Gillispie, RRT, has seen her fair share of ups and downs in the DME world. As owner of Best Home Medical, Barboursville, WV, and Best Medical Equipment in nearby Hurricane, Gillispie has dealt with change through education and advocacy.

Sam Clay
PETERSBURG, VA – If a baseball team enjoys an early winning streak, seasoned fans know to temper their enthusiasm. The season is long, and filled with ups and downs.

Tim Hatt
ROCHESTER HILLS, MI – After celebrating 23 years with Wright & Filippis, a regional powerhouse with multiple locations in Michigan and Northwest Ohio, Tim Hatt is of two minds. On one hand, the 54-year-old director of HME and Legislative Affairs admits that optimism is in short supply these days across the industry. On the other hand, he can’t help but see continued opportunity.