Interview

Stand Up for Homecare: Catching up and Making Connections

AAHomecare’s annual event benefits industry advocacy and patient groups. The association’s president and CEO Tom Ryan shares what will make this year’s event special.

"Stand Up for Homecare has always been a highlight of Medtrade for me," says AAHomecare President and CEO Tom Ryan. "It’s the best place to catch up with old friends and make new connections with your peers and fellow leaders in the HME community."

Medtrade East fast approaches, and with it, the American Association for Homecare’s annual Stand Up for Homecare social event and fundraiser.

 

Running 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Ventanas in Atlanta, the event gives HME industry professionals a chance to network in a rooftop setting while helping industry advocacy and patient groups.

AAHomecare President and CEO Tom Ryan met with HMEB to talk about what this year’s Stand Up for Homecare will offer and how it helps HME stakeholders and patients.

HME Business: For our readers, what is the purpose of Stand Up for Homecare, and what efforts does it ultimately benefit? 

Tom Ryan: Funds raised at Stand Up for Homecare have been used for a variety of purposes over the years. Harvey Diamond with Drive Medical — now Drive DeVilbiss — spearheaded the first Stand Up for Homecare event to help support HME suppliers who were severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina. 

Since then, funds from the event have gone to help us grow our advocacy capabilities and also to support patient and disability groups whose members rely on HME. These include groups like the ITEM Coalition and United Spinal Association, who are often very strong advocacy partners on HME policy priorities that also benefit their constituencies.

HMEB: Besides supporting a good cause, what are the benefits of attending Stand Up?

Ryan: Stand Up for Homecare has always been a highlight of Medtrade for me. It’s the best place to catch up with old friends and make new connections with your peers and fellow leaders in the HME community.

And it comes at the end of what is always the busiest day at Medtrade for most of us, so it’s just such a great way to cap off a full day of meetings, education, being on the show floor, and sharing your experiences and perceptions with other attendees.

HMEB: You will be honoring the 2022 Van Miller Homecare Champion at Stand Up. Can you give us any hints on who that will be? Will there be more than one?

Ryan: We’re keeping that under wraps until we make the official announcement at the AAHomecare Update at 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning in the Sidney Marcus Auditorium, World Congress Center A. 

I can tell you that we have just one honoree — and that person has really made a difference on behalf of HME, and we’ll also be recognizing them at Stand Up for Homecare. This year’s Champion is one of these terrific nominees:  

  • Greg Duckworth, Senior Vice President of Med-South Inc.
  • John Gallagher, Vice President, VGM Group
  • Zach Gantt, RRT, FAARC, President & CEO of Encore Healthcare
  • Gene Sego, President of Sego’s Home Medical Equipment
  • Jim Walsh, Chairman of the Board, VGM Group
  • Kam Yuricich, Executive Director of OAMES and the Great Lakes Assn.

HMEB: Any thoughts on this being the last Stand Up to be held in Atlanta? That rooftop location has been pretty special.

Ryan: We’ve been fortunate to hold the event at a variety of fun rooftop venues in Atlanta over the years, and the AAHomecare team is convinced that the Ventanas location has been the best of all of them. I am sure there’s going to be some fantastic energy and maybe a little sentimentality as we end a great run for Medtrade in Atlanta.

HMEB: As most readers know, Medtrade will go to one show in 2023, running March 28-30 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. Are you looking forward to the transition to one show in a central location?

Ryan: Going to a central location and a once-a-year format is going to strengthen the show. I think it’s going to result in a larger and more comprehensive expo floor, as well as a better overall experience and value proposition for attendees. 

I’m excited to see how Medtrade will grow and continue to evolve in Dallas. Of course, Stand Up for Homecare will continue to be a part of the Medtrade experience in Dallas.

HMEB: Have any plans for the Dallas show that you can share yet, or is that still in the planning stages?

Ryan: We’re still in the planning stages. Medtrade’s Educational Advisory Board, which includes Kim Brummett and Laura Williard from AAHomecare, is meeting at Medtrade to develop great programming for Dallas, and we’ll be working closely with the EmeraldX [Medtrade’s parent company] team to continue to improve the show. Having a well-attended and vibrant trade show benefits the entire HME community.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

HME Business Podcast