A New Chapter
HME Business publisher Karen Cavallo bids a fond farewell as she retires, and executive editor David Kopf will step into her role. Both take a moment to review how far HME has come.
- By Karen Cavallo, David Kopf
- Aug 01, 2019
It is a bittersweet moment, but I am using what will be my last column to announce that I am retiring this summer.
It has been a fulfilling 15 years for me serving as publisher of HME Business. It also has been exciting times for the HME industry. I cannot help but look back and share some pivotal moments: Drastic reimbursement cuts — and then more cuts in funding as competitive bidding reared its ugly head; the advent of retail sales; and the emergence of technology that is now the linchpin of business assets for providers managing constant changes in the HME landscape.
It is hard for me to say goodbye to all the providers and manufacturers who have contributed to every page of this magazine, provided free webinar education, lent their voices and wisdom to our podcast series, and served conscientiously on the HMEB editorial advisory board with no more than a promise of dinner at Medtrade.
As HME Business celebrates its 26th year, so much has changed, but the values and commitments of people who make up this industry remain unchanged by the passing of time. This continues to humble me, particularly as I grow older and see first-hand how important HME is to the quality of life of my elderly parents.
Because of years of good work and tirelessly fighting the good fight on Capitol Hill, the future of HME and HME Business is strong.
To stand with you as you move forward, I am pleased to announce that David Kopf, current executive editor HME Business, will also take on the role of publisher. David has demonstrated his deep commitment to the HME industry in his 10-plus year tenure and is eager to embrace his expanded role overseeing all aspects of the brand. Anyone who has spent more than 20 minutes with Dave knows he is full of new ideas and is eager to implement them with you. I will enjoy watching from the sidelines.
I will not soon forget my HME Business experience; it has been a good one. Thank you.
When I first heard about HME Business, I thought I had transitioned out of publishing. After a long career in business media, I had started cutting my teeth in a marketing management career that I was relishing.
However, my friend Laurie Watanabe, executive editor of HMEB’s sister magazine Mobility Management reached out to me and told me about what she and Karen Cavallo had in mind when it came to the yet-to-be unveiled HME Business magazine. They were putting together the first issue, and the more I learned, the more I grew fascinated. Even though I had started this new career path, the more I thought about the HME industry, the more intrigued I became.
From an editorial perspective, it was the whole package: an attractive readership; a compelling marketplace; a mixture of government regulation and technology; major demographic changes — I knew this readership would have to wrangle with a lot, and editing a magazine that could help them do that would be very rewarding.
Moreover, the fact that Karen was leading gave me much confidence. Relaunching magazines is tricky, and the more Karen and I talked the more reassured I became that this magazine had the right publishing leadership to pull this off.
So, I dove back into editing! It seemed like a crazy idea at the time, but I’m glad I took that plunge. Sure, the industry has faced many challenges, but I’d like to think this magazine has helped its readers evolve through those challenges, and, with webinars, podcasts, e-newsletters, and other online media offerings, we’ve evolved as well. Directing all of that has been Karen.
Now, as Karen steps into a well-earned retirement, it’ll be my job to look at industry trends and determine how the magazine should respond to them — just as Karen has in the past.
I’m sad to see my friend Karen go; I’m also excited to see her step into this exciting chapter in her life; and most of all, I know that I have some big shoes to fill.
Incoming Publisher and Executive Editor
This article originally appeared in the August/September 2019 issue of HME Business.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.