Three state HME associations have united in order to form a new association for the Great Lakes region. The leaders of the Association of Indiana Home Medical Equipment Services (AIHMES), the Illinois Association for Home Medical Equipment Services (IAMES), and the Michigan Independent Providers Association (MIPA) coordinated a legal merger and have formed the Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association.
Effective July 1, the decision was made to help the association continue to engaging in vital industry advocacy efforts for their regions despite shrinking resources. In fact, the three associations have had some experience uniting their advocacy efforts already.
Last year after AIHMES, IAMES and MIPA enjoyed a successful collaborative conference in Chicago. Based on that experience, the associations’ respective Boards of Directors decided to proceed with the legal formation of a regional organization. The respective memberships of each group completed the necessary voting process over the winter; the paperwork was filed this spring to form the merger; and the new association has recently received notice from each state’s respective Secretary of States that the merger is now final.
The new organization hosted its inaugural meeting pending the merger finalization at the 2014 HME Regional Conference and Exhibition “The Road to the Future Starts Here,” which was held May 20 and 21 in Tinley Park, Ill.
“We are excited about this regional development and believe this merger will strengthen our national voice, enhance our state focus and reenergize education and lobbying efforts during this time of intense business consolidation and uncertainty,” stated Neidi Mack, formerly IAMES president, and the newly elected president of the Great Lakes association.
“There has been casual conversation about mergers within the HME association community in our states over the past several years as we’ve seen the issues escalate and the member companies consolidate. The controversial Medicare bid program has been difficult for everyone touched by the initiative and the time was right to take this action now,” states Kam Yuricich, executive director. “I’m thrilled to be working with such a resilient group of providers whose dedication to their profession and communities, and commitment to the HME industry at large, are tireless and visionary.”
All members of the three merging organizations were grandfathered into the new regional association. A campaign is currently underway to bring on new voting members as well as associate members and sponsor partners. The newly elected officers and Board members for Great Lakes represent a blend of organizations throughout the tri-state area:
- President Neidi Mack, OSF Home Care Services (Illinois)
- Vice President Paula Koenig, Numotion (Indiana)
- Treasurer Dave Doubek, Doubek Medical Supply (Illinois)
- Secretary George Kucka, Fairmeadows Home Health Center (Indiana)
- Director Bob Binson, Binson’s Hospital Supplies (Michigan)
- Director Ronda Burhmester, VGM Group (Illinois)
- Director David Hartley, Home Health Depot (Indiana)
- Director Tim Hatt, Wright & Filippis (Michigan)
- Director Dan Heckman, Heckman Healthcare Services (Illinois)
- Director Derrick Janssen, Shield Healthcare (Illinois)
- Director Mary Mortensen, Memorial Home Care (Indiana)
- Director Robyn Parrott, Sleep Solutions (Michigan)
- Director Julie Piriano, Pride Mobility Products (Illinois)
- Director Kevin Stewart, St. Vincent’s Home Medical (Indiana)
The association will be managed by Select Association Management, which has been managing IAMES and AIHMES over the past several years. Providers interested in voting or associate membership should contact Heidi Moss directly at the Great Lakes association at (614) 652-9925. Providers looking for more general information about the association should contact Kam Yuricich at (614) 652-9927.