AZMESA settles in

Thursday, January 31, 2002

PHOENIX - The fledgling Arizona Medical Equipment Suppliers Association (AZMESA) is looking forward to the perks of its new stature, mainly a permanent spot on the Region D advisory council.

"Before we were just individuals from Arizona with interest, what they call 'Champions,'" said Craig Harris, AZMESA's interim president. "Now, we have full representation and great opportunities for networking."

Although it's too early to tell what AZMESA's specific agenda will be, that opportunity to network is huge for HME providers in a state like Arizona, which is large but has a population that's scattered, Harris said.

"Our immediate goal is education and creating a strong, unified voice across the state," he said.

Rose Schafhauser, executive director of MAMES and AZMESA, said she recently signed up AZMESA's first two members. She also has verbal commitments from a handful of others.

Harris said he's currently working on developing a Web site for the association, as well as organizing a spring meeting for its members.

Arizona's not the only state to recently form an association. New Mexico has also taken the plunge, according to the Albuquerque Journal. HME providers in that state cite Medicare's inability to pay promptly as a reason for forming the New Mexico Association of Medical Suppliers. HME