Customer No. 500,000 exemplifies mission

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - The Scooter Store delivered its 500,000th power wheelchair this summer, a major milestone that coincided with the provider starting its 20th year in business in May.

The recipient of that wheelchair: Earvin Thompson, a 65-year-old retired teacher who lives in Texas.

"Ms. Thompson was a great representative for how Medicare benefits from allowing our senior citizens to live a more fulfilling life in spite of their disabilities," said Mike Pfister, executive vice president of government relations and external affairs. "She spends almost all of her day in the chair, whether in her home or in the community center where she helps children learn."

In addition to her wheelchair, Thompson received a signed certificate from Pfister; Mark Leita, senior director of government relations; and several other Scooter Store employees. Also present: U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.

A lot has changed in the time The Scooter Store delivered its first and 500,000th wheelchair, Pfister said. The first chair was delivered by Doug Harrison, the provider's president and CEO, and paid for with cash; Thompson's chair was delivered by employee-owners and was paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. Also, Thompson's chair is more technologically advanced and required significant paperwork.

"What hasn't changed is the difference that restoring mobility can make to our country's senior citizens and their (ability) to live their life at home," Pfister said.