MAMES launches new networking committee

 - 
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

DULUTH, Minn. – Midwest Association for Medical Equipment & Supplies (MAMES) members looking to talk shop with fellow providers can now join the newly minted Provider, Owner, Executive Management (POEM) Committee.

“It’s basically a networking committee,” said Rick Adamich, POEM Committee chairperson and president of Waukesha, Wis.-based Oxygen One. “We wanted to create a place for our members involved in executive level management to network and share things in a safe, confidential way.”

Members discuss everything from human resources strategies to benchmarking, business planning, competitive bidding, outsourcing, technology, policies and procedures, and best practices. The hour-long meetings are held once a month in person and via teleconference.

To join the POEM Committee, MAMES members must fill out a lengthy application and sign a confidentiality agreement. Anyone who breaks the agreement could face expulsion from the committee. Existing members also have the opportunity to “veto” new applicants. However, due to an ever-shrinking industry, that hasn’t been an issue, says Rose Schafhauser, executive director of MAMES.

“Back in the old days, providers down the street wouldn’t talk to each other,” she said. “Now they realize that we all have to stick together. In their opinion, there’s plenty of business to go around for everybody.”

The idea for the committee came from a MAMES member who, at the fall conference, said they’d like to have more sessions with fellow business owners. The suggestion was brought to the attention of the executive board, which jumped on the idea.

“I’m suffering from the same issues that everyone else is,” said Adamich, who also sits on the MAMES board of directors. “And if someone found a way to do it better than I have I want to hear about it and vice versa.”