NYMEP turns up the heat

Saturday, July 31, 2004

ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York Medical Equipment Providers Association in April hired its first full-time staff member, Executive Director Matthew Guilbault.

“We chose to move into a staff model because we felt with all the things coming down the pike and all that is happening as far as cuts in reimbursement that a lot of the issues needed a little more attention,” said NYMEP President Gloria Murray. “We wanted someone to be working for us on a constant basis all week long.”

Negri Management Resources, an association management company, had overseen NYMEP’s administration for more than three years. Board members, however, worried about NYMEP being just one priority out of many when issues like competitive biding take center stage in the state.

“It’s important for our members to know that we have this one person who is ours and who is going to be there for them,” said Murray.

NYMEP still has contracts with independent lobbyists and legal counsel.

Other state association leaders also noted the benefits of having a full-time staff person.

“The bottom line is when you are paid staff, you are paid to think only about this one industry. I think that is the key difference,” said Karyn Estrella, executive director of the New England Medical Equipment Dealers.

Guilbault is an attorney and previously served as the assistant state director for the New York office of the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization of 30,000 small business owners. He also has lobbied on behalf of physicians for the Medical Society of the State of New York.

“Working with the NFIB [Guilbault] had an understanding of the independent business owner, which is a lot of what DME is all about,” said Murray. “He has a lot of good qualities to bring to [NYMEP].”