Q&A: Doug Westerdahl focuses on whole industry
Doug Westerdahl, president and CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based Monroe Wheelchair, is adding another job title to his already extensive resume: President of NCART. HME News recently spoke to Westerdahl about what makes a good leader and what he plans to accomplish as president.
HME News: What have you learned from past-president Gary Gilberti?
Doug Westerdahl: I have extreme admiration for Gary and the way he handled his presidency. As executive vice president of Numotion’s east division, he never ever allowed that role to sway his judgment in any way toward the nationals or against the independents. He’s laid the groundwork for me to do the exact same thing. So my goal over the course of my presidency is to make sure that I always look at things in terms of what’s best for the whole industry, not just the independents.
HME: How do you balance all of your responsibilities?
Westerdahl: It’s a struggle. I’m also on the executive committee of the New York Medical Equipment Providers Association and I chair our payer relations committee, but those roles are helpful to me and my business because I am always learning about the issues, both on a federal and state level. I’m constantly dealing with issues with insurance companies, private payers and government payers.
HME: What’s on your “to do” list?
Westerdahl: The most important thing I’m looking forward to is getting H.R. 3229 and S. 2196 passed this year. That’s obviously our No. 1 goal and we believe we have a good chance of making that happen. The Government Accountability Office report (published in June) validated everything we’ve been saying on Capitol Hill for the last five years.