Q&A: Rick Adamich goes above and beyond

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Monday, July 1, 2019

DULUTH, Minn. – Rick Adamich, president of Waukesha, Wis.-based Oxygen One, recently won MAMES Above and Beyond Award, which recognizes members for their legislative work at the state, regional and national level. HME News spoke to Adamich about the importance of advocacy, as well as some do’s and don’ts. 

HME News: Why do you make time for advocacy?

Rick Adamich: There’s strength in numbers. We need to have a voice as an industry and if I tried to go it alone, that’s not going to work. It’s not entirely altruistic, I guess, because it’s for the good of your business, but your business doesn't survive if there’s no industry.

HME: Is there more value advocating at the state level or federal level? 

Adamich: I see value in both. I think it’s easier to affect change and see results on the state level for sure, but a lot of it is driven at the national and federal level, so you have to start at the top and fall down the ladder.

HME: What advice do you have for providers who have never done this before?

Adamich: It really is as simple as Sales 101. You have to have some sort of compelling event that’s going to get them to act; you have to focus on what’s relevant to them. So in the case of a congress person, you want them to understand how it’s going to affect constituents in their district. 

HME: What’s a common mistake?

Adamich: I've seen people fall into the trap of assuming that the staffer or the legislator knows about our industry and what our issues are and they often don't. You have to give them a brief background—who we are, what we do and what our issue is—and you gotta do it quick because you have 15 minutes if you're lucky.