Regina Gillispie 'shows up' for small biz
When it comes to advocating for the HME industry, Regina Gillispie, owner of Best Home Medical, is no greenhorn. Gillispie, who was recently appointed to two of the four National Small Business Administration issue committees and the NSBA’s Leadership Council, recently spoke to HME News about gathering support on the Hill and how providers can follow her lead.
HME News: What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed since you began advocating in 2011?
Regina Gillispie: In the beginning, I think senators and congressmen were just politely listening to us and setting us up with their health aids, who were starting to understand (HME and competitive bidding), but hadn’t got their senator or congressman on board. Now West Virginia’s senators, Joe Manchin and Shelley Capito totally get it.
HME: How will your recent appointments within the NSBA help you in your advocacy efforts?
Gillispie: We’ve asked members of Congress to sign an NSBA pledge of support for small businesses to ensure that there’s transparency in government, fair access to federal contracting opportunities, and a reduced regulatory and administrative burden on small businesses. I think it will help highlight the fact that competitive bidding and auditing is putting small businesses out of business.
HME: How can providers get more involved on the advocacy front?
Gillispie: When we get close to a bill being signed, people rally and make the phone calls, but when we have Washington, D.C., fly-ins you don’t see as many people there that should be there. I understand it’s costly because I’ve been there four times this year on my money, but I do think people still need to meet with their representatives while they’re home. And if they can’t meet with them, they need to call them once a week.