Walker wants to bring excitement back

Sunday, September 30, 2007

ATLANTA - When NRRTS was formed, Weesie Walker remembers the buzz surrounding the industry. "I was so excited that I finally belonged to something that gave me some validity," said Walker, the organization's new president and a branch manager for National Seating & Mobility in Atlanta. During her two-year term as president, Walker wants to regain that sense of excitement. "The changes to the industry the past few years have been scary, but, in a way, it's exciting," she said. "There's a lot of opportunity." Here's what Walker had to say when HME News talked to her in August, the month she took over for Mike Seidel.
HME news: What made you want to take the helm at NRRTS?
Weesie Walker: Mike and I worked closely together, and he kept encouraging me to run, and I kept saying no. Then I finally had to admit to myself that after working 28 years in the industry, I've been around forever. These are very different times, and if I can somehow help shape the future of complex rehab, I know in my heart, it's the right thing to do.
HME: What do you plan to accomplish in the next two years?
Walker: Help to build solid relationships with NCART, RESNA, the University of Pittsburgh and other groups, and continue educating our members. Most of the RTSs in the field are so consumed with taking care of their customers that they don't have time to sit and study all of this stuff and say, "This is what I need to do." That's what they expect from NRRTS--one voice.
HME: What do you see as NRRTS's biggest challenge right now?
Walker: We're beginning to get recognition as credentialed professionals, and we need to decide where we want to go from here. We have a lot of ideas, but the most immediate concern is making sure that CMS understands what we do and how we do it.
HME: You'll be the first president of NRRTS to work with an executive director (the organization named Simon Margolis to the position in January). How does that change your responsibilities?
Walker: Simon alleviates some of the brain drain. He can do a lot of things for the organization that used to be done by the president. He can help develop relationships with NCART and others, and he can listen in on conference calls and translate what he hears into language that we can all understand.