Wendy Russalesi, HME’s relationship builder

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Friday, November 1, 2019

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – In her two decades in the HME industry, HME Woman of the Year Wendy Russalesi has held a variety of positions—from consultant to accreditation surveyor to executive director of the Jersey Association of Medical Equipment Suppliers.

Those roles have served her well and contributed to her effectiveness in advocating on the behalf of the industry, she says.

“I believe the roles I’ve held have contributed to my view into the industry,” said Russalesi, chief compliance officer for AdaptHealth. “For me, the award signifies that the work I’ve been doing over the course of my time in the HME industry has made an impact and has not gone unnoticed. I think that’s a nice recognition to receive.”

HME News spoke with Russalesi recently about the award and why she thinks the industry is shifting in the right direction.

HME News: What are some strengths that have allowed you to succeed on your career path?

Wendy Russalesi: A strength I’ve developed has been the ability to build relationships. I feel every position that I’ve held within the HME industry has required that I be effective at relationships, whether it be for advocacy reasons or just advancing matters within or on behalf of my own company.

HME: Many HME providers say they don’t have time to get involved in advocacy. What would you tell them about it being an important part of their business?

Russalesi: Our legislators need to be reminded of who the industry is, the benefits that we provide and the cost savings that we provide in our sector of health care. For that reason, it’s important that we carve out some time and attend industry events that help us advocate for the industry, and that we spend time on grassroots efforts contacting elected officials at their local office and making visits to Capitol Hill when there’s a particular issue that is of interest to our industry.

HME: Do you think the HME industry has racked up some recent wins?

Russalesi: I feel like the trend is shifting and we are starting to seem some wins come our way—which we haven’t seen in quite some time.