Women on the upswing

Organization wants women at HME companies to join the conversation
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A growing organization dedicated to the development of women in healthcare businesses has opened its doors to those working in the HME industry.

The current members of Professional Women in Healthcare are working primarily at medical device and surgical companies, but the leaders of the organization say, “The conversation has changed.”

“When you think about health care, it’s no longer just about products and how to get them to market,” said Heather Llorca-Kropp, chairwoman of PWH’s executive committee and vice president of marketing and communications and channel management for Dukal Corp., a company that supplies disposable products and patient care items for all medical markets. “The providers are a big part of the conversation.”

PWH launched 10 years ago with 16 founding members, including Llorca-Kropp, and will hit close to 600 members this year. At its core: education, networking and mentoring opportunities that take place in person (a national meeting that coincides with HIDA and various regional meetings in large cities), online (webinars) and by phone (coffee chats).

That’s something that women working in the HME industry, in particular, could use, says Lisa Wells, who became a member earlier this year.

“Many HME companies have less than 20 employees,” said Wells, a marketing consultant and president of Get Social Consulting. “They don’t have career tracks.”

Llorca-Kropp holds herself up as an example of the difference PWH can make—she started out as a director, and now she’s a vice president.

“It took being involved in the organization for me to realize, I have to go after and ask for opportunities,” she said. 

PWH won’t attend Medtrade this year, but it probably will in the future, Llorca-Kropp says.

“We want to hear from a few champions on what’s needed in this industry,” she said.