Decade of DME


Yesterday, the UPI team (parent of HME News) coaxed me into our conference room overlooking the Royal River (as well as the woodpile for the restaurant) to “surprise” me on my tenth anniversary with the company.

(Note: Editor Liz and I have an unspoken agreement that we will give each other a heads up in these situations).

It’s easy to remember my anniversary, especially as it coincides with the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. One of my very first stories, my first or second week on the job, was about the impact of that storm on HME providers in the region. Imagine if you will, trolling through a giant database, southeast maps in hand, trying to pinpoint areas that might have been hit and, if you can even get a dial tone, asking providers if their inventory is at the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain or if their documentation is a soggy, audit-ready mess.

Yep. But, what I’ve learned is that people find it helpful to talk to get the word out.

Of course, I tried to assign a far-less tragic disaster beat story to a new-ish editor after Hurricane Sandy, only to be kiboshed by the bosh. Boss.

“You can’t expect a new (ish) person to do a story like that!” said Liz.

Uh, OK. To be fair, it was probably Jim Sullivan or Mike Moran who saddled me with the Katrina piece. Liz wasn’t in the power seat at the time, instead operating out of a storage area waiting for an office to open up.

And no, I didn’t think I’d stick around for 10 years but the job must agree with me.

As to whether I’ll be here in 2025 (that sounds like I’m living in a science fiction film), who knows? But it will be interesting to see what HME News looks like in 10 years.

Theresa Flaherty