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Beth Bowen: ‘I always say I do not know everything’

Beth Bowen: ‘I always say I do not know everything’

At an annual summer meeting in August, members of the Atlantic Coast Medical Equipment Services Association turned the tables on Executive Director Beth Bowen, honoring her for 30 years of service leading state and regional associations. 

“It was so heartwarming they even paid attention to it,” said Bowen. “It underscores the feeling of family within the association.” 

ACMESA was formed in 2016 when the Virginia Association of Durable Medical Equipment Companies (VADMEC) and the North Carolina Association for Medical Equipment Services (NCAMES) merged. Bowen also leads the Florida Association of Home Care Services (FAHCS), the Association for Tennessee Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment Services (ATHOMES) and the Northeast Medical Equipment Providers Association (NEMEP). 

Bowen spoke with HME News recently about the rewards and challenges of leading associations in “the industry I just fell into it.” 

HME News: What are your association leadership superpowers? 

Beth Bowen: I always say I do not know everything, but I do know someone who knows something I need to know. I’ve developed relationships I can lean on to help me. And just being a resource for my members. Also, organization and meeting planning, building relationships, working with hotels – all that kind of organizational stuff. 

HME: What are some of the key challenges facing associations these days? 

Bowen: Membership and support. Because of consolidation, companies closing, (declining) reimbursement and rising costs, that’s a dire concern. At some point, providers may have to choose to keep their membership or pay the light bill – we don’t want it to come to that. Without members, you can’t continue to work. Those that do support state associations can see the return on investment.  

HME: In addition to ACMESA, you manage three other state associations. How do you manage all that? 

Bowen: Without teamwork, I’d flop for sure. When I first branched out, from NCAMES to the VADMEC, not having done it before, I knew if I didn’t have a strong ground troop in Virginia, it wasn’t going to work.


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