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Medtrade East: Change, champs and chicken

Medtrade East: Change, champs and chicken

It was good to be back at Medtrade’s home base, the Georgia World Congress Center, and exciting (and a tad overwhelming at times) to connect in person. In deference to the Delta variant, fist bumps abounded. Masks, not so much, despite a requirement to wear them on the show floor and at sessions.

I guess we’re all just doing our best

The more things stay the same, the more they change

In speaking with people on the floor, there was a mix of “old school” providers, those in it for the long haul, several exhibitors told me. That’s a good thing.

There's also a lot of new blood getting into the industry, with a different mindset and it's exciting to see what they'll do, one old hand (who shall not be named), told me.

It’s also the MO of Show Director York Schwab, who has a goal of shaking things up as organizers work to update and reinvigorate the old standards.

 “We are trying new things every year until we hit the perfect combination, and then we can improve upon that every year,” he said. “We can’t keep doing the same things.”

Twitter triumvirate

Speaking of old blood (OK, they’re not that old), I finally had the pleasure of meeting, in person, both Jason Jones and Tyler Riddle, two-thirds of the Twitter triumvirate, that also includes Woody O’Neal.

Jason drove from Alabama to spend about three hours on the floor.

“I was interested in connecting with every CPAP company and giving them my credit card, but no dice,” he told me.

Man of the hour

Steve Ackerman got recognized twice at this year’s show. At the AAHomecare Update, he was honored for his work as the association’s chairman, a gig that got extended thanks to, you guessed it, COVID. In accepting the award, Steve told attendees that when previous chair John Letizia passed the baton (circa 2017?), he told him, the ball is on the 5-yard line, all you need to do is carry it over the finish line.

“We got penalized for traveling right away,” Ackerman said, referring to then-HHS secretary and industry champion Tom Price’s resignation in the wake of his penchant for expensive private travel. “The ball is back on the 45.”

Ackerman was also named this year’s Van G. Miller Homecare Chair at the Stand Up for Homecare event.

“It’s an honor to even be mentioned in the same breath as Van Miller,” said Ackerman.

Quote of the Week

In speaking with Brightree’s Matt Bettis, he told us he’d come to the HME Industry from Buffalo Wild Wings. Chicken, apparently, is easier than HME.

“They gave us money, we gave them chicken,” he told us.

Sounds good to me.

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