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Patty Mastandrea on the balancing act

Patty Mastandrea on the balancing act

GREENSBURG, Pa. - Patty Mastandrea, the 2020 HME Woman of the Year, says the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly challenging for female leaders. Here's what Mastandrea, who as CEO of MedCare Equipment Company leads 330 employees, had to say about balancing professional and personal priorities, as well as being nimble during challenging times.

HME News: What impact does being a woman have, if any, on the ability to lead in challenging times?

Patty Mastandrea: Women tend to be more sympathetic and empathetic, so it's hard because you have the challenge of interpreting the guidelines and the data, and balancing that with being a wife and mother and caring for elderly folks in your family. A lot of our workforce has school aged children at home and nobody wants to get sick, but we also have a business to run and we are essential.

HME: What has the pandemic taught you as a business leader?

Mastandrea: It was so foreign, and we had to respond, thinking of both patients' and employees' safety and well-being. How do we get protective equipment during shortages? How do we create new ways to service patients? Everyone was working in fear and no one wanted to get sick.

HME: What were some of the most immediate changes you made to your patient care model under the public health emergency and what has been the resulting impact?

Mastandrea: We set up virtual and website training, so patients and families could go online and watch videos. We really went to a virtual world. We also introduced a chat feature. There are more options to communicate to the outside world. Satisfaction has increased. Our setup time on CPAP decreased and compliance increased.

HME: Did the pandemic force you to accelerate changes already in the works?

Mastandrea: In health care, we tend toward overthinking and rethinking before we implement changes. March 16 changed our world. We really streamlined our operations and implemented standard work processes - things we talked about for a long time. How do we become the Amazons of the world without storefronts and provide quality products to their door?

HME: What does the HME WOY recognition mean to you?

Mastandrea: It's a very big honor. There's a lot of bright women in the industry who are game changers. Everyone involved in HME is a patient advocate and works hard. I'm very passionate and I believe as a voice for the patient, I can make a difference in the industry.


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