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Q&A with Justin Racine: Exposing future professionals to HME

Q&A with Justin Racine: Exposing future professionals to HME

WOBURN, Mass. - Justin Racine of Geriatric Medical has been invited to sit on an advisory board tasked with helping Western New England University revamp its pharmaceutical business major to better reflect larger trends in health care.

Here's what Racine, director of marketing and e-commerce for Geriatric Medical and an alumnus of the university, had to say about how he'll work to incorporate DME and supplies into the curriculum.

HME News: Why does the university want to revamp the major?

Justin Racine: What's interesting is right now they have an intro to pharmacy business course but not an intro to health care as whole. There are so many aspects to health care—manufacturers, distributors, providers, end users, insurance. I think it's important to paint a picture of all of health care and educate students on that. They're the ones who are going to have new ideas and think more creatively.

HME: Do students typically go into the program thinking they'll become sales reps for pharmaceutical companies?

Racine: Yeah, they want to do that because you can make a lot of money, but it's challenging and not a lot of people are able to do that right out of school. When I've visited the university to speak in the past, I've tried to open them up to other opportunities. I know two students who graduated from the program who work for a large DME provider in western Massachusetts after completing internships there.

HME: It's a big deal to change the name of a major and shake up the curriculum. What does it say that the university is doing this?

Racine: It means the university wants to grow the program and it wants to prepare these students to best succeed. In the next 10 to 15 years, this space—the homecare and post-acute care space—is going to be booming, literally, with aging baby boomers. You have to prepare students to take on these challenges when they enter the workplace.

HME: How does this benefit the HME industry?

Racine: It bodes well for our industry and the patients we serve. Anytime you have a new generation of people coming into an industry with fresh perspectives and ideas is always a good thing. These students could end up in business, or maybe they will end up in government. The most important thing is that we educate them to understand the industry from all angles so that the students and the industry has the best chance of success now and in the future.


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