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Terri McLeod’s three-minute elevator speech on certification

Terri McLeod’s three-minute elevator speech on certification

Terri McLeodNEW YORK – Terri McLeod, who received the 2022 Jim Newberry Award for Extraordinary Service, worked at a pharmacy/DME to put herself through college, obtained her first certification from the Board of Certification/Accreditation in 1985 and was trained by none other than Newberry himself.  

“It’s such an honor – Jim and I had such wonderful conversations and meetings through the years,” says McLeod, who retired two years ago after a 51-year career specializing in mastectomy fitting, with roles at Amoena and, ultimately, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Evelyn H. Lauder Boutique. 

McLeod spoke with HME News recently about why she’s a believer in certification and how it helps with a three-minute elevator speech. 

HME News: Do you believe that certification helps “professionalize” certain roles? 

Terri McLeod: When I began, I’d think, “I’m the lowly fitter in the back of the pharmacy,” but meanwhile, you had to have valid information so you would do no harm. Anybody can take an ace bandage and wrap it around a wrist but when products are there to enhance health, there is so much more medical information that a layman isn’t always trained on. I never considered myself a medical professional, but it’s always important to obtain any type of certification and education. It preserves that knowledge basis. 

HME: Does having certification give you more credibility when it comes to speaking to health care professionals? 

McLeod: Yes, if you are in the industry and working with those doctors, directly or indirectly, (it helps). Sometimes, I would be introducing hosiery for lymphedema to a surgeon and I’d have three minutes in an elevator to explain how their patients would be handled and that’s why they should send their patients to us instead of CVS. 

HME: Any last words of wisdom as you look back at your long career? 

McLeod: I have had such great moments in every facet of my career. My own life philosophy is you give what you get, and you get what you give. Most of everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from mentors, managers, bosses – all the people I worked with. I just felt I was able to obtain knowledge and skills just being around likeminded people. It’s great to be able to train new young fitters and people that want to make other peoples’ lives healthier and happier in any way that you can. That was the reward.


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