Friday, October 21, 2011

Meet the Team: Tilly Gambill, Manager of Marketing and Communications

Tilly Gambill is the manager of marketing and communications at AAHomecare. She joined the team in the summer of 2007.

Tilly GambillTilly manages a variety of advertising, marketing, grassroots, and public relations projects for the Association. Her sweet Southern charm and whole-hearted kindness are positive influences on an office otherwise full of city folk. As one of our resident social media gurus, Tilly has helped to establish and leverage the visibility of HME issues in emerging online media in addition to traditional communications channels.

Before joining the team, Tilly worked at Docs for Tots, a Washington-based advocacy network for physicians that champions the healthcare and social needs of children. She served as communications director there, leading media outreach and message framing efforts for the organization as well as work on print and electronic publications.

Tilly received her bachelor’s degree in Communications and History from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas, and her Master’s degree in Mass Communications from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. (Go Bulldogs!)

Fun Facts
  • Tilly has traveled across the world, literally, skiing the alps (she lived in Europe for 7 years), swimming in Dubai, and trekking past the Egyptian pyramids on camel-back.

  • Tilly was taught how to field a baseball by Tommy Lasorda, her first job was scoring baseball games and she married an MLB Sirius XM executive producer – she and baseball cannot escape each other.

  • Tilly was elected class president from the seventh grade to her junior year of high school, and student government president her senior year; her record is so squeaky clean that if/when the position is created, she can become the President of the Universe (Trust us, we've Googled her).

Homecare Champion Award Will Go to Tom Ryan of Homecare Concepts and Joe Lewarski of Invacare

In recognition of their outstanding service to the homecare community, Tom Ryan of Homecare Concepts and Joe Lewarski of Invacare Corporation will each receive the Homecare Champion Award from the American Association for Homecare next week at Medtrade.

The Homecare Champion Award honors members of the American Association for Homecare who have made exceptional contributions to the homecare community throughout their careers. A Homecare Champion has a longstanding record of service and he or she embodies a spirit of caring and generosity that is a hallmark of successful leaders in the home medical equipment sector.

Tyler J. Wilson, AAHomecare President and CEO, said, “During this time of challenge for the HME sector, it’s important to keep sight of the good deeds and great contributions of dedicated professionals in the homecare community.”

Ryan and Lewarski will be honored at the Stand Up for Homecare reception on Tuesday evening at Medtrade, October 25, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm, Maple Point – Hall B, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga.

Tom Ryan is president and CEO of Farmingdale, NY-based Homecare Concepts. He began work as a Respiratory Therapist during the 1970s and founded Homecare Concepts in 1988. He is also a founding member and former chairman of the New York Medical Equipment Providers Association (NYMEP). During his many years as an AAHomecare member, Ryan served two terms as chairman of the board.

“Tom’s entrepreneurial achievements, professionalism, concern for patients, high level of service, and his past and continuing leadership in both AAHomecare and NYMEP are among the many qualities that make him a fitting recipient of this award,” Wilson noted.

Joe Lewarski is vice president of clinical affairs at Invacare Corporation, based in Elyria, Ohio. Lewarski has worked in homecare for more than two decades and has authored more than two dozen scientific papers on pulmonary and respiratory topics in peer-reviewed publications. He has served as a volunteer on AAHomecare councils for many years, providing vital expertise on the clinical implications of regulations and legislation related to oxygen therapy, respiratory devices, and inhalation drugs.

“Joe’s clinical expertise and tireless service to the HME sector and AAHomecare have provided our whole community with a wealth of insight and information that has proved invaluable in our work on respiratory issues, including our successful effort to establish a significant dispensing fee for inhalation drugs in Medicare,” said Joel Marx, Chairman of AAHomecare’s Board and Chairman of Medical Service Company, based in Cleveland, Ohio. “We are pleased to honor both of these HME professionals who have generously volunteered countless hours to the Association and have strived on so many fronts to help improve the environment for homecare.”

More information about Ryan and Lewarski will be offered at the presentation of the awards at the Stand Up for Homecare reception on October 25.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meet the Team: Gina Conlon, Executive Assistant and Office Manager

Gina Conlon is the executive assistant and office manager for the American Association for Homecare. She has been keeping the team on track since October 2006.

Gina works directly with Tyler as his executive assistant, and serves as mother to everyone else on the staff, more commonly known as the office manager. Many of you have spoken to her and received emails from her, and some of you have been lucky enough to actually meet her in person. Most of Gina’s duties involve organizing and nagging, of course all of it is necessary to make the well-oiled AAHomecare machine stay on track no matter what.

Gina graduated from George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia, with a BS in Early Childhood Education.

Fun Facts
  1. Gina is the only native Washingtonian on the AAHomecare staff.
  2. Gina knows the lost art of shorthand. Or at least she claims her meeting notes are in shorthand, it looks like Arabic to the untrained eye.
  3. She worked for the CIA…click on this link at your own risk.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

AAHomecare Calls on Joint Deficit Committee in Congress to Preserve Homecare Access for Millions of Americans

The American Association for Homecare urges the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction not to include any additional budgetary spending cuts that will restrict access to home medical equipment and services in its recommendations to Congress. Over the years, homecare has broadened health care access for millions of Americans, while also producing cost-savings in the health care system by keeping seniors and people with disabilities out of costly hospitals and nursing homes.

“While we support the Committee’s efforts to reduce the deficit and contain rising health care costs, homecare is part of the solution, it’s not the problem,” said Tyler J. Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare. “Homecare is a well-recognized form of cost-effective, post-acute and long-term care that has proven to reduce costs across the health care system.”

“Any additional cuts to the homecare sector will severely restrict access for the eight million seniors and people living with chronic conditions and disabilities who depend on care and services at home,” Wilson said. Over the past decade, home medical equipment and services have endured a series of deep, disproportionate budgetary cuts. Recently, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission voted to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula and partially offset the estimated $200 billion 10-year cost of the repeal through steep, disproportionate cuts to durable medical equipment reimbursements.

Durable medical equipment is a shrinking line in Medicare’s budget, representing less than less than 1.5 percent of total Medicare spending. Home medical equipment and services provide a cost-effective alternative to institutional care for both patients and the health care system. For instance, a full year of oxygen therapy at home under Medicare costs roughly $2,400 a year. Yet without access to the proper services and equipment, a home oxygen patient suffering an exacerbation of COPD can cost Medicare more than $5,000 per day in hospital expenses.

Durable Medical Equipment Is 1.4% of Total Medicare Spending--and Falling

Medicare Spending Chart: Durable Medical Equipment Is 1.4% of Total and Falling (NHE data)

Help preserve HME, tell lawmakers "No more cuts to homecare." Visit the AAHomecare Action Center today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meet the Team: Tim Hopkins, Manager of Web and Information Systems

Tim Hopkins is the manager of web and information systems at AAHomecare. He joined the team in January 2005.

Tim handles all things technology under the AAHomecare roof – from PCs and laptops to mobile devices – and manages the website as well. Some say that he is both the cause-of and solution-to all of AAHomecare's technological problems. A self-proclaimed PC chiropractor, email list whisperer and website duster-upper, Tim has used his knowledge of design, the web and social media to move the Association forward as “the interwebs” (his term) continue to evolve.

Tim received his bachelor’s degree in Information Science from Christopher Newport University, located in Newport News, Virginia.

Fun Facts
  • Tim cofounded a live reading event in Alexandria, Virginia, called As Was Written, where poetry, prose and song writers perform their original work in front of a live audience.

  • Tim learned sign language as a child from his parents, who both freelance as American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters.

  • Tim is the quarterback of the two-time championship-winning Tailights flag football team in the Mid-Atlantic Flag Football Rec League.