Industry Anniversaries to Celebrate
Heartland Conference: 10 Years
The VGM Group’s annual event has always combined top-notch education with peerless hospitality, but over the years, it’s also grown. This year’s additions included a wound care educational track and an Accessible Living Pavilion showcasing home accessibility products. Next year’s Waterloo, Iowa, event is scheduled for June 4-7, 2012.
Aqua Creek Products: 10 Years
“Ten years ago, Aqua Creek was just emerging into the pool lift market. Only one style of lift was offered that first year: a water-powered Pro Pool Lift. We have since expanded our line of lifts and wheelchairs to over 15 models of lifts, and eight diff erent wheelchairs. Aqua Creek has continually pushed pool lift technology, offering lifts verified ADA compliant by an independent third-party test lab, and offering lifts with up to 600 lbs. capacity. We are proud to be in our 10th year, and our goal remains to offer aff ordable reliable pool & spa access for everyone.”
Bodypoint: 20 Years
“When Bodypoint first opened its doors in June of 1991, we, like a lot of other manufacturers, were producing a standard ‘H’ harness designed to support the trunk by retracting at the shoulders. Although a good solution at the time, it restricted movement. In the late ‘90s, as new thinking emerged about movement and function, so did a new type of harness — one made of neoprene.
“Recognizing a lack of comfort, functionality and durability in these products, Bodypoint went to work on a more advanced product. New materials were created to allow for more movement and flexibility, while at the same time providing superior trunk stability. Today, you might know this product as the Stayflex Anterior Trunk Support Harness.
“Back in 1991, when we first started the company, we had 3,000 sq. ft. of space, one sewing machine, and our computer system was a Kardex file (are these even still around?). Today, we have grown to over 18,000 sq. ft., have increased our production capacity by leaps and bounds, and almost every employee works on a computer in one way or another. Instead of selling primarily to local dealers here in Washington State, we are selling around the world in more than 25 countries and to mobility device manufacturers across the globe.
“Although the company started with just two minds, Matthew Kosh and Dave Hintzman, they are now surrounded by a team of highly skilled, energetic people who maintain our excellent customer service and highest quality standards and who will take Bodypoint to the next level via partner relationships, education programs and an increased Web presence.”
Symmetric Designs: 25 Years
For years, this manufacturer on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, has been advocating for better head positioning for clients via systems that are also easy for caregivers to maintain. One example: its Savant headrest, which can be shaped by hand, allows for air circulation and is designed to be easy to apply and remove.
NMEDA Conference: 20 Years
For two decades, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) conference has brought together professional stakeholders in the adaptive automotive market — OEM and aftermarket manufacturers, dealers and clinicians — to communicate and learn from each other. NMEDA itself has evolved during that time: More recent changes include a logo change and the new requirement that all NMEDA members belong to the organization’s Quality Assurance Program (QAP). But the organization’s goal of enabling consumers with disabilities to safely and conveniently take to the road remains the same.
Freedom Concepts: 20 Years
Seemingly based on the premise that everyone wants to be able to ride a bike, Freedom Concepts puts that dream within reach for a lot of kids who need extra support, special positioning or added stability. Yes, Freedom Concepts calls them “mobility devices,” but to the riders, they’re simply “cool.” This year, Freedom Concepts celebrated two decades in business by launching a “Rock’er Roll’er” version of its Chill-Out Chair.
Prairie View Industries: 20 Years
“From our humble beginnings at Prairie View, Kan., in 1991, to our current 135,000-sq. ft. facility in Fairbury, Neb., many things have changed. But two things have stayed the same: our commitment to quality and family values.
“Richard Allen — president and founder of Prairie View Industries, who built the company’s very first ramp in 1991 — loves challenges. His insight, creativity and wisdom to treat his employees and customers like family have given PVI the credibility it has needed to succeed. This is evident in the company’s massive growth since 1991, and the extent of product lines offered at PVI today.
“Our future is a bright one at Prairie View Industries. We are still striving to create new products as well as continually improving our current line. We also continue to break down barriers to help people lead more productive and active lives.”
Freedom Designs: 30 Years
A long-time advocate of proper seating, positioning and mobility for kids, Freedom Designs celebrated three decades in the industry by — what else? — introducing a new lightweight, folding tilt-in-space chair. Called the Freedom NXT — as in “Generation Next” — it’s dubbed “the most rigid folding tilt chair yet to be developed.” That was in January. In July, Freedom Designs unveiled an impressive encore: the NXT Rigid Frame, with width-adjustable strut tubes replacing the crossbrace tubes featured on the folding version of the NXT. “Matching clients’ specific body dimensions to the correct frame size is more exact than ever,” Freedom Designs says.
The MED Group: 40 Years
Four decades is a long time to keep fighting the good fight, particularly when the challenges are coming at you from so many diff erent directions. The MED Group has seen the DME and complex rehab technology landscapes change, and in fact has undergone changes itself, including being acquired by Managed Health Care Associates (MHA) in 2010. Today, The MED Group boasts more than 365 provider members with more than 1,000 locations, working with them to not only lower purchasing costs, but also to “increase patient referral revenue and improve efficiencies in education and training, reimbursement, accreditation, certification, logistics and other operational areas.”
More Happy Birthdays!
Sleepsafe Beds: 10 Years
United Seating & Mobility: 10 Years
The Aftermarket Group: 15 Years
Blue Chip Medical: 15 Years
Door Motion Technologies: 15 Years
Frog Legs: 15 Years
Intermotive Vehicle Controls: 15 Years
Magic Wheels: 15 Years
Contour Products: 20 Years
Accreditation Commission for Health Care: 25 Years
Hudson Medical: 35 Years
This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Mobility Management.