Editor's Note

Guardian Angels

Guardian Angels

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From the very start of Mobility Management in 2002, this magazine has enjoyed the intermittent but essentially persistent presence of guardian angels — industry experts, veterans, heroes who for completely indiscernible reasons have put their arms around MM at various times to help it along.

I have never understood it, why people who have a lot more important things to do take time from their days and evenings and weekends to help out this little magazine. But I’ve learned to just enjoy and be grateful for it.

One of these current industry guardian angels is Hymie Pogir, an actual rock star. Hymie is currently with Permobil, but he’s a treasure that the whole industry claims as its own. When I met Hymie in 2002 or 2003, I was utterly scared of him, terrified that he’d see right through to my ignorance. The fact that he has never been anything but gracious and warm, the fact that he is beloved for his self deprecation, only made me worry more that I’d look like a fool to him.

Thankfully, I mostly got over that. Hymie recently began calling me in an impromptu mentorship that has thrilled me down to my toes. This week, our talking point was why so many seating & wheeled mobility clients are at odds with their ATPs — why, frankly, so many consumers think this industry’s providers are the problem, to blame for everything from five-year reasonable useful lifetime rules to reimbursement rates so low they’re sometimes less than the cost the manufacturer incurred to make the product.

Why, Hymie and I wondered together, are consumers and providers so constantly pulling against each other despite the prodigious efforts of consumer and industry organizations to get us to pull together? And what can Mobility Management do to help?

So in 2016, we’ll be regularly profiling local and regional consumer organizations that are making a difference to end users and in so doing, are lifting us all up. I hope that these stories will be resources to you and your clients. And selfishly, I hope that as these organizations work with MM, as they get to know our readership in that process, some of what you truly do will come to light.

If you know an organization that you’d like me to profile, let me know. My e-mail address is written below. Hymie is getting me started with a suggestion or two, but after that, I hope the column will take on a life of its own.

Hymie’s many wise suggestions for growing this magazine go far beyond just this new column (but they’re secrets until he works his magic behind the scenes. Let’s just say a commode and a scrub brush might have something to do with one idea). And his suggestions aren’t the only ones I’m excited to present to you in 2016. New editorial advisory board member Steve Mitchell of the Cleveland VA has been talking with me as well, so look for contributions from him next year (code words: ALS and dynamic ultralights).

Thank you to all of my mentors — that means all of you who’ve given an interview, suggested a story idea, explained a concept to me such as shear, deep tissue injury or dystonia. You keep us going, you keep us growing, and in this traditional month of Thanksgiving, I’m profoundly grateful. Thank you for another wonderful year.

This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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