ATF Medical’s Supervisor of Adaptive Housing Solutions Karissa Peffer Earns the CAPS Certification

Tuesday, December 20th, 2022

Karissa Peffer, our Supervisor of Adaptive Housing Solutions, just received her CAPS certification! CAPS stands for Certified-Aging-in-Place Specialist and is for professionals in the adaptive housing field.

Karissa works closely with contractors, complex rehab specialists, and occupational therapists to make sure that ATF Medical’s home modifications are appropriate for the conditions and lifestyles of our workers’ compensation patients.

In 2020, she earned the Certified Environmental Access Consultant (C.E.A.C.) certification. Both programs deal with the legal, ethical, and safety issues as well as the construction aspects of home modifications.

Karissa uses this knowledge to see that workers’ compensation patients can function safely in their homes while maximizing their mobility and accessibility.  Our goal is to equip injured workers to experience as much independence as possible, enjoy their lives, and return to work when possible.

“We’re exceptionally proud of Karissa who has strengthened her expertise by earning two certifications since joining ATF Medical in 2019,” said Erin Zablocki, CDME, Master C.E.A.C., ECHM. “We salute – and support – our associates’ efforts to pursue continuing education and certifications in their chosen field.

New Employee Spotlight: David Bedard

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

Welcome David Bedard, our new Manager of Complex Rehab

David Bedard discovered his passion for medical equipment when he was a 17-year-old high school intern at Lowell Medical Instrument Company. This was in Lowell, Massachusetts, just north of Boston.

The company asked him to work for them after graduation, and he ended up staying 8 years. David did everything from posting payments to customer service to evaluating patients and helping them obtain equipment.

“The owner was my first mentor,” David said. “The store also carried medical instruments and I got great exposure to the rehab world there.”

After moving to Florida, David continued in the field for over 30 years. He has worked in just about every aspect of rehab technology, home modifications, and assistive technologies in retail and home health settings.

Over the years, he earned the Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and the Certified Assessment and Modification Professional (C.H.A.M.P.) certifications. He has evaluated patients for custom mobility devices, created adaptive housing solutions, and recommended assistive technology to foster their independence and improve their quality of life. And he’s trained and managed others in the field.

Before coming to ATF Medical as Manager of Complex Rehab, he was with Orchid Medical, an ancillary provider specializing in workers’ compensation. He was a catastrophic care team leader for several years and later served as vice president of operations and vice president of quality assurance.

Now he oversees day-to-day operations and quality assurance for a team of ATF Medical’s ATPs and other professionals.

“We manage a claim from referral to finish, working through contractual agreements, evaluating patients, coordinating with the adaptive housing professionals, and ordering, delivering and fitting patients with equipment – everything,” David said. “And we communicate with claims representatives every step of the way.”

In addition, David coordinates ongoing training for our staff on products and services.

“ATF Medical has a real family atmosphere,” David said. “The culture is second to none – everyone welcomed me and made me feel like I’d been here for 20 years since day 1.”

He also appreciates company’s personal touch. “Unfortunately, this is a rare commodity these days,” David noted. “It’s refreshing to experience it as an employee and to be able to offer it to our clients and their injured employees.”

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the ATF Medical family, email Erin Zablocki at ezablocki@atfmedical.com.

New Employee Spotlight: Don Herbert, Senior Rehab Tech-Remote Monitoring Specialist

Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

ATF Medical welcomes Don Herbert as Senior Rehab Tech-Remote Monitoring Specialist. Don brings considerable mobility product knowledge and years of experience selling and repairing medical equipment to his new position at ATF Medical.

For nearly 15 years, he was a service manager for Sage Mobility & Sage Medical Supply in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. He previously held a similar position with another DME supplier in the state. In addition to overseeing daily operations for these companies, he built, installed and serviced equipment in people’s homes and vehicles and trained others to do the same. He started his career in the U.S. Army.

Now as our Senior Rehab Tech – Remote Monitoring Specialist, Don is building out and managing our teleservices model for evaluating equipment repairs.

“Video conferencing is a God send for this,” he said. Without a tele-evaluation for equipment repairs, injured workers can wait weeks just to have someone come to the house and determine what’s wrong and what it will take to fix it. That’s even before the parts can be ordered.

“We expedite parts orders and service repairs with these teleservice evals,” Don explained.

This is not just a matter of convenience, especially for patients with spinal cord injuries or other serious conditions. Without an operational powerchair, a workers’ comp patient may be stuck in bed, unable to get to doctors’ appointments, and limited in their ability to engage in many activities of daily living as our Executive Director of Sales, Market & Business Development Rick Wyche described in his WorkCompWire article.

In addition to his teleservice role, Don works with claims managers and clinicians to ensure that injured workers receive the rehab equipment, assistive technologies and adaptive housing solutions needed to foster independence and mobility and help them live fulfilling lives.

When asked about the difference between being on the DME supply side and working for ATF Medical, Don said, “Now, I get to work with so many more people and more directly with the people who use the products.”

When working on the DME supply side, Don fulfilled orders for equipment that someone else recommended. Now, he calls on his vast knowledge of manufacturers, products and features to help select the best combination of equipment, features, and adaptive housing solutions to meet an individual’s distinct needs.

And this is gratifying. “When we install a stair glide and making it possible for someone to go upstairs for the first time in years, it’s an amazing experience. You can see their lives change,” he said.

“I always wanted to help people and ATF Medical allows me to accomplish this on a grander scale than I ever imagined possible.”

Don gladly gave up a 75-mile round trip commute to work from home with ATF Medical, can be reached at dherbert@atfmedical.com. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet, please shoot him an email.

Visit ATF Medical at the GA Workers’ Comp Conference!

Monday, August 29th, 2022

From left: ATF Medical’s Rick Wyche, Erin Zablocki & Curt Moreen

Come by Booth 13 and say hello if you’re at The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Annual Educational Conference (Aug 29-31). We’d love to meet you…or see you again.

ATF Medical is sponsoring the conference’s Kid’s Chance Masquerade Extravaganza. Please join us in supporting this life-changing charity. There will be music, dancing, casino tables, and a silent auction and the fun starts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Another ATF Medical Pro – Rachel Amentt – Earns Her CEAC Certification

Monday, June 6th, 2022

Rachel AmnettATF Medical proudly announces that Rachel Amentt has received the CEAC certification. CEAC stands for Certified Environmental Access Consultant.

Rachel coordinates adaptive housing solutions for injured employees. Maybe you’ve talked to her — she works with representatives at insurance carriers and third-party administrators to coordinate home modifications.

Depending on the patient’s condition, these range from ramps and grab bars to stair lifts to complete kitchen remodels. Rachel expedites the home assessments so hospitalized patients can return home and be able to move around as quickly, safely and independently as possible.

Why did she go through the rigorous CEAC process? After all, she’s working full time and raising two children, ages two and four. And CEAC certification means taking an intense six-unit, self-study educational program with unit reviews, and a comprehensive exam.

“We do a lot of hands-on assessments to make sure a contractor’s scope and quote are appropriate,” Rachel said. She said that the CEAC courses emphasized the importance of what ATF Medical does.

“Our recommendations affect people’s lives,” she said. “We want to make sure they’re right for the patient while also doing what’s right for the payer.”

Rachel gives occupational therapists video tours of the home to make sure suggested changes are clinically sound.  “Sometimes medical equipment can replace part of the remodeling and give the injured person more flexibility,” she said. “I have my eyes on the construction side and the OTs watch the medical.”

A few years ago, Rachel worked for a workers’ compensation ancillary provider that used ATF Medical’s services. Like so many at ATF Medical, she loves helping people, especially during traumatic times in their lives.

Please join us in congratulating Rachel on earning the CEAC certification by emailing her at ramentt@atfmedical.com.

Megan Hunt Joins ATF Medical as Rehab Support Coordinator

Monday, May 23rd, 2022
Megan Hunt ATF Medical
Megan Hunt Joins ATF Medical

It’s not often a supervisor helps a valued employee move to a different company, but that happened to Megan Hunt.

Megan has collaborated with people who have disabilities for years and is passionate about helping them live their best lives. Most recently, she was the Program Assistant for Vocational Assessment Services at Roosevelt Warm Springs in Georgia. The program helps people with disabilities receive work training and start a path towards employment.

She was always interested in the medical field but didn’t make the jump until her supervisor told her about an opening at ATF Medical. Megan was fascinated by our medical stories and how we work with people after traumatic injuries and help them find solutions for mobility and independence.

“This feels like a perfect fit for you,” her supervisor said.

As a Rehab Support Coordinator, Megan assists Edwina Murphy, OT, ATP, our Director of Rehab Technology.  Since Edwina is an occupational therapist providing clinical input for our whole range of services, Megan gets involved in adaptive housing, rehab technologies, and seating & positioning, along with our new pressure injury prevention and intervention (PIPI) solution.

Megan helps Edwina with the home evaluations and reports, orders equipment, and works with manufacturers. She also communicates with claims reps, so everyone is on the same page and knows the claim’s status.

If you’ve talked to Megan, you’ll know she has a soothing, Southern accent. She lives in Griffith, Georgia and grew up in nearby Molena located in central part of the state. She works from home and loves the job.

“Everyone has been so wonderful; they don’t mind answering questions and I ask a lot of questions!” Megan said. She is thankful for Edwina, Jaymi, Karissa, Erin, Lauren, and so many others who are giving her tips and tricks.

“It’s been amazing to see what all we can do for someone who has gone through a traumatic experience that changes their life,” she said. “You’re able to help them and they’re able to grow. I love seeing people grow and change.”

Obviously, Megan’s former supervisor – and friend – was right. She’s a great fit for ATF Medical. Join us in welcoming her by emailing her at mhunt@atfmedical.com.

WorkersCompensation.com Article on Pressure Injuries Highlights ATF Medical’s PIPI Program

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

This informative article by WorkersCompensation.com’s Nancy Grover quotes ATF Medical’s Director of Rehab Technology Edwina Murphy, OT, ATP. The story probes the complications and costs of treating wounds/pressure injuries, explaining that communication and knowledge gaps among the different providers contribute to the development of pressure injuries.

“There is a large body of information, from credible nursing, rehabilitation and equipment manufacturers about pressure injuries, but it is not all in one place and not customized to the individual and circulated to all the providers who need it,” Edwina explains.

ATF Medical’s Pressure Injury and Intervention (PIPI) program was created to do just this. It consolidates patient-centric data and intervention protocols and communicates this information to all the caregivers who touch that injured worker.

The program also educates the injured worker and their family, using a pressure map to detect hot spots and showing them how to relieve pressure to prevent wounds. That is as simple as adjusting a seating position every 20 minutes in some cases.

PIPI’s goal is early identification of high-risk patients and ensuring that all their providers have the tools they need to help prevent painful wounds and avoid expensive treatment.

Take a moment to read Pressure Injuries Still a Problem for Injured Workers (free subscription required) and review your organization’s pressure injury program. Are there preventable wounds? Are there communication issues? Looking for a cost-effective solution? Check out our PIPI program by emailing Edwina Murphy, emurphy@atfmedical.com.

Welcoming ATF Medical’s Newest Rehab Coordinator, Elisa Piech

Tuesday, February 8th, 2022

Joining ATF Medical felt like “coming full circle” to Elisa Piech. She started her workers’ comp career 13 years ago with Total Medical Solutions (TMS), where she worked with Erin Zablocki, now our Executive Director of Rehab Technology.  TMS was acquired by MSC, which was later acquired by One Call Care Management, and Elisa moved along with the changes and challenges.

Now, she says, “It’s great to work with Erin again and be part of ATF Medical. It feels like family. The people have the same caring mentality as we did at TMS.”

Yes, workers’ compensation is a small world with strong connections.

Elisa is a Rehab Coordinator II who mainly works on the patient/injured worker side of the spectrum. Her first step is to contact the injured workers and verify information, like height, weight, physical location.

“We want to get as much background upfront so we can provide the most appropriate devices,” she said.

Just as important, reaching out like this lets injured workers know someone cares and that they have someone to contact with their questions. “We’re not just some call center staffed by automatons,” Elisa stressed. “We talk to patients and take time with them and help them understand what’s happening with their medical supplies and equipment.”

She also arranges for an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) or Occupational Therapist (OT) to conduct a thorough evaluation when the case is complex. “So many patients need highly specialized equipment,” she said. “If one spec on a powerchair is off, it can throw off everything. ATPs and OTs make sure that the tilt or recline feature–whatever it is–is tailored for that particular person with that specific injury.”

After gathering information from ATPs, OTs and their evaluations, Elisa prepares a quote with a narrative that explains why certain equipment has been recommended. Communicating regularly with adjusters, nurse case managers, and equipment manufacturers, she obtains approval from TPAs and carriers and ensures the ordering, delivery, and fitting of equipment goes smoothly.

The key to success in this position, Elisa says, is to let the injured worker know that you care. When asked what she enjoyed most about her job, Elisa was quick to answer, “Helping people. And here I can.”

Please welcome Elisa to ATF Medical by emailing her at epiech@atfmedical.com.


ATF Medical Is More Passion Than Career for Rick Wyche

Thursday, January 27th, 2022

In case you’re wondering if ATF Medical supports upward mobility among its employees, the answer is YES! Rick Wyche has been promoted to Executive Director of Sales, Marketing & Business Development.

Rick joined the company as an intern while still in college, checking insurance benefits and performing basic customer service. Over the years he’s held a number of roles, from cold-calling prospects to evaluating seriously injured workers for sophisticated medical equipment.

Along the way, he received Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and Certified Environmental Access Consultant (CEAC) credentials. Now part of the company’s senior leadership team, Rick is ATF Medical’s Executive Director of Sales, Marketing & Business Development.

“ATF Medical gave me the opportunity to grow within the same organization,” Rick said, whose degree from George Mason University is in Conflict Resolution.

He said that Sid (Glover) is a great mentor who really took the time to show him what he needed to know.

“This work is never boring and it’s always challenging,” Rick said. “Each injured worker is unique and has specialized equipment and adaptive housing needs. Manufacturers come out with new features every year. There is always something to learn and there is always room to grow.”

Most rewarding to Rick is the ability to dramatically improve an injured person’s life. “We help some people who cannot get outside or even out of their beds. It’s incredible to watch them return to their lives, partly through our equipment and home modifications. Seeing them move around safely and independently and enjoy life more means everything.”

 

Haley Mundt Finds Her Place at ATF Medical

Monday, January 17th, 2022

Haley Mundt recently joined ATF Medical as a Rehab Coordinator, collaborating with clients, manufacturers, and ATF Medical’s Assistive Technology Professionals (ATPs) and Occupational Therapists (OTs) to help injured workers receive the medical equipment they need. Haley, who graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in biology, has worked in the durable medical equipment industry for over four years.

In her previous job as a manager for an Ohio distributor of durable medical equipment and orthotics and prosthetic devices, Haley streamlined internal processes to improve outcomes. She was happy to see that ATF Medical already had systems in place along with a shared commitment to delivering equipment to injured workers as soon as possible.

Frequently working to fulfill mobility needs, she observed that workers with recent, complex injuries are not at the greatest points in their lives. In the beginning, injured workers are struggling, unhappy, and unable to manage activities of daily living. ATF Medical helps them transition from this difficult starting point to a place where they are mobile and happier.

Right now, she’s helping a woman replace a broken wheelchair.  “We’re working as fast as we can to get her a new power chair so she can get out of the house, go to the park and do her grocery shopping,” Haley said. “Being able to help someone get from that low point to where they can get around is life-changing,” said Haley. “I’m passionate about helping a patient get to the end result. “It is so exciting to see the impact the right equipment has on a person’s life.”

And she’s not alone in her desire to help ATF Medical’s workers’ compensation patients. “Every day I reach out to different people for contacts at manufacturers, to get recommendations–all kinds of things. People here are willing to help – the ATPs, my supervisor, technicians – they’re all ready to jump on a call to educate a patient or explain something to an insurance company.”

The swift response to her questions was a bit surprising. Haley wasn’t sure that she could get answers right away since everyone works remotely, but she said, “There is great teamwork.”

If you haven’t had a chance to work with Haley yet, hopefully, she’ll help with one of your cases soon. Meanwhile, shoot her an email at hmundt@atfmedical.com and say hello.