A compendium of the latest

NEWS

about care for injured workers

News

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.



Talking to Tanya, ATF Medical’s New Support Coordinator

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Tanya Smith is our very new Support Coordinator in Rehab Technology who joined ATF Medical in early November 2021. You may have worked with her when sending over a referral for a mobility solution. She helps process orders, track down parts, and coordinate virtual and in-home technician appointments. And, most important, Tanya makes sure our patients get to the right people for the answers to their questions.

While she has held relevant administrative and customer service positions over the past decade, this is the first time Tanya has worked from home. Assisting our Rehab Technology coordinators, claims representatives, and especially our patients has opened her eyes and heart to the challenges faced by workers coping with complex injuries. Switching out a cushion, adjusting a seat, or obtaining a different lift–not to mention understanding and empathy–can change their lives.

Most recently, Tanya was an administrative assistant with Community Connections in Tennessee. Among her duties was serving as a liaison with the state’s Department of Intellectual Disabilities. She assisted case managers with patient requests and compiled and prepared data reports while also researching, purchasing, and managing the deliveries of various products.  Not so different than what she does here, right?

With her strong organizational skills and an excellent attention to detail, Tanya has also been a Customer Experience Specialist and a Logistics Coordinator, perfect experience for her new role with ATF Medical.  Join us in welcoming Tanya as a new member of our ATF Medical family, by emailing tsmith@atfmedical.com.

US Senator Bob Dole – Champion of the ADA

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

ATF Medical honors the life of US Senator Bob Dole, the man who was so instrumental in passing the Americans with Disabilities Act. From his first Senate floor speech in 1969 until the ADA was signed in 1990, this World War II hero, who was badly wounded and knew firsthand what it was like to not be able to be fully functional, fought for the rights of people with disabilities. One of the country’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislations, the ADA banned discrimination based on disability in all parts of public right, guaranteeing the people with disabilities could no longer be denied access to jobs, schools and transportation. Read more here.  

Kevin Wallace, the Wheelchair Guy for Wilson High’s Special Olympics

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

It comes as no surprise that ATF Medical’s employees are giving, caring people or that the company gives them each a paid volunteer day each year. Even before joining the company five years ago, Rehab Specialist Kevin Wallace, ATP, CRTS, threw himself into the Berks County, Pennsylvania Special Olympics.

Known there as “the wheelchair guy,” Kevin totes his tools and programmer to the event every year and adjusts wheel locks, walkers, and seats for attendees. He and his wife Kim have volunteered at the event for 20 years, to support the event and their son Connor, who has Down’s Syndrome.

“We used to bring all the area schools together for the event, but it got so large that it became too much for the kids with autism,” Kevin said, “So, now each school hosts their own and this one was held in May at my alma mater, Wilson High School.”

The event kicked off with one of the students singing the National Anthem, followed by the creed Creed for Special Olympics, which is “Let me win. But, if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” After a parade around the track, the games began. Softball toss. Wheelchair races. Running races. Long jumps. Bicycle Races.

Connor Wallace won the wheelchair race. His dad barely had time to cheer him on since he was inundated requests for wheelchair adjustments and tune-ups. Kevin worked in children’s pediatrics for 20 years before joining ATF Medical and has known some of the kids and their families for 30 years. He has a degree in Rehabilitative Science and a background in sports medicine.

“The Special Olympics is a fun and emotional day for all the kids and families—for everyone concerned,” he said. “Working with these athletes, injured workers, and others who have disabilities reminds me that everybody has challenges,” he said. “It’s what you do with them that makes the difference.”

Complex Medical Equipment is Not a Commodity

Monday, May 17th, 2021

This post was written by Rick Wyche, ATF Medical’s Senior Director of Business Development

Joe Paduda’s blog post on buying workers’ compensation services was dead-on. If you missed it, please take a minute to read it. Paduda discussed the fact that some people tend to look at a lot of services as commodities – and acknowledged that some of them are. He cited pharmacy benefit management (PBMs) as an example, mentioning that the larger PBMs have bigger buying power.

“In contrast, think clinically oriented services, those delivered to high-need patients, e.g., powered wheelchairs.”

Now he was singing my song!

“What matters is NOT the buying power of the supplier, but it’s the customer-centricity, depth of knowledge, flexibility, and adaptability. The power wheelchair has to be the right weight, carrying capacity, have the right functionality, fit through the right width and height, and meet the user’s functional restrictions,” Paduda continued.

I covered this topic in detail in WorkCompWire. Specialized equipment for workers with complex injuries is a high-touch prospect. Whether the company is large or small, its people need long-term, deep relationships with manufacturers, lots of education, and to stay current with the latest trends and technologies. Most important, the company has to deliver amazing service to injured workers and to workers’ comp payers.

ATF Medical’s professionals conduct clinical evaluations and leverage our in-depth product knowledge and experience when recommending the precise equipment and components for your injured worker. Considerations include:
• Current medical status and expected changes
• The living space
• Available and upcoming technologies and products
• Transportation needs
• Nursing care arrangements
• Family/support system

We have all kinds of certified specialists on staff: occupational therapists, assistive technology professionals, rehab technology specialists, environmental access consultants, durable medical equipment specialists, and home modification experts. Depending on the diagnoses, we build a team to create a unique solution for your injured worker.

And, I know everyone says “unique solution,” but there is no other way to adequately describe it. There are so many components, people, and perspectives that go into an ATF Medical recommendation. It’s not a product or a single service. It truly is a solution.

We order everything for you, handle all the deliveries and set up and oversee any renovations. There’s no deliver and drop. We make sure injured workers are fitted properly and they and their families understand how complicated equipment works and who to call with questions. We check in with them and monitor injured workers’ progress, suggest changes. We repair and maintain equipment – and we keep the adjusters, case managers, and other claims reps informed every step of the way.

Same thing with adaptive housing services. Everything is customized to the needs of a particular worker’s condition and living space and designed to work efficiently and cost effectively with their medical equipment. We’re all about increasing their quality of life and without wasting your money.

Complex injuries call for complex solutions. When that’s what you need, call 877-880-4283 or ask your home health company, TPA, or insurance company to ask for us.

Shifting the Perspective – Injured Workers First!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

ATF Medical’s Sr. Director of Business Development Rick Wyche, ATP, CEAC will participate in the “Shifting the Perspective” webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The free webinar, produced by Workfinders USA, focuses on the positive ways that patient advocacy affects workers’ compensation claims outcomes.

Rick helps workers who have experienced complex or catastrophic injuries obtain and use the most appropriate medical equipment and adaptive housing solutions for their conditions and situations. He will share how advocacy improves recovery, reduces disability, and produces the most positive experience for the injured worker.

Natalie Torres, Senior Director of Client Solutions for Workfinders USA discusses return-to-work solutions that support the return of every worker to good health and meaningful work.

Nicole Corey, ARM, CRIS, WCCP with California Work Comp Advocacy will bring her more than 20 years’ experience as an adjuster and broker claims advocate to the panel. Nicole will focus on how an approach centered on communication, collaboration and compassion helps employers and injured workers navigate the often confusing and complex claims process in California.

The free webinar starts at 1 p.m. Eastern and 10 a.m. Pacific. Register here: https://www.workfindersusa.com/shifting-perspective#Bot

ATF Medical Makes Dream Come True for Dad

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Robert was injured when a 1700-pound pallet fell on him, leaving him a complete paraplegic. Then he developed an infection in his leg that resulted in an amputation.

He had been struggling for a year trying to get his wheelchair (not from ATF Medical) to work with his lifestyle when his case was referred to ATF Medical and he met Rehab Specialist, Kevin Wallace, ATP, CRTS.

His manual TiLite TRA was fine for indoor use, but Robert needed to be able to wheel around his roughly two-acre property. Much of his land is hilly, and he likes to hunt and fish and enjoy his creek. Also, his property sits next to a national park with trails he wanted to explore.

But most of all, he wanted to be able to take his two-year-old daughter on his nature excursions.

Upon receiving the case, Kevin called Robert to discuss his injuries and capabilities, lifestyle and terrain, and his desire to bond with his little girl. Having previously worked in pediatrics, Kevin knew nothing on the market had a toddler seat attachment.

So, he went to work designing a way to attach and remove a toddler bicycle seat easily and safely. Robert and his fabulous case manager bought into the concept, and Kevin made a mount for a rack, connected it to a freewheel extension.

The big moment came when he attached the toddler seat to the chair. The expression on Robert’s face was priceless.

“His chair has a dump to it, to keep him positioned in the back of the chair, and his daughter can sit in front, facing him. He can keep an eye on her and see what’s happening in front of them,” Kevin explained.

Kevin also switched out the rims and tires with larger, sturdier rims and big knobby tires, careful to keep the seat-to-floor height. Now, Robert can easily access parts of his property that he hadn’t laid eyes on since his injury. He can also use a single handle to easily detach the freewheel device and seat, when riding without his little passenger.

This is just another example of how ATF Medical goes above and beyond to help injured employees live their best lives. With innovation and caring about the injured person’s desire to enjoy the outdoors and introduce nature to his little girl, Kevin made Robert’s desires a reality.

CEAC Certification Goes to Karissa Peffer

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

Our Senior Coordinator of Adaptive Housing Solutions Karissa Peffer recently received the Certified Environmental Access Consultant (CEAC) certification. Karissa, who coordinates adaptive housing solutions, works closely with contractors and rehabilitation specialists and therapists, to make sure injured workers’ home modifications are appropriate for the injured worker’s physical condition and lifestyle.

The CEAC course covers the impact of a disability on home and work environments as well as function and safety, along with legal and ethical obligations. Learn more here.

Applying that knowledge to housing solutions within the workers’ compensation industry requires creativity, clinical knowledge, logic, and a great deal of organization. “Karissa has them all,” said ATF Medical’s Executive Director of Rehab Technology, Erin Zablocki, CMDE, CEAC, ECHM. “The CEAC designation tells our clients and future clients that Karissa is highly qualified to help them customize solutions that maximize their injured workers’ independence, physical capabilities, and enable them to enjoy life to the fullest.”

ATF Medical strongly supports continuing education, giving its team members time off to attend courses like this and reimbursing fees.  We want to make sure our clients receive the most innovative solutions possible.

Join us in congratulating Karissa.  You can contact her at Kpeffer@atfmedical.com.

 

Don’t modify a home without an OT/ATP

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

Considering a home mod without clinical input? What could go wrong? Unnecessary changes and expenses? A shower chair that hangs out of the shower? Complete kitchen renovations and upgrades, when minor changes would work? ATF Medical’s Erin Zablocki tells you how to make sure your adaptive housing programs fit the injured worker’s condition and lifestyle in this WorkCompWire article.

 

Contact us today!

Our expert staff is ready to oversee the selection, fit, client education and user satisfaction. We take the long view - responding to inquiries promptly and staying in touch, one-on-one - for the duration of the injured workers’ recovery.