Be Irreplaceable: Former Navy SEAL Delivers Keynote Address at Heartland Conference

Posted on in Heartland, Heartland 2017

By Collin Brecher, VGM Government Relations

Hundreds of attendees of the 2017 VGM Heartland Conference filled the room to hear the keynote speech delivered by former Navy SEAL Kevin Lacz on Tuesday, June 13.

Lacz's inspiring journey to becoming a SEAL was driven by the tragic events which changed the course of American history, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He is also known for the work he contributed as a technical advisor and acting in the Hollywood movie, American Sniper, the story of Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper recorded in American history. He also is the author of “The Last Punisher,” in which Lacz shares the story of his time as a SEAL.

Yet another unique path that Lacz pursued after being honorably discharged from the Navy was to become a physician’s assistant, which allowed him to connect with Heartland Conference attendees on a personal level.

Through his address, he shared the common understanding of what it takes to care for patients in an increasingly difficult health care environment.

His advice to attendees was to “own your space.” This was a key takeaway for Randy Taylor of Medical Equipment Affiliates in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, “I’m hit with environmental changes daily. I can’t just bounce from crisis to crisis. I have to own my environment.”

Lacz’s keynote address encouraged attendees to, “earn your trident every day,” a reference to the Navy Seal Trident, and provide the best care possible for your patients regardless of how challenging it may be. The special meaning of being a SEAL is protecting by air, land, and sea, which the Navy SEAL trident represents with an eagle, anchor, pistol, and trident. Protecting is something that home medical equipment providers can easily relate to when providing care for their patients.

Additionally, he conveyed the important principle for any business that “complacency kills,” which resonated with attendees to think about new ways to conduct business. Conference attendee, Sid Rittenbach of Good Shepherd Home Medical Equipment in Hermiston, Oregon, shared, “We can correlate the idea of ‘complacency kills’ to our business. We are being shocked into a change, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. We can see through opportunities we would not have seen in our complacency prior to substantial Medicare and Medicaid cuts. We cannot stay static.”

Lacz’s inspiring and motivating journey captured the undivided attention of hundreds of Heartland Conference attendees. He offered great insight to attendees, which left all who heard with the mindset of If he can make it through that, what can I change to improve my own situation?

It was an honor and a privilege to host former Navy SEAL Kevin Lacz at this year’s conference. In the words of Lacz, “Go earn your trident today.”