VGM Heartland Conference Brings the HME Community Back Together, Safely
on October 05, 2021
VGM’s annual Heartland Conference celebrated its 20th event Sept. 13–15, 2021, by welcoming nearly 1,000 guests from across the country to its hometown of Waterloo. The conference brings members of the HME community together each year for three days of networking and educational events.
Usually held in June, the conference was moved to September to help ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. Additional precautions taken included moving all social events to outdoor spaces, requiring masks while indoors, and running conference transportation at 75% capacity. The Heartland planning committee also established a well-trained COVID response team to help keep everyone safe.
“As leaders in the health care industry, we wanted to do everything we could, taking all proper precautions, to help keep everyone safe during our time together,” said Clint Geffert, president of VGM & Associates. “We know the past year and a half has provided numerous challenges and uncertainties, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to bring everyone back together, safely.”
Heartland featured both an Accessibility track and VGM Live at Home Installer Training.
"Live at Home members really enjoyed re-connecting face to face with each other, our partners and the several new companies we have brought in," said Jim Greatorex, vice president of VGM Live at Home. "Our installer trainings were mostly at capacity and the educational tracks were very engaging. Our feedback has been extremely positive and we all had some great takeways and made great memories!"
Heartland also featured a virtual offering, Heartland At Home. VGM members were able to attend the conference exclusively through the virtual courses, which also were complimentary for those who attended in person.
“The HME community plays a vital role as part of the health care industry,” said Jill Blaser, Heartland Conference co-chair. “Heartland offers top-of-the-line education designed to help HMEs take care of their business and, ultimately, their patients. That’s why it’s so important to us that our community members have those educational opportunities, no matter where they are.”
While there were many changes to the Heartland conference this year, those who have attended in past years found plenty of the familiar Midwest hospitality. One such attendee was Roger Lichty, owner of Mobility Connection Inc. out of Rockford, Illinois, who has attended all 20 Heartland Conferences. Lichty was presented with a perfect attendance award to show VGM’s appreciation for his dedication to Heartland and the HME community.
To further celebrate 20 years of Heartland, VGM continued its philanthropic efforts with the 200 for 20 charity event, where conference attendees nominate charities in their own communities. VGM then selected 20 of those charities to be awarded a $200 check.
“Heartland is more than an industry conference,” Geffert said. “It’s an opportunity for our members to get together and be part of something bigger. Whether they chose to attend in person or virtually, we hope they experienced all the magic that Heartland had to offer.”
The Heartland Conference will return to Waterloo on June 13–15, 2022. To learn more about the Heartland Conference, please visit www.vgmheartland.com.
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