Member Spotlight: The Story of Anderson Wheelchair

Published in Complex Rehab on December 03, 2020

Andy and Gretchen Anderson. Image from Post Bulletin.Anderson Wheelchair, a VGM and U.S. Rehab member since 2013, was recently featured in Post Bulletin about how the third-generation business was created. Committed to living his live as independently as he could while helping others, James “Andy” Anderson started providing his services to the Rochester, MN community, which eventually led to him opening his own business, Anderson Wheelchair. 

It all started when Andy received a spinal cord injury in 1962. While first working for a pilot program with St. Paul’s 3M company as a copy, addressing, and mailing service for small businesses post-injury, Andy was asked by his doctor from Mayo Clinic if he was interested in counseling a new spinal cord injury patient about his life and how it was possible to live a fulfilled life, even with a spinal cord injury. Andy gladly accepted this request and provided this service for years to come. This also led to the start of a new business venture. 

Mayo Clinic wanted some place local to send patients who needed medical equipment and who also provided customer service. Because medical equipment and supplies were hard to find in the area, Andy and his wife, Gretchen, were asked if they would consider selling and servicing equipment to patients. The couple accepted this new challenge and created a new business. Originally starting in 1967 in their own basement by selling and servicing basic durable medical equipment (DME) like crutches, canes, and walkers, they later added wheelchairs, hospital beds, lifts, hand controls, and ramps to their product lineup and expanded to their current location.  

“The story of Anderson Wheelchair is truly inspiring,” said Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab. We are so lucky to have this organization as part of our U.S. Rehab and VGM family." 

To read the full story from Post Bulletin, click here.  


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