Recapping The 2019 VGM Heartland Conference

Published in Complex Rehab on July 09, 2019

In mid-June, nearly 1,000 members and vendor partners came to VGM’s headquarters in Waterloo, Iowa, to enjoy the 2019 VGM Heartland Conference. Attendees were able to take advantage of countless educational and networking opportunities throughout the week. For the rehab community in particular, there were many highlights throughout the conference that allowed attendees to grow and learn from other members and thought leaders within their community.  

Rehab-Specific Education
Members had the opportunity to attend several rehab-specific educational sessions on Tuesday, June 11 and Wednesday, June 12. Some of these sessions included:

  • “How Technology is Changing How We Provide Seating and Mobility” with Linda Bollinger from Sunrise Medical
  •  “Airline Training Development” with Matt Macpherson, ATP from FIOS DME Repair Training, and Greg Packer from U.S. Rehab
  • “Looking to the Future: How Knowing Ahead About Coverage and Reimbursement Policy Changes Can Help Grow Your Business and Meet Your Customers’ Needs” with Tricia Garven, John Goetz, and Todd Walling from Permobil
  • “Small Clients, Big Decisions: Approaches in Pediatric Seating” with Stephanie Tanguay, OT/L, ATP, from Motion Concepts
  • “Analysis and Ongoing Development of the FMA/UDS Mobility Registry” with Tyler Mahncke and Greg Packer from U.S. Rehab and Vince Schiappa and Mark Schmeler from the University of Pittsburgh
  • “Complex Rehab Technology Update” with Don Clayback from NCART

U.S. Rehab’s Director of Reimbursement and Education Dan Fedor also presented in several sessions for the billing and reimbursement track, including “You are a Willing Supplier but are you ABLE?” with Kristyn Stephan from Mobility Solutions, Inc.

From tips for best practices by rehab specialists to CRT industry news and updates, members had a wide variety of rehab-focused sessions to attend during the conference. 

Tech Training
As with previous Heartland Conferences, members had the option to attend the two-day Tech Training seminar that occurred during the conference. This seminar provided technicians with troubleshooting tips, techniques, and hands-on programming with equipment from U.S. Rehab manufacturers, including MK Battery, Ki Mobility, Sunrise Medical, Merits/Avid Rehab, Permobil, Permobil Manual Wheelchairs, and Motion Concepts. One session also included Dan Fedor presenting “Documentation for Repairs,” where technicians learned how to effectively and efficiently document the repair (parts, labor, and "loaner," if applicable) to ensure maximum reimbursement.

Divided into Beginner/Intermediate and Advanced sessions, 22 technicians received tips and learned about best practices in order to more quickly and accurately troubleshoot complex systems.

Social Events And Networking Opportunities
The success of this year’s Heartland Conference was also due to the fun networking opportunities that were available to all attendees. These social events kicked off on Monday during the annual Van G. Miller Memorial Golf Tournament, followed by a relaxing afternoon at the VGM Farm and the famous hog roast and fireworks in the evening. Click here to view a live recording of the fireworks!

After a full day of educational sessions on Tuesday, attendees were then able to visit the Exhibit Hall Grand Opening Reception to network with several vendor partners that were exhibiting. Tuesday evening also consisted of industry-specific community dinners, where U.S. Rehab members had the opportunity to attend the complex rehab dinner and socialize with their peers.

On Wednesday, after another full day of educational sessions and an afternoon in the exhibit hall, the conference wrapped up at the '50s-themed “Boogie Woogie Bash” gala. This event allowed members to come together and build upon the relationships that were created during the conference.

Giveaways
One of the most impactful moments of the 2019 Heartland Conference was the donation of adaptive tricycles to four children throughout the Cedar Valley in Iowa. VGM and U.S. Rehab collaborated with Variety – the Children’s Charity, MercyOne, and Rifton, a member manufacturer, to donate these devices that will help these kids live more independently. Click here to read more about the giveaway.

This year’s Heartland Conference was a successful event filled with several rehab-specific educational sessions, networking, and social events for attendees to build lasting relationships and create opportunities with one another. Thank you to all attendees, vendor partners, speakers, and presenters who made this conference a success!

Mark your calendars for next year's conference: June 15-17, 2020! 


comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

Complex Rehab Highlights on CMS Waivers and Rules thumbnail Complex Rehab Highlights on CMS Waivers and Rules CMS released new waivers and rules to increase the flexibility for healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a quick overview for CRT. U.S. Rehab Continues Helping Members During COVID-19 thumbnail U.S. Rehab Continues Helping Members During COVID-19 Our team here at U.S. Rehab is working hard every day to meet the needs of our membership. We are fielding calls, emails, and reaching out to our valued members and manufacturer partners to see how we can help. If there's a problem that you're experiencing, we want to hear from you, whether it's access to the VA or a rehab facility, concerns about getting paid for your services, telehealth concerns, etc., please reach out and let us know at [email protected] Progress of The DMERT Group thumbnail Progress of The DMERT Group The DMERT Group has been growing and evolving ever since its' creation in 2018 as a certification body for the DME and complex rehab technology industry. Packer Perspective: Navigating the Coronavirus thumbnail Packer Perspective: Navigating the Coronavirus I have just returned from ISS in Vancouver, and it was a very good show. It appeared to me that there were a great number of people at the show considering the growing concern of the coronavirus. At VGM, we have posted some information and resources at vgm.com/coronavirus for our members to see how VGM is handling the threat of this virus. I want to let you know that we have not taken this situation lightly, but we also know that we must be vigilant to stay connected to our patient population. Meet Our Members: Katie Stevens, Vice President, Operations of Reliable Medical Supply thumbnail Meet Our Members: Katie Stevens, Vice President, Operations of Reliable Medical Supply Meet Katie Stevens, Vice President, Operations for Reliable Medical Supply! Reliable Medical Supply has been a U.S. Rehab member since 2010. Katie answered some of our questions about her role at the company and how she helps Reliable Medical Supply evolve and grow every day while staying true to the company's employee-centric culture and customer-driven service. New U.S. Rehab Members-Only Portal Now Available thumbnail New U.S. Rehab Members-Only Portal Now Available You are at the core of what we do, and we want to make sure you are learning, networking, and thriving every day. That is why we updated the U.S. Rehab members-only portal! This new portal, exclusive to members, is enhanced to help you find all the information and resources you need to help your business succeed. U.S. Rehab Supplier Partner Updates: March 2020 thumbnail U.S. Rehab Supplier Partner Updates: March 2020 U.S. Rehab Supplier Partner Updates: Feburary 2020 RAC Approved to Audit Hospital Beds and Manual Wheelchairs thumbnail RAC Approved to Audit Hospital Beds and Manual Wheelchairs The Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) has been approved to audit hospital beds and manual wheelchairs.