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State Association Spotlight: MAMES

VGM Government is always excited to feature our HME State Associations, who do so much to advocate and improve the HME industry. We recently chatted with the leaders of Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services & Supplies (MAMES), Rose Schafhauser, Executive Director, and
Jim Schafhauser, Executive Administration and Member Services, about the success of MAMES!

Q: Tell us about your successes at the MAMEs Fall Conference
Rose: MAMES was thrilled to be back live at our MAMES 2020: Together Again Family Reunion! Welcoming over 200 of our MAMES family back with the highest caliber networking, education, and vendor interaction was our top priority. And after two full years of virtual events, being live in a fun and enjoyable setting made this our best event on record!
Jim: Our emphasis was to encourage the best possible networking. From breakfast to lunch to our smashing success 80's party to our lively and valued vendor hall and more, and by coupling it with education that was developed by members for members, our attendees continue to tell us it was the best event ever.
Q: MAMES is the largest HME state association. How do you manage all these states? Tell us about your recent success stories. 
Rose: Managing the legislative and payor relations legs of our industry in eight states is no question the biggest daily challenge we face as an organization. The key to the success of MAMES continues to be the active participation of our MAMES members in each state. We are blessed with extraordinary members with knowledge that provides the key resource in our successes across the board. It has been critical in major legislative wins in Minnesota, saving providers hundreds of thousands of dollars in reimbursement cuts, taxes, and clawbacks, as well as critical in building relationships with our state Medicaid payors and educating across the spectrum on the value of DME to the healthcare system and the challenges our industry is facing. Engaged members is a must for success, and we are blessed to have a significant portion of our MAMES membership engaged in our strong committee structure.
Jim: I would add two additional items into that mix. First, the amazing support of our large associate member population, with a record seventy-three associate members in 2021, we have been provided the financial support to continue to grow MAMES in numbers and in influence at the state and national level. This support provides much of the financial resources to provide the membership benefits our provider members value every day.
Second, while Rose will never say it, our members are blessed to have an executive director who basically grew up in the DME industry over the past 40 years. She started in billing and worked her way up to running the company and has experienced first hand much of what our members are dealing with every day. And when you add in the administration she provides for Jurisdictions A, B, C, the NSCAC, and her active engagement as Chair of the AAHomecare State Leaders Council sitting on the AAH Executive Committee and Board of Directors, you have a leader who is experienced and engaged in the industry and who can provide incredible resources to our members.
Q: Tell us what it’s like to work side by side with your spouse?
Jim: Well it's usually quiet because Rose is on more teleconference calls than I can count, and our main communication is sending an email or a text message, even though we literally sit seven feet apart. But I think the key for us since I came on full time in 2005 has been defining what our jobs are. 
According to Rose, when I started, my job was to "do all the stuff she hated to do," and it has evolved from there. But seriously, staying in our lanes has been critical, I handle the member services side such as renewals or registrations or event marketing, as well as the financial side of things, while Rose focuses on the hard core DME side of our business.
Rose is the DME resource, she is the leader, and I am amazed daily by her ability to stay informed and up to date in an industry that changes daily. This is Rose's passion and it has been since she started her company, Association Management, LLC back in late 1999, and I could not be more proud of what she has built. She will tell you we are a team, and we are, but every team needs someone to lead it, and I am proud to have her at the helm.
Q: How do the Schafhauser’s typically celebrate Thanksgiving?
Rose: Thanksgiving has changed for us over the years as our two daughters have grown up. With our oldest, Sara, married with kids here in northern Minnesota and our youngest Mary, soon to be married, out in Maine, things are a little more laid back than our early years of family dinners. 
Jim and I cherish having everyone around the table, but it has evolved and we are thankful everyday to have each other and our family near and far. We celebrate the holidays together in person when we can, but even when we are apart, we are thankful for the blessings that have come to us. Jim and I are simply blessed to have Sara, Ryan, Jae, Sophia, DJ, Mary, and Patrick healthy and part of our lives each day.