Healthcare Conf. Features Interactive Panels, Medline Tour

Posted November 17, 2023 at 3:54 pm

On Nov. 15–16, TRSA hosted its 12th Annual Healthcare Conference and Exchange in Memphis, TN. The Healthcare Conference was held in conjunction with the Sixth Annual Marketing, Sales & Service Summit, and began with a joint reception bringing both groups of industry executives together.

On Nov. 15, the conference kicked off with an opening keynote session from Nathan Bays, who works in Healthcare M&A at Citi, where he spoke on evolutions in the healthcare economy to educate on how healthcare operators can leverage their organizations to deliver more with less. Bays walked the audience through key trends in the healthcare market, how those trends were projected to change the landscape next year and how TRSA members could leverage them to enhance their decision making for 2024. Following the keynote, and keeping in theme with making data-driven decisions for 2024, a panel discussion moderated by Daniel Sanchez, the vice president of sales and marketing at Emerald Textiles; and consisting of James Adler, owner of LinenMaster; Randy Bartsch, chairman and CEO of Ecotex Healthcare Linen Services; and Don Cramer, VP of IT at NOVO Health Services, took place. During the session, these subject-matter experts discussed how they were able to utilize technology to enhance their customer’s experience.

Next, Dr. Katie Laird, the head of infectious disease research at De Montfort University, Zoomed into the conference to talk through microbiological testing in the commercial laundry industry. Dr. Laird explained the current understanding of microbiological testing and discussed a newly developed method of testing. Kevin Schwalb, the vice president of government relations at TRSA, followed Dr. Laird to provide an update on the organization’s proactive advocacy program. Schwalb shared insights on several key issues and how TRSA is actively protecting the industry from the impacts of new regulations in the healthcare sector.

Chuck Rossmiller, the senior director of national field sales at Medline, then took the stage to highlight the findings of the TRSA Healthcare Committee’s benchmarking survey. Rossmiller presented findings from the survey, while also engaging the audience with interactive live polling to get a pulse on their view of the findings. Next, attendees had the opportunity to attend one of two breakout sessions. The first breakout session was a discussion on linen loss in the acute healthcare sector. The second featured a discussion on improving employee engagement while serving the nonacute healthcare sector.

The first day of the conference ended with back-to-back panel discussions. The first panel was moderated by Liz Remillong, vice president of strategic alliances at Crothall. The panel consisted of Bartsch, Chris Corcoran, executive vice president of HHA-FMA Laundry; and Curtis Nichols, general manager at HandCraft Services. The panel discussion focused on an executive’s view on all things related to the healthcare services sector, both acute and nonacute, including industry pain points, compliance, standards, automation and new technologies.

The second panel was moderated by Andy Kratky, CEO of Emerald Textiles; and consisted of Ryan Chimenti, managing director at CIBC U.S. Middle Market Investment Banking; Kiran Prasad, managing director at Stephens Inc.; and Matt Szewajs, group head and managing director at Piper Sandler. The panel spoke on private-equity’s role in the healthcare market sector. The panel spoke on their view of the industry and capital market’s effect on it over the last 10 years, as well as why our industry is not unique regarding that and their vision on healthcare laundries over the next few years. Attendees then ended the first day with a reception to discuss learnings and network.

On Nov. 16, conference attendees were invited to Medline Industries’ facility in Southhaven, MS. The 1.2-million-square-foot, medical-grade distribution center opened its doors at the end of 2021. The $125-million, cutting-edge facility serves healthcare systems and facilities across the continuum of care and has added 450 jobs to support customers in the Southeastern region. The center handles the distribution of thousands of individual products and devices which are shipped to healthcare providers. Over $350 million in annual orders are expected to be handled from the location. The automation-focused tour showcased how the facility uses their automation functions to streamline demand for their services.

Next year’s Annual Healthcare Conference will be held in Atlanta.