Mike Osborn, all in for NRRTS

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Friday, May 31, 2019

PITTSBURGH – Mike Osborn, the recipient of this year’s Simon Margolis Fellow Award, likes to say, “NRRTS is the best thing that ever happened to me.” Osborn, who co-owns Alliance Rehab and Medical Equipment in Ozark, Mo., with three other ATPs and who serves as the treasurer for NRRTS’s executive committee, says the organization’s leadership and registrants fuel his work and advocacy. “Once you work with these folks, the passion takes over,” he said. “You want to make a difference, to leave something behind with what you do on a daily basis.” Here’s what Osborn had to say about living up to Margolis’ example on how to make long-standing and significant contributions to NRRTS, to the complex rehab profession, and to the seating and mobility community as a whole.

HME News: Were you surprised to be named this year’s fellow?

Mike Osborn: It was very shocking. Simon was a special person and to hear your name alongside his, and (past fellows) Gerry Dickerson, Michele Gunn and John Zona is unbelievable.

HME: What does it mean to you to receive an award named after Margolis?

Osborn: It’s such an honor. Simon stood for patient protection, advocacy and legislation. He wanted ATPs to do things the right way for outcomes and for the patient’s needs, not based on funding. That’s what I’ve always tried to grasp on to.

HME: When you look at your involvement at NRRTS and in the industry so far, what stands out?

Osborn: There are a lot of things, but one thing I’ve been a big proponent of is having a more active board at NRRTS and improving our connection to with the whole complex rehab industry. We’re working together with groups like NCART and RESNA more closely today than we were before. I’m most excited about how the industry is becoming more interconnected.

HME: What work still needs to be done?

Osborn: I don’t want to speak for the whole organization, but a big one is finding a pathway for more people to come into the industry. We talk about it at every board meeting. How do we excite people to get into this field? I often speak to classes of OTs and PTs and they have no idea we exist or how to get into what we do.

HME: How do you “bring home” your work with NRRTS to Alliance Rehab?

Osborn: Our mission at Alliance is similar to what Simon laid out at NRRTS—it’s not just about equipment; it’s about quality outcomes. It’s about not letting insurers make decisions for us. When we educate our ATPs, we talk about not only equipment, but also funding, legislation, everything.