Essential Meet-up Philadelphia

Speaker Bios and Session Descriptions

The Power of Purpose to Inspire Business and Personal Wellbeing: Beth Cox Hollingsworth, Director of Content Strategy, VGM Marketing

ABCOP Approval: 1.0 Business
BOC Approval: 1.0 Business

About Beth:

Beth Cox Hollingsworth is the Director of Content Strategy for VGM Marketing. A member of the marketing leadership team, she oversees creative professionals who specialize in developing marketing strategies that are planned, sustainable and integrated with sales strategy. She also develops and coordinates educational opportunities VGM thought leaders.

 Beth has a passion for empowering individuals to discover their personal mind-body well-being. She is a certified life and wellness coach and speaker on topics such as stress management and happiness in the workplace. She holds a master degree of public policy and a bachelor degree of Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Northern Iowa.

Session Overview:

What do you want most out of this life experience? What motivates you to do what you do? Research shows that those who can answer these questions are more likely to find fulfillment, be committed to their work and be healthy. During this presentation, we will examine the idea of purpose as it applies to business and health. Together we will:

  • Define the value of “purpose” from the perspective of business experts and health researchers
  • Examine methods of purpose discovery for you or your teams
  • Practice purpose discovery through storytelling
  • Identify words and phrases that give meaning to your purpose

Analyzing, no really analyzing your business for growth: Maria Markuson, Director of Business Development, VGM Retail

ABCOP Approval: 1.5 Business
BOC Approval: 1.5 Business

About Maria:

Maria Markusen is the Director of Development for VGM Retail and a thirteen year veteran #caretailer, speaker and healthcare retail thought leader.  Before joining VGM, Markusen was Co-Founder of Simply Shops and Chief Operating Officer of Simply Retail, hospital retail outsource partners.  A dynamic speaker and twenty year sales trainer in both healthcare retail and long-term care, Maria is a healthcare sales and product development visionary. Maria’s career is focused on capturing the attention of the healthcare consumer.  And training and teaching others to successfully anticipate, forecast and exploit industry shifts with innovative strategies and creative executions while delivering exceptional results to providers, partners and consumers. Earlier in her career, she also was national VP of Sales and COO of multiple national long-term care companies.

Maria’s speaking topics include:

  • General business topics such as developing business strategy, assessing markets and businesses, starting a new business, and managing businesses for long term success.  Maria also counsels other early stage entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs going through a significant market change or shift.
  • Healthcare retail and caretailing to include retail business assessments, developing retail within healthcare settings, designing and setting up new stores, retail operations, marketing, and advertising.
  • Sales leadership and results with topics such as market selling definitions, the uniqueness of selling in healthcare, sales technique, defining the healthcare consumer, driving traffic to healthcare retail stores, incremental selling, sales planning, service and service recovery.

Session Overview:

Vision.  More than likely you started your business with the vision of helping others in need.  But when was the last time you analyzed your existing retail business or even your core business to determine how you can help more people and grow your influence and bottom line?  This working session will give you the how, why, and templates to analyze your business to make real impactful changes to create a go to strategy for the long term.


  • Use a holistic but proven approach, the SWOT Analysis, to understand and dig into the details of your business
  • Uncover the right strategic opportunities to propel you to growth
  • Learn what not to do to be successful in your business growth
  • Learn how to create an implementation plan, building on your strengths, and maximizing your opportunities for success

Straight from the Source: VGM Forbin’s Secrets to HME Digital Marketing in 2018 & Beyond, Christina Throndson, Director of Business Development, VGM Forbin

ABCOP Approval: 1.0 Business
BOC Approval: 1.0 Business

About Christina:

Christina oversees sales and marketing/copy team at VGM Forbin. Christina joined VGM in 2004. Christina is Google AdWords and Analytics certified and is professionally trained in both New Media Marketing and Search Engine Marketing and Optimization. These focuses allow her to analyze customer websites and provide ideas and solutions to drive additional traffic to their sites for increased revenues. Christina presents often to the HME industry on the ever-changing market of social media and search engine marketing and optimization. When she’s not rocking the search and social worlds, Christina loves spending time with friends and family. 

Session Overview:

Are you feeling the pinch on time and money?  Join the club!  As a women’s health provider today, it can be just as hard to find time as it is to find a healthy budget for marketing your business.  This is why we're giving you the tools to market your business quickly and affordably each day with quick return on new business, because we know you probably wear many hats within your organization.  During this presentation, Christina Throndson of VGM Forbin will highlight the most effective web marketing tools that are sure to help you build your presence online today!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify your surroundings.This means your audience (who, what, where), your competition, your own presence and where you need to improve.
  2. Discuss what the proper steps and tools are to prepare for identifying your presence.
  3. Define a plan based on the findings and develop a timeline of execution.
  4. Review tools that will automate online marketing efforts.
Breast Cancer Statistics & Advancements in Treatment, Patrice Sobcznski, Breast Care Specialist, American Breast Care

ABCOP Approval: 1.0 Scientific
BOC Approval: 1.0 Scientific

About Patrice:

Patrice is a 28 year breast cancer survivor and has worked in the breast care industry for 27 years. She is an eleven year  member of the ABC sales and education team and is a Certified Mastectomy Fitter with both ABC and BOC. Her personal experience, industry knowledge and caring personality are the perfect combination for an exceptional learning experience. In her spare time Patrice enjoys spending time with her family and traveling to warm places.

Session Overview:

This course reviews current breast cancer statistics and advancements in treatment. The treatment section includes information on adjuvant, neoadjuvant, local, and systemic treatments as well as screening and diagnostic tools, biopsy types, sentinel lymph node procedure, and the importance of genomic analysis.

Non-Assigned - How Do Those Claims Get Processed, Ronda Buhrmester, Reimbursement Specialist, VGM Group, Inc

ABCOP Approval: 1.25 Business
BOC Approval: 1.25 Business

About Ronda:

As a VGM associate since 2012, Ronda specializes in the billing and reimbursement.  She managed a hospital-based DME in Illinois for 12 years, and handled sales and marketing.  Ronda is a respiratory therapist as well as a certified mastectomy fitter.  She assists VGM members with review of claims and all types of audits, and educates members on medical policies in the respiratory, face to face ruling, and general DME areas.  She serves on the Jurisdictions A, B, and D respiratory team, is a member of the Provider Outreach and Education team for Jurisdictions A, B, and C and the Jurisdiction D, and attends the council meetings with Jurisdiction B, C, and D. She is also on the Great Lakes Home Medical Services Association Board of Directors and a member the National Supplier Clearinghouse Advisory Council.  Ronda has presented at the VGM Heartland Conference as well as the Medtrade conferences and state association meetings, and has conducted webinars and on-site education with VGM Members.

Session Overview:

With the lower reimbursements, companies have had to change business practices to make sure patients are taken care of while making sure to get paid for the services provided.   We are in the industry because we enjoy seeing the satisfaction that is brought to the patient when we have helped them feel good and feel normal.  It’s a challenge to take care of the patient’s needs and knowing Medicare reimbursement is at a point that collecting payment upfront has become the new normal in order to survive and thrive.  During this session, we will discuss the meaning of non-assigned claims.  We will also review the proper message to deliver to the patients so the DMEPOS supplier is not the “bad guy” as it can be perceived.   Let’s take time to dig little deeper into the meaning of non-assigned which means attendee participation is important.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the difference between participating vs. non-participating and assigned vs. non-assigned claim submission
  2. Review updates with Advance Beneficiary Notices of Non-Coverage (ABNs) and how to properly execute
  3. Discuss the proper message to relay to the patients for non-assigned claims and collecting payment upfront
  4. Participate in a practice session for submitting claims non-assigned

How to Choose the Appropriate Compression Garment, Jennifer Jagielski, Clinical Educator, medi-USA

ABCOP Approval: 1.0 Scientific
BOC Approval: 1.0 Scientific

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Jagielski has been in the compression business for over 20 years as a master fitter and biller.  Jennifer has been a clinical educator for mediUSA for 4 years and is certified in wound care as a CWCMS.  Jennifer knows how to think out of the box and create solutions that will work for her patients.  

Session Overview:

Learn the differences in compression garment materials and how they work for patients with Venous Health, Lymphedema, and Wound Care ailments.  Session will review Circular knit, Flat knit, and In-elastic alternatives and selecting the correct product for the condition. Hands on approach on how to measure and fit products to ensure high patient compliance. 

BOC has approved an additional 2.0 business credits for networking opportunities for certified CMF.

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