Businesses come together for expo

Published 5:52am Saturday, September 29, 2012

Anna Miller waited patiently in the chair while the blood pressure monitor did its job. At the Atmore Business Expo held at the Atmore YMCA Thursday morning, attendees like Miller had the opportunity to get readings of their blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation.

The expo brought a bevy of vendors, from Gentiva to Atmore Community Home Care LLC to the event’s co-sponsors Amedisys and Express Healthcare.

Felicia Graf, the director of operations for Amedisys Home Health, said the goal of the event was to raise awareness in the Atmore community.

“It’s mainly to get our name and some local businesses names out into the community,” Graf said.

For those unfamiliar with the company, they provide home health service, including nursing care, physical therapy, speech therapy, psychiatric therapy, and home health aides to home-bound patients unable to make trips to their doctors.

“We provide services to the local community with staff from the local community,” Graf said. “Even though we’re a national company, we try to keep it local.”

Likewise, Jonah Polansky of Express Healthcare believes having a local connection is helpful to a company’s success in Atmore. Express Healthcare’s owner Ken Miller was born and raised in Atmore and the company has been in Atmore for nine years now.

“We have such a connection with family and friends through referrals,” Polansky said. “That definitely helps, especially with business. If you’re from here, you’ll do well here.”

The company provides home service for any type of medical equipment with the goal of assisting those in situations of need.
Also on hand for the event was AseraCare Hospice, a group aiming to provide holistic care.

“As far as services, we try to take care of the whole body,” Vickie Carrier said. “It’s not just medical—it’s emotional, spiritual, social and physical. We have a lot of seasoned caregivers.”

Sissy Cunningham added that the group’s goal was to raise awareness.

“We just want to educate the public that we’re here for the terminally ill,” Cunningham said. “We’re a very passionate team.”

Carrier confirmed what others had said regarding local ties being appreciated by Atmore residents.

“A lot of agencies can’t say that, but we’ve been involved in the area for a long time,” Carrier said.

One of the more popular vendors at the expo was the Atmore Community Home Care LLC, the group that offered blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation readings.

Diane Fitzpatrick, the group’s director, said they offer services that include skill nursing, home health aide, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Also present for the group was Robbie Cale, who has been in the area for 11 years. Likewise, Atmore Community Home Care LLC has been in Atmore for more than 10 years. Long-time residents may remember them as Atmore Home Health, which was their name until 2006.

“We’re actually part of the hospital,” Cale said. “We try to do blood pressure once a month.”

Cale said the Atmore health community is a close-knit group, no matter which business they work for.

“We’re all friends,” Cale said. “There’s enough business to go around. It’s a small community.”

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