CEO Spotlight: Mark Ludwig of Joerns Healthcare
OWM: Please describe the education, training, and work experiences that have prepared you for your current position as CEO of Joerns Healthcare. With more than 20 years of medical device-related experience, I have had the opportunity to work for a broad set of high-tech companies on process and organizational improvement. I began my career as a systems engineer and account executive at Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in Plano, TX, where I led many key business initiatives for manufacturing companies across the country. After completing my Executive MBA in 1996 at the University of Pittsburgh, I transitioned from EDS to Sunrise Medical in Carlsbad, CA. Sunrise was an important EDS customer at the time, and I believed I could contribute more toward Sunrise’s goals as a direct member of their team. At Sunrise, I was fortunate to lead many different organizational functions. I leveraged that experience to take on the role as President and CEO of Joerns Healthcare in 2004. Our management team at Joerns felt strongly about the organization’s tremendous potential and that establishing Joerns as an independent company would enable us to realize our vision to redefine the environment in which care is delivered. In 2006, Joerns Healthcare became an independent company with the assets and capital needed to position the company for maximum success. OWM: What should our readers know about Joerns? Joerns has been in operation for more than 130 years. Throughout our history, we have been a respected provider of high-quality products, including Joerns® UltraCare® & EasyCare® Systems, Hoyer® and HoyerPro® lifting platforms, Dolphin™ Fluid Immersion Simulation®, and residential Joerns furniture. Over the last six years, we have become more valuable to our customers by integrating our leading manufacturing competency with a national service network. Joerns is uniquely equipped to improve outcomes and organizational performance through our leading solutions platform. We believe that providing wound, safety and design solutions and collaborating with providers are an excellent way to enhance patient care, increase efficiency, and improve outcomes. OWM: How you were first introduced to the arena of wound care and why you enjoy working in this arena? When I was 16 years old, I started working at a very large nursing home in western New York. Although I did not work directly with wounds, I learned very early how important one person can be in helping to positively impact the lives of others in a healthcare setting. Joerns has been focused on wound management for more 20 years through our various service and product offerings like Bio Clinic, Bio Medix, ProCair and recently Dolphin Fluid Immersion Simulation. Joerns also has important partnerships with companies such as Medela that help ensure we can offer a total solution from prevention to advanced wound therapy. My enjoyment comes from the knowledge that through the dedication and focus of Joerns’ associates, we are having a positive and growing impact on faster patient healing, reduced patient pain, and ultimately the reduction of operating costs. OWM: What are some of the company’s biggest accomplishments thus far? What are some of your key products and/or functions that clearly distinguish your brand? Joerns has continuously been recognized as a company that provides trusted and respected services and products. We are privileged to be the dominant market leader in providing low bed systems through UltraCare XT. We are proud of our heritage as it relates to the Hoyer line of lifting and repositioning equipment. Almost all lifting and repositioning equipment currently is a derivative of the work done by Ted Hoyer in the early 1950’s. Today, when we combine beds and lift systems, Joerns is clearly the leader in reliable safety solutions. We are very excited about the recent success of our Dolphin Fluid Immersion Technology. The immersion properties provide outcomes that are second-to-none in the OR, ICU, and post-acute environment. We are proud to provide a true continuum of care products. OWM: Please describe the mission/vision of your company and how your personal vision fits with the company’s goals. Joerns is a company focused on improving the lives of people who need care, their families, and care providers, through unparalleled service, dedication, and compassion. Our vision is to redefine the environment in which care is delivered. Each day I strive to make a significant positive contribution. Given the challenges in today’s healthcare environment to provide increasingly effective care but at lower and lower costs, I know that Joerns can make an important difference. OWM: Please explain what must take place on a daily basis at Joerns in order to accommodate patients, clinicians, and healthcare facilities. Globally, we manufacture products in the US, UK, Mexico, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Doing so requires tremendous management to ensure the right products are offered at the right time, with the right level of care and for the right cost. Within North America, we provide rental service to more than 7,000 patients every day. Coordinating the activities in this broad and dynamic healthcare environment is very challenging. While patients are transitioning between facility and home, they need the right products and level of professional service. We are only successful through our core values of people, passion, and performance. Delivering quality products and unparalleled customer service takes great proficiency and dedication among all of our associates. We have to work based on the requirements of caregivers and their time, not ours. OWM: Looking ahead, what are some incentives or products the company is working on? We realize the future of healthcare involves integrating technology and information to optimize patient outcomes. One of our current initiatives is building “smart technology.” If we can enable technology to assist caregivers in their day-to-day activities and provide real time point of care data, providers will have a much higher level of transparency around the successful care of their residents. Providing performance management solutions through revolutionary technology, Joerns will be a step closer to redefining the environment in which care is delivered.