According to President and CEO Wayne Miller, Choice Medical Transportation serves vulnerable patients who are often underserved by other companies.
According to President and CEO Wayne Miller – who founded Choice Medical Transportation in 2001 – the highly specialized customer base served by the company can be particularly vulnerable and are often underserved by other companies.
“These customers are the ones who need us the most. We take them to and from private homes, nursing homes and adult homes for doctor’s appointments, ”he said. “We do a lot of hospital discharges, take people to and from dialysis and chemotherapy centers, rehabilitation centers, and so on. And on the way home, if someone has to stop at a pharmacy to drop off a prescription, we can accommodate it that way as well. “
Wayne, a veteran of our country’s military, has an impressive 35 years in the ambulet business. After leaving the military, he first worked in auto sales for 20 years – as well as as a paramedic in his community – before moving to the field of medical transport, where he helped several companies. communities to develop and achieve considerable success before deciding to fend for themselves.
“I finally decided to open my own business instead of making other people successful,” Wayne said; it started Choice Medical Transportation in 2001 with just two pickup trucks, and today it has a fleet of over 30.
Like many businesses, Choice has seen its numbers drop during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they were still seen as an essential business and local dialysis clinics and governments relied on them to help them when the going got tough, Wayne said.
“When I created the company, I found my niche, that of serving clients on dialysis. I saw that this was something that was needed, so I focused our business on these clients, ”he said. “We reached a point during the pandemic where other businesses were forced to shut down at worst, but I was allowed to continue operating. Suffolk County actually stepped in and provided Choice with free personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies as we really did provide them with a lot of community services when needed. “
“We are considered essential, especially for dialysis patients, so it doesn’t matter if there is a pandemic or if there is a really bad storm,” Wayne added. “We’re always right in the middle of the action, getting our customers where they need to go so they can stay healthy. “
Speaking to Wanye, one gets the distinct impression that Choice Medical Transportation is not just a career for him, but rather a true passion, giving him a way to help the less fortunate members of our society to obtain the care of. health they desperately need. .
“I believe in this industry with all my heart. For example, when Storm Sandy hit, Suffolk and Nassau County asked if Choice could help transport people in wheelchairs, and we moved more than 400 private residents and nursing homes from the two counties that lie were in low-lying flooded areas, ”he said. “They told me FEMA was going to cover my costs, but FEMA rejected me because I’m a for-profit company. Local government officials intervened on my behalf and sent letters to FEMA, but in the end, I ended up not getting paid at all. But honestly, I don’t regret stepping up and helping during Long Island’s time of need. It’s a way of giving back, and I was proud to do it.
Wayne noted that he has also done a lot of fundraising for charities that benefit dialysis patients over the years, as well as many other worthy causes.
“When you’re on dialysis it’s actually very expensive, and a lot of those people often have to choose between paying their mortgage and paying for their medication,” he said. “So a lot of the money I would give to these dialysis clinics would often go to patients to pay for their medications, as well as other things they might need. “
In order to help his business continue to grow and reach the next level of success, Wayne recently recruited a new board member and partner Marcus Damas, and despite only working in the business for several months, he has already made a big impact.
“I was interested in getting into the ambulance industry, and I met Wayne and he invited me over to talk to him, and a 20 minute conversation turned into an hour and a half,” said Marcus. “He told me all about his passion for it, about helping people, and it really ignited my passion for that too. He gave me the opportunity to invest in something, and I accepted his offer and even though I’ve only been here for a short time, I really learned a lot and I really share Wayne’s passion.
Wayne spoke proudly of his relationship with Marcus; he had always wanted to involve his own children in the business, but his three daughters took different paths in life. However, Wayne seems to regard Marcus as something of a surrogate son and is proud to pass on his immense knowledge of the business to him.
“When I met Marcus, I saw something in him that I hoped would take this company to new heights in the industry,” he said. “I really feel that Marcus will be that person that I always hoped that one of my own children would be, and so far he has really stepped up his efforts and it has really been of value and pleasure to me. It’s great to come and work with him every day.
And this professionalism and passion extends from the top of his company, to the drivers who deal directly with their customers every day. Wayne walked back to a particular heartwarming story about one of his drivers going above and beyond for a customer, without thinking of any reward for themselves.
“I once asked a driver to pick up a new woman from Choice for dialysis during the winter, and she didn’t have a jacket. A lot of dialysis patients feel very weak after their treatment, so I always make sure the same person picks them up and drops them off, to build a relationship between them, ”Wayne said. “So this driver, out of his own pocket, bought this woman a jacket so she could warm up. When the client called me to tell me about it, I offered to reimburse him for his kindness, but he wouldn’t take a dime. He said he did it with his heart, because he felt we were all family. And that really embodies what my business is.