qrs_Gove Photo.jpg (7148 bytes)Gove Elected to QRS Board of Directors
Peter Gove was recently elected to the board of directors of QRS Diagnostic LLC, Plymouth, Minn. He currently serves as vice president of corporate relations at St Jude Medical Inc, St Paul, Minn, where he is responsible for communications strategy, external communications, government relations, and public affairs.

In addition to his affiliation with medical technology industry organizations in Minnesota and Washington, DC, Gove is a board member of Information for Public Affairs and chairs the Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation board of directors. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and completed the Stanford University Executive Program. He has held positions with Control Data Corporation, Minneapolis, the US government, and the state of Minnesota. (800) 465-8408; www.QRSdiagnostic.com.

Respironics and Apria Healthcare Extend Contract
Respironics, Pittsburgh, and Apria Healthcare, Costa Mesa, Calif, recently signed a purchasing agreement amendment that will extend the expiration date of their current purchasing agreement from February 28, 2002, to February 28, 2004.

Under the agreement, Respironics will continue to be the primary supplier for all sleep therapy units and accessories, as well as retain single source supplier status for sleep study equipment and accessories and infant monitors and accessories. Respironics remains a shared primary supplier for volume ventilators. In addition to the existing product line commitment, Respironics will be an alternate supplier for oxygen concentrators and accessories.

“We are pleased to have an opportunity to continue our long-standing relationship with Apria, and look forward to being a resource for them in the markets we serve by providing them with the innovative solutions to which they have grown accustomed,” says James W. Liken, Respironics president and CEO. For Respironics, call (800) 345-6443 or visit www.respironics.com.  For Apria, call (714) 427-2000 or go to www.apria.com.

MfgNews-Astra.jpg (9876 bytes)FDA Approves AstraZeneca’s Asthma Medication for Young Children and Infants
AstraZeneca, Wayne, Pa, recently announced that Pulmicort Respules™ is the first asthma medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for children as young as 12 months. Inhaled corticosteroid therapy was available previously for children ages 4 and older through an asthma inhaler, but Pulmicort Respules (budesonide inhalation suspension) is the only corticosteroid available in a nebulized formula for children from 1 to 8 years of age.

“Prior to Pulmicort Respules, the anti-inflammatory treatment options for a young asthmatic child or infant were quite limited or nonexistent,” says David Skoner, MD, chief of allergy and immunology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “The development of a corticosteroid treatment for infants and young children with asthma has been a medical imperative.”

The drug, which will be available by prescription in pharmacies in October, is a preventative medication to help control asthma in children, but it is not a quick-relief medication nor should it be used as the primary treatment during an asthma attack. It reduces the need for bronchodilators and improves the control of nighttime and daytime asthma symptoms. Side effects include respiratory infection, runny nose, coughing, earache, viral infection, stomachache, and ear infection, which were not necessarily related to the drug treatment. The incidence of side effects was similar to that seen with a nonmedicated mist.

“The FDA approval of Pulmicort Respules is encouraging news for physicians, parents, and their young children,” Skoner says. “In my experience, this medication has dramatically improved asthma control in my young patients.”

Pulmicort Respules has been marketed around the world since 1990 and is now available in 55 countries. (800) 942-0424; www.astrazeneca-us.com.

StartSmart and TRI Enterprises Sign 4-Year Agreement
StartSmart LLC, Oklahoma City, and TRI Enterprises Inc, Tamuning, Guam, recently signed a 4-year agreement that will allow StartSmart to provide diagnostic sleep education, performance improvement standards, business consulting, and technical scoring and analysis for TRI’s new Sleep Diagnostic Services Inc in Guam and Saipan, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

“I was impressed with the level of professionalism along with the staff’s hospitality and sincere willingness to help me learn and begin this new venture,” says Gia Ramos, RN, president/CEO of TRI Enterprises. “I was truly amazed at the caliber of these people and now feel confident in opening up our lab with them supporting our business. I am convinced this program will be an enjoyable partnership with StartSmart.”

StartSmart will assist the new company’s development through use of its proprietary solution package of diagnostic sleep education and perpetual support standards. TRI Enterprises offers home medical equipment, diagnostic sleep services, and private duty nursing throughout Guam and Saipan. In 1997, the estimated population for Guam was 153,000, while Saipan had approximately 39,000 people.

“Our diagnostic sleep technology solutions provide health care providers with innovative tools to effectively control costs and to deliver diagnostic sleep evaluations more effectively,” says Andrew Macias, RPSGT, president/CEO and chairman of StartSmart. (800) 497-9237; www.breathingdisorders.com.

J0h02346.jpg (6746 bytes)Roscoe Medical President Joins Board of Nonprofit Organization
Rochelle Thuener, owner and president of Roscoe Medical, North Royalton, Ohio, has joined the board of directors of Easter Seals of Northeast Ohio, Akron. Easter Seals is a nonprofit health care organization that provides services to 5,500 children and adults in the northeastern Ohio region.

Thuener, who is also a member of the Rotary Club of Strongsville, Ohio, will serve as a representative of Easter Seals in the local business community as well as contribute to the organization’s fundraising, planning, and policy-making efforts.

“Easter Seals is doing so much to improve access and quality of life for people with disabilities in this region,” says the HME industry veteran of 15 years. “Through my involvement in the board, I’m pleased to be able to help raise awareness and gather support for Easter Seals’ important effort.” (800) 376-7263; www.roscoemedical.com.

Maxtec Purchased by Employee
Bruce Brierley, a 6-year employee of Maxtec™ Inc, Salt Lake City, recently purchased the company from Andros Inc, Berkeley, Calif, allowing the parent company to concentrate on post-fire rebuilding efforts.

Brierley, president, and 28 employees will continue to operate the company under the maxtec name, and will focus on new products. Among those scheduled for release next year, the Handi™ Plus analyzer will offer a replaceable sensor and battery for the latest Handi™ 3-Digit Display Oxygen Analyzer. Maxtec maintains the TÜV Products Services certification for ISO 9001/EN 46001. (800) 748-5355; www.maxtecinc.com.

award invacare.jpg (10295 bytes)Invacare Accepts Award for Excellence in Exporting
Invacare, Elyria, Ohio, recently received that state’s Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award for 2000. The award recognizes businesses that increase export-related jobs and promote awareness of the importance of exporting to the state’s economy.

Gov Bob Taft presented the award to Lou Slangen, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Invacare. The Columbus, Ohio, ceremony was cosponsored by the Ohio Department of Development, the Association of the Ohio Commodores, Rickenbacker Port Authority, and Carey Realty Investments.

“Over the past 3 years, Invacare has managed to build an excellent export distributor network in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America,” Slangen says. “The partnership built with these international accounts has been a sound base for the Invacare financial, logistics, and customer service teams to develop a strong understanding of the diverse cultures around the world. This understanding has helped to bridge the globe.”

Representatives from companies recognized with the award are eligible to join the Executive Order of the Ohio Commodore, an organization that has worked closely with the governor to promote Ohio businesses both nationally and internationally since 1966. (800) 333-6900; www.invacare.com.

Respironics Reports Record Sales and Net Income
Respironics, Pittsburgh, reported increased sales and net income for the fourth fiscal quarter and year ended June 30, 2000.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2000, net sales were $368.2 million from $357.6 million last year. Net income for the fiscal year decreased from $27.5 million to $25.4 million, excluding the impact of charges of the company’s restructuring, the special increase to the company’s allowance for doubtful accounts, and the positive impact of a one-time reduction in the company’s income tax liability and income tax expense.

Record net sales for the fourth quarter totaled $98 million, a 9% increase from $90.1 million last year. Domestic revenues were driven from $71.2 million last year to $77.6 million this year by a year-over-year increase in domestic sleep therapy and a growth in hospital division revenues. Net income for the current quarter was $8.1 million versus $5.6 million last year, excluding the charges listed above.

“We continue to believe that our product lines are the strongest in the respiratory industry and remain convinced that by providing innovative solutions through new technology and maximizing customer satisfaction, we will position our company for growth in fiscal 2001 and the years ahead,” says James W. Liken, president and CEO. (800) 638-8208; www.respironics.com.

World Congress Features Mallinckrodt Product
Six educational seminars at the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics XIV World Congress in Washington, DC, featured St Louis-based Mallinckrodt’s OxiFirst™ fetal oxygen monitoring system. Available worldwide, the OxiFirst continually measures the oxygenation of a fetus during labor and delivery.

Clinicians and medical facilities shared their findings in educational sessions and clinical papers. OxiFirst was featured in “Fetal Oxygen Saturation Monitoring” presented by David Swedlow, MD, of the Swedlow Group, Danville, Calif; “Fetal Monitoring by a Novel Noninvasive Device for Measuring Oxygen Saturation” by Annette Hasenburg, Freiburg University, Germany; “Fetal Pulse Oximetry During Labor with Fetal Heart Rate Abnormalities” by M. Butterwegge for the University of Athens, Osnabrueck, Germany; “Guidelines for the Use of Fetal Pulse Oximetry During Labor and Delivery” by M. Kuhnert, University of Marburg, Germany; “The Relation Between Metabolic Acidosis and Fetal Arterial Oxygen Saturation During Labor” by B. Seelbach-Gobel, University of Wuerzburg, Germany; and “Intrapartum Fetal Pulse Oximetry: The Two Year Czech Experience” by Alex Rotucil, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

“These sessions will help enlighten clinicians from around the world about the important role this new monitoring paradigm may have in obstetrical care,” says Debra Reisenthel, vice president and general manager of Mallinckrodt’s Healthy Mother and Baby Division. (800) 663-3336; www.healthymotherandbaby.com.