News - Healing Help: Alumna Finds Remedy for Pricey Medical Equipment

Healing Help: Alumna Finds Remedy for Pricey Medical Equipment

By Carla Morris Healing Help: Alumna Finds Remedy for Pricey Medical Equipment

Six hundred dollars for a medical boot that is available online for just $69.99? One hundred fifteen dollars for an ace bandage? Eighty-three dollars for a “flimsy” arm sling? 

Such are the stories consumers share about the sticker price of hospital-ordered home medical supplies. Patients with high deductible health insurance plans often end up footing the entire bill.

For retired occupational therapist Bobbi (Senger ’74) Holiday, stories like these confirm that people need her volunteer service. Bobbi manages the Health Equipment Lending Program (HELP) in Washington County, Wisconsin.

Just $10Bobbi Holiday_HELP-1

Bobbi helped design the non-profit volunteer-driven operation that provides durable home medical equipment like wheelchairs, walkers and shower chairs to persons in need, often on a short-term basis.

Users pay $10 to “check out” an item for three months, and HELP refunds the money in full when they return the equipment clean and in good condition.

“We now have around 500 items in our inventory,” says Bobbi (pictured in the turquoise shirt, above).

“We are still strictly volunteer, with four of us covering half-days, four days a week and a couple of mechanical fellows, who keep the equipment in working order.”  

Even in its infancy, HELP served “well over 150 appreciative clients” last year.  

Getting It Done . . . Together

The “grassroots” nature of the operation fuels Bobbi’s enthusiasm. She credits collaboration among three local agencies, including Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County, for the success.

“Given the great benefit to the community, if anyone out there would be interested in learning more about how to get started, I would be glad to offer suggestions,” she says. To learn more, call HELP at 262-339-4147 or email

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This story was published on January 04, 2018

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