Blogging from the beach: The freshman 15

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08/26/2020

After weeks of receiving email notifications from LinkedIn, I learned the reason why when I logged onto the company Slack this week.

August 25 marked my 15-year anniversary with HME News, according to the impeccable records of the Capable Erika.

Fifteen years! I’m never sure whether to celebrate or commiserate when someone hits such a lengthy tenure.

That first week, I had no idea what I had done, what I was doing, what the heck was a rollator, and what the future held, either for me or this strange new industry I had stumbled into.

One of my first stories was about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on providers in the devastated areas. I’m still proud of that story.

Since then, I’ve covered all manner of disasters, from competitive bidding to audits to cuts in reimbursement. I’ve also covered a ton of natural disasters as part of our disaster beat, including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. This week, editor Liz already emailed me to remind me that California is again experiencing wildfires and parts of the Midwest are digging out from a derecho. (We may have to rethink the disaster beat if the weather continues to get weirder).

By far, though, the biggest disaster I’ve covered in my tenure is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has the distinction of being both a natural and a man-made disaster. The changes it has wrought will be longstanding.

As I write this, I am sitting at my mother’s kitchen table in Cape Cod. Fifteen years ago, the idea of working from home (or anywhere else) was not a thing at HME News!

Through all the news—good, bad and ugly—I am constantly meeting new people and learning new things about HME.

Thanks for reading!