"We are family-owned and family-operated and we believe this gives us a compassion for the people we are helping take care of," said Brad Lancaster, manager of Sikeston Banner Medical Equipment. "We try to treat every patient like they are one of our own family."
The son of Banner Medical Equipment Inc.'s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Lancaster, Lancaster has grown up in the business which began 16 years ago in New Madrid. He has been a part of its most recent growth, including the addition of locations at Jackson and Sikeston and in the past year into Dexter and Malden. With the launch onto the Internet this year at www.bannermedical.com, there are now 9,000 products available from any place with a computer.
But while they are expanding, Lancaster continually emphasizes their philosophy is different from many of today's companies.
"We see our growth as a way to be accessible, close to our customers," he said. "We like to become involved in the communities where we locate by hiring local people and giving back something to those towns."
From their five locations and through the World Wide Web, the company provides home medical equipment and respiratory services to clients throughout Southeast Missouri, from just south of St. Louis to the Arkansas line and from the Mississippi River east through Wayne and Butler counties. Describing Banner Medical Equipment as a full-line medical provider, Lancaster pointed to the Sikeston showroom where customers can find everything from support hose and braces to diabetic shoes to walkers. There are power wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs, hospital beds and more.
One of the most requested services from Banner Medical is their oxygen therapy and respiratory therapy products. Here, among other things, customers can obtain home oxygen machines and tanks, sleep apnea machines and nebulizers used for inhaled medications. Also the company has three respiratory therapists on staff full-time.
With people living longer, there is a growing demand for home medical equipment. According to Lancaster, the use of home medical equipment can provide a cost savings to patients, enabling them to forgo long hospital or nursing home stays.
"Studies have shown that people often convalesce better in a home environment. Without the equipment available they couldn't do that," he said.
Staff members at Banner Medical Equipment provide education to the patients on the proper use of the equipment. Also they work with doctors, reporting on their visits with patients in the home.
"We like to stay and visit with our patients, try to develop a relationship with them so they feel like they know us and can trust us," explained Lancaster. He admits that means some times the staff may not make as many visits during a day but there is "quality time" spent with the patient which is part of the company's goal.
"Our slogan is 'Raising the Standard in Patient Care' and that is something we try to live up to and do daily," said Lancaster. "Patient care is our number one priority."
Part of the company's desire to put patient needs first, Lancaster said, is reflected in their effort to work with the individual on billing. Banner Medical Equipment will file the needed insurance forms and accepts Medicare assignments. Financing through an outside source is available on equipment also.
In Sikeston, Banner Medical Equipment Inc. is located at 104 Smith St. Lancaster encourages the public to drop by and see what medical and respiratory equipment is available and added that if it is not in stock, the item can be ordered to arrive quickly.
The office and its showroom are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday however, like all its locations, personnel are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Banner Medical Equipment can be reached in Sikeston by calling 472-6443 or from anywhere in Missouri at 1-800-962-2465.