As you may know, Todd Brown founded 180 Medical after his experience of living with a spinal cord injury. What you may not know is that we also have employees on staff with spinal cord injuries, which can be helpful for our customers who want to speak with someone who understands firsthand what they’re going through. Today, we’d love to shine a spotlight on one of those employees who works as a Referral Specialist. Meet Ryan!
Ryan, tell us about your job as a Referral Specialist with 180 Medical.
Over my 13 years with 180 Medical, I’ve held various positions in sales and customer service. Now, I’m a Referral Specialist in our Warm Transfer department, which is also known as a Special Ops CS (Client Specialist). I think this department truly makes 180 Medical unique. My role comes into play when a newly-referred customer needs supplies we don’t currently provide or if their insurance plan isn’t contracted with us. When that happens, I help transfer them to a company that can supply their needed products.
As a Referral Specialist, I’m there for them every step of the way until I make sure they’re fully set up and receiving their supplies from the alternate supplier in a timely manner. Also, I’m available to speak with customers with spinal cord injuries.
What do you love most about working at 180 Medical?
First, I love being able to help make others’ lives better. No matter what situations they might be facing, I always like to offer a smile and some kindness. If I can make someone’s day a little easier, it’s all totally worth it. Additionally, I get to use my personal experience of living with a spinal cord injury and my firsthand product knowledge to provide the best possible customer service.
Also, thanks to 180 Medical, I get to participate in community outreach. For example, I recently spent a day with the Miracle League of Arizona alongside some of my fellow employees. It was an amazing experience! We got to present a donation check to the organization, which was an awesome feeling. Most of all, I loved getting to know some of the kids playing baseball, thanks to this great organization. Also, I got to throw the first pitch of the game!
Are there any other organizations you’d like to shout out?
Camp with a Ramp is definitely an organization I enjoy being a part of. After my spinal cord injury, I started getting involved with adaptive sports and organizations for people living with spinal cord injuries. Camp with a Ramp is a 4-day, 3-night camping retreat for children and adults with spinal cord injuries, primarily those with mobility issues or in wheelchairs. It allows us people with mobility issues and/or in wheelchairs to get out, enjoy nature, hike, see wildlife, camp out, and do all kinds of outdoor activities that we might not normally get to experience. Also, it’s a fantastic way to meet other people living with the same types of disabilities.
I was so excited when 180 Medical employees voted to donate over $1,000 to Camp with a Ramp, thanks to our 2019 Spinal Cord Injury Awareness month pizza lunch fundraiser. My experience with Camp with a Ramp has meant so much to me over the years, and I love knowing we’re helping others experience it too.
Share a little bit about your spinal cord injury and how that experience changed your life.
When I was 17 years old, fresh out of my junior year of high school, I broke my back in an ATV accident. I became paralyzed from the waist down. In an instant, I went from being a very active teenager, playing baseball my whole life, to being told I would never walk again.
Even though it was devastating news, I decided to make the best of my situation. After my injury, it became my mission to never give up and do everything with a smile. After all, I can’t change the past. However, I know I can make the best out of the future.
After spending 3 months going through rehab and physical therapy, I was awarded “Patient of the Year” at my hospital because of my positive outlook and attitude. Then, a week later, I started my senior year of high school. Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without the love and support from my family and friends.
What would you tell someone who has been recently spinal cord injured?
The best advice I can give is this: never let anyone tell you cannot do something just because of your spinal cord injury. It’s sometimes just a matter of figuring out how to do it in a new way. Above all, never give up. Even when life throws you a curveball, still swing for the fence!
What’s something you’re truly passionate about?
I am very passionate about helping others. Because of that, I find ways to reach out to people, such as through peer mentoring at local hospitals with patients new to living with their spinal cord injuries. I talk to them and try to help them adapt to their SCI. I also use my own experiences to show them they can still have a great and successful life.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work and volunteering?
I love spending time with my family and friends, going to concerts, and watching and playing sports. When it’s baseball season, you’ll most likely find me at a game. Since my spinal cord injury, I participate in several adaptive sports, such as wheelchair baseball, wheelchair basketball, adaptive water skiing, white water rafting, and more.
I am also a big movie buff. I own over 400 movies on DVD!
Thank you so much for all you do, Ryan!
Do you want a career where you can positively impact people’s lives alongside compassionate coworkers like Ryan? Take a look at our available job positions and apply today!