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Karen Edwards Blogger

Women in O&P Leadership Series - Linda Collins

Posted by Karen Edwards | September 25, 2017

Women in O&P Leadership

Hello ÖWLI members and welcome to our September blog! How did summer go by so fast? Hope you are having a great end to the quarter and that you are as excited as we are for our 2017 Össur Women's Leadership Conference starting in just a few days! Over 40 of you have registered, including three men! It's thrilling to know this initiative is growing and reaching the supportive ears of both women and men in our profession. 

This month we continue with our Women in O&P Leadership Series. In one of our last surveys, you requested that we feature a female leader in O&P from Ossur, and we couldn't be more proud to feature our very own Linda Collins, Senior Director of Market Access for Ossur. Linda was also a finalist for the 2017 OPGA Woman of the Year, recently awarded during the AOPA Conference. Linda shares with us some insight into her background and her views on women in leadership.

Linda Collins

What is your current position and title: Senior Director, Market Access. Basically, that means I work with the market to make sure patients get access to Össur products. 

What is your hometown?  Winterset, Iowa. 

How long have you worked in the O&P industry?  15+ years

Where did you attend school and what did you major in? I am proud to be a graduate of the University of Iowa, with a degree in Psychology. I moved to Arizona to complete my Masters Degree and then began practicing as a therapist. I became interested in the business side of healthcare and used my psychology experience to negotiate, train and educate.

What boards do you serve on?  I am currently on the California Orthotics and Prosthetics Association (COPA) board. 

What contributions have you made to the field? I like to believe I contribute by sharing coding, coverage, and reimbursement information, in a useable way, to professionals so they know how to appropriately document and bill claims. Ultimately, I want the professionals to make money and the patients to have great products.

What attracted you to the reimbursement arena? Who doesn't like learning about how to make money? I guess it is my psychology background. I see this as a big challenge, trying to figure it out, and then educating people on how to win.

What are the biggest reimbursement challenges you see practitioners dealing with most often?  Appropriately documenting medical necessity. I think practitioners have been scared about documentation, but it is not too difficult. I like to be able to show them how to find the information and make it simple.

What obstacles did you overcome/risks did you take during your career? When I started working, women were expected to wear suits and heels every day. Looking back, I wonder how I managed. That was a lot of prepping, dry cleaning, and sore feet. 

How do you define success? Being happy with what you are doing and working with others who support your goals.

Have you used a mentor? Who helped you along the way?  I have never had an official mentor. I consider my current colleague, Dave McGill, to be my coach, mentor, esteemed coworker, and friend. He has helped me to learn about the profession, being professional, and being a leader. 

How have things changed for women in business during your career?  We don't have to "act like a man" or "think like a man" or "dress like a man." We get to be women.

What advice would you give to a new practitioner and/or to young women entering the field? Learn all you can about the profession. Find leaders and network. Advocate for yourself, your profession and your patients.

How can we get more women in leadership roles within O&P? Each of us should talk to other women about being leaders, about joining networks, and taking on leadership positions. We must support one another in this endeavor.

Thank you, Linda, for sharing this with us! Össur is proud of your leadership in our profession!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:  Reserve a spot on your schedule for the following upcoming ÖWLI events…

Sept. 28-30, 2017:  Össur Women's Leadership Conference, Orlando, FL.  If we have any spaces left, we are happy to have your last-minute registration! Join us if you can!! REGISTER HERE !!

Nov. 10, 2017, 12-1pm Central Time:  ÖWLI Webinar Series: Attract the Attention of Influential Sponsors Harvard Business Review has reported that high-potential women are over-mentored and under-sponsored relative to male peers. In this webinar, led by Jo Miller, CEO of Women's Leadership Coaching, Inc., explore the difference between mentors and sponsors. Learn four ways to make the most of mentoring conversations, and how to identify potential sponsors. Discover eight steps to gaining sponsorship, and leave with a personalized plan to attract the attention of an influential sponsor. REGISTER HERE

Best wishes for an amazing month,

Karen Edwards

Director, Össur Women's Leadership Initiative

ÖWLI Quote of the Month (Linda's favorite quote):  "It's better to fight for something than against something." -- Unknown

Talk to us!! Your feedback is welcomed and encouraged! Please let us know what you think of our initiative, share your ideas, share your victories, or just say "hi" by emailing us at ÖWLI@Ö And follow us on Twitter @ÖWLIÖssur.