Advocating For Our Customers

Posted on: March 17th, 2018 by monroewheelchair

We’re not just about selling Complex Rehab mobility products for people with disabilities here at Monroe Wheelchair- we go to bat for our customer’s rights and access to products that allow them to live independent lives!  Thanks to the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, NY for this great article that talks about our advocacy efforts:

For more information on Monroe Wheelchair please visit our website at

Our Very Own “Julie the Cruise Director” Wins Special Honor

Posted on: December 19th, 2017 by monroewheelchair

As every year comes to a close, Monroe Wheelchair’s Executive Team comes together to discuss nominations for the highest honor that can be given to an employee- the Employee of the Year. This annual award (now in its 23rd year) is given to the employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty all year long, exceeds management’s expectations of that individual, and makes a positive impact on customers and the entire company every day. This year, Rochester’s very own version of “Julie the Cruise Director”, Sue Merklinger, is Monroe Wheelchair’s Employee of the Year!

Sue started working for Monroe back in 2004 in our Billing Department and has since moved over to our A.A.C. division, Monroe Speech Designs, as our Funding Coordinator. Sue handles a tremendous volume of work and deals with numerous state Medicaid programs (anyone in this industry knows how challenging that can be). Sue has truly taken this position to the next level with a lot of extra hours and a smile on her face.  A comment from an Executive Team member sums up how she goes above the call of duty: “Sue has a great relationship with each of our AAC Salespeople and does an amazing amount of work for the sales team outside of managing the claim”. Besides these great qualities we can always count on Sue to initiate and organize extra-curricular activities. With Sue overseeing our Friday Jean’s Day collections we have donated over $60,000 to local charities.

The announcement came during our holiday celebration and Sue was a good sport as our President/CEO, Doug Westerdahl, shared some little known facts about Sue. Some of the highlights include: her nickname (besides “Julie the Cruise Director”- a Love Boat reference) is Raven, she loves singing and dancing to 90’s pop music, loves to travel, is a Redskins fan, and had the loudest sneeze of any human being ever!

Congratulations Sue Merklinger! Cheers to our 2017 Employee of the Year!

Happy 75th Birthday Monroe Wheelchair!

Posted on: December 1st, 2016 by monroewheelchair

We couldn’t let our 75th Birthday pass without a celebration…so that is exactly what we’ll be doing all month long! Monroe Wheelchair has come a long way in 75 years and our President/CEO, Doug Westerdahl, has a special message to share in honor of our celebration.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to experience snapshots of Monroe Wheelchair’s history.  We’ll go back as far as our founding in late 1941 by two Rochesterian’s, Emanuel Lazerson and Hyman J. Mandell. We opened our doors on 57 Monroe Avenue, under the name Monroe Surgical Supply Co., originally as a physician’s supply house. The very first mention of Monroe in the local newspaper (Democrat and Chronicle) was on October 12, 1941 seeking a Pharmaceutical Salesman.

We look forward to sharing how Monroe Wheelchair has grown and evolved through the last 75 years. A sincere thank you to our customers (past, present, and future) the chance to fulfill our mission of creating better lives. This journey would not have been possible without your trust in our staff, products, and services. Visit Our Website to Learn More.

Medicare Doesn’t Want to Pay for What You Need

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by monroewheelchair


Medicare is about to stop paying for certain components of complex medical equipment (some of which are shown above) that people with severe disabilities depend on.  As the President/CEO of a complex wheelchair provider I am baffled as to why Medicare continues to try and save money at the expense of their most fragile beneficiaries. Medicare is consistently ignoring our warnings that these cuts will drastically reduce the quality of life for people with complex medical needs. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) agree that Medicare is in the wrong and have introduced legislation that will stop the cuts scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2017. However, they’re only 2 of the hundreds of Members of Congress representing our country who need to know someone out there cares about this issue. That’s where YOU come in. Help us defend the right to access complex rehab technology wheelchairs and accessories that people need to maintain independent lifestyles. Click on the TAKE ACTION button below or visit www.protectmymobility.orgsave-wheelchair-acc-smaller

The critical components being threatened include many accessories that are medically necessary for someone with a severe disability. These accessories, that are added to a complex manual or power wheelchair, will see up to a 50% cut in Medicare reimbursement on January 1, 2017. Examples of these accessories can be seen in the diagram at top of page.

When this cut occurs it is safe to say that it will impact ALL consumers of complex manual and power wheelchairs. Here are some of the immediate consequences I see as a result of these changes:

Limited Selection Where providers used to be able to offer wheelchair accessories in a wide variety of manufacturers and styles; customers and clinicians will only be able to choose from a limited selection.
Reduced Clinical Choice- When selecting equipment for their patients, clinicians will need to consider cheaper alternatives to the most medically appropriate wheelchair accessories. This will leave consumers at higher risk for additional medical complications (i.e. pressure sores).
Elimination of In-Home Services– To offset the reductions in payment, customers will have to travel to a provider’s physical location for evaluations, modifications, service and/or repair.
Trickle Down Effect– If Medicare continues with their cuts, the negative outcomes will be amplified when Medicaid and private insurers adopt similar rates.

These are just some of the anticipated fallouts of the January 1, 2017 planned Medicare cuts.  The only way to stop this from happening is to be sure Congress passes legislation (H.R. 3229 and S. 2196) before the end of this congressional session. A site dedicated to taking action has been set up at and I urge you to use the links provided to contact your Members of Congress today. Together we can make sure that people with significant disabilities are able to get the quality equipment they depend on and deserve!

Doug Westerdahl

President/CEO of Monroe Wheelchair

President, NCART

Introducing a New Resource for Clinical Continuing Education

Posted on: June 2nd, 2016 by monroewheelchair

Are you a physical or occupational therapist in need of continuing education? Keeping up-to-date on the latest therapy methods while receiving continuing education credit is a win-win for you and your clients! Rochester’s best wheelchair provider offers optimal opportunities to do exactly that! Since 1941, Monroe Wheelchair has been recognized as the area’s best wheelchair business, offering top-notch equipment and products with friendly, efficient service. Whether customers require wheelchair parts or a mobility equipment to make transportation easier, Rochester’s leading wheelchair provider offers it all.

The staff at Monroe Wheelchair is proud to announce their latest division: Monroe Learning Network. Offering continued education courses and events for physical MLN LOGO CMYK- Smaller and Blurredtherapists and assistants, it ensures every clinician stays up-to-date on the industry’s latest practices. The Monroe Learning Network wants every clinician to have access to the proper continuing education opportunities to keep them, their clients, and their communities strong. Why choose the Monroe Learning Network as your source for continuing education? Here are three key reasons:

  • Quality: One of the best wheelchair continuing education programs, Monroe Learning Network offers top-notch expertise in every course. Whether you’re seeking knowledge in clinical leadership or personal development, all programs utilize subject matter experts to provide the best continued education experience possible. This includes learning firsthand from both National and International speakers.
  • Variety: Courses are not only high-quality, but interactive and intriguing, allowing clinicians to gain knowledge in a way that works for them. Each course is designed to fit around your unique needs, learning style, and schedule, so you always have time to take advantage of a course.
  • Expertise: Each course involves the diverse expertise of the Clinical Advisory Panel, whose members are carefully selected from a wide range of clinical practices, subjects, and communities to better represent clinicians. The panel aids in subject selection and speakers to ensure every educational experience is up-to-par.

To learn more about continued education opportunities, wheelchairs, service, and more, look no further than the experts at Monroe Wheelchair. Visit the local wheelchair providers online to learn more, or call (585) 385-3920 today.

3 Types of Accessibility Solutions

Posted on: May 11th, 2016 by monroewheelchair

Savaria Stair Lift

If you’re interested in purchasing a home accessibility product, there’s no better place to find one than at Rochester’s premier wheelchair provider, Monroe Wheelchair. These wheelchair and accessibility experts have been providing Upstate New York with comprehensive wheelchair and accessibility services for 75 years. Monroe Wheelchair has created an entire division, Monroe Access Designs, dedicated to assisting customers with their accessibility needs. They’re bound to have the perfect lift or ramp product to keep you independent in or outside your home. To help you select the right product, start by familiarizing yourself with the different types of accessibility solutions available at Monroe Access Designs.

Read More or visit the new Monroe Access designated website. If you are interested in one of our accessibility products you can fill out this form and one of our helpful access team members will be in touch.  


Hot Off the Press: 2015 Employee of the Year

Posted on: December 21st, 2015 by monroewheelchair
Dale accepting his plaque from Dave Torncello (Vice President of Capital Region).

Dale accepting his plaque from Dave Torncello (Vice President of Capital Region).

Please join us in sharing celebratory wishes to Monroe Wheelchair’s 2015 Employee of the Year- Dale Anderson! Dale exemplifies our company’s mission, vision, and values as an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) in the Capital Region where he just celebrated his 5 year anniversary. He is a consummate professional, dedicated hard worker, leads with a positive attitude, takes initiative, and is always looking for ways to improve our processes to ultimately benefit the people we serve. Dale doesn’t see his customers as just “clients”; but as people that are depending on him to give them comfort and independence.

Outside of the office Dale is described by his wife, Patty, as a grateful and loving family man. A person that always “turns lemons into lemonade, but better yet he is someone that never feels he needs to turn lemons into lemonade as he wouldn’t even acknowledge the lemons as sour”.

We are very fortunate to have Dale on our Monroe Wheelchair team ‎creating better lives‬ everyday. Congratulations Dale on being named Monroe Wheelchair’s 2015 Employee of the Year! ‬

Let’s Talk Monroe Speech Designs…

Posted on: September 22nd, 2015 by monroewheelchair

MSD Banner V3

with a new monthly e-newsletter, an additional team member, and an increased presence across the northeastern states!

With so many exciting changes going on in our Monroe Speech Designs division we are stepping up our game with the building of brand new, visually stimulating website and publishing a monthly newsletter with customer success stories, new products, and tips from our team. Check out our September E-newsletter and if you like what you see- click here to sign up for future newsletters (select AAC Contacts-ALL to be added).

Local Crane Manufacturer Helps Therapy Patients Walk

Posted on: February 4th, 2015 by monroewheelchair


J. J. Mowder-Tinney, PT, PhD, NCS, C/NDT, CSRS, Nazareth College assists Beth in their clinic. Beth is walking using the SafeGait system.

J. J. Mowder-Tinney, PT, PhD, NCS, C/NDT, CSRS, Nazareth College assists Beth in their clinic. Beth is walking using the SafeGait 360°.

Yep…you read that right! A local overhead crane manufacturer called Gorbel Inc., based right here in Upstate NY, has developed a groundbreaking gait and balance track system unlike anything else on the market. Gorbel Medical’s SafeGait 360° Balance and Mobility Trainer  uses a ceiling mounted track with an attached harness for patients recovering from a stroke, spinal cord injury, neurodegenerative disease and amputations to utilize during therapy. Patients can safely walk, climb stairs, or rise from a chair without the worry of falling thanks to SafeGait’s dynamic body-weight support system. The SafeGait features intuitive software that allows the clinician to set goals, track progress and customize a care plan all in real-time.

Designed and developed in collaboration with the clinical community and patients themselves; the SafeGait will transform the patient experience in outpatient and inpatient facilities, rehab hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and clinics like Nazareth College’s (featured in stories like this one). For patients like Mark Landers his goal of walking his daughter down the aisle this summer is within reach thanks to the SafeGait (click here for full story). 

For more information on the SafeGait 360° feel free to email Monroe Wheelchair at or call us at 888-546-8595.

What does hunting, 80’s music, and Megadeath have in common?

Posted on: December 23rd, 2014 by monroewheelchair

These are all things Monroe Wheelchair’s 2014 Employee of the Year, Ron Michael, loves to do when he is not out in the field going above and beyond for our customers. Ron, an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) in the Rochester Office, was awarded this annual honor at our holiday party earlier this month (he also snagged an “Authentically Ugly Sweater” Award). Ron began as a Delivery Technician almost 15 years ago and has earned his way up the ranks as the years have passed. Since that very first day Ron has modeled integrity, hard work, a positive attitude, and most importantly an unwavering dedication to those we serve. On top of what he does for our customers and community Ron shows respect to all of his co-workers and is truly enjoyable to work alongside. The Employee of the Year is awarded $250 which Ron quickly passed on as a donation to a local agency he works with often that serves adults and children with disabilities.

Ron Michael exemplifies what it means to be a part of the Monroe Wheelchair team and family and we congratulate him on this well-deserved award. If you run into Ron anytime soon please wish him Congratulations and ask him to recite your favorite 80’s song word for word- you won’t be disappointed. Congratulations Ron!

RM Collage 2014 w text