EPI-HAB Partners with MedAire to Provide Warehousing and Storage for Large-Scale Project

For decades, EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc. has helped businesses of all sizes overcome challenges with growth and logistics.  The company saves partners time, money and space with its hand labor solutions, including mailingsinspection/cleaningassembly and custom packaging, storage and order fulfillment.

Since January, the organization has overseen a variety of projects at its facility, including an exciting new partnership with MedAire.

As an international SOS company, MedAire provides its aviation and maritime clients with fully-integrated medical and security services, which include:

  • 24/7 real-time access to emergency room doctors from anywhere in the world
  • Medical training for crewmembers at sea and in flight
    • Developed and delivered by medical professionals to build confidence and first-hand experience
  • A vast array of industry-compliant, custom medical kits and equipment

EPI-HAB’s work with MedAire began with the assembly of small medical kits for airlines and yachts. Around 15 various medical items were sorted and arranged into each bagged or hard-cover kit by EPI-HAB’s skilled hand labor team.

MedAire’s medical kits are considered the international standard for manufacturers on all new deliveries of aircraft and yachts.

The physical design of the kit (i.e., what medications and supplies are included and how they’re arranged) is carefully considered by MedAire’s medical team. Using fact-based data and an expert panel of aviation, regulatory and operational experts, MedAire provides clients optimum medical kits for their environment, ensuring crewmembers can provide the most timely and accurate care possible.


Why partner with EPI-HAB for assembly projects?

Rather than staffing, training and laying off or paying overtime for peak periods and emergency needs, businesses save time and money by hiring EPI-HAB’s skilled assembly team.

The Phoenix nonprofit can tackle projects of any size and has a long history of being the go-to assembly team for companies such as Arizona Commerce AuthorityTuft & Needle, and AMW Packaging Supply.

When tasked with a new project, EPI-HAB’s staff will review its parameters and overall requirements with its partner’s leadership before its trained hand laborers begin their work.


EPI-HAB’s partnership with MedAire has evolved to now include assistance on a large-scale project by providing warehousing and storage facilities. MedAire is leasing a little over 500 sq. feet of floor space in the corner of EPI-HAB’s warehouse as well as 300 pallet spaces of storage. The company began receiving and cataloging inventory in May and has a small staff on site conducting preassembly. MedAire expects to start assembling the medical kits at the end of June.


Why partner with EPI-HAB for warehousing and storage?

EPI-HAB can help increase production output without a costly plant expansion. EPI-HAB’s 38,000 sq. foot building and 15,000 sq. feet of racked pallet storage provide plenty of area to receive, assemble, repair, inspect and warehouse.


“The EPI-HAB team is eager to lend our expertise and resources to MedAire to help ensure the safety of travelers and military personnel,” says Torrey Rogers, president of EPI-HAB. “We aim to be an extension of MedAire, sharing many of the same core values and a culture of compassion and empowerment.”

About EPI-HAB:
EPI-HAB brings more than 60 years of experience and energy to fulfillment, assembly and inspectionfull-service mail processing, and storage. As a 501(c) 3 organization, it is totally self-sufficient while providing meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges.  EPI-HAB focuses on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities, and performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting them with a wide variety of projects ranging from the assembly of medical devices to white glove services.

Contact EPI-HAB online for questions or to request a free quote!

 

EPI-HAB Donates Warehouse Space to Support AZ StRUT’s Laptop Drive for Greater Phoenix Students

Nonprofit is quarantining donations for refurbishment in support of online learning during COVID-19 pandemic

EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc., a not-for-profit company focused on providing meaningful employment for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges, recognizes the power of community and the impact companies can have on organizations and individuals for the greater good. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, EPI-HAB is proudly donating 25 pallets of secure storage space to AZ StRUT.

Formed in 1997 by founding sponsors Intel & Motorola, Arizona StRUT is a partnership between local schools and businesses in which students get valuable hands-on training refurbishing used computer equipment. The equipment is then donated to schools, churches and charities throughout Arizona. Last year alone, the nonprofit donated more than $456,367 worth of equipment. A secondary benefit of the program is environmental, as the refurbished equipment has been diverted away from landfills.

Partnering with Arizona Technology Council, AZ StRUT recently launched a community laptop drive initiative for students in Greater Phoenix. The initiative aims to support online learning during the pandemic by seeking community donations of laptops and chargers that can be refurbished. An estimated 100,000 computers are needed by Arizona students who are learning remotely due to the virus outbreak.

EPI-HAB’s contribution to the initiative is to quarantine incoming equipment for 72 hours in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Donating secure storage space to a highly-regarded nonprofit like AZ StRUT provides us with an additional opportunity to impact the community in a meaningful and important way,” said Torrey Rogers, President of EPI-HAB. “This is a challenging time for so many. Despite all of the hardships, the spirit of giving back is alive and well in the Phoenix community. We are humbled to have the chance to help.”

EPI-HAB and AZ StRUT have developed a strong, rewarding relationship over the years. AZ StRUT has been storing used computers at EPI-HAB since 2012, and during EPI-HAB’s “Six Decades of Service” giveback celebration, the organization presented  $1,000 to AZ StRUT to cover student tuition at the organization’s “Techie Camp.”

At the camp, students learn to tear down a laptop computer, reassemble it and configure it. Every camper also gets to take the functional laptop they’ve been building home with them. EPI-HAB’s donation funded the tuition for 50 students who were unlikely to have a computer available at home.

“We appreciate our long-term relationship with EPI-HAB,” said Tom Mehlert, Executive Director of AZ StRUT. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic created two different challenges. EPI-HAB provided assistance that helped us address both. With schools closed, we lost much of our refurbishing effort while at the same time attempting to address a dramatic demand for computers from Arizona students. Not only did EPI-HAB assist with warehouse storage but also provided workspace that allowed us to refurbish when 90 percent of our other facilities were closed. In six weeks, we were able to configure and distribute 1,300 laptops valued at approximately $150,000 to Arizona schools at a time when the need was greatest. We could not do this without EPI-HAB’s help! We are grateful for this partnership and are looking forward to adding computer configuration to the work done by EPI-HAB employees.” 

If your organization has laptops you’d like to donate to the drive, AZ StRUT representatives will pick up quantities of 40 or more laptops. Submit a pick-up request at https://azstrut.org/pick-up-request.

 


About EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc.

EPI-HAB brings more than 60 years of experience and energy to fulfillmentassembly and inspectionfull-service bulk mail processing, and storage. The organization was founded in 1958 when a group of business and medical professionals came together to provide meaningful employment to individuals with epilepsy. As the medical industry made strides in the control of epileptic seizures, EPI-HAB (Epileptic Habitat) welcomed individuals with other challenges. Over the years, EPI-HAB has always focused on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities. Its team performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting them with a wide variety of jobs.

 

COVID-19 Update: How EPI-HAB Is Responding

 

As an organization providing mail processing, fulfillment, assembly, inspection and storage services, we at EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc. are aware of the many ways in which the recent outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is disrupting the global supply chain.

COVID-19 has not, at this time, caused any disruptions to EPI-HAB’s operations, but we will continue to diligently monitor reports from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other state and local health authorities to remain in compliance with all public health orders.

Amid these rapidly changing circumstances, we’d like to update our partners on the extra precautions EPI-HAB is taking proactively to ensure the continued safety of our staff, community and products being delivered and shipped. These include:

  • Encouraging employees who feel sick to stay home
  • Promoting proven personal hygiene practices, including frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes
  • Keeping hand sanitizer readily available
  • Minimizing contact among workers
    • EPI-HAB’s employees work independently on projects, keeping proper social distancing guidelines
  • Maintaining routine cleaning and disinfecting of EPI-HAB’s office, production floor and break rooms
  • Encouraging employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Incorporating policies for prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals
  • Maintaining flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member

With these essential measures in place, EPI-HAB’s staff has remained healthy and has not exhibited any symptoms of illness.

 

Further operational updates:

  • EPI-HAB is open for business and remains committed to strengthening the Phoenix community by supporting job creation. We are currently hiring general laborers to continue to meet customers’ needs.
  • USPS and UPS service is continuing anywhere government restrictions do not apply, though customers may experience delays. The WHO and CDC have said the likelihood of COVID-19 contaminating shipping materials is low due to transit times and temperature.
  • EPI-HAB’s Board of Directors meetings have been suspended while the COVID-19 situation is monitored.

 

As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are increasingly felt around the United States, please know our thoughts are with all those who are impacted personally and professionally. We are here to be of continued service to customers and the Phoenix community during this challenging time and are thankful for your loyalty.

For more information on EPI-HAB’s services, contact us today.

To stay up to date with the latest information provided by the CDC, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

 


About EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc.

EPI-HAB brings more than 60 years of experience and energy to fulfillmentassembly and inspectionfull-service bulk mail processing, and storage. The organization was founded in 1958 when a group of business and medical professionals came together to provide meaningful employment to individuals with epilepsy. As the medical industry made strides in the control of epileptic seizures, EPI-HAB (Epileptic Habitat) welcomed individuals with other challenges. Over the years, EPI-HAB has always focused on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities. Its team performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting them with a wide variety of jobs.

Q&A: Recently-Retired President Matt Redmann Reflects on Legacy and What’s Next

After almost 13 years as executive director and president of EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc., Matt Redmann retired in December, leaving behind a host of accomplishments and a path for continued progress.

Redmann, a self-proclaimed “die-hard cheesehead,” was born and raised in Weyauwega, WI and attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He graduated with a BS in General Engineering and later earned his MBA in Management from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

In 2006, Redmann joined EPI-HAB as the organization’s first executive director and was responsible for all facets of the company’s planning and operation, including personnel, safety, quality, sales, finances, facilities, and equipment. Redmann says he was drawn to the organization because of its unique mission and business model.

“EPI-HAB represents an ideal combination of ‘helping individuals who need help’ while assisting businesses in need of our flexible services, all without government or taxpayer expense…a true WIN, WIN, WIN,” explained Redmann.

In his time at EPI-HAB, Redmann shepherded the organization through a financial recession while keeping it vibrant, relevant, and financially solvent more than 60 years since it was founded as a totally self-sufficient, not-for-profit organization.

“Throughout EPI-HAB’s history, we’ve seen boom times and lean years, growth and economic downturns,” Redmann said. “But together, as a family, EPI-HAB weathered the good and bad, and today, our organization is strong and poised to grow.”

Before his departure, Redmann sat down with EPI-HAB’s communication team to discuss memorable moments from his years of leadership, future plans and his hopes for EPI-HAB moving forward.

The following remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity.

 

 

Q: What prompted you to pursue a career within the non-profit sector? What brought you to EPI-HAB?

A: It was completely by accident. When I was 46 or 47, I moved back to Wisconsin and found an opportunity at Valley Packaging. I told company leadership I had no non-profit experience, but they said that’s what made me a good hire. The opportunity at EPI-HAB opened up in 2006. It felt like the perfect fit because I’ve always loved the Southwest—so that’s why I’ve been here for the last 13 years.

 

Q: What stands out as your biggest accomplishment in your 13 years as president?

A: Sustaining success at EPI-HAB! We’ve remained debt free, own everything we have in-house, operate with about 35 people at about $1,000,500, annually, and we have money in the bank as a cushion against a potential bad month. All that is what gives me a sense of satisfaction. I’ve handed over the keys with EPI-HAB in a very positive financial and operational position.

 

 

Q: What was your biggest challenge you faced in your time as president of EPI-HAB?

A: The gentleman I took over for had been here for 25 years, and he had done a great job. So, it was challenging taking over for somebody so well loved. Also, selling EPI-HAB’s services, primarily the “hand labor” services. As EPI-HAB’s employees continue to improve efficiencies, more sales are required to provide employment for the same number of workers. In order to increase the number of EPI-HAB employees, even more work is needed.

 

Q: What qualities, expertise or experience make Torrey Rogers, EPI-HAB’s current president, the best person to be your successor?

A: It’s two-fold: He’s a very people-oriented person. That’s essential here because our employees have such a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities and needs. And he’s certainly detail-oriented from an accountant and cost-control standpoint. Torrey’s eight years of experience at EPI-HAB will also make the transition easier and help EPI-HAB advance from this point.

 

Q: How have you been preparing and planning with Torrey for this transition?

A: In October of 2017, we hired a controller to give Torrey the time to train in all areas that were necessary for an eventual leadership transition. At that point, he had never driven a fork truck, interacted in the warehouse, done anything from a production standpoint, or estimated a job from the manufacturing side—those kinds of things. So, we set up a training plan from August of 2018 through January of 2019.

 

 

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge EPI-HAB faces in the next decade?

A: Four years ago, Proposition 206 was passed by popular vote in Arizona, and minimum wage increased to $10 an hour, a nearly 25% jump. I think the work we do is very, very valuable, but hand labor is still hand labor. At some point, when the price is too high, you lose customers as well as the ability to serve people with job opportunities. The ballot measure also called for the minimum wage to continue increasing in 50-cent increments to $12 by January 1, 2020. That’s a big pill for businesses of all sizes to swallow.

 

Q: How do you think Torrey is uniquely prepared to overcome these challenges?

A: He has experience now in all facets of our operation. And after interacting with almost all of EPI-HAB’s customers, he’s now a familiar face as well as somebody to call on, somebody to respond to questions.

 

Q: What do you think you’ll miss the most in retirement?

A: I’ll miss the work as well as the EPI-HAB employees, caregivers, board members, customers and support service providers. The people here are as much a family as you could imagine. And even the brand-new people quickly embrace the normal mentality of helping each other out and working with each other.

 

 

Q: What’s next for you? What are your plans for retirement?

A: I’m moving to Fort Myers, Florida. I’ve researched the area, and they have a need for adjunct professors–so I may do something like that or just find a place to volunteer, like an EPI-HAB or someplace else in the not-for-profit world. I also plan to be in Wisconsin for some periods of time, as long as I have family there.

 

 

Q: What advice do you have for Torrey?

A: Don’t panic. There will always be challenges you can’t anticipate, and you can’t panic when they happen. You have to take them one step at a time, implement a strategy, draw on resources you have from the board and other connections, and give clear directions so the team can have confidence moving forward. Just stay calm, and take your time. Always take a deep breath before you react.

 


About EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc.

EPI-HAB brings more than 60 years of experience and energy to fulfillmentassembly and inspectionfull-service bulk mail processing, and storage. The organization was founded in 1958 when a group of business and medical professionals came together to provide meaningful employment to individuals with epilepsy. As the medical industry made strides in the control of epileptic seizures, EPI-HAB (Epileptic Habitat) welcomed individuals with other challenges. Over the years, EPI-HAB has always focused on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities. Its team performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting them with a wide variety of jobs.

 

 

EPI-HAB Holiday Party: Celebrating a Year of Hard Work

The company wrapped up 2019 by reflecting on accomplishments and looking forward to a new decade

 

Founded in 1958, EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc. is a totally self-sufficient, not-for-profit company focused on providing meaningful employment for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges, primarily through hand labor services.

Like many companies offering hand labor and fulfillment services, EPI-HAB often sees a peak in business around the holidays, which creates a fast-paced atmosphere at the workplace. Once those busy months are past, the team welcomes the reflective and celebratory nature of the days that follow.

Company culture is just as important to a business’ success as its quality control and customer service. EPI-HAB’s annual holiday party aims to boost employee engagement by celebrating their hard work and achievements. It’s the perfect way to move forward into the new year, and in this case, a new decade, with positivity. Plus, it’s great to have the opportunity during the festive time of year to enjoy each other’s company.

Last month’s party was more intimate than years past, focused on EPI-HAB staff and board members. The father and stepmother of Adam, EPI-HAB’s diligent and affable custodian, were the event’s special guests.

The afternoon was filled with laughs, shared memories and plenty of holly, jolly fun. And of course, no holiday celebration is complete without a feast. Affordable Catering helped encourage the holiday spirit through a scrumptious spread of ham and turkey with all the fixins. Holiday-themed cake was also enjoyed.

President Torrey Rogers spearheaded a surprise for the team, bringing back the tradition of inviting a pianist to perform popular holiday music during the gathering. Jennifer Jolls, whom Torrey found through Facebook, was deemed a resounding hit. Everyone said they enjoyed her music and wonderful personality.

 

 

The party also spotlighted the highlights of 2019:

 

We thank each of our team members for making the 2019 holiday party a very memorable occasion. EPI-HAB leadership and administrative staff also deserve commendation for the great deal of time and effort put into organizing the gathering and decking the “halls” (breakroom).

EPI-HAB is truly one big, happy family that keeps growing. We are excited for a busy calendar throughout 2020 thanks to this dedicated workforce.

 

 

If you are looking for a dynamic career in an environment that promotes continuous learning and personal growth, EPI-HAB could be the candy to your cane. Find a list of our open positions here, and maybe we’ll see you at next year’s party!

How EPI-HAB Can Accommodate Job Placement Centers with Clients Who Have Disabilities

People with disabilities face a host of employment barriers, including a lingering stigma that can foster job discrimination. They are twice as likely to be unemployed when compared to the general population, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics—yet roughly half of unemployed people with developmental disabilities say they want to work.

EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc.’s unique business model and inclusive environment provide people with disabilities the opportunities and ongoing support needed to succeed in the workforce and in the community. The organization offers diverse, rewarding jobs that allow employees to discover strengths, develop professionally and unlock their full potential.

Founded in 1958 by a group of business and medical professionals who volunteered their time and efforts, the organization’s aim was “to provide employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy.” At that time, people with epilepsy had few opportunities for meaningful employment in the Phoenix area.

Over the years, as the medical industry made strides in controlling epileptic seizures, EPI-HAB expanded its reach to welcome individuals with other challenges.

 

EPI-HAB employs individuals with, but not limited to, the following disabilities:

  • Epilepsy
  • Mild intellectual disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Hearing impairment
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Autism
  • Traumatic brain injury

 

EPI-HAB focuses on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities, and the valued work they can perform for businesses large and small.

The organization takes on a variety of projects—like bulk mailings, inspection and cleaning, custom packaging, storage and order fulfillment—all of which offer staff the opportunity to learn and hone their skills while serving as a valuable community resource.

 

Why should job placement centers partner with EPI-HAB?

EPI-HAB boasts a 60+ year history of promoting diversity and embracing inclusion to achieve success. And as the organization continues to grow, it provides its employees an evolving and uniquely-varied work environment.

Company leadership continuously encourages employees to learn new skills, and through their contributions to the community, EPI-HAB team members find meaning in their careers.

 

What makes EPI-HAB unique?

EPI-HAB, a 501(c) 3 organization, has always conducted its business as an atypical not-for-profit.  The organization does not solicit donations or charitable contributions, receive any grants – government or otherwise – nor does it conduct fundraisers. EPI-HAB operates and competes, for the most part, as a for-profit business selling its employees’ highly-valued hand labor services. With that revenue stream, wages and benefits are paid, materials and supplies are purchased, and investments are made in capital improvements. Moreover, excess profits made are donated to other not-for-profit organizations which share similar objectives.

 

The benefits of working at EPI-HAB:

  • A structured environment offering training and opportunities for growth, with employees being placed in jobs that match their skill level
  • Hourly wages: All employees are paid at or above minimum wage.
  • Excellent working conditions (primarily indoors, on site)
  • A central Phoenix location
  • Compassionate, experienced leadership: EPI-HAB’s supervisory staff has extensive knowledge and experience with adults with disabilities and is always available to help problem solve and encourage employees to realize their full potential.
  • Bilingual staff to assist employees whose first language is not English
  • Flexible hours (optional)

 

EPI-HAB is hiring! Visit our employment page for more information on how EPI-HAB is a valuable partner for job placement centers.

Schedule a tour today: 602-254-7027

Q&A: EPI-HAB’s New President on Priorities and Opportunities

Torrey Rogers selected to lead the Phoenix nonprofit forward

EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc. is thrilled to announce the appointment of Torrey Rogers as the organization’s new president. Rogers succeeds Matt Redmann, who retired after serving in the role for more than 13 years.

Rogers, who took the helm at the beginning of the month, is new to the job but not new to EPI-HAB. He’s served as the organization’s controller and, most recently, its executive director as he transitioned into the role of president.

A native of Sheridan, Wyoming, Rogers transferred from Sheridan Community College to attend DeVry University Phoenix where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. After college, Rogers spent 10 years with Republic West Remodeling. Hired as an accountant, his career advanced through a variety of leadership roles within the company, including project management.

In 2011, Rogers applied for the controller position at EPI-HAB and instantly connected with EPI-HAB’s mission of providing meaningful employment for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges. “Taking the job was an easy decision,” Rogers said.

As EPI-HAB’s controller, Rogers was tasked with directing all of EPI-HAB’s financial accounting operations, as well as the planning, managing, and maintenance of EPI-HAB’s PC-networked computer system.  He also served as the principal liaison to the external auditor and interacted monthly with the Board of Directors.

His roles within the organization provided significant experience and expertise in building collaborative partnerships and developing ways to move the business forward.

Before stepping into his new role, Rogers sat down with EPI-HAB’s communication team to discuss his vision for his presidency, his approach to leadership and how he plans to further advance the organization and its mission.

The following remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity.

 

Q: Why is the organization’s mission important to you? What makes the organization unique?

A: My time taking a course at ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation really helped illustrate what makes EPI-HAB stand out. Learning about the nonprofit sector made clear there are very few nonprofits that operate like we do.

Our mission has evolved with time, and we now focus on hiring individuals with a variety of challenges, not just epilepsy, such as hearing impairment, physical limitations, and mild intellectual disabilities.

That being said, there’s a tremendous record of sustainability here over the course of more than 60 years of doing business. We’ve taken on different jobs throughout the years and adapted with the times, but the core of who we are has been successful, and it’s going to continue to work.

 

Q: Why do you want to be president of EPI-HAB? What attracted you to the role?

A: I’m not afraid to take on responsibility. It’s been a part of my personality throughout my career. I went as far as I could at EPI-HAB, but I needed more responsibility to be truly satisfied professionally. I know the business inside and out and built trust with our staff and customers. I want to see it grow, and I want to be part of it.

 

Q: How have your previous roles and responsibilities at EPI-HAB and elsewhere prepared and set you up for success in this role?

A: In all of my jobs, I’ve always been successful. I work hard. I’m loyal to my employer, but I’m not successful just because of my work ethic. I’m successful because I communicate well with others and am, most importantly, a team player.

 

Q: How would you describe your style of leadership?

A: I’ve never been a hands-on leader. It’s just not my style to stand over people. I like writing out tasks and reviewing them with employees. Overall, I prefer to give direction and then support my staff as needed.

 

Q: How do you see the role of president changing as you take over the position?

A: I won’t be on the floor as much as Matt, who came from the printing industry and ran the operation. Oversight is obviously important, and we’re extremely fortunate to have Patsy, who’s been doing this a lot longer than me. Between her and Bonnie, the two of them know the business and operations through and through. They don’t need my help. My role is to knock down barriers for Patsy, ensuring our customers are satisfied and bringing in new customers.

 

Q: What will your ideal day be like as president?

A: My ideal day is having a calendar full of appointments—either visiting existing and prospective partners or giving tours.

 

Q: Will there be any changes seen by employees, customers or EPI-HAB’s business partners?

A: Our management team will experience some change, but the formula used for over 60 years won’t.

EPI-HAB’s customers already know a change is coming, and I am confident the transition will be seamless.

 

Q: What specific goals or priorities do you have in place for your first year as president?

A: My first year will be spent getting accustomed to my new schedule and finding a system that works best for me as president. My goal is to fill my calendar.

 

Q: Are there any other long-term goals?

A: At one time, EPI-HAB had around 150 employees, and my long-term goal is to get back to that. I’d love to see our office full of employees helping Veronica and John because of an increase in payroll.

 

Q: How do you see EPI-HAB evolving? What do you perceive its role will be in the community in 10 years?

A: If I’m doing my job right, there will be an increased awareness in the community. EPI-HAB will be well known as the go-to resource for hand labor.

 

Q: What do you see as your greatest challenge as EPI-HAB’s leader moving forward?

A: Our greatest challenge is two-fold yet interrelated:

  1. Expanding our ability to effectively reach people with epilepsy or other challenges who are seeking employment opportunities–we are very interested in finding and retaining people who want to work.
  2. Retaining the excellent companies we serve today and growing our customer base with companies who have temporary or ongoing hand labor needs

 

Q: How will you measure your success in terms of your management of EPI-HAB?

A: Two things:

  1. Full board membership
  2. More than 100 employees

 

Q: What are you looking forward to most in your new role?

A: New adventures, new experiences and trying to make a difference

 

Q: In general, what motivates you in life?

A: I’ve got to give my parents a lot of credit for that. They were very positive and encouraging and instilled that energy in me to get up every day and put in a hard day’s work.

 

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

A: I’ve worked for so many great men and women who never really gave me advice. They just led by example. They were good people, and I wanted to be like them. I’ve been lucky.

 

Q: What are your hobbies and interests outside of the office?

A: I love cigars. When I moved to Phoenix, I got introduced to cigar shops and walk-in humidors. This was back in the 90s, and it was pretty popular to smoke cigars—so there were dressy events and parties. Today, I just enjoy sitting out on my porch and smoking a couple cigars as I read the paper.

I also have a love for the outdoors because of my father. He always took us snowmobiling, hiking and camping. Today, I enjoy hiking, which makes personal fitness important, as well. I like to go by myself because it’s a challenge. I really enjoy the preparation and planning that goes into it. It’s a good way to recharge your battery.

 


About EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc.

EPI-HAB brings more than 60 years of experience and energy to fulfillmentassembly and inspectionfull-service bulk mail processing, and storage. The organization was founded in 1958 when a group of business and medical professionals came together to provide meaningful employment to individuals with epilepsy. As the medical industry made strides in the control of epileptic seizures, EPI-HAB (Epileptic Habitat) welcomed individuals with other challenges. Over the years, EPI-HAB has always focused on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities. Its team performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting them with a wide variety of jobs.

 

 

EPI-HAB Employee Becomes U.S. Citizen: ‘I Consider This Great Country to Be the Best in the World’

As the topic of illegal immigration dominates news headlines and social media, what’s often not discussed is the thousands of legal immigrants gaining U.S. citizenship every day. This year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will welcome more than 757,000 naturalized citizens into the country, many of them essential members of the Phoenix community.

For fifteen years, Carmen Mercedes Exposito Fernandez has been part of EPI-HAB’s hard-working assembly team. As of this summer, she’s now part of much more having become a U.S. citizen.  It’s the conclusion of a life chapter that began with her arrival in the United States from Cuba 16 years ago.

“I chose to come to the U.S. because I consider this great country to be the best in the world—where you have the right to enjoy life, freedom and happiness,” she explained.

Looking for a job with a hand-labor focus, Carmen was drawn to EPI-HAB. She’s stayed with the company because of its collaborative and encouraging culture.  “I enjoy the pleasant atmosphere with my coworkers and being able to count on the support and understanding of the organization’s leadership,” she said.

As the years at EPI-HAB stretched on, Carmen continued to dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.  It took hard work, mountains of paperwork and dogged persistence to finally realize her dream this summer.

In addition to filling out numerous documents and applications, getting fingerprinted, and passing a background check, Carmen passed a U.S. history, geography and civics Q&A alongside a reading and writing English competency test.

The questions are challenging, even for those who are born in the U.S. According to the USCIS, 92 percent of applicants pass this test, but only about two percent of Americans who are born citizens can pass the test without studying for it.

For Carmen, the long hours and effort were well worth it. “My big dream was to become a U.S. citizen because this country gives you all the possibilities of having a dignified life where respect for human rights prevails,” she said. “You can achieve everything you set your mind to by working hard.”

That hard work paid off on July 23 when Carmen joined around 80 other immigrants in pledging their allegiance to the American flag and promising to fulfill the following duties:

  • Support and defend the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States against its enemies
  • Give up allegiance to any other nation or sovereignty, and renounce hereditary or noble titles, if any
  • Provide military or civilian service when called upon by the government to do so

After swearing the oath in unison with others, Carmen proudly became one of the newest citizens of the United States. A witness to this seminal moment was Torrey Rogers, EPI-HAB’s assistant general manager. “This was my second ceremony,” Rogers said. “The feeling of pride and patriotism was strong.  Everyone attending was excited and patiently waiting.  It was a big honor Carmen asked me to attend.  She worked hard to become a citizen.”

With her new rights, Carmen can now apply for a passport, vote and even run for office.

“The EPI-HAB organization couldn’t be prouder of Carmen,”  Rogers said. “Her dedication, determination and enthusiasm embody everything it means to be an American.”

In her spare time, Carmen enjoys cooking, sewing, browsing stores and dancing.

“I like living in the U.S. because we have the freedom of expression and religion, job opportunities and human rights are respected,” Carmen said.

For Carmen, another life chapter begins, marked by a new start, secure job and opportunities ahead.

About EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc.

EPI-HAB brings more than 60 years of experience and energy to fulfillmentassembly and inspectionfull-service bulk mail processing, and storage. The organization was founded in 1958 when a group of business and medical professionals came together to provide meaningful employment to individuals with epilepsy. As the medical industry made strides in the control of epileptic seizures, EPI-HAB (Epileptic Habitat) welcomed individuals with other challenges. Over the years, EPI-HAB has always focused on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities. Its team performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting them with a wide variety of jobs.

 

Summer Updates at EPI-HAB

It has been a busy summer of strategic planning at EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc. The organization’s leadership staff has been hard at work securing new partnerships to ensure a bright future and better opportunities for its employees. Additionally, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, whose work has long been supported by EPI-HAB, unveiled exciting surgical advancements in the treatment of epilepsy.

Here’s a recap of recent developments:

 

New Summer Work

EPI-HAB is proud to announce it was commissioned by the Arizona Diamondbacks to assist with an upcoming fan giveaway event.

A Major League Baseball franchise with a relatively short history, the Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t short on notable accomplishments.  The team’s World Series championship in 2001 was won just four seasons after the D-backs inception into the National League, and still stands as the only championship title won by a professional men’s sports team in the state of Arizona.

Earlier this month, the Diamondbacks delivered 17,000 mugs to EPI-HAB’s facilities and tasked the non-profit’s hand labor and inspection teams with:

  • Removing the mug boxes from their respective cases as well as the bubble wrap and mug from every box
  • Stripping off the mugs’ existing design with mineral spirits
  • Cleaning the mugs
  • Repackaging the mugs in their original boxes
  • Inspecting the boxes to ensure gift cards have been packaged alongside every mug
  • Placing each box back into its original case, sealing the cases and palletizing the cases
  • Delivering the finished mugs to Chase Field on August 15

 

The non-profit has a long history of being selected for professional and collegiate sports-focused projects, often assisting with assembly, inspection, fulfillment and delivery services.

Most recently, the EPI-HAB team inspected, sorted and delivered close to 33,000 commemorative glasses given away to attendees at a Phoenix Suns game.

 

EPI-HAB also assembled elaborate gift baskets that were given by the Arizona Commerce Authority to members of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) committee while they were in Phoenix for the BCS Championship football game. The gift baskets were covered with a decorative cellophane bag and topped with a festive bow. Projects completed by EPI-HAB are custom-tailored to every client’s specifications.

 

Hand labor like this is just one of the many ways EPI-HAB helps companies save time, money and space.

 

Breakthroughs at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that is characterized by recurring seizures. The complex disorder affects people of all ages, races and ethnicities and can oftentimes be unpredictable. Some individuals with epilepsy have multiple seizures every day, and others can go years without having an episode.

For children with epilepsy, anti-seizure medications are typically the first line of defense. Some children, however, do not respond to the drugs and face serious, lifelong challenges with the disorder. Fortunately, advances in surgery are offering new hope to these patients.

Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital now treats patients with a new surgery and device to help control seizures. The treatment, Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS), is designed for patients suffering from drug-resistant epilepsy with seizures localized in a critical area of the brain.

Source: Phoenix Children’s Annual Report 2019

 

EPI-HAB Supports Individuals Living with Epilepsy

EPI-HAB provides meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges. Typical work focuses on hand labor skills, and employees are paid at or above minimum wage with flexible hours.

The 501(c) 3 organization is unique in that it does not solicit donations or charitable contributions, receive any grants – government or otherwise, nor does it conduct fundraisers. EPI-HAB operates and competes, for the most part, as a for-profit business.

Alongside the organization’s own efforts to increase the quality of life for Arizonans living with epilepsy, EPI-HAB donates excess profits to charities like Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona to advance the study of the disorder.

As part of its “Six Decades of Service” celebration last year, EPI-HAB presented a $10,000 check to Dr. Varina Boerwinkle of Phoenix Children’s hospital to support the global medical community leader’s research in targeting hard-to-treat tumors that cause epilepsy.

For more information about EPI-HAB, visit www.epihab.org.

Updates & Advances in Epilepsy Treatment

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that is characterized by recurring seizures. The diagnosis is established when a person experiences two or more unprovoked seizures separated by at least 24 hours. The complex disorder affects people of all ages, races and ethnicities and can oftentimes be unpredictable. Some individuals with epilepsy have multiple seizures every day, and others can go years without having an episode.

And while epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in the U.S., for hundreds of years, the disease was shrouded in mystery and believed to be witchcraft or possession of evil spirits.

Today, the disease remains a mystery to scientists in many ways, but developments in technology have made it easier to study brain function and structure. Through these advances, remarkable progress is being made in the diagnosis and treatment of the more than 2.5 million people living with epilepsy in the U.S.  Twice as many medications, for example, are available today than a decade ago, and seizure tracking has become effective and affordable through wearable technology.

Below are some recent developments and breakthroughs that are revolutionizing epilepsy care:

 

Wearables and Machine Learning are Helping Monitor Seizures

  • The FDA recently cleared a wrist-worn wearable called the Embrace2. The technology, intended for children with epilepsy (ages 6 and up), sends alerts to a caretaker when a seizure is detected. The startup acknowledges its technology isn’t perfect but is continually refining the wearable and its algorithms with each new patient.

Source: https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/news/combating-epilepsy-with-wearables-and-machine-learning/

 

Inducing Epileptic Seizures Prior to Surgery May Reduce Hospital Stay

  • Approximately 20 percent of epileptic patients require the insertion of electrodes directly into their brain. Those receiving this treatment often undergo cortical stimulation, a procedure which administers electrical current to induce seizures for better understanding of epileptic functioning.
  • A current study is looking into whether inducing a seizure in preparing for surgery is as effective as waiting for a spontaneous seizure.
  • According to the study’s results, induced seizures are seeing outcomes similar to the results observed with spontaneous seizures.
  • “It’s not a new procedure, but the approach is new in the sense that now we know it’s very similar to a spontaneous seizure, so we can reduce hospital time. Instead of being in the hospital for two weeks, patients can maybe be there for 48 to 72 hours,” said Dr. Brigit Frauscher, lead researcher of the study, in a media release.

Source: https://www.docwirenews.com/docwire-pick/home-page-picks/inducing-epileptic-seizures-prior-to-surgery-aids-in-locating-source/

 

Deep Brain Stimulation May Help Treat Patients with Uncontrollable Epilepsy

  • Many people manage their epilepsy through medication, but if medications fail, surgery is often presented as a treatment option to remove the abnormal part of the brain inducing seizures. In some cases, though, surgery isn’t a solution. Occasionally, the area that needs to be removed is vital to brain function, or the seizures are coming from multiple areas in the brain. Researchers, however, believe they’ve found a third treatment option: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).
  • DBS modulates the brain, preventing reoccurring seizures. It involves placing a tiny pair of electrodes into an area of the brain that “seems to serve as a kind of switchboard for abnormal brain waves to spread throughout the brain.”
  • In clinical trials, the DBS system reduced seizures by as much as 75 percent.

Source: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/05/30/device-brain-epilepsy-seizures/

 

TSA Now Permits Some CBD Oil and Medications on Planes

  • Following special instructions, a pediatric epilepsy drug containing cannabis can now be brought on board flights or placed in checked luggage.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/27/politics/tsa-permits-epilepsy-drug-cannabis-flights/index.html

 

Epilepsy Foundation Launched a New Healthcare System to Improve Outcomes for People Living with Epilepsy

  • Earlier this month, Epilepsy Foundation announced the launch of the Epilepsy Learning Healthcare System (ELHS), a collaboration designed to gather data about people with epilepsy from clinics throughout the U.S. and analyze it centrally to identify practices that lead to better outcomes.
  • The data collected will include diagnosis, evaluation and care from healthcare providers, as well as information about seizure frequency, treatment side effects, self-management and quality of life from people with epilepsy and their caretakers.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/epilepsy-foundation-and-its-partners-announce-epilepsy-learning-healthcare-system-300869544.html

 

EPI-HAB Supports Individuals Living with Epilepsy and Other Challenges

EPI-HAB provides meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges. Typical work focuses on hand labor skills, and employees are paid at or above minimum wage with flexible hours.

The 501(c) 3 organization is unique in that it does not solicit donations or charitable contributions, receive any grants – government or otherwise, nor does it conduct fundraisers. EPI-HAB operates and competes, for the most part, as a for-profit business.

Alongside the organization’s own efforts to increase the quality of life for Arizonans living with epilepsy and other challenges, EPI-HAB donates excess profits to charities like Phoenix Children’s hospital and the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona to advance the study of epilepsy.

Last year, as part of its “Six Decades of Service” celebration, EPI-HAB presented a $10,000 check to Dr. Varina Boerwinkle of Phoenix Children’s hospital to support the global medical community leader’s research in targeting hard-to-treat tumors that cause epilepsy.

For more information about EPI-HAB, visit www.epihab.org.