Servant Leadership, continued from page 1 For Hughes, college was a goal, and he was determined to figure out how to pay for it. “My choices were either to go to West Point or find a school with an ROTC program. Either way, I could serve my country and get my education paid for,” said Hughes. “In doing my research on ROTC programs, I discovered not all included room and board. I also was looking for a good business school. The University of Tampa was the answer. It offered an ROTC program that would give me a full ride, OsteoRemedies CEO, Chris Hughes says family is what keeps him focused had a great business school and I could be on the golf team.” booth at the annual meeting of the AmeriAfter college, Hughes spent four years can Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to on active duty in the Army. When faced announce the launch of OsteoRemedies with the choice of making the military a caRemedy® Spacer System that could be used reer or starting a new career at the age of in infected knee and hip surgeries. In ad42, Hughes chose civilian life. Through a dition to adding shoulder applications, the military program that placed junior officers company continues to expand its portfolio, into corporate America, Hughes entered recently announcing the launch of its fifth the medical field as a sales manager in the product line at the AAOS annual meeting. medical sales industry. Being cash flow positive and profitFour years later, Hughes found himself able as soon as possible was a big element at a crossroad in his career, needing to deof Hughes’ initial business plan. Also, in his cide between sales or marketing. Having a plan was an objective to take no venture degree in marketing made it an easy choice. capital money. To this end, Hughes deOrthopedics and Memphis, Tennessee procided to keep things lean. “One philosophy vided the best opportunity. Hughes began when developing the business plan came marketing medical devices for Wright Medfrom challenges I had faced in the past with ical Group, Smith and Nephew, followed hiring too many people and having too by Medtronic for the next ten years. much facility space,” he said. “We only hire “I had always wanted to lead my own someone when we need them full time and company so when Paradigm Spine ofif alternatively, that discipline can be confered me the opportunity to be president, tracted out, then we do until it becomes a I couldn’t say no, even though the job was full-time position.” in New York City and Memphis was my In the beginning, OsteoRemedies and home. It was one of the greatest experiChris Hughes were really one in the same, ences I had in my medical device career, since he was the only employee. After a few even though it meant a weekly commute to months, he hired an office manager to help New York. After four years, I swapped my with logistics. In March 2014, when the first weekly airplane commute for one by car to product launched, he hired a customer serNashville to run a medical device distribuvice representative. Since then the staff has tion company there,” said Hughes. “While only grown by three employees, the Chief working in Nashville, I was approached by some colleagues in the industry that had intellectual property and interest in developing a business plan to start a company with this unique technology. When they asked access to care. what it would take for me to run the comNita W. Shumaker, MD, TMA presipany, my only request was that the comdent, said, “TMA’s goal, after years of pany be based in Memphis. My six years of complaints from our member physicians commuting was over when OsteoRemedies about MOC testing requirements, was simwas founded in September 2013.” ply to give doctors options for maintaining Aside from it being his home, Memand improving their professional compephis brought a lot to the table in terms of tency. Doctors should not be forced by hosbeing the global headquarters for Osteopitals or insurance companies to participate Remedies. “Memphis is a great choice for in an arbitrary certification process that has any medical device start-up. It is centrally not been shown to improve quality of care. located and home to FedEx,” said Hughes. “This bill gives much-needed relief for “Add to that, the twenty-some medical dedoctors who may choose Continuing Medivice start-ups and more than 4000 medical cal Education or other forms of ongoing device industry employees, it just provides learning. Thanks to Sen. Briggs, Rep. Wilfor a plethora of expertise.” liams and the other members of our state First on Hughes’ CEO agenda was legislature, Tennessee is now one of few to find distributors for a product that was states developing real solutions to this nanot ready to sell. Undaunted by the task, tional issue.” Hughes headed to a medical device conferThe new law carries two important ence and signed up ten distributors. Three provisions for doctors who have pleaded for months later in March 2014, he set up a relief from the MOC requirements levied
Operating Officer, a marketing person and an R&D person. All other functions are fulfilled by 1099 contract personnel. “We only hire when needed and I am very proud of the team we have built,” said Hughes. “Each hire has been different and unique. Marketing and R&D came out of the growth we have had. Our COO, Eric Stookey, former president of Wright Medical Group was a known leader in the ortho space. He changed the trajectory of this company when he came on board in 2015.” With 80 distributors across the United States, OsteoRemedies is focused on being the premier choice of orthopedic surgeons for complex infection and revision procedures. “We are capturing about 20 percent of the market for patients eligible for the type of devices we offer,” said Hughes. “While we have room to grow, we are very comfortable in our niche. We see ourselves as complementing the bag of products offered by the orthopedic distribution companies we use.” Hughes says OsteoRemedies relies on feedback from surgeons when it comes to research and development of new products. “We are constantly looking at new products,” he said. “We are the only company in the market with a modular hip spacer system and an acetabular cup, used in the complete revision of a two-stage infected hip revision. That product came about based on gaining insight from some of the top surgeon experts who were not choosing our system.” With a philosophy on growth and a mantra of never fast enough and never enough, Hughes is pleased that OsteoRemedies’ growth has exceeded expectations every month, quarter and year. “Either I underestimated our potential, or we have just done better than we anticipated,” he said. “Regardless, I always want to push to
Tennessee Legislature, continued from page 1
by the American Board of Medical Specialties, insurance companies, hospitals and health systems. It prohibits health insurance companies from excluding physicians from health plan networks based solely on a physician’s MOC status. It allows the medical staff at each hospital to determine whether to require MOC or accept other forms of competency measures (such as Continuing Medical Education) for credentialing and/or admitting privileges. Hospitals requiring MOC must adopt bylaws making it a stipulation for work or network participation. TMA expects the state’s new MOC laws, coupled with a favorable medical liability climate and other qualities that help Tennessee rank among the best states in which to practice medicine, will improve the state’s efforts to recruit and retain the best physicians.
get to the next level, keep improving, growing and expanding. It is what motivates me each day.” In developing his work ethic and management style, Hughes said he had the greatest example growing up, his parents. “They treated everyone with respect and they worked hard,” he said. “It’s a simple leadership style that is built on the fact that everyone is an equal individual and should be treated with respect. I believe no one works for me, they work with me. Servant leadership was what I was taught as a young marketing person and something I believe in every day.” That servant’s heart is also evident in Hughes’ personal life. Family is of the utmost importance to him and never more so than since the loss of his wife Kim, who passed away in December 2016 at the age of 43. “Family has always been important to me, but now more than ever with my four children, and being able to take care of them is of paramount importance. I view my business as another way to do that,” said Hughes. “My family is what keeps me focused and drives me more than ever before.”
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West TN Medical News April 2018