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Rehab Management: Standing Program Prevents Surgery

Rehab Management: Standing Program Prevents Surgery

Altimate Medical is proud to announce that our own Maryann Girardi, PT, DPT, ATP was featured in the Rehab Management magazine.

Maryann Girardi received her Bachelor of Science in physical therapy degree from the University of Lowell, Lowell, MA, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA. She is also a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP). For over 30 years she has worked with adults and pediatrics with complex neurological conditions in home, school, in-patient and outpatient acute rehab settings. She has used DME to augment her treatment, enabling patients to have the support and positioning they need for participation in meaningful activities and improve/maintain musculoskeletal function.

She has presented at the local, national, and international level, on a variety of topics including service delivery, seating prescription, development of patient specific seating systems and therapeutic interventions for children with CHARGE Syndrome.

“Your daughter needs hip surgery.” No mother wants to hear that, but that is what the orthopedist told Caroline. Her beautiful daughter Briella would need surgery for bilateral hip dysplasia (displacement) if her hips continued to migrate (become more uncovered by the acetabulum). Caroline was not ready to accept surgery as the only possible treatment and went about finding other options for Briella. Thanks to her perseverance, ultimately a standing program prevents surgery.

Read the article here: Case Study: Standing Program Prevents Surgery

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News

Altimate Medical Receives Top Certification for Medical Device Quality Management

Altimate Medical Receives Top Certification for Medical Device Quality Management

Morton/Redwood Falls, Minn. – Altimate Medical Holdings, Inc., announced this week that Altimate Medical Inc., received ISO 13485:2016 certification for Medical Device and Quality Management Systems (QMS).  ISO 13485 is an internationally recognized set of quality management system requirements for medical devices.  To be certified, a company must demonstrate the ability to provide products that consistently meets customer and regulatory requirements.  Companies which are ISO 13485 certified are audited annually and must recertify every 3 years.  Many countries require certification to ISO 13485 to sell medical devices in their country.    

The audit to recertify Altimate’s QMS and expand its scope to include the functions of the former ActiveAid business took place in early February.  Official certification was received in this week culminating the end of the 3 ½ year project for Altimate.  “ISO 13485:2016 is the most internationally recognized quality system standard and Altimate’s certification demonstrates we comply with the laws and regulations of the medical device industry”  said Amy Curtis, Director, Quality and Regulatory for Altimate Holdings.  “It took effort and dedication from each team within the company to make this happen and involves nearly every aspect of the business:  management, resources, design, manufacturing, assembly, customer service, procurement, and more.”

“In 2018 when Altimate Medical purchased Activeaid, one of the goals it set for the newly acquired company was to become certified to the ISO 13485 standard for Medical Devices.”
 said Paul Hickey, President and CEO for Altimate Holdings.  “We want to thank our employees for their efforts in making this transition a success and look forward to celebrating this accomplishment with them.  Their achievement aligns with our unwavering commitment to quality and our mission to help improve lives with the products we make every day.“

Altimate Medical Holdings, Inc. designs and manufactures differentiated medical equipment that optimizes treatment outcomes and maximizes the health and wellbeing of the end-users. Since its founding in 1987, Altimate Medical and its EasyStand brand has led the standing industry with unsurpassed technology. Altimate Medical has since expanded its product portfolio and made several acquisitions of well-known and respected brands within the complex rehab technology market (Zing, 2015; ActiveAid, 2018) and the healthcare capital equipment market (Medical Positioning, Inc., 2015). The Altimate Medical family of brands include: ActiveAid, EasyStand, Justify It, Zing, Medical Positioning, VizaVue®, EchoBed®, UltraScan Versa™, and UltraDBI™.

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Career Stories

Making a Career – The Randy Brau Story

Making a Career – The Randy Brau Story

Randy Brau has been working at ActiveAid for 47 years, making him the longest-tenured Altimate Medical Employee, but his story has a little more ‘jazz’ than that.

It’s been a good ride, it’s hard to imagine that many years (47) have gone by. It really is. And you don’t think it’s possible. When you’re 18 years old you would never know that you would make a career out of it.

Randall “Randy” Brau has been making ActiveAid products since he graduated high school in June of 1973, 47 years, making him the longest-tenured employee of not only ActiveAid but of all Altimate Medical. Randy has been around to see many changes in the products, people and places that make ActiveAid. Still, his commitment to his family has turned into a commitment to his company and a big reason why he has stayed. When talking about the past and his career at ActiveAid, Randy exudes a sense of humility and pride for the products he has been able to help create at ActiveAid and the people those products have assisted.

A Commitment to the Customers

Randy hasn’t seen many of the products with the end-user but is interested and excited to hear the success stories of those products. When talking about one of those end users, Jake Anderson, whom EasyStand did a story with last summer and owns an ActiveAid 285; I explained to him who Jake was, about the chair and what Jake thought of the chair – comfortable, extremely durable, the best shower/commode he’s ever used – the pride was evident with Randy. “Wow. Amazing. That is one of our products!” Randy affirmed. And he went on to talk about what he sees as the goals of the ActiveAid chairs, “We try to make the products as user friendly as possible. Sometimes the patient has input, and they tell their therapist the ideas and we can actually make their ideas.” 

That idea of being patient-focused seems to have been commonplace throughout ActiveAid’s history. “I think how we basically got the ideas for our products is that they would go out and talk to the therapists in the hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and they would get input from those people and give their ideas to our sales reps so that we could create new products to fit their needs. And that’s why we are making the products we are today.” 

One thing that hasn’t been commonplace throughout ActiveAid’s history is the products that ActiveAid has made. When Randy first started with the company, they made a variety of products – wood spine boards that were used in ambulances, transfer belts, quad canes, sturdi-sides that would be put onto the side of beds so that patients wouldn’t fall out, humidifier (yes, the humidifier that you keep in your basement) stands, tilt and treatment tables, aerosol therapy tents and even a stander, the StandAid. Not all these stuck around for a long time, but the quad canes and wood spine boards were commonly made products. 

But, shower and commode chairs were always the fixtures of the business. The most popular chair was the 261. “We would get these veteran administration orders, and some of these orders would consist of 200 to 250 chairs at a time. So, with the small number of employees at the time, it took a considerable amount of effort.” As time went on, the chairs started to evolve. Customers asked, custom chairs were made and many new styles of sizes, widths, seats, armrests, leg rests, options to do tilt and recline were developed. “And now we have a product with the functionality to do all of that (285 TR).” 

“1984 is when we came to this building here on 1 ActiveAid road; it’s when we moved our whole operation here besides Powder Coating.” The previous use for this new building was a catholic school, and, of course, Randy went to that catholic school as a child. “It’s kind of haunting me because I’ve never been able to get away from this building,” Randy laughed. Randy gave me some of his memories from his time as a school child in the building. It turns out it wasn’t all bad. 

When it comes to work, Randy has had his hand in just about every department. “From all the punch presses to bending the tubing with a bender to the milling machines,” Randy has done it all at ActiveAid, even starting in shipping and assembly.   

Randy didn’t just work for ActiveAid during these 47 years; he had a couple of other jobs springled in. For nine years, Randy played in his father’s band. Even though he can play other instruments, the trumpet was his weapon of musical choice in the band. The band, Jolly Lumberjacks, would play ‘old time’ music and ‘modern music’ that consisted of swing and big band music. Randy remembers that the New Year’s Eve shows were his favorite shows, “It seems like everybody would go out that particular night and have a good time.” 

Led by Randy’s father, the band would play up to 270 days of the year, hosting shows in a 5-state radius booking everything themselves. “I think they would really have been big if he would have had an agent so that he could play circuits like they do now.” Once, the band accordion broke, and his father had to replace it. So, as one does, he took off the entire back of the accordion and replaced it with a vacuum cleaner. As you can imagine, Randy keeps these memories of playing and traveling with his father very close to his heart. After those nine years, Randy worked part-time for Artisan and Zaitech that repaired circuit boards for many years. 

The Jolly Lumberjacks were led by Randy’s Father.

For the first many, many years… it was the people you worked with that kept you going ya know.

So, the people and his family have kept Randy here, but pride in his work and life has brought him to where he is now. Personally, I want to start calling him music man Randy and hear his skill on the trumpet. Still, for now, we will just have to settle for his exemplary work ethic, vast knowledge and experience with ActiveAid and just overall ‘delightness’ to be around (yes, I made that word up). Let’s celebrate Randy’s career and if you get the chance, ask him about his time in the band or what it’s like to work in the place you went to elementary school at; his stories will fascinate you, and he’s got many of them. 

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News

Altimate Medical Donates EasyStand Stander to Carris Health – Redwood

Altimate Medical Donates EasyStand Stander to Carris Health – Redwood

Redwood Falls, Minn. – Altimate Medical is proud to partner with Carris Health Foundation – Redwood to provide local patients with mobility issues high quality care close to home by donating an EasyStand Evolv standing frame to the Rehab Department.

“The EasyStand standing frame facilitates my patient’s ability to increase bearing weight through their legs, which helps – in turn – with their overall bone and joint health while maximizing the use of their legs for daily activities,” explained Ryan Pope, DPT, Carris Health – Redwood Physical Therapist.

Standing frames, and specifically EasyStand, provide a comfortable and safe way for patients with limited mobility to go from a seated to standing position. This provides a variety of health benefits including improving independence, bone density, circulation, range of motion, strengthening cardiovascular system, and more.

Pope also explained that the standing frame helped decrease the symptoms of pain in one of his patients who has no choice in being primarily sitting.  

“The progressive standing we get through the EasyStand offers so many overall health benefits that tend to go unnoticed until they’re absent, including cardiovascular health in individuals who are otherwise unable to engage in meaningful exercises due to loss of limb function or tolerance of certain movements,” said Pope.

Altimate Medical’s donation of the EasyStand Evolv and optional features has value of $6850. This new unit will replace a previous EasyStand model in the rehab department, providing the latest technology to the local community.

“We take great pride in knowing the products we design and build improve the quality of life for those who need them,” said Paul F. Hickey, CEO of Altimate Medical.  “As a local manufacturer, it’s so rewarding to see our products benefit the lives of this community where many of our employees call home. This is one of many reasons Altimate Medical is compelled to continue giving and engaging our communities.”

EasyStand donates Evolv standing frame to Carris Health Redwood Falls rehab department
Photo: Kyle Smith, Altimate Medical Marketing Manager; Paul Hickey, Altimate Medical CEO; Megan Gibson, Carris Health – Redwood Rehab Manager; Carnie Allex, Carris Health – Redwood Administrator; Samantha Loomis, Carris Health Foundation – Redwood Development Officer

About Altimate Medical

Altimate Medical designs and manufactures differentiated medical equipment that optimizes treatment outcomes and maximizes the health and wellbeing of the end users. Since its founding in 1987, Altimate Medical and its EasyStand brand has led the standing industry with unsurpassed technology. Altimate Medical has since expanded its product portfolio and made several acquisitions of well-known and respected brands within the complex rehab technology market (Zing, 2015; ActiveAid, 2018) and the healthcare capital equipment market (MPI, 2015). The Altimate Medical family of brands include: ActiveAid, EasyStand, Justify It, Medical Positioning, Zing, VizaVue®, EchoBed®, UltraScan Versa™, and UltraDBI™.  Learn more by visiting altimatemedical.com.

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CE Courses

Early Intervention and Standing – 1 Hour

Early Intervention and Standing – 1 Hour

Presenter: Mary Miles, PT, DPT

Course will explore and discuss current research related to standing technology, clinical application, implementation, promoting correct dosage and positive outcomes. Specific case examples of implementing standing early will highlight a variety of standing goals and outcomes in the youngest standers, beginning at 9 months of age. Different types of standers will be discussed so the learner is able to confidently choose an appropriate stander. This course is suitable for clinicians, caregivers and rehab technology professionals.

Speaker Biography:

Mary Miles, PT, DPT has over 30 years of experience as a pediatric PT. She is currently working with children and their families in birth to three in White Bear Lake schools. Mary has presented educational standing and positioning courses for Altimate Medical.  Mary has also written for different rehab publications over the years supporting the health benefits of standing young children through adulthood.

Length of course: 1 hour

Delivery: Virtual/Zoom – Live and On Demand

Date of Live Presentation: April 21, 10am CST

This course has been submitted to the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology for CE approval. CE approval is pending. Visit http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/ for more information about CE approvals.

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News

New Portable and Foldable Pediatric Stander from Zing

New Portable and Foldable Pediatric Stander from Zing

Morton, Minn – Altimate Medical, the manufacturer of EasyStand and Zing brands, is excited to announce the introduction of a new portable, foldable, and right-sized 0-3 stander, the Zing Portable. Featuring three tripod-style legs that quickly and easily fold and a fully-configured weight of approximately 20 pounds, this new stander is the first truly travel-worthy product on the market.

The Zing Portable was designed for children in the 0-3 year age range and has a height range up to 36 inches and a weight capacity of 36 pounds. The stander’s footprint and overall size are proportional to the size of the end user. Thus, ensuring the unit does not look or feel outsized no matter how small of a child is in the stander.

Imagine taking a stander up or down stairs, to the garage, or on a trip without breaking your back. The carrying handle on the Zing Portable was designed to balance the weight of the unit when folded and it does such a good job it hardly feels like lifting the already light 20 pounds. The tripod-style legs fold up and the upper-body components are removeable so finding room for travel or storage is easy.

Zing Portable is a multi-position stander that has both a supine-to-vertical and prone-to-vertical configurations. Like other Zing products, it also features independent leg abduction (up to 15 degrees or 30 degrees bi-laterally). Other familiar Zing features include a swing-away tray, tool-free adjustment, and a comfortable transfer height.

This new portable stander creates new therapeutic opportunities for clinicians and enables standing that better fits into families’ spaces and routines. Children can stand more often and in new places with unparalleled functionality and ease of use. The Zing Portable sets a new standard of care for 0-3 standing. Learn more at zingstanders.com/portable

About Zing

The Zing brand represents a full line of single and multi-position standers. The Zing MPS is the only true multi-position stander on the market with its unique pivot point that allows supine to prone positioning all in one motion. The ability to quickly change position from prone to supine or vise versa creates a
therapeutic opportunity not found in any other standing device. This, coupled with leg abduction available across the entire Zing product line and an unrivaled number of support and positioning options, make Zing a leader in virtually all product categories. Learn more at zingstanders.com


About Altimate Medical

Altimate Medical Holdings, Inc. (AMHI), designs and manufactures differentiated medical equipment that optimizes treatment outcomes and maximizes the health and wellbeing of the end users. Since its founding in 1987, Altimate Medical and its EasyStand brand has led the standing industry with unsurpassed technology. Altimate Medical Holdings has since expanded its product portfolio and made several acquisitions of well-known and respected brands within the complex rehab technology market (Zing, 2015; ActiveAid, 2018) and the healthcare capital equipment market (MPI, 2015). The AMHI family of brands include: ActiveAid, EasyStand, Justify It, Medical Positioning, Zing, VizaVue®, EchoBed®, UltraScan Versa™, and UltraDBI™.  Learn more by visiting altimatemedical.com.

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News

Altimate Medical Is Honored With Governor’s Outstanding Achievement Safety Award

Altimate Medical Is Honored With Governor’s Outstanding Achievement Safety Award

Altimate Medical was recognized for excellence in workplace safety and health during the Minnesota and South Dakota Safety & Health Virtual Conference held on October 19-20, 2020. Altimate was awarded the Outstanding Achievement award which is the second highest honor given by the Governor’s program. Altimate Medical is one of only 262 employers to be honored through the awards program, coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council (MSC).

“It is a pleasure to recognize Altimate Medical for their award and safety excellence,” said Paul Aasen, president of the MSC. “Safety is about time, attention and diligence. We thank Altimate Medical for working hard to keep their employees safe.”

Since 1934, the annual Governor’s Safety Awards Program has honored Minnesota employers with exceptional safety performance. Applicants are judged on several years of injury data as it compares with their industry’s national statistics, and on progress implementing a comprehensive safety program. Outstanding Achievement Award winners are recognized for their continuous safety improvement and/or an outstanding safety record with incident rates that are 51%-90% better than the industry average, and a score between 75 and 90 on the safety program evaluation scale.

“The safety of our employees has always been extremely important to our team at Altimate Medical,” said Paul Hickey, Altimate Medical’s President and CEO, “I’m very proud of all the work by our safety committee, led by our Safety Coordinator Dillon Kuehn. The team sets a high bar for our organization and ensure safety is an integral part of our culture at Altimate Medical.

Altimate Medical is Minnesota’s longest standing SHARP (Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program) site since joining and achieving certification in May of 1998. SHARP sites have been acknowledged at the MSC conference for over 20 years. 

The Minnesota Safety Council, founded in 1928, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Minnesota by preventing unintentional injuries on the road, at work, at home, and in the community.

About Altimate Medical

Altimate Medical Holdings, Inc. (AMHI), designs and manufactures differentiated medical equipment that optimizes treatment outcomes and maximizes the health and wellbeing of the end-users. Since its founding in 1987, Altimate Medical and its EasyStand brand has led the standing industry with unsurpassed technology. Altimate Medical Holdings has since expanded its product portfolio and made several acquisitions of well-known and respected brands within the complex rehab technology market (Zing, 2015; ActiveAid, 2018) and the healthcare capital equipment market (MPI, 2015). The AMHI family of brands include: ActiveAid, EasyStand, Justify It, Medical Positioning, Zing, VizaVue®, EchoBed®, UltraScan Versa™, and UltraDBI™.  Learn more by visiting altimatemedical.com

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News

Patent awarded for Swing-away Backrest on MPI’s VizaVue® Modified Barium Swallow Study Platform

Patent awarded for Swing-away Backrest on MPI’s VizaVue® Modified Barium Swallow Study Platform

Medical Positioning, Inc. (MPI) has been awarded a patent for the swing-away backrest on the VizaVue® modified barium swallow study platform. This swing-away backrest provides the speech pathology and radiology team unrivaled ease of use and configuration capability while decluttering the procedure space. Removal or storage, and the inherent potential for lost or misplaced parts, is no longer an issue with this option. The swing-away backrest will increase efficiency in the procedure space, enhance clinical team satisfaction and provide flexibility, comfort, and optimal positioning for both clinician and patient.

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) delivered an Issue Notification for U.S. Patent Number 10,667,976B2 entitled “Low Clearance Medical Imaging Chair,” which covers a patent application related to the company’s Modified Barium Swallow Study platform, VizaVue®. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this patent will be valid until May 26, 2036. This most recent issue builds upon a previously issued, although unrelated patent, and brings MPI’s total patent count to two.

“Our development team exemplifies an innovative spirit and I am proud to see the hard work and dedication rewarded with this patent. We will continue to incorporate clinician and patient feedback into our efforts as we look forward and continue serving the imaging community,” said Jorge Cadenas, President and General Manager of MPI.

Paul Hickey, President and CEO of Altimate Medical Holdings, Inc. (AMHI) commented, “As one of our stronger businesses within AMHI, MPI is poised for continued growth with a portfolio of highly differentiated products that all help improve care delivery.”

About Medical Positioning 
Based in Kansas City, KS, Medical Positioning Inc. (MPI), was founded in 1988 as American Echo. Its flagship product, the EchoBed®, revolutionized sonography ergonomics, spearheading a specialty imaging table market with the introduction of a drop away section, now known as the Imaging Drop Section. Today, MPI’s product portfolio includes ergonomic and bariatric diagnostic imaging platforms designed to offer optimum positioning and improved imaging results across cardiology, vascular, radiology, breast biopsy, surgery, pain management, and speech pathology. 

About Altimate Medical
Altimate Medical Holdings, Inc. (AMHI), designs and manufactures differentiated medical equipment that optimizes treatment outcomes and maximizes the health and wellbeing of the end-users. Since its inception in 1987, Altimate Medical and its EasyStand brand has lead the standing industry with unsurpassed standing technology. Altimate Medical Holdings has since expanded its product portfolio and made several acquisitions of well-known and respected brands within the complex rehab technology market (Zing, 2015;  ActiveAid, 2018) and the healthcare capital equipment market (MPI, 2015). The AMHI family of brands include: ActiveAid, EasyStand, Justify It, Medical Positioning, Zing, VizaVue®, EchoBed®, UltraScan Versa™, and UltraDBI™.

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News

Paul Hickey Appointed new President and CEO of Altimate Medical

Paul Hickey Appointed new President and CEO of Altimate Medical

Altimate Medical Holdings, Inc. (AMHI) Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Paul Hickey as its new President and CEO. Hickey succeeds Todd Tholkes, who is retiring after leading Altimate Medical for more than two decades. Tholkes started at Altimate Medical’s founding in 1987 and has held a leadership role in the company for all 32 years of service.

Tholkes, who will remain a board member, said, “I felt the timing was right as our company is well positioned for continued growth. I am confident that Paul, who has proven leadership experience and the commercialization expertise, will lead this company forward into the next chapter.”

“I am very impressed with Altimate Medical’s accomplishments and their global leadership position in standing devices. The future looks very promising with tremendous opportunity for growth from our new product pipeline and potential partnerships.” Hickey stated.

Hickey has over 25 years of medical device commercialization experience including leadership roles in marketing, R&D, clinical, and reimbursement.  Hickey most recently served as President and CEO of Vertebral Technologies, Inc. and prior to that role was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Reimbursement at EnteroMedics. He also serves as a member of the board of directors at Excelen Center for Bone & Joint Research and Education.

About Altimate Medical

Altimate Medical is comprised of a family of brands in the complex rehab technology and healthcare capital expense markets. Altimate Medical is a market leader in standing and related technologies and has global recognition from its EasyStand and Zing brands. ActiveAid has designed, manufactured, and marketed high-quality shower and commode seating systems for more than 50 years. Medical Positioning Inc. (MPI) was founded in 1988 and its product portfolio includes ergonomic and bariatric diagnostic imaging platforms designed to offer optimum positioning and improved imaging results across cardiology, vascular, radiology, breast biopsy, surgery, pain management and speech pathology. More information about Altimate Medical’s portfolio can be found at https://altimatemedical.com/about.

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News

ActiveAid Unveils New Logo and Website

ActiveAid Unveils New Logo and Website

ActiveAid has unveiled its new brand logo and identity alongside a new website. ActiveAid has been in business for more than 50 years and the brand has been updated, modified in the past and this new logo and identity takes cues from previous designs while modernizing the look and feel. The new ActiveAid website is a huge leap forward from a usability and customer experience standpoint. More information, better organization and standardized product specifications will help customers find information faster and learn more about the products than ever before.

Another great customer-focused feature that was made possible by the new site – dynamic product configurators. Customers can now create a custom configuration and request a quote directly from the site without having to call customer service or fill out a paper order form. The site provides an MSRP quote instantly, but existing customers can fill out the short form at the bottom of the configurator to request a quote.

Every product has an individual product page with an “Options” tab that displays every option available for that unit. Each option has its own information page too – providing the customer as much information as possible prior to making purchasing decisions. Updated literature, standardized specifications and multiple images and videos are available for all products. View the new logo and website at activeaid.com

About ActiveAid

ActiveAid manufactures high-quality, stainless-steel bath, shower and commode products. Products offered are numerous and cover a vast array of user needs including location (toilet, bath, shower or stand-alone seating) positioning (height adjustable, seat slope, tilt-in-space, tilt and recline, and folding), and numerous support components. ActiveAid has pediatric, adult and bariatric lines – from simple raised toilet and modular seating systems to tilt-in-space, tilt and recline shower/commode chairs providing maximum support. ActiveAid products are manufactured in our Redwood Falls, MN facility.

About Altimate Medical

Altimate Medical is comprised of a family of brands in the complex rehab technology and healthcare capital expense markets. Altimate Medical is a market leader in standing and related technologies and has global recognition from its EasyStand and Zing brands. ActiveAid has designed, manufactured, and marketed high-quality shower and commode seating systems for more than 50 years. Medical Positioning Inc. (MPI) was founded in 1988 and its product portfolio includes ergonomic and bariatric diagnostic imaging platforms designed to offer optimum positioning and improved imaging results across cardiology, vascular, radiology, breast biopsy, surgery, pain management and speech pathology. More information about Altimate Medical’s portfolio can be found at https://altimatemedical.com/about.