Mid Illinois, Springfield / Decatur

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A Decade Heading Up the Family Business

 Vono Medical Supplies May 08, 2015
By Gemma Long

Vono Medical Supplies is a family-owned business and a trusted supplier of durable medical equipment for over 30 years.
Items for sale range from compression garments to respiratory equipment and wheelchairs.

Now owned and run by Susan Cain, daughter of the previous owners, Dorothy and the late John Vono, she is proud to have entered her 10th year of operating the family business.

“I am so thankful to the community for its continued support. Our mission, as it has always been, is to supply state of the art technology in products and ideas, combined with old fashioned values to meet or exceed the standards of the industry, while also providing services based on respect of patients’ rights,” says Susan. 

“Mom and Dad launched the business back in 1982 as a pharmacy and convenience center with our first store on Fifth and Jefferson and located in the Near North Village complex. The residents would often come into the store to grab their bread and milk, a snack at lunchtime from the deli, or pick up their prescriptions from the pharmacy.”

When, in 1986, Susan received her Bachelors Degree in management and accounting her father asked if she would help out at the family business during that summer. Her intention had been to move to Arizona with a friend, but she felt the draw of the family business.

“Back then computer technology was evolving quickly and Mom and Dad needed someone to help out. Well, I stayed that summer and never looked back. I have absolutely no regrets as I absolutely love running the family business,” says Susan.

The family owned three pharmacies in Springfield until 2002. Vono Medical Supplies continued with the equipment and supplies business and Susan and her late husband Kevin purchased the company from her parents in 2006.

“As the durable medical equipment side of the business grew, so did the number of staff,” says Susan.

Vono Medical Supplies outgrew the Jefferson location and so the family relocated the business to its First Street store, where it’s been operating for 18 years. There is also a store in Litchfield.

The Springfield store has plenty of parking, private consultation rooms, storage rooms, a large retail space, changing rooms, and administrative offices.

Health issues such as Alzheimer’s, asthma, congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, hepatitis C, lymphedema, Parkinson’s and diabetes, to name just a few, may be a cause for customers to visit the store. 

Vono Medical Supplies stocks and sells aids to daily living to help its customers have the best possible quality of life during palliative or hospice care. There are a variety of walkers available, from folding and adjustable aluminum canes to crutches and ramps to provide clients with mobility inside or outside their homes. For those who need support in the bathroom, the store has a range of tub stools, benches, suction grab bars, hand held shower sprayers, toilet safety frames, and commodes.

For those with diabetes, Vono Medical Supplies has test strips, lancets, alcohol swabs, and sharp containers. Should a customer, or their loved one, require a hospital bed for home use there are full electric beds with mattresses.

“We also have a variety of lift chairs in a range of colors and styles,” says Susan. “For ladies that have undergone a mastectomy, we have breast forms, activity bras, bra extenders, camisoles with drain pouches and comfy straps. There’s also a private room for our customers to try on these items with a mirror and large, comfortable, changing space.” Patient “lifts” and “sit-to-stands” are available for rent or purchase.

In store, the team at Vono Medical Supplies can also help with ostomy supplies including stoma bags, colostomy appliances, skin barriers, colostomy dressing and urostomy appliances.

“We have a team of five highly-qualified respiratory therapists who can provide information to our customers about oxygen systems, nebulizers, oxygen concentrators, and conservers, CPAP full-face masks, CPAP pillows and reusable tubing and filters, as well as helping them to find the brands that best suit their needs,” says Susan.

Last, but not least, there are a diverse number of scooters and wheelchairs in the store for customers. 

“At the end of the day, our aim at Vono Medical Supplies, is to help our customers to stay safe, secure, and as comfortable as possible in their own home and, sometimes, out of their home — when it comes to mobility items. Aging in place is a preferred option for most individuals,” says Susan.

Vono Medical Supplies stores are friendly and welcoming environments.

“We have tried to make the store, and its contents, as easily accessible as possible as we often have customers visit us who are using walkers, mobility scooters, or wheelchairs,” says Susan.

“Sometimes our customers have just been given bad news, about themselves or a loved one, so we always try to be compassionate with our customers who could, for all we know, be going through their darkest days.

“We do not make the rules, but follow the rules when it comes to Medicare or third party insurance for example, but we will do everything we can to help our customers get what they need as soon as possible. We have a complete delivery service and in cases where there are no delays, due to insurance purposes for example, we are able to deliver products to the customers who are within 60 miles of Springfield on the same day that they purchase them.”

Susan believes that it is because Vono Medical Supplies is locally owned that the business is able to have such a personal touch and, as a result, the customers return time-and-time again.

All staff at Vono Medical Supplies are trained in the equipment and supplies that they are selling to customers.

“It is very important to us that when customers come into the store they are treated with the utmost respect, are helped in the best way possible by staff, who know what they are talking about, and are provided the best quality of products.

Vono Medical Supplies has an online catalog, as well as its stores in Springfield and Litchfield, where customers can request product information. Once they have filled in the online form on the Vono Medical Supplies website the customer will be contacted via phone or email for further ordering information.

Vono Medical Supplies also offers in-store health clinics to educate those with blood pressure problems, respiratory conditions or diabetes. The retailer also offers evaluations for specialized mobility products at customer homes. For quality assurance, members of the Vono Medical Supplies’ staff even take the time and care to monitor the patient using the product or products.

Vono Medical Supplies has a 24/7 service for all oxygen emergencies. The business bills Medicare, Medicaid, and most third party insurance companies.

For more information about the store and its products, help with understanding health issues, or access to resources, please contact one of our two locations at 400 N. First Street, Springfield, IL; phone: 800-559-3211 or 913 W. Union, Litchfield, IL; phone: 877-990-8666. Visit our website at www.vono.com or email at vonomed@vono.com.

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May 08, 2015
Categories:  Feature

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