When Stephen F. Meyer, the recently named president and chief executive officer of Welch Allyn, spoke at the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Welch Allyn Lodge April 12, he had just four days before officially assuming the title. By press time, he will be at the helm.
The 30-year veteran of Welch Allyn, the leading global provider of medical diagnostic products based in Skaneateles Falls, described the beginning of his career as a sales representative in Detroit.
“Points in a career make a difference,” Meyer said. “When I started, the prime focus was diagnostic sets. We first sold to medical students. Value was determined by ability to interact with medical students. In 1984, I first had to present in front of the owners, putting the pedal to the metal, getting it right. As the company has grown I’ve been able to take advantage of fifteen different jobs with the company.”
Meyer talked about current health care challenges, its problems and where Welch Allyn can fit to solve them.
“There is a big reform effort currently. The challenge in the United States is per capita spent. It is twice as much as any one else. Only Switzerland is close. Misdiagnosis is a challenge, so are declining reimbursements. Welch Allyn’s focus is on solutions to customers problems,” he said.
“The Allyn family has always had a long view of the business,” Meyer continued. “Welch Allyn is in a great position if we can get at the problems we have talked about we have a great future.”
Currrently there are 1,200 Welch Allyn employees in Skaneateles and 2,750 worldwide. “Asia is where there is a lot of growth potential now,” he said. “China is trying to bring their population into the health care world. We’re trying to take advantage of that so we have to get into manufacturing in that region.”