For the Record with Dan Reuvers, CEO, Tactile Medical

May 24  

Dan Reuvers joined Tactile Medical in June of 2020 as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that, Mr. Reuvers served as executive vice president and president of Codman Specialty Surgical at Integra LifeSciences.

Mr. Reuvers has more than 30 years of experience in the medical technology field and has held various executive-level positions in sales, marketing and general management. Prior to being named president of the Codman division at Integra, Mr. Reuvers led the significant growth of Integra’s international business.

Previous to this role, he also held various leadership positions, including vice president of marketing and product development, president of the acute surgical business, and president of the instruments franchise. Before joining Integra, he was president of Omni-Tract Surgical until it was acquired by Integra in 2008 and president of Advanced Respiratory, Inc., before leading its sale to Hill-Rom.

Tactile Medical is a leader in developing and marketing at-home therapies that treat chronic conditions. The company’s flagship product is the Flexitouch, which treats patients afflicted with lymphedema and chronic venous insufficiency; a large, but underserved audience. Tactile’s unique offering includes advanced, clinically proven pneumatic compression devices, as well as continuity of care services, including clinical support, reimbursement, training and patient advocacy.  As a result, Tactile treats tens of thousands of patients each year.

As a leader, how has your role changed during COVID-19?

I joined Tactile as the CEO in June, so I had to approach things differently on day one. That said, I think one of the keys has been to find ways to preserve the “sense of community.” Ensuring that we’re creating more ways to reach out to employees and keep them updated on the business has been especially important. We’ve gotten pretty creative in trying to collaborate virtually and make it feel as normal as possible.

How have you pivoted your company to address the needs that have risen since the onset of COVID-19?

I think all companies have had to adapt in various ways, and we’re no different. The good news is that we’re convinced that some of the moves we’ve made can actually improve our business and ability to serve patients, even post-COVID. Providing more training options for patients, including virtually, has earned high marks from our customers who appreciate having choices. Our professional education events have also expanded, as virtual attendance has drawn clinicians from all over the country to speakers that were historically constrained by audiences within a 20-mile driving radius.

What are some of the big milestones to come in the next few years for Tactile Medical?

We were consistently growing at more than 30% per year, pre-COVID. With a large and still-underserved market, we’re convinced that our continued investments in clinical evidence and professional education will result in our restoration to high growth. We’re also planning to increase our investment in R&D, as we envision ways to improve the disease-management approach to helping treat patients with chronic disease.

What does leadership look like to you?

I see my role as getting the entire organization aligned, which has as much to do with explaining the ‘why’ as the ‘what’. Once we all calibrate on a common goal, my role shifts to ensuring discipline toward our priorities and that teams have the resources they need to achieve them. We’re lucky at Tactile because the impact we see in our patients provides the fuel and passion we need.

What is the best advice you have received in your career? The worst?

It may not be your fault, but it’s still your problem. It reinforced the importance of personal responsibility, even when things beyond your control happen (because they often do). The worst was that I could actually pick between working hard or working smart.

What have been the most rewarding moments of your career?

Witnessing the impact my products/efforts have had on patients and their families, as it’s powerful to think about how many lives we touch over the span of a career. The other thing that rivals it is helping people develop their skills, such that they achieve their career and personal goals. It’s really gratifying to see those impacts.

What is one personal goal for the upcoming year?

I’m hoping to meet, in person, many of the Tactile employees I’ve only come to know on Zoom.

How do you relax/decompress?

An evening walk with my wife serves as a great way to reflect on each day.  And as a genuine Minnesotan, there’s no substitute for time at the lake in the summer.

What do you enjoy most about the Medical Alley community?

It’s always good to have access to other professionals in your field. Problems become easier to solve when tackled together. I appreciate the opportunity to plug into a targeted network.

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