Patients undergoing treatments like dialysis and chemotherapy often log dozens – if not hundreds – of hours sitting in a chair inside a medical facility.
Lauri Waidner, marketing manager at Champion Manufacturing, encourages you to imagine you are one of those patients going in for treatment.
You’ll probably feel anxious or nervous when you go to sit down in the treatment recliner for the first time. You expect the chair to be somewhat hard and cold. But if you happen to be seated in Champion’s new Alō Infusion Recliner, your experience will be very different than you expect.
“They’re going through what is probably the most difficult time they have ever experienced in their life,” said Matt Weismiller, CEO of Champion Manufacturing. “They’re never going to enjoy their treatment, but at least we can try to give them a comfortable experience.”
When patients sit down in the Alō (the name is Latin for “to nourish”), they find a surprisingly soft and plush seat. They’re invited to place their electronics or book down on a side table that can still be reached with an IV line in the arm. A USB charging port is built into the chair so patients can plug in their smartphone and watch Netflix or listen to relaxing music. Massage and heating features are also available on the Alō.
“I think Champion is doing something that has a lot of impact socially,” Weismiller said. “You really are helping people at their darkest moments, but when you sit down in one of our chairs, I like to think it’s like getting a big hug from a nice, overstuffed recliner.”
The Alō has also been tested to stand up to heavy and extended use (because broken chairs mean missed revenue and decreased customer satisfaction for medical centers) and meets the clinical needs of healthcare professionals. The sides of the chair easily swing open on either side to allow for safe patient transfer and the material is designed to be easily cleaned and sanitized.
Although Weismiller is an engineer by training, he still appreciates the aesthetics of the Alō – which were very carefully designed.
“I love the ability to build this very clinically important device, yet it’s very elegant and beautifully styled,” he said.
Customers can choose from different seat back designs and vanity panels to create a custom look that matches the décor of the facility.
“We wanted to offer a solution that would allow our customers to design the look of their treatment chair to match their décor without sacrificing the true clinical functionality that infusion-based therapies require,” Waidner said.
Nearly 30 years ago, Champion’s first customer asked the company to produce a chair like non other on the market. One that was sturdy and long-lasting, but comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep. One that was maneuverable for caregivers, but complementary to their décor. Champion listened and delivered. Champion chairs are known for their long-term value with a perfect balance of form and function.
Champion manufactures about 20,000 medical recliners each year to dialysis clinics and continues to expand into the oncology and infusion markets in acute care settings. The company currently employs 115 people at its Elkhart location and an additional 30 remote employees throughout the country.
2601 Industrial Parkway
Elkhart, IN 46516
*Note: Champion has broken ground on a new 85,000-square-foot facility at 5100 Hoffman Street in Elkhart to support future growth. The new facility is expected to be completed in late spring of 2020.
“They’re going through what is probably the most difficult time they have ever experienced in their life. They’re never going to enjoy their treatment, but at least we can try to give them a comfortable experience.”