By Don Shilling
The company expects to add 28 jobs this year and more in future years.
BOARDMAN — Henry Schein Medical Systems will continue to expand its sales of MicroMD software products despite the death of company founder Ajit Kumar, his replacement said.
Sales are expected to grow 25 percent this year and employment is projected to rise from 83 to 111 by the end of the year, said Keith Slater, vice president and general manager.
“People have identified MicroMD as Ajit Kumar for a long time. His death is a personal and professional loss, but he did not leave the business at risk,” Slater said.
Kumar had assembled a management team to oversee daily operations and then hired Slater a year ago with the plan to begin lessening his leadership role. Kumar, who founded the company in his basement in 1982, intended to retire in five years.
One month after Slater started, however, Kumar was diagnosed with lung cancer. He took a medical leave last September and did not return to work. He died Jan. 15.
Henry Schein Medical Systems was created in 2006 when Kumar agreed to merge his original company, Microsys Computing, into Henry Schein Inc. of Melville, N.Y.
Kumar had retained a minority ownership stake in Henry Schein Medical Systems, but that interest was transferred to Henry Schein Inc. before his death.
Kumar opted for the merger because he wanted to take advantage of the growing trend toward electronic storage of medical records. Henry Schein had acquired a company that offered that product and wanted to merge it into Kumar’s company, which was a leader in providing software to manage the physicians’ practices.
The decision to merge led to rapid growth. In 2006, Microsys had 45 employees and had 7,000 doctors who were using its practice management software.
Now, the business has contracts with 2,700 medical practices, which include 14,000 doctors in 43 states. later expects future growth to exceed 20 percent in each of the next three years, so the hiring of sales and customer support staff will continue.
The continued growth will happen locally, he said. After this year, the local company will be out of room at its building at 760 Boardman-Canfield Road, but company officials are looking at options for additional space, he said.
The company is growing because more doctors are keeping medical records on computers, instead of on paper charts, he said.
Slater expects this to accelerate because the federal stimulus bill provides reimbursement for physicians who adopt electronic medical records. The incentive payments are to begin at the end of next year.
Also, Medicare and Medicaid will provide less money in reimbursements for doctors who are not using electronic medical records by 2015.
Slater, 41, is a Youngstown native who lives in Canfield. Before joining Henry Schein Medical Systems, he worked for other companies that did similar work.