Medical Equipment Supplier, APA Medical, Celebrates 50 Years
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Medical Equipment Supplier Celebrates 50 Years

medical equipment supplier celebrates 50 years

APA Medical is celebrating 50 years of service in 2020! For the past five decades, our family company has been working as a medical equipment supplier for the twin cities’ communities. That’s quite a milestone for a company with a pretty humble beginning, but one we are extraordinarily proud of. We know full well that it’s a birthday we could not have reached without all the exceptional care providers and customers we’ve forged so many great relationships with over the years.  

Where It All Began

Three Ocel brothers, one in the medical business, one who owned a machine shop, and one who was a carpenter, decided to put their talents together in the late 1960s and form a company that was a medical equipment supplier. 

In June of 1970, we officially opened our doors at the first APA location. There’s a fun family story that has reached legendary status at APA over the years. Don Ocel, who had been a carpenter before entering into business with his brothers, was out on a call to an institutional customer. During the visit, the purchasing agent asked him if APA sold sphygmomanometers. He replied with confidence, “We certainly do,” only to return to the office and start asking around, “What’s a sphygmomanometer?”

A humble beginning indeed, but that’s how APA Medical got started. What the Ocel brothers learned very quickly is that hard work and a commitment to service were a pretty good foundation to start a company on. 

A Proud Member of the Community

For our first 30 years, we were primarily a wholesale medical equipment supplier for nursing homes and hospitals. That experience plays a huge role in the reason why we’ve always tended to offer very aggressive pricing. Our team is also not afraid to admit that it’s those many years of working with nursing homes and hospitals that have ingrained in us a sense of compassion and empathy. 

Continuing the Family Business

Sam Ocel and Sarah Kempf are now the owners of APA and are part of three generations who have worked there, grown up there, and welcomed an extended APA family there. Sam started working after school as a jack of all trades. Sarah started working for her father during her junior year of high school as a seamstress. She spent her time sewing wheelchair upholstery and learning all the ins and outs of the business. 

Sam & Sarah’s APA Journey

What started out as part-time work for Sam to make a little money while in high school and college became a full-time job after graduating. Sam decided to work at APA while he figured out what he wanted to do with his life. 

Early on in Sam’s tenure, APA had a small pickup truck used for pickups and deliveries. The truck was a manual shift, and Sam’s dad asked him if he knew how to drive a manual. Wanting to get the job done, he told his dad that he did. He did not. Talk about “on the job training.” He eventually got the truck back to APA in working order. It’s now nearly 40 years later and Sam is doing exactly what he always wanted to do. There were just four employees back then, so without hard work, dedication, and a real love for what they were doing, APA couldn’t have become what it is today.

While Sarah started working at APA at 17-years old, it was far from her first job. She started delivering newspapers at age 12 and was on to bigger things by age 13, working as a waitress and short-order cook at a local drug store. Her dad, no doubt impressed by her work ethic, brought her on to do upholstery for wheelchairs and other items, as well as doing all the things that needed to be done—answering phones, putting together catalogs, working the showroom and even cleaning the toilets. APA has grown and changed over the years, but Sarah, following in her father’s footsteps, can still be found doing just about everything that keeps APA going on a day-to-day basis.

A Proud Member of the Community

For our first 30 years, we were primarily a wholesale medical equipment supplier for nursing homes and hospitals. That experience plays a huge role in the reason why we’ve always tended to offer very aggressive pricing. Our team is also not afraid to admit that it’s those many years of working with nursing homes and hospitals that have ingrained in us a sense of compassion and empathy. 

It says on the front page of our website that we provide top-quality medical equipment and supplies to individuals and care providers throughout the Midwest and medical facilities nationwide. However, we’ve always made it our mission to provide more than that. The APA way has always been to provide the best equipment and supplies at the best prices, but also to provide a service to our customers. 

Customers Come First

At APA Medical, we’ve always believed that part of that service is looking out for our customers, both the care providers and the individuals who purchase from us. What started as a small, locally owned business, has grown into a company that staffs over 30 employees that bring decades of work experience—from our customer care group to repairs and order fulfillment, we do everything possible to satisfy our customer’s needs. We are constantly staying abreast of the ever-changing world of insurance, and we strive to provide the highest level of customer experience. 

Our Birthday Wish is to Continue to Serve You

We’ll always answer your questions. We’ll always provide you with the best products and services at the best price. We’ll always be proud members of the communities we represent, both the Twin Cities and the Upper Midwest, as well as the medical equipment supplier and service community across the nation.

We’re proud to have reached 50 years of service, and we assure you that our commitment to the community will never change. Here’s to the 50 years behind us, and to the many years ahead!