While still an undergraduate business major at the University of Portland, Vail Horton developed chronic pain in his houlders from the prolonged wear and tear of walking on crutches. Instead of resorting to a wheelchair, he came up with a new kind of crutch, using shock absorbers at the base to lessen the impact on his shoulders and arms. Realizing that he had coincidentally discovered a promising market, Horton decided to start a company that could help others become safe, comfortable and mobile.
Horton launched Keen Mobility in 2002, naming it for the grandfather who encouraged him at every turn, and giving it a lofty goal: to provide highly innovative products for the lowest possible price, along with great education and customer service. Today Keen designs and manufactures over 40 innovative durable medical equipment (DME) products, from wheelchairs and pressure re-distribution cushions and mattresses to adjustable walkers that open wide to help stabilize patients as they try to rise from a bed or a chair.
Keen prides itself on functional product design. Keen’s Tru Relief and Sanosphere represent cutting-edge technologies that assist in the prevention of pressure ulcers, the debilitating sores that can afflict patients who are confined to beds or wheelchairs. After tests by an independent lab backed up Keen’s performance claims, Horton spun the product off into a full line of pressure relieving cushions and mattresses that have become the company’s bestsellers.
Supported by a staff of dedicated professionals, Horton stresses that Keen is an exciting, innovative place to work. He targets job candidates who care about helping the industry succeed and revolutionizing durable medical equipment. He stresses that by selling Keen’s cutting-edge products they will be making a difference. “I hire those,” he says, “who have enough passion to sustain them through a job that’s extremely difficult.” Horton recently decided to expand his team around the country. Instead of looking for sales professionals, he sought nurses, therapists, and other medical workers who had used Keen’s products and could appreciate their value. Because these new sales reps were experienced in the health care environment and wise to the intricacies of reimbursement and regulations, they’ve proven far more helpful to Keen’s customers. Keen layers its highest performing products at lowest possible prices with education and customer service.
Today Keen is comprised of two divisions...Keen Home Medical and Keen Mobility. Keen Home Medical is the retail HME/DME division of Keen Healthcare. Keen Mobility handles the manufacturing and wholesale sales side of the company.