Over 60 Years of Service
In 1957 Frank Rittenberg opened a neighborhood pharmacy on Miami Beach called Surf Drugs. As a retail store, his focus was to offer the highest in customer service combined with the highest quality products and expert advice.
That service-minded legacy is still evident in everything SurfMed does today. Although the company’s offerings are very different now, the ethics remain the same. In the 1990s Frank’s children revamped the company, changed its name to SurfMed, and expanded into medical equipment, medical supplies, and home health. They formed the nation’s first Medicaid managed care program for DME, which was the precursor for Medicaid Managed Care nationwide. SurfMed became a leader in Medicare and helped form national Medicare DME policy. SurfMed helped craft the legislation creating Florida’s statewide Medicaid Managed Care program and has been the state’s leader in Medicaid equipment and supplies. Now, SurfMed has expanded across America, having been invited by MCOs to meet their members’ needs in state after state.
SurfMed still focuses on service, quality, and expertise, and combines it with inventive technology, risk sharing, utilization management, coordination of care, and much more. As a result, SurfMed has become a nationally recognized brand and a trusted partner to health care companies, their executives, and their patients.
Meet the Team
Jeff Rittenberg is recognized as a national expert in Durable Medical Equipment. His industry knowledge is unparalleled particularly in the Medicaid, Managed Care and Medicare lines of business. He is an advisor to national Managed Care Organizations, Regulators and to the largest DME industry software company. To further DME through advocacy, Jeff has served as a founding board member of The Accredited Medical Equipment Providers of America (AMEPA) and a founder of The Florida Alliance for Health Care Services (FAHCS), the Florida DME association, and serves on several committees for the Industry’s national association AA Homecare. Jeff’s commitment to health care goes beyond work, he serves Chairman of Board of a major Nursing Home, Assisted Living Facility and health care system in South Florida. He has also been a long time member and leader of the Entrepreneur Organization of South Florida.
For 28 years, Jay Rittenberg ran retail operations for SurfMed’s Pharmacy division. His knowledge and expertise in retail has helped SurfMed’s managed care division’s growth nationally by his focus on operations, customer service and technology. Jay is was a leader of advocacy for Independent Pharmacies in Florida and currently the voice of Home Health Care providers regarding implementation of the federal Electronic Visit Verification guidelines. Jay has always given back to his community. Jay serves on the Board of Directors of Florida PACE Centers, one of the largest PACE system in the nation, has worked tirelessly to increase awareness and fundraise in the battle against Kidney Cancer in support of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer
Sean Schwinghammer is the face of SurfMed and to many he is face of the DME industry, as his duties include engagement with Managed Care Organizations, advocacy with all regulators and interacting with all elected officials on state and federal issues. Sean began work in health care assisting a friend whose DME business was being negatively impacted by Medicare’s competitive bidding program. That effort turned into founding the nation’s largest DME organization by membership and several state advocacy associations. He believes that raising the industry as a whole achieves the greatest results, a strategy that has proven essential in Medicaid. Sean’s foresight and insight have helped SurfMed to grow into a national presence in Health Care. Sean is a proud graduate of the University of Florida and is a consummate civic activist, having been elected to office and having served on many City, County and State boards. He is also very active with the Boy Scouts of America and in the fight against colo-rectal cancer.
Senior Vice President of Operations
Alexis Watine oversees nearly every aspect of SurfMed ops, from analytics to Customer Service, Accreditation and Compliance to systems and new technology, logistics to revenue cycle. Alexis’ ascension to this positon is a result of dedication and hard work. After starting in Customer Service, she decided to invest herself in to learning about technology and workflow systems and brought her lesson to SurfMed. Under her advisement SurfMed quickly become one of the most technologically advanced DME companies in America. Alexis is recognized as brilliant by her peers as her capacity of learn, interpret and apply information and skills sets is astounding. She has brought these tools to advise Health Plans as to their weaknesses while offering viable solutions, securing her reputation as a trusted advisor to Health care executives.
General Operations Manager
Agustin Ortiz oversees all aspects of SurfMed’s largest department, including training, technology and interaction with health plan Utilization Management departments. He has a long history in logistics and technology which he has used to update SurfMed’s operations. His personable nature and his expertise in troubleshooting, combined with his knowledge of equipment and supplies has helped advance SurfMed role with manage care plans. He leads with his philosophy “Treat members like family”. Mr. Ortiz holds a degree from Florida National University and a MBA from Florida International University.
Logistics and Facility Manager
Dariel Miranda has a long history in distribution and has held nearly every job that is logistics and warehouse related. In his position he oversees all of SurfMed’s distribution centers and distribution personnel statewide. He is tasked with purchasing and maintaining warehouse inventory levels, equipment recovery, and cleaning and repair. Dariel also oversees SurfMed’s extensive Respiratory department. Most importantly he is active in the technology side with fleet management, dispatch, and delivery software. Dariel is certified in Oxygen repair and facility safety.
Revenue Cycle Manager
For over two decades, Georgeanne Calleiro has held leadership positions at SurfMed. Georgeanne began in retail and has found that elements of quality customer service are essential to working with Managed Care Plans and various payer types in her work with billing, collections and operations. One of her key interests is identifying issues and solving them. This has served her well as she has had to resolve many claims and configuration issues for SurfMed’s Manage Care Partners. With her vast experience as a Claims Specialist she has become an advisor to Managed Care Plans that engage her for advice and counsel regarding their claims systems. Georgeanne has a degree in business with a specialty in the field of Health Management System and is a fitness junkie.
Claudia Tantte is responsible for all of SurfMed’s finance related processes and activities including oversight, financial planning and analysis, accounting, controllership, taxes and treasury. She began her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers before working in the consumer electronic retail industry. Prior to joining SurfMed, Claudia worked for 9 years with Medical companies and has deep insight into the uniqueness of medical equipment and supplies. She is an international CPA with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Garcilaso de la Vega University in Peru.
Customer Service Manager
Alexandra Castillo oversees the largest staff at SurfMed encompassing SurfMed’s various customer service teams, call center teams and SurfMed’s PACE programs while she manages all training. Her role requires her to interact with customers, caregivers, case manager and health plan executives. Ms. Castillo’s professional career has always been in health care, having ascended with SurfMed from a customer service representative to supervisor to assistant manager, etc. Prior to working with SurfMed she was the assistant administrator for a home health agency. All of her experiences have taught her customer services comes down to kindness and positivity. She teaches her staff “people can ‘see’ you smile over the phone” which open hearts. A strong advocate of the Team Leadership model, she leads by example. Ms. Castillo is finalizing her Bachelors in Heath Care Administration.
Director of National Business Development
Patricia “Patty” Packard has been a senior level Managed Care Organization operations executive for over 30 years with diverse experience in the start-up, re-engineering and management of health care organizations. Her particular strengths have been in creating and implementing plans to accomplish operational, production and financial goals with an emphasis on providing excellent customer service. She has extensive experience in Medicaid, specifically in Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) as a Vice President of Special Products for a major Health Plan. She is a strong team builder with a record of developing strong working relationships with both external and internal customers. Her role in SurfMed is to continue building relationships with a focus on obtaining national contracts for our MLTSS customers.
Human Resources Manager
Thais Diaz has over 12 years of diverse human resources experience, prior to joining SurfMed, Thais headed the Payroll and HR department for one of Florida’s largest private ambulance companies. Thais holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), holding a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) designation and also a Professional Human Resources (PHR) designation/certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI).