Southeastern Home Oxygen Service was founded in Columbus, Georgia, in 1974 as an off-shoot from an industrial supply gas company run by Vernon Prater. There was a need in the area for home medical oxygen, so Vernon and his wife, Jean, began to grow that side of the business as well as the industrial side. Because of the high standard of service Vernon offered, the business obviously began to grow. Shortly, it outgrew the time Vernon had to dedicate to it due to other business ventures, so he turned it over to his wife, Jean. A small building was rented on 14th Street in Columbus and Jean sought out reliable people to form a team to service the area. The business grew rapidly and moved into a larger facility on 15th Street where it remains today.
The business continued to grow as did services such as living aids and sleep therapy equipment. The company incorporated in 1982. In 1992, we received Joint Commission Accreditation (TJC) and were the first home medical equipment company in the area to accomplish this. We have successfully maintained TJC accreditation since. In the mid to late 1990's we saw a need for pediatric home medical equipment such as apnea monitors, phototherapy, and low flow oxygen.
Our story is truly a story of a family-owned business that has thrived and grown on the philosophy that the customer comes first. The company is now owned by Vernon and Jean's two daughters, Janet Prater and Cindy Mohney, who have active roles in the operation.
As Janet Prater states, "We are local and committed to taking care of the needs of our neighbors right here in Columbus and the surrounding area. We react quickly to assure the fastest, most experienced, and caring service."
We currently employ 21 highly trained professionals including two respiratory therapists and a registered nurse to meet the needs of the community. Our service delivery area now includes eleven Georgia and four Alabama counties.
Our mission has remained the same since 1974: serving the area with reliable, trustworthy, and prompt service and exceeding the homecare needs of the community, particularly patients in their own homes.