This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vaccine Ambassador Board Member, Rob Crowe, who also serves as Vice President of Client Services at Supplemental Health Care. Here’s what he had to share!
Hi, Rob. Let’s start with your role on the Board of Directors for Vaccine Ambassadors. How long have you been on the board?
Well, I guess since the beginning! We formalized a fantastic board of individuals in 2015 from people who have mostly been supporting Vaccine Ambassadors in some capacity over the years.
What got you involved with the organization?
I was initially introduced to Vaccine Ambassadors through the Bull City Forward Fellowship, which Jackie [Kaufman] had participated in back in 2014. I had been supporting Bull City Forward in a variety of ways in partnership with their then Executive Director, Keeva Kase, and had mentioned interest in possibly sponsoring a fellowship. We had actually identified a possible organization when Keeva called me excitedly about a new submission – it turned out to be Vaccine Ambassadors and I knew instantly that this was the organization I wanted to partner with. Their story hit on so many levels and the potential to positively impact the lives of so many through a simple, effective, and transparent model was inescapable. When I took the Vaccine Ambassadors story back to my team at Supplemental Health Care, it was unanimous that we would sponsor the fellowship.
Can you outline your position at Supplemental Health Care and any other background you’d like to share?
You bet. As the Vice President of Client Services, I have the privilege of working with our entire organization when partnering with healthcare organizations of all types across the US (think Acute hospital systems, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Home Health, Schools, Corrections, Long term Acute, and pretty much anywhere that utilizes health care professionals) to customize solutions surrounding their workforce. One of the top challenges in health care today are organizations not having access to enough healthcare clinicians – on a national basis, we’re talking about a quarter of all clinical positions on any given day are vacant or in transition– we get to help close this gap by implementing internal recruiting solutions or building management programs that manage agency, per diem pools, independent contractors, and so on. Ultimately our goal is simply helping find and retain the staff to ensure patients get both the quantity as well as the quality of care they deserve.
How is that for a sales pitch? Personally, I’ve been in the workforce solution business for about 18 years with the last 8 at Supplemental Health Care. It is what all liberal arts majors in Political Science and Philosophy do, right?!
Nice to see the liberal arts tradition of unconventional career paths is alive and well! How do all of these experiences relate to your position at Vaccine Ambassadors?
Professionally spending every day focused on how to overcome obstacles hindering patient care, the alignment of overcoming gaps in providing all individuals with access to potentially lifesaving vaccines just seems a natural. The individual day-to-day solutions may be different but the concept pretty much the same. My hope is that the experience and best practices brought to the table by Supplemental Health Care and our network of healthcare organizations and clinicians alike can help provide support to this great cause. On a personal level and as the father of a 1.5 year old, I just cannot bear the thought of any parent losing a child to a preventable disease. Everyone is someone’s child.
What are some of your hopes for Vaccine Ambassadors over the next few years?
I think Jackie has built a truly amazing foundation and the infrastructure of the organization is aligned for truly unlimited potential. I don’t think it is overly ambitious for Vaccine Ambassadors to provide life changing vaccines to over 1 Million people in the next few years. More importantly, I’m confident that this is just the beginning.
There are so many myths and misinformation about vaccines. To maybe dispel some of that panic, can you share something interesting you’ve learned about vaccines or an exciting new development you’ve read lately in the news?
Oh man, I’ll be careful not to jump on a soapbox here… I’m a data guy so for me personally, the panic and misinformation unsupported by data is incredibly unfortunate and dangerous. That being said, the past few years has helped me become more educated on how vaccines actually work specifically within the ‘herd’ and how by vaccinating my own child, I’m not only helping to protect him but rather I’m also helping insulate a bubble of protection alongside other vaccinated children for those children who cannot, for whatever reason, get vaccinated themselves. To expand my vision of vaccines beyond just my own family and to realize that I may too be helping to save the life of a neighbor was eye opening for me. I now am diligent about getting my own personal flu shot each year for this same reason! To also learn how cheap it is to provide lifesaving vaccines and to see some of the exciting new delivery models out there gives me hope that this is a global challenge that can be solved.
Finally, fun fact! Tell us something about yourself that might seem surprising!
I’ve got nothing. Seriously, I’m not sure I even like fun. Maybe that in itself will surprise people – it’s all a show folks, I’m really very boring once you get to know me.