Humble, Hungry and Smart: Q&A with Vital Care CEO

Getting to know Vital Care and its culture starts at the top. So, we asked Vital Care CEO, Ed Eiland, to answer a few questions for the Vital Starts blog. Keep reading to learn why he’s passionate about infusion pharmacy, Vital Care’s goals and what podcasts he’s listening to these days.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Ed Eiland, and I have had the pleasure to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Vital Care, Inc. since 2014.  I have been a licensed pharmacist for over 20 years, and currently, I hold licenses in 10 different states. I received my Doctorate of Pharmacy, or PharmD, from the University of Texas, and I completed a PGY-2 residency at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital in San Antonio, TX. 

I am a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, Certified Specialty Pharmacist, and a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). I also earned an MBA with a healthcare focus from Auburn University.

Ed and Lea Eiland

My wife, Lea, also is a PharmD, so we get to talk about the pharmacy business all the time!  She and I met in pharmacy school, got married, and moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where we started our careers.

We have lived in Meridian, Mississippi ever since I joined the Vital Care family. When we are not working or discussing work, we enjoy boating, traveling, the outdoors, and visiting with friends and family.

Why are you passionate about what we do at Vital Care?

I have the privilege to lead the company with the vision of caring about every patient with an understanding that what we do is truly vital. I manage with the mission for Vital Care to partner with pharmacy owners across America to provide patients with professional, compassionate, safe, and cost-effective infusion services. 

I am passionate about Vital Care’s comprehensive business solutions, clinical tools, revenue cycle management, franchisee support, and total resource access because this holistic approach results in happy franchise owners and healthy patients across our network of over 60 locations in nearly two dozen states.

We do what we do because it is good for the patient, good for the pharmacist, good for the physicians and nurses, and good for the insurance providers.  We save everyone time and money while producing excellent outcomes. We are excited to keep growing our network to provide home infusion access to more patients across the United States.

It sounds like a cliché, but it truly is a win-win for everyone involved!  

What are we doing well, and where is there opportunity to grow?

The Vital Care network is healthier than ever, and we are growing rapidly each year. We have the best franchise owners and operators, the best employees, and the best support network in the business.  I am so proud of everyone involved.

We have increased revenues across the platform by over 400% since 2014. In most businesses, if you can grow at 15% to 20% per year, then you are doing very well. So we have been so blessed to grow so much over the last six years.

As a network, we must continue to look to the future, adding staff and infrastructure ahead of our continued growth. Implementing our new pharmacy operations software, Vital Systems, powered by CareTend, is a key component of reaching our stretch goals.  And so is continuing to support our existing network, while “filling in the map” with new franchises in strategic locations across the country. 

We have such a great story, and such great results, so we want more people to know about us and to join our growing family.

What’s your biggest goal for Vital Care?

Our staff and our franchise owners have bought into our strategic plan to grow Vital Care’s revenue to $500M by January 1, 2025.  We will finish 2019 at around $185M, so our “Vital 500” plan sets an ambitious goal. A critical part of the goal is to achieve it while remaining humble, hungry, and smart.

How have you shaped the culture of Vital Care?

Our whole team has shaped and maintained our wonderful corporate culture by remaining humble, hungry, and smart.  These three core values, taught in Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Ideal Team Player, are critical to the future of our organization. 

We hold each other accountable across the company, for example, by sometimes asking a colleague, with a smile on our face, “So, how’s your humble meter today?!”  Or we may say something like, “You seem a little worn down this morning. Does your hungry tank need a fill-up?!”

Humble, hungry or smart? Which one would you pick if you could only have one?

Humility; Without humility, I don’t know that you can truly be the appropriate type of hungry and smart. 

What’s the last book you read? 

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. We had a group of Vital Care folks and went through each law on a conference call. I learned quite a bit; it was a great experience.

These days part of my continual learning process goes beyond reading books though.  I enjoy listening to podcasts such as “The John Maxwell Co. Corporate Leadership Solutions Podcast,” “Craig Groeschel’s Leadership Podcast,” and “The Manager Tools Podcast.”

Why is the Vital Starts workshop a must-attend event? 

We put down everything else we are doing, and we make ourselves completely vulnerable. What do you wanna know? Fire your shots. Let us know what you need to know. That process has been invaluable. 

At the Vital Starts Workshop, testimonials from current franchisees are brutally honest about the experience of partnering with Vital Care. Until you get to the Vital Starts workshop, you may not realize how much support the corporate office of Vital Care really provides to our franchise partners.

What’s your best advice for someone interested in opening a home infusion business?

To anyone interested in opening an infusion pharmacy, I say, “Just do it.”  There is tremendous satisfaction with taking care of patients, and we have a lot of fun helping people and their families receive their care in the most cost-effective, comfortable, and convenient setting – their home. They can sleep in their own bed, eat their own food, and be on their own schedule.

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