By Lisa MacBain, Senior Director Operations and Senior Consultant

This month we pause to remember Visante’s founder and former CEO of Visante Inc. and original Board Chair of Visante Limited, Michael S. Flagstad. It has been one short year since he left us.

During that first month of remembrance and mourning, we often recalled Mike’s philosophy of giving clients all that they requested and more to help them build their businesses. He built his business by maintaining solid and caring relationships with everyone. He was also dedicated to the notion of giving back in service and financial support. To honour those values, Visante consultants set up and contributed to the Michael S. Flagstad Memorial Scholarship Fund at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin.

With great foresight, a plan of succession was established long before Mike’s untimely departure. James Jorgenson was picked by Mike to be his successor. When the time came, Jim assumed the mantle of Mike’s roles and responsibilities. Jim has insisted we always remember Mike’s emphasis on building Visante’s reputation through honesty, caring relationships, and excellence in work and deportment at all times.

This past year Jim brought in another friend and colleague of Mike’s to lead Visante’s Hospital & Health Systems Services practise. Under the leadership of James Stevenson, new energy has infused this team and they boosted their project work by 40% in 2014 and are on a trajectory to more than double that number in 2015. Together, the two Jims have also increased our international presense with projects and presentations in several new countries.

The Managed Care practise was always dear to Mike’s heart. Over the years, he was known to helicopter Part D experts into various US health plans in need. They would work 15 plus hour days to prepare for an audit or, afterwards, to improve systems with new processes, policies and procedures in order to respond in a timely fashion to an audit’s findings. Led by Wendy Weingart, Lisa Howard and Maureen Miller, this practise area has formed new alliances with other compliance consultancies which has broadened their work into other areas of managed care. In addition, they have added new PBM specialists to their team and are now offering audit assistance and compliance services in this market sector.

In similar fashion, Visante’s senior vice president for business development, Paul Foley, has been instrumental in expanding our business-to-business outreach to include services to pharma organisations. Because we are well grounded in the hospital world, we have been able to help these companies as they strategize how to introduce their products and services so that they speak to specific needs in hospitals and health systems.

As we review this important year and look forward, it is now a pleasure to remember where we came from and the solid leadership that began with Michael Flagstad and continues to grow and expand into new areas of service to our clients and our consultant teams.

And so dear friend, we pause to remember and to thank you, Michael Flagstad, for all that you gave to us. We will go forward to grow Visante according to your legacy.