Over the years Visante became a well respected name among clients of the Hospital and Health Systems, Health Plans, and Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) practices. Once he had established Visante’s reputation in the US, Michael looked for ways to take this elevated level of consultansy to other countries. After spending several years learning about the British health system and building an international network of colleagues and professional associations, he established Visante UK, Limited and offered our services to NHS hospitals as well as private facilities.
Recognising that there would be other work in additional countries, he established an international parent company – Visante, Limited — which would oversee the United Kingdom projects as well as work coming through a newer entity: Visante Canada, Ltd.
Michael Flagstad began his career as a pharmacist, graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy and a master of science degree in hospital pharmacy. He completed a two-year post-graduate pharmacy residency at the university of Wisconsin hospital and clinics in Madison, Wisconsin and maintained licensure by examination in Wisconsin and Florida and by reciprocity in Minnesota. He had over 15 years’ experience in hospitals and academic medical centres in administrative, faculty, and clinical practice roles. He served as associate director of pharmacy at Shands hospital, university of Florida. He was also clinical coordinator at Ingalls memorial hospital in Harvey, Illinois, and clinical pharmacist at Mercy hospital medical centre in Des Moines, Iowa. In addition, he held pharmacy faculty appointments at the university of Florida, Purdue university, and Drake university.
Prior to founding Visante, Inc, Michael served as senior vice president and chief clinical officer for Express Scripts and ValueRx, prescription benefit and medicines management companies. In this position he was responsible for the development and implementation of products and services addressing disease prevention and management, pharmacotherapy optimisation, formulary management, patient safety, support and outcomes, and provider education. Previous to this, he was chief operating officer, Diversified Pharmaceutical Services (DPS) – Canada, in Toronto and senior director, business development for DPS in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 1999 he was named an honourary fellow at the centre for health system research and analysis at the university of Wisconsin-Madison. His areas of focus included behavioural aspects of medicine adherence and the assessment of models for dissemination of CHESS (comprehensive health enhancement support system) technology. In 2000 he received the esteemed Winston J. Durant lectureship award from the university of Wisconsin hospitals and clinics.
From 2005 through 2007, Michael was director of pharmacy benefits for Gorman health group. Visante’s pharmacy specialists served as the pharmacy benefit group for that firm during this time.
Throughout his career, Michael authored or co-authored numerous publications and presented at more than 200 invited professional conferences and seminars. He chaired the board of visitors, university of Wisconsin – school of pharmacy and completed three terms on the board of directors of the American society of health-system pharmacists (ASHP) foundation.
Those who knew him best recognised that his work and constant travels were of secondary importance to his love for family. He once said that when traveling, his favorite moments were in a café sipping iced chai and enjoying a new book. When at home, his greatest delight was to surround himself with family, especially when watching his three young granddaughters and grandson explore their world.
Mike taught us the importance of focusing on the present moment and to enjoy all that it has to offer. He left us unexpectedly, but we in the Visante family will remember his life and continue to model his integrity, commitment, and vision (as well as his love for pranks and humor) to guide us as we go forward.
To contribute to The Michael Flagstad scholarship fund:
Adam J. Kindschy, Director of Development
UW-Madison School of Pharmacy,
University of Wisconsin Foundation
1848 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53726