#IAmGalen: Rick Tillar, Executive Director

#IAmGalen: Rick Tillar, Executive Director


RickTillarWhat was your background prior to joining Galen? 

Although I don’t use it on a daily basis (per se), my background is actually pretty deep in the sciences. I was a Biology major in undergrad and my Masters is in neuroscience, pharmacology, and toxicology.  But don’t ask me to describe the acute effect of toluene on voltage-sensitive calcium channels—it’s been a while!  Seriously, every time I help my 9th grader with her Biology homework, I’m reminded of how if you don’t use it, you lose it! At any rate, when I was in grad school, I worked weekends at a 5 diamond hotel as a bellman.  It was a humbling job, but I met a ton of influential people in sports, entertainment, and business.  One afternoon on an elevator, I was carrying the bags of several pharmaceutical company executives and noticed several drugs names on the sides of their bags.  I had taken a test that morning on that particular drug class and shared with them the mechanism of action of their product.  They were stunned to say the least.  Thus, my networking had begun, and I joined Pfizer Inc., a large pharmaceutical company, shortly after my research was published and finished my masters.

From there I continued in marketing and business development with the Advisory Board Company.  This was the around the time of ICD-10 implementation deadline, not a crazy time at all in healthcare!  My career has been an interesting evolution across three intrinsically linked (and complex) sectors of the healthcare space: the sciences, medicine, and healthcare IT and operations.

 What originally drew you to Galen/what was your first impression? 

Family—in both the literal and figurative sense.  Taylor Mawyer (my brother-in-law) planted the seed in my head, and after meeting Cary, Matt, and Brewer I knew this was the right fit.

I’ve had conversations with healthcare executives all over the country. Whether the issue was physician documentation, ICD-10 readiness, pop health initiatives, or more broadly value based care, all conversations would eventually lead back to system issues pertaining to the EHR, optimization, staff augmentation, data archival, or complex IT hurdles.  Galen owns this terrain, so it’s nice to be able to sit down with these leaders as a true solutions partner now.

Lastly, bigger is not always better.  Having worked for two large companies, joining Galen has given me an opportunity to witness firsthand rapid decision making, agility, and adaptivity which gives us a huge advantage in the marketplace.

What does your job entail, and what is the one thing you hope to do in it this role?

At Galen, we have a tremendous bank of talent and solutions that our new and existing clients greatly need.  I sit at the intersection of our professional, technical, and products teams and get to play matchmaker.

For new and existing clients, I try to do a lot of listening.  This is not only how new relationships are forged and existing relationships are deepened, but how to remain solutions oriented for our clients.  As the healthcare industry evolves and new challenges emerge, my hope is to continue to find ways for our All-star team and solutions to get in front of these clients so we can keep delivering surplus value.

What has been most unexpected about working here?

Overall client satisfaction.  The collaborative culture and focus on teamwork at Galen has a lot to do with that and are a big reason why we were ranked #1 in KLAS.  Many of my clients will request work for additional opportunities based on their experiences with the Galen team.  From a relationship management standpoint, it makes my job a lot easier when our clients understand that we share a common goal of being solutions oriented and a willingness to innovate within the given framework.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

As healthcare organizations deal with technical deficits, there’s a tremendous opportunity for Galen to continue to have a positive impact.  Whether switching EHRs or staying the course, Galen can play a role in data migration and retiring the old system via archival; or optimization and supporting teams with staff augmentation.

It’s a fascinating time to be in healthcare right now; and particularly, with a company that is at the tip of the spear, helping health systems overcome technical deficits so that they can focus on what’s most important—caring for patients.

Caught the Galen culture bug? Meet some other awesome Galeneers here.

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