For the Record with Ryan Vaske, CEO, Founding & Managing Partner, Embel Assist

June 24  

Ryan Vaske, CEO, Embel Assist

Ryan Vaske serves as the CEO, Founding & Managing Partner of Embel Assist, boasting over 25 years of expertise in deploying CRM and marketing technology solutions within the healthcare sector. Establishing Embel Assist in 2000, he has steered its evolution into a reputable consultancy and product development entity. Ryan remains deeply engaged in client initiatives, providing strategic oversight and ensuring top-notch client and account management. Preceding his venture with Embel Assist, Ryan has held consulting roles at Accenture and other various boutique consulting organizations.

What is Embel Assist?

Embel Assist was established in 2000 and is a privately-held professional services organization headquartered in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.  Since our inception, we have been deeply rooted within the healthcare industry working with care delivery organizations and health plans to define and implement personalized patient and member engagement strategies.  Our services model and approach is use case centric, our solution deployment methodology is value-driven, and our results are proven.  Our goal is to become a trusted advisor for our clients and lead them on a journey to deliver the next evolution of healthcare engagement and experience.

What was your professional journey that led you to Embel Assist?

I started my career with Andersen Consulting (before it became Accenture) and was placed in a relatively new focus area at the time called “CRM”.  It was this experience that created a path forward for me.  I learned how to be a consultant and realized I was pretty good at it.  However, the most important part, was the opportunity to integrate myself into the CRM discipline.  Within a few years, my ambition to create my own practice developed and in 2000 I set off to launch what has become Embel Assist.

Can you share some things your organization has done that you are most proud of?

I am proud of the maturation of Embel Assist over the years with steady growth early on to more aggressive growth in the last 5 years.  It has been a testament to our “Embel Way” approach and the team we have created to support our amazing talent in the field helping our healthcare clients be successful implementing and operationalize their  patient engagement solutions. 

What motivates you as a leader?

There are many things that motivate me as a leader, but if I was to simplify it down to one thing, I would say empowerment.  I love the saying that reads. “The most valuable player is the one who makes the most players valuable.”  Guiding, teaching, mentoring our consultants and resources to do things a certain way that makes us stand out and look different.  I get a charge out of that!

What advice would you give to aspiring healthcare leaders who are looking to make an impact in this industry?

Don’t let perfection impede progress. In my opinion, this saying cultivates value, innovation, learning, and ultimately, excellence in all aspects of what you are leading.  So, take a calculated risk, trust your intuition and learn even if there are couple hiccups in the road…and very important, own the failures along with the successes.

How do you see the healthcare industry changing in the next 5-10 years, and what is your organization doing to stay ahead of those changes?

I am most excited to see value-based medicine become the norm.  I believe this model will create a better healthcare experience for all that seek it.  When a payer and a provider are working together to help ensure health outcomes at the patient level, that becomes the holy grail in healthcare.  At Embel Assist, we are pushing the shift to value-based care and helping our clients implement the strategy, best practices, and technology infrastructure to support patient engagement. Without engagement, the value-based model doesn’t work.

How does your company prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in terms of your workforce and the services you offer?

At Embel Assist, our talented team is comprised of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.  This has been the case since our inception.  We believe in treating each and every one of resources, staff members, and clients with decency, respect, honesty and charity.  This is part of our “Embel Way” approach that gets communicated regularly in our town halls.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity and challenge facing the healthcare industry?

I see the biggest opportunity being the ability to create a healthcare environment that allows payers and providers to work more collaboratively for the patient.  Currently, the relationship can be complicated and more heavily focused on the financial aspects of the treatment plan.  Changing the current paradigm will not be easy, but I believe it starts with the value-based care model becoming more widely adopted.

What are your hobbies or things you enjoy doing when not at work?

With my two daughters graduating from high school in the last two years, my wife and I need to re-invent ourselves a bit!  It is a good thing we have 3 big dogs to keep us company. But there has certainly been more golf, boating, bowling and more vacations in the last few years.

What is your favorite thing about the Medical Alley community?

We have only been members of Medical Alley for 2 months now, but I do foresee the wonderful opportunity to network with the healthcare community in MSP. 

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