Brian Walker may be perfectly suited to his role. As Staff Care’s Director of Government Staffing Services, his own extensive military background gives him a unique perspective in helping government and VA centers utilize strategic locums staffing. His passion for helping active military personnel and veterans drives him in a unique way.
A proud grandfather and family man, Brian brings not just the experience and know-how of a military-focused family to his role with Staff Care, but also the versatility of a true professional: In addition to his military and locums background, Brian has worked in a diverse variety of other industries, including financial planning, investment banking, and industrial services.
Having worked with Staff Care for almost two decades, Brian’s background within the world of locums staffing is also diverse. “From a Staff Care perspective, I’ve worked with all specialties,” he told us. “I’ve been in a TSC (Territory Sales Consultant) role, an account representative, and have worked as a recruiter as well.”
Brian recently spoke to The Staff Care Insider about his passion for helping those transitioning into post-military roles, and how the perception of locum tenens staffing within government staffing services has evolved during his time with Staff Care.
Adapting Direct Military Experience to Government Staffing Expertise
“I was in the United States Army,” Brian told us. “I actually left for basic training two weeks after I graduated high school at 17, and went through basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. I spent a total of 10 years active and reserve. I was an infantry officer, leaving the military with the rank of Captain in ’92.”
Military service is very much a tradition in Brian’s family. “I have two brothers, and we all ended up in the military,” he said. “My older brother’s still in; he’s a colonel in the air force. My sister-in-law’s a retired colonel, my father-in-law is a retired colonel, and my brother’s a retired E-7 from the army.
“My father’s actually retired navy,” he added. “But he didn’t place a huge emphasis on what branch of the military we were in. He was supportive of our decision to join and never tried to push us in any one direction.”
This rich military background — encompassing both his personal experience, and that of his family’s — gives Brian a unique perspective on the workings of the military. And that’s a great asset to the strategy Staff Care is able to pursue on the business side of government staffing services.
For instance, Brian explained how Staff Care has adapted to working as the “go-between” between VA centers and the small businesses to whom the VA “almost exclusively” offers contracts.
“We work with the military,” he said. “We have companies that we work with that are classified as service-disabled, veteran-owned companies, which are preferred in working with the government over large companies and other small businesses.
“We work a lot with our small business partners,” Brian said. “We’ve seen over the last few years that VAs are now almost exclusively putting contracts out for small business. So, we’ve shifted our model on how we’re doing business with the government. We are now a subcontractor, to these small businesses. We are essentially there recruiting department and SME for the government locum contracts.
An Industry That’s ‘More Savvy about Locum Tenens’
Brian also reflected on the many changes he’s observed during his time with Staff Care — particularly about locum tenens and its perceived benefits.
“People are more savvy about locum tenens” than they were when Brian first started working with Staff Care almost 20 years ago. At that point, “I think locums was still new to a lot of people,” he told us.
And, while admitting that some people still don’t fully realize its potential in a successful, well-rounded staffing strategy, Brian does note that he’s seen a shift to a more strategic use of locum tenens, even in government staffing.
“If you go back and look at the Staff Care surveys, the confidence people now have in locums versus what used to be — and not just by their peers, but the administration as well.
Brian also explained how privileging has evolved in recent decades as more hospitals and organizations sought Joint Commission accreditation. He has also seen an increase in certain specialties such has hospitalist usage.
“As we baby boomers get older and people retire, demand will continue to increase for physician and advance practitioners,” he said. “Surgeons and family practitioners are just two specialties we will continue to see challenges when seeking an appointment.”
Fulfilling a ‘Higher Purpose’ via Government Staffing Services
“The project right now that I’m really passionate about is a company that essentially gives disability exams for people leaving the military, or people who have already left the military,” Brian told us.
“It’s a really important part of the process to get them benefits,” he added. “The VA is behind in getting the backlog of those veterans who need the exams completed, and obviously, new claims get added each day — from somebody having an issue with their elbow, to traumatic brain injuries and other medical and mental health issues.
“We are currently partnering with them and provide physicians to complete the exams. This is going to allow the veterans who, if they haven’t been able to collect benefits, to start collecting them, and those who are collecting to be able to be re-certified to continue to collect.”
This drive to improve the quality of life for veterans is emblematic of Brian’s passion for helping those in (and retired from) the military.
“You’re always looking for a higher purpose in everything you do,” he said, “and I think what we do as a company definitely offers that, whether it’s looking at government assignments or just looking at how there’s a higher purpose. You have to have something to drive you.
“I enjoy — not to sound like a broken record — but I enjoy what I do. I feel like it’s a way of serving people. There’s a lot of frustration and stress that goes along with this profession, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to have something to latch onto, that keeps you here, and Staff Care does that for me.”
If you represent a military or VA center that could benefit from locum tenens staffing, we urge you to put Brian’s expertise to use! Contact Staff Care today to discover our how the strategic use of locums staffing can help you improve efficiency and quality of care. You can also submit a staffing request here.
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