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Over the course of his 30 years in the healthcare industry, Pat Songer has learned the value of strong professional relationships. They’re the core of his work as Executive Director of the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA), which brings together EMS leadership to create pathways to success, and to his role as Chief Operations Officer of Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth, Washington.

“To me, especially in an Executive Director role, relationships are everything,” Songer said. “Our members can lean upon each other at any time, to get one another through the day-to-day operations as well as any challenges that arise.” 

The “relationship piece,” as Songer calls it, is also what he values most about NEMSMA’s Savvik membership, which he describes as “foundational” to the association. 

“Our relationship with Mick (Mickey Schulte, Savvik CEO) has been amazing, especially during this pandemic,” Songer said. “He’s extremely responsive. At Cascade, we’ve purchased through Savvik not just because of our membership through NEMSMA, but because Mick has been able to find the PPE and medical items we need despite supply chain issues.” 

Songer cited one instance where his relationship with Savvik had a positive impact not only on the medical center’s PPE supply, but on the mental health and well-being of the hardworking healthcare professionals in need of those supplies.

“We were in dire need of gowns,” Songer said. “I reached out [to Savvik] and within minutes, Mick had found gowns. We placed an order within the hour, and it was delivered within a few days. That might seem trivial, but in a pandemic, we’re also caring for our staff and trying to keep them protected. That’s a big thing.” 

“Not only does our ability to provide proper PPE affect [our staff’s] physical health, it also affects their mental health—they know we’re trying to keep them safe. Mick, and Savvik, are a part of that, of addressing those mental health concerns,” Songer continued. “I don’t know if Mick knows how impactful that is when it comes to caring for your staff.” 

Ultimately, Songer said the benefits of a Savvik membership shine through in the way Savvik conducts business, treating every member with respect, urgency and transparency. 

“That’s the most valuable thing: The relationships we’ve made with Savvik,” he said. “It’s clear that to Savvik, the relationship is more important than the sales piece. The sales will come; relationships are forever.”

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