Birth of a Vision
It all started with our corporate parent MHG, a maritime insurance pioneer whose commitment to meeting needs in the maritime industry lead them to answer a call. The call was for help in finding a medical director and oversight of the medical services for one of their existing clients. Peter Hult, then VP of MHG, began the process. A vision was born of providing medical supervision through a consulting service handled by maritime medical professionals. Thus the story started as Peter Hult met with Dr. Bill Heymann and soon MHG Medical Consulting was a reality. From the beginning, the desire was to see problems as opportunities and create solutions that serve the maritime industry.
MHG Medical Consulting began providing medical consulting services to luxury and expedition lines without their own in-house medical departments. MHG Medical Consulting would help with onboard medical centers, equipment, medications, and services in compliance with industry-accepted guidelines and standards. They grew to oversee everything from a ship’s medical supplies to policies and procedures to minimize the risk of outbreak or exposure to diseases in scheduled ports of call. MHG could also recruit accredited medical providers and review pre-employment medical examinations for the crew as well as health histories of passengers on longer voyages.
By 2012, clients included Orion Expedition Cruises, V.Ships, Institute for Shipboard Education and in July of 2012, the MHG Medical Consulting team added SeaDream Yacht Club as well.
As new clients started to engage with us in creating new solutions, the company name was changed to MHG Medical Management Services to reflect the company’s capabilities and breadth of services. One such service was a Medical Operations Audit of the onboard medical facilities. In 2013, they conducted a medical operations audit of the Paul Gaugin Cruises fleet which resulted in the development of a new set of medical policies and procedures for their ships. A review performed of the formulary was used to ensure proper stocking of a customized list of prescription drugs to meet the needs of the onboard staff, guests and crew in addition to the itinerary pattern of each vessel.
In 2014, after a long history with Silversea Cruises, MHG Medical Management Services were appointed by Fleetpro to provide services for their MV Silver Discoverer. Later that same year, with Dr. Bill Heymann, co-founder of the Cruise Ship and Maritime Medicine Section of the American College of Emergency Physicians, they began performing annual audits of the Star Clippers vessels’ medical facilities, formulary management and guidance for revision of Medical Policies and Standard Operating Procedures. Dr. Heymann, having participated with the CLIA Medical Facilities Working Group in development of Health Care Guidelines for Cruise Ship Medical Facilities, was uniquely qualified to bring this standard into the servicing of all of MHG Medical Management Services clients. Other new clients included Energia Odyssey Platform and Sea Launch Commander, as well as Pearl Seas Cruises and Pearl Mist.
In July of 2014, the Medical Equipment and X-ray Annual Inspection & Calibration Services Program launched to meet the cruise industry’s unique requirements. MHG Medical’s reputation for excellent standards prompted industry operators to propose they develop a new program to create standardized processes and raise standards, using U.S. regulations as a benchmark. The range of services included status reporting, life-cycle management, asset tracking, strategic planning and expert guidance regarding inventory maintenance or replacement acquisition.
As MHG Medical Management Services continued its growth, it became apparent that having a different name would ensure a separation of the two brands. As MHG Medical started out with a strong Scandinavian and Northern European influence; the company wanted to incorporate that into their new identity, along with a “We Can” philosophy. VIKAND (Vee Kaand) is a play on the Swedish phrase “Vi Kan,” meaning “We Can.” To make the name unique, the letter “d” was added to emphasize the new logo tagline “Expert Medical Advice on Demand.”
The Nordic theme continued as the logo reflected a lady speaking words of wisdom inspired by the Norse mythological Goddess Vör. Vör, (an Old Norse word, possibly meaning “aware”), a protective Goddess associated with wisdom.
MHG Medical Management Services was a dedicated marine, medical services provider and moving forward VIKAND would take that foundation and with continued expansion and evolution lead the company in a different direction, creating a new identity. VIKAND’s services included full third-party management of shipboard medical facilities, medical consulting, auditing and regulatory compliance, telemedicine and remote medical advice and support, biomedical and X-ray equipment inspection and calibration, formulary management, medical center design and review, Pre-Employment Medical Examination support, as well as Crew Wellness. Windstar Cruises and FleetPro were the next two clients to come aboard with VIKAND.
After having fostered a safe place in which MHG Medical Management Services could grow into its own, in 2015, MHG, along with VIKAND saw the opportunity for an independent company with a unique and unmatched service offering for the maritime culture. VIKAND, LLC was established as a new ownership structure to ensure the high-quality team working at VIKAND be better able to service their expanding customer base and new demands for the Cruise Lines and the Maritime industry. MHG Services, Inc. relinquished its ownership position with majority owners Peter Hult and Dr. Bill Heymann taking ownership of VIKAND, LLC.
Since that time, VIKAND Solutions has added Saga Ocean Cruises, Peace Boat, G-Aventures, Cruise Management International, and Scenic to their list of clients. VIKAND Solutions carries that same vision forward today as its team brings their expertise and experience to bear with every client, taking on a problem and innovating for a solution. VIKAND Solutions empowers each client with the answers they need to maximize productivity and profitability.
VIKAND Solutions helps turn problems into opportunity as they drive innovation through discovery, research, networking, and knowledge. If there is a problem experienced by maritime vessels, we want to engage at any stage of the process, from consulting and ideation, through product choice and implementation.