VIKANDER Profile: Meet Ana Rita Venancio, Who Leads VIKAND’s Relationship with Compagnie Française de Croisières (CFC)
In this month’s Partner Profile, we look closely at what a VIKAND partnership means when we establish best healthcare practices, logistics and facilities, and VIKAND’s ability to provide exacting solutions to specific partner requirements.
Meet Compagnie Française de Croisières (CFC), the French cruise operator dedicated to bringing back a decidedly French tradition of glamourous travel intended for the home market. In addition to providing guidance on the refurbishment of M/V Renaissance, including its medical facility, VIKAND is providing a its fullest medical service delivered by a team of experienced French speaking medical professionals both aboard and ashore.
VIKAND’s Ana Rita Venancio, Manager Shipboard Medical Operations and based in Portugal, tells the story.
VIKAND—When did you start preparing for M/V Renaissance’s launch?
Ana—As with most of our work aboard specific vessels, VIKAND begins the process long before the vessel’s launch. Beginning in September 2022, we visited M/V Renaissance and provided necessary medical operations audits. Starting in February 2023, we began streamlining processes to fully manage the Medical Centre beginning in April. At this point, we are 24/7.
VIKAND—What was your role in this launch?
Ana—The role of a Manager of Shipboard Medical Operations for VIKAND involves ensuring everything is in place as well as being the primary contact for the client and all VIKAND departments. I make sure that all teams have all the tools they need to set up the Medical Centre and to provide any necessary training. Team supervision and support is important in providing the systems and safeguards by which a VIKAND Medical Centre aboard can provide the best level of care to guests and crew.
VIKAND—Which VIKAND teams did you collaborate with to bring M/V Renaissance to service?
Ana—To provide our fullest medical service to ensure the highest level of care for passengers and crew, VIKAND’s approach to establishing, setting up and providing 24/7 healthcare solutions requires all hands on deck and the integration of every department. Here is an example of the departments who coordinated with each other, CFC, and M/V Renaissance.
- Client Engagement: working closely with CFC COO, Ralph De Klijn
- Medical Operations: expertise, guidance, and support throughout the medical commissioning process
- Biomedical & Global Supply Chain: based on audits, guaranteeing appropriate equipment, medications, and supplies ordering and on time delivery
- Shipboard Human Resources: recruiting French speaking medical professionals and their specific needs for travel and onboarding
- Project Management: providing regular meetings, mitigating issues, keeping the team on track
- Med Ops Support Team: based in Manila, providing administrative assistance throughout the project
- CMI Technical Team: establishing the onboard Electronic Medical Record system
VIKAND—Were there learning moments and challenges during this launch?
Ana—VIKAND is ready to meet all challenges. When we are tasked with establishing best healthcare practices and facilities, we must often meet conditions as they are. For CFC’s M/V Renaissance, this was the case. Simultaneously, we set up the medical facility while running a crew clinic. During the month of May 2023 alone, we took care of 480 crew and contractors alike; some were joining the ship during flu season. VIKAND doctors, nurses, Med Ops teams both at sea and shore-based managed every kind of medical need. We always go the extra mile!
VIKAND—What are some launch highlights?
Ana—Following an incredibly complex process, the entire team is very proud to have passed all inspections with no remarks. It is critical that all necessary certifications, licenses, and equipment are in place before setting sail. We also prepare for the unexpected and respond in the VIKAND “We Can Because We Care” way, including filtering, verifying, and classifying Pre-Employment Medical Examinations (PEMEs), reinstalling the onboard pharmacy and replenishing medications and supplies.
VIKAND—What tips can you offer to others about bringing a ship to service?
Ana—I would say to be ready for everything, that there will be challenges and obstacles along the way, that things will not always go as we expect, but that with teamwork and dedication, everything is possible.