By Arlene Kiyomi Dennistoun
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Vincent Ticzon is a “rock star” of diversity and profitability, said Debbie Bird, Business Development Manager of Immediate urgent care clinics. Ticzon manages the Capitol Hill, Crown Hill, and Queen Anne locations in Seattle, and helped make the Capitol Hill facility, less than two miles away from the International District, the most profitable of Immediate’s clinics.
Ticzon credits the Capitol Hill clinic’s success with the hard-working team he collaborates with, the diversity of the employees, and the densely-populated neighborhood.
Born and raised in Makati, a city in Manila, Ticzon moved to Illinois to attend Lewis University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in business and marketing. He moved back to the Philippines for about two years, then returned to the United States seeking better career opportunities. Ticzon has also lived in South Bend, Ind., San Diego, and San Francisco. Ticzon met his wife in Illinois, where their two daughters were born.
Having met people from different cultures, backgrounds, and education levels has helped Ticzon “appreciate people more.” He saw cultural differences in California, Chicago, Manila, and Seattle. Cultural behaviors or practice can be considered a strength or weakness, depending on your viewpoint, and Ticzon sees qualities in employee candidates that “not everyone always sees.” Seattle clinics employ staff from Korea, Vietnam, and Laos who help overcome language barriers.
In 2006, Ticzon moved his family back to the Philippines, where his young daughters enjoyed spending time with their extended family for the first time in their lives.
After four years in the Philippines, Ticzon and his family returned to the United States. They settled in Seattle in 2010, where Ticzon began his career managing medical clinics. Ticzon’s eldest daughter graduated from the University of Washington (UW) with a Bachelor of Arts in business and is employed at a law firm in Seattle. His youngest is in her junior year at the UW.
An eye for talent
Diversity has no doubt influenced Ticzon’s business decisions. The Seattle job market is very competitive, said Ticzon, and “if you don’t have an appreciation of everyone around you, you’re overlooking a gold mine out there.”
While someone may see a job applicant during an interview and think, “He doesn’t act like me, or talk like me, so they might not be a good fit, I don’t ever look at it that way.” Ticzon looks at skills, qualifications, and potential. He’s sat on interview panels where some folks assess applicants very differently, and six months later, they’re amazed at how quickly an employee has developed and how well they’re doing in the organization.
Helping new graduates allows organizations to thrive, said Ticzon. He works with externs and new graduates, and keeps a sharp eye out for people with potential.
Jasmine Yip is a perfect example. Yip interned at an Immediate Clinic, while attending the UW. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and communications in June 2016, and by December 2016, landed a full-time job as a Marketing Associate at Immediate Clinic, with a total of 14 clinics under her belt.
Ticzon described the Seattle market as having gone “crazy” with growth in the last five years, with a huge demand in healthcare and information technology jobs in a tight labor market.
Many healthcare organizations seek experienced applicants and don’t have the desire or resources to develop newcomers. Ticzon looks at candidates “the opposite way,” and won’t reject an applicant solely based on their lack of experience.
A unique service
Immediate Clinics are open 365 days of the year, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. About 97 percent of patients come in for urgent care. A small percentage come in for workers’ compensation injuries or employer paid services (physicals, drug or alcohol testing).
Tourists make up a large part of patients in Seattle, thanks to the cruise ship industry. The clinics get a good mix of patients from all over the country and world during the height of the cruise season, between May and September.
Ticzon said it’s tough for urgent care facilities to get rated on social media sites like Yelp or Google because people are sick, don’t feel well, and aren’t happy. It’s unlike going to a restaurant, where people are out to have fun. It’s also trickier for urgent care. Patients typically come to urgent care for the first time for acute conditions. Immediate Clinics don’t keep a record of patient health history, unlike primary care clinics, where there’s an established relationship.
Ticzon is not a physician and doesn’t make decisions about patient care. “I’m not qualified and it would concern me to be involved in things I have no business being involved in.”
Ticzon focuses on recruiting, development, training, and defers to lead physicians and the chief medical officer for medical care decisions.
The success of Immediate Clinics prompted MultiCare Health System to acquire all 14 clinics in a deal that closed in December 2016.
Ticzon’s ultimate wish for the healthcare industry is accessibility — allowing the entire population to have access to excellent health care “so we can continue to be healthy,” or have the particular kind of medical attention needed to be productive. “That’s what our mission is, and that’s why we’re here. We want to make things better for people.” ■
Arlene can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.