IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 72

International SOS | From East to West
North America
Many of our early clients in Asia had head offices
in the US. This is where decisions on outsourcing
were made. We realised that to attract other
US-based multinationals we had to get to know
them in the US as well as Asia.
In 1994 we bought Maritime Health Services; this
company was based in Seattle and offered medical
assistance to local fishermen. It was a starting point
for our US business. A key player from this time was
Julie McCashin whom Arnaud and Pascal had met
during her time working with other assistance
companies. They invited Julie to help develop
the US operation.
Fact No. 12
The most northern site
supported by International
SOS is at Disko Bay,
Greenland, 150km north
of the Arctic Circle.
Julie was based in Texas and focused on building
relationships with the Houston oil and gas
companies. They were drilling at sites across the
world and we could offer them the services they
needed to look after employees at those remote
locations. Julie travelled up and down Latin America
building her network and, as she describes it, “Doing
just whatever needed to be done.” In the days before
the internet she relied on phone books for her
research. She frequently returned from trips with
as many as seven phone books in her suitcase.
It was tough at times for Julie as an “East Coast,
liberal democratic girl in this bastion of male
Republicanism,” but she coped, starting with
“dressing the Texas way” from early on. Sometimes
the older men would say: “Sweetie, you don’t know
what it’s like in the field” to which she would reply
with a list of her recent site visits. “That soon
quietened them!”
Julie also developed contacts beyond the oil and
gas sector, with other companies moving into Africa
such as Archer Daniel Midland and General Electric.
As Julie explains: “We were very good at looking at
where our clients were and mapping our resource
development to their geography and their needs. We
showed them that we could do what they needed.”
The US team made progress but it was slow going
at times. The acquisition of International SOS
Assistance was a Major Milestone and significantly
raised our profile in the US.
As well as building our traditional EMI clients in
remote locations, the US business has branched
out into other sectors.
With a growing understanding of the need to
provide medical support to employees while on-site,
to keep them healthy and productive, companies
have become increasingly interested in opening
clinics at the workplace. This is offering many new
opportunities especially in the world of IT and
entertainment on the West Coast.
As we will see in ‘Preparation and Prevention’ both
Dr Robert Quigley and Dr Myles Druckman have led a
number of initiatives to encourage companies to be
better prepared for pandemic and other events. The
US has also been the base for the development of our
online services, as described in ‘Tools of Technology’.
Throughout this time another important part of
the business has been our relationship with the
US government and our Major Milestone: TRICARE
Overseas Program.
Right: Internal meeting in Philadelphia
office, US, 2013.


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