Getting to know Max Maile

Few industries are progressing as rapidly as virtual health. Today, patients can experience a physician visit via their computer or smartphone (Parkview OnDemand) and physicians can consult on cardiac cases from two cities away (Telecardiology). And that’s just the beginning. With all of this innovation, it’s important to have a creative thinker navigating the waters. For Parkview, that’s Max Maile.

Fueled by his passions for renewable resources and smart solutions, Max has played an integral role in moving the needle on virtual patient care. His curiosity and drive to discover make Max one of the optimistic, inventive, courageous People of Parkview.

Name: Maximilian Maile

Official title: Director of Virtual Health

Describe your education and career journey:  

My undergrad was at DePauw University, in Greencastle, IN, where I majored in Economics.  After graduating, I moved to Michigan and built a processing plant that collected french fry oil and chemically converted it into biodiesel fuel, which is an environmentally friendly diesel fuel.  This was at a time when everyone was searching for fuel alternatives, as the prices were skyrocketing. To abbreviate the story, I sold the company, moved to Fort Wayne, married and now live in Warsaw. 

A few years into my career, I decided to pursue my master’s degree, and went to IPFW for my MBA while working for a leading manufacturing company in the dental field. In 2011, I joined Parkview as a Lean Leader. Over the past few years, I’ve been blessed to work with many talented people in different positions, including as the Director of Hospital Medicine and the Vice President of Medical Specialties. 

What inspired you to pursue this specialty?

The manufacturing company that I worked for was undergoing a number of transitions, and it felt like a perfect time to make a change. I had recently completed my master’s degree and was looking for a different challenge. I have three sisters in medical professions, and a good friend who works at Parkview, and all of them really liked what they were doing. So I decided to transition into the healthcare industry, as it seemed to have a lot of opportunities. I’m so glad that the doors that opened for me were at Parkview. It has certainly proven to provide numerous opportunities.

What are your daily responsibilities?

I get to help shape, create and implement the future of virtual health at Parkview. It is an exciting time! As a growing department, we have to wear a lot of hats and work with as many people as possible to create this new way of connecting with our patients. So much of what we are doing is new territory, and we work hard to connect with our legal teams, finance teams, leadership teams and physician teams to develop a full picture of possibilities before implementing.

With some projects, we can reach out to other health systems and get a basic idea of next steps, and with others, we are really the leaders in that space, and we are trying to set the best example. It is a very exciting role, constantly evolving with new technologies, and ever-changing regulations and legislation. 

What are your goals for the patient experience?

Simple and reliable care, without walls. 

What are some of the unique challenges of your position?

The telemedicine industry is really the wild west in terms of virtual care and capabilities. This volatile market sits in the middle of one of the slowest moving, regulated and historical industries there is. There are tons of startup companies, who all promise they can do everything, then a few months later are either out of business or have been purchased by someone else.

As we seek partners, it is very challenging to find the right people. We want to build a strong program that is reliable, dependable and able to be expanded into various markets.  Additionally, technology changes at such a rapid pace, we want to be careful that things we invest in today are not outdated by the time we bring them to market, or shortly thereafter.   

The most rewarding?

The most rewarding aspect of my role is getting to be an entrepreneur at a big organization! It provides the comfort of a stable income, while challenging the innovative, creative and collaborative parts of me. Every day is different, every day is exciting, and we get to be on the cutting edge of consumerism and healthcare. This makes it fun to wake up every day and come into work.   

How would you describe the relationship between healthcare and technology?

I’d describe it as exciting, but still tenuous and fragile. Healthcare is unique in that it is deeply personal, highly emotional as it relates to life and death outcomes, extremely expensive and \ transparency can be difficult. There is a lot of hope that technology will help drive down costs, increase visibility and break down walls. And I think it will. But as the technology industries dabble in healthcare, they have to be sensitive to the huge risks. The risks that others have taken in consumer industries, that have led to data breaches or Facebook data scandals, cannot happen within the healthcare arena or it will set back the progress for years to come. Trust is a fragile thing, and people don’t fully trust technology in healthcare yet. We have to be cautious.  By the same token, it is opening up an incredible amount of opportunity and information.   

What is your greatest passion outside of work?

Probably what we call “projects” in my house. I really enjoy making things. I like evolution and progress. When I’m at home, I like working on remodeling something, adding a new technology to our smart home, or doing things that help our home be more energy efficient. I also love building different items with wood, plastic and metal. 

How do you achieve work/life balance?

Working with people, or for a company, that you admire and respect is a crucial piece. I equate work/life balance with a teeter-totter. I’m not sure how often it is “balanced” but there are various states of movement where sometimes it takes a strong push to get moving, and sometimes you ride the momentum. Having the right people surround you and seeking a goal that you believe in makes the “balance” sustainable, even as you hit the tough spots. 

What excites you about the future?

I’m excited about the different advancements and capabilities in a few areas. One is renewable energies or energy self-dependence, as the cost of alternative resources continues to lower, while the capacity to store energy in batteries is on the rise. Advanced algorithms and increased computer processing combined with the incredible amount of potential in genomics is also a future to look forward to. Not only can we treat people better, but we will be able to predict and prevent various forms of cancer, afflictions and disease. We are in the thick of these developments now, so it is only a matter of time for costs, accessibility and advance to improve them. 

If you could tell people to read one book in their lifetime, which would it be and why?

First, I would suggest people get the audible app, and they can read (listen) and drive at the same time, maximizing their time! For a fun and thoughtful book, I’ve enjoyed the “Freakonomics” series. The most introspective book I’ve read was “Quiet” by Susan Cain. And if you are into podcasts, Mike Rowe does some neat ones called “The Way I Heard it”, that have a little history and remind me of the old Paul Harvey “The Rest of the Story” ones that I listened to growing up.   

What would we find on your bucket list and what do you plan to check off next?

I would love to see all 50 states! I’m also working on my pilot’s license, and I hope to be able to check that off in the next year or so, as I finish up my hours. Looking further out, I’d like to pursue my PhD, but I won’t be starting that until my kids are grown. 

What is your personal motto?

If I had one, I think it would be: “Let’s try it.”  I’m not sure my wife likes this motto as much as I do, because every other week I’m approaching her with an idea like “Hey, you know what business we should start,” or “Hey, I downloaded this new app to track the things we eat”, etc.  There are always going to be reasons not to do something, but if an opportunity presents itself, I think it’s important to give it a go and see if the effort and obstacles are worth a continued pursuit. I think this opens a lot of doors.




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