What do pharmacy, powerlifting and community theatre have in common? More than you might think! It may seem an unlikely combination, but David Vien is proof that succeeding at all three requires a similar skillset. With drive, determination and unwavering care, David has built an incredible pharmacy career at Slade – and he’s excited to continue his leadership journey.
Meet David Vien
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Compassion, commitment and care: How David Vien has grown into a people-first leader at Slade Pharmacy
The ripple effect of great care
Genuine care is an essential quality of great leadership – and it’s something David Vien has in spades. From Clinical Pharmacist to Area Manager, David has experienced a remarkable journey to leadership at Slade Pharmacy. And it’s all built on his unwavering commitment to deliver exceptional care to his patients and team.
David has understood from a young age the life-changing impact exceptional care can have on patients and their families. He grew up surrounded by relatives in the health profession: doctors, occupational therapists – even his mother was a nurse unit manager at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne.
Yet, it wasn’t until David was early in his career at Slade Pharmacy that he discovered just how far-reaching that impact could be.
“I was working as a Clinical Pharmacist at Epworth Eastern Hospital and had a patient who was newly diagnosed with cancer,” David reflects. “He was in his 60s and had been very healthy, so he was quite taken aback by his diagnosis. I sat with him, went through his medical history, and helped him understand his new medications. When he left the hospital, I made sure he knew exactly what he needed to do. A few weeks later, he wrote me a letter to show his appreciation for my services and support. I never expected that – it was really touching.”
David’s patient had been so moved by his health care experience that he became a hospital volunteer, supporting new patients as they navigated the same vulnerable situation he had been in.
“I’d often see him in the wards, and we’d have a chat. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago, but I will always remember him and how he was inspired to make a difference for other patients.”
Challenge and opportunity
Making a difference is what inspires David every day. Since beginning his hospital pharmacy career with Slade in 2014, David’s mission has been to provide the very best services to patients while seizing every opportunity to learn and grow – as a pharmacist and a leader.
David’s first experience with Slade was as a hospital-based Clinical Pharmacist. He had briefly worked in retail pharmacy prior to this but realised hospital pharmacy was his true calling.
“You build stronger relationships with people in a hospital setting. You see patients when they are at their most unwell, and then you see them when they leave hospital in a stable or healthy state. You’re on this whole journey with them, from beginning, middle to end. For me, there’s a great sense of fulfilment in a hospital role, and you’re part of a bigger team of health professionals.”
At Slade, part of Icon Group, David says he discovered a friendly, collaborative and progressive workplace culture that empowered him to achieve. Over the years, he has continually challenged himself, taking on the roles of Oncology Pharmacist, Acting Pharmacy Manager, and Director of Pharmacy at St Vincent’s Private Hospital.
And now, as Area Manager, David oversees Slade Pharmacy’s Mulgrave, South Eastern, Frankston, Brunswick and Epping sites.
From little things
When David isn’t supporting his teams and ensuring sites are running smoothly, you might find him in the gym, training for his next powerlifting competition. Or he could be on the stage, rehearsing for an upcoming community theatre performance.
More than effective ways to de-stress, these two outlets have considerable cross-over with David’s pharmacy career.
“With powerlifting, you can’t just do it once a week. You need to work at it constantly. And with theatre, you need to memorise, rehearse, and practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll be. And that’s what I find with my career. It’s a build-up of many experiences over time that leads to great things. The ability to show up every day is what ensures you reach your final goal.”
And David’s ultimate goal? To never stop learning, develop his skillset, empower his colleagues, and continue his fulfilling career journey at Slade Pharmacy.
“At Slade, we provide so much value to the community, and we’re in a great position to achieve really big goals. It all comes down to the people, and we’re lucky to have great people. It’s a fantastic company to be part of – there are so many good things happening and so many opportunities, you just have to raise your hand.”
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