Travis Schugg – VieMed Healthcare Staffing

Travis Schugg, Vice President of Staffing Services at VieMed Healthcare Staffing (“VHS”), joins Discover Lafayette to share how VHS utilizes technology to meet the burgeoning staffing needs across all healthcare specialties in the U. S. He is responsibile for steering the company’s long-term strategic direction and day-to-day operations. 

Travis moved to Lafayette in 2021 to join VHS after a meeting in Phoenix with VieMed founder, Casey Hoyt. The challenges of recruiting and retaining staff during COVID were issues everyone was trying to figure out, when all of a sudden you couldn’t go into people’s homes to care for their medical needs. Travis says that respiratory therapists and ICU nurses were the hottest commodities out there at that time. The two men picked each other’s brains on this topic: Travis had fifteen years experience in recruiting, and Casey, along with Michael Moore and the VieMed team, were building the best in class respiratory therapy in the U. S. “Over the course of our thirty minute meeting, it became a chess match as to who could pick each other’s brain best!”

A few weeks after that initial encounter, Travis reached out to Casey Hoyt and jokingly said, “I think I can do some damage with you!” Casey asked him to create a business plan for VieMed to get into the medical healthcare staffing arena. Travis came up with a 50-page business plan and they were off to creating VHS.

VHS is a complementary service for VieMed. Historically, healthcare systems, government agencies, and organizations like VieMed would recruit through their Human Resource departments, posting a job and hoping people would apply. “We flipped the script. Recruitment should be more on the offensive, it should be outbound. We promote our brand….we don’t just sit and wait for people to apply.”

VHS started out by visiting every hospital in Louisiana and telling their story. Then they spread across the Gulf Region. Today, just a bit over two short years after inception, VHS recruits for positions open in Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, and other places across the U. S. VHS has staff in 15 states, and is building organically. Travis believes that VHS offers the best recruitment and workforce team anywhere between Dallas and Atlanta, South of Nashville, being based right here in Lafayette LA.

The main specialties in which VHS currently recruits are in nursing, social workers (public and private sector), respiratory therapy, and physicians. VHS also recruits in the allied care fields for workers in pharmacy, imaging and lab techs. They serve employers needing assistance with locum tenens and correctional health positions.There are currently 2400 jobs and when you visit, you will see an incredible listing of jobs available.

Staffing is a $170 billion industry and healthcare staffing accounts for $44-45 billion of that number. It is a unique niche that has been waiting to be met. VHS is growing as it helps their clients, both practitioners and health facilities, by getting to understand their clients’ needs. The “why” behind a hiring allows VHS to recruit more successfully and meet the individual needs of each client.

Travis explained that the health industry has changed dramatically regarding outside contract help. Fifteen years ago, people wanted a hospital with very few contract workers. The barrier has broken down and this mindset has flipped. Studies show that institutions with a more diverse workforce have better health outcomes for their patients. The contract workers have experienced more, worked in different settings across the country, and bring a plethora of skills to the job setting. Today, facilities are keeping 20- 30% of their workforce as contract labor, and thes health contractors fill in as needed, on weekends, nights, or other, which benefits everyone involved.

A new dynamic is that many professionals want to travel as they work. It is a more acceptable career path and they can build their resumes up as they see the country. Providers are more selective as to where they want to go. Travis says, “In the past people would want to know what you were running from or were you in trouble? Today, people ask what hospitals can I work at to build my resume and experience up? That way, when they do settle down, the can be the cream of the crop in their community.”

Once VHS places an employee, they become the employer of record for W-2 staff. Based upon the employee specialty, such as nursing or allied staff, “It’s W-2. We do payroll weekly for all of our staff. It is a differentiator in the market paying weekly. Per diem and lodging may also be provided based upon the locale the employee chooses. VHS pays the taxes and has hundreds of people out on assignment processing payroll and managing benefits.” VSH’s internal staff is at 28 right now.

VHS utilizes AI technology to scan resumes. In real time once an application is submitted, “We can tell you where you would most likely work next, what states would be a good fit with someone of your experience level. We can tell a nurse his or her top five jobs automatically. There is no need for a human to try to catch you between shifts to discuss possibilities. Historically, this was all done by an HR person.”

VHS places a big value on maintaining a nurturing and fun workplace. They created bingo cards for fun to keep things light, and also to keep staff members up when feeling bad about issues that inevitably come up at work, to loosen up the environment. Travis Schugg says, “You have to put in a process to develop your team. Then put in a culture to make them want to stay with you. There is no such thing as perfection. It’s about facilitation. At the end of the day, they need to know that you trust them.”

Travis Schugg has been married to his wife, Ashley, for 19 years and they are the proud parents of an 8th grader and Junior in high school. Recounting how the family moved from Arizona to Lafayette in the middle of the school year, Travis says, “God opened the door so wide it was easy to walk through. We knew nothing about Lafayette or Louisiana but love it here.” Travis is also active with One Acadiana, serving on its Executive Board, saying “I’ve been mentored on how to be a better leader.”

We thank Travis Schugg and VieMed Healthcare Staffing for sharing this incredible story of growth in the healthcare industry, and for being based right here in Lafayette! For more information, visit