Growing up in a rural community, Ethan McWilliams didn’t realize how much easier it was to access healthcare in urban and suburban cities. Moving across the country for his education and eventually joining the military opened his eyes to the need and the opportunity to make quality healthcare more accessible to rural areas.
Now, McWilliams is co-CEO of Wilderness Medical Staffing, or WMS, a firm focused on staffing healthcare providers for rural, remote and tribal communities in the continental Northwest and Alaska. The company was originally founded by a nurse practitioner on assignment in Alaska who saw a need for a company that could specialize in and prioritize medical staffing in remote areas. Now led by McWilliams and his brother Noah, WMS remains committed to serving rural communities that are often overlooked.
McWilliams describes his career path as non-linear: He originally set out to pursue law, then he journeyed around the world and ended up returning to his rural roots. Through the encouragement of his brother and his wife, McWilliams took a chance on WMS and soon discovered great purpose and fulfillment in serving the communities that are so near to his heart. He is proud of the vital role that WMS plays in the healthcare ecosystem, particularly for communities where critical staffing shortages would occur without assistance from the organization.
Looking ahead, McWilliams sees continued growth on the horizon for WMS. He anticipates advances in technology that will reduce pain points for their clients, and the company is considering expanding its geographic reach. No matter how much WMS grows, McWilliams will always value moments of human connection and the opportunity to serve the communities he loves.