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When Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alan Dennington co-founded TimelyMD in 2017 with Luke Hejl and Chris Clark, they began a journey to transform healthcare in higher education. Now, as Dr. Dennington shifts to an advisory role, Dr. Bob Booth joins TimelyMD as its new Chief Care Officer. But this transition is more than just a new leader and a new title. It’s a transition that will enable TimelyMD to continue to develop its care model and program for supporting student health and well-being.
To get more insight about this transition, we asked both Dr. Dennington and Dr. Booth a few questions about their perspective on virtual care and what this change means for each of them, for TimelyMD, and for TimelyMD’s partner institutions.
Why is now the right time for each of you to make this change?
I’m a project-oriented person and like to set goals and reach them. With our creation of multiple nationwide provider networks supporting medical care, mental health support, therapy, psychiatry, and health coaching as well as our launch of the TimelyCare platform product, I feel that I’ve achieved the significant goals I set for myself and the company.
It’s time to set new goals. I have a desire to make more time available for my family. When I met Bob, I knew he was the kind of person that could continue developing our care model and develop our program to support students in the best way possible. The identification of such a strong, qualified leader for our team, along with the opportunity to set new long-term goals, makes this an ideal time for a transition.
The mission of TimelyMD—to improve the health and well-being of college students through virtual medical and mental health care—is incredible! And I’m proud to join the leading virtual health and well-being solution for students. The company’s founders, and the team they’ve established, have built a solution that places students at the intersection of technology and healthcare.
I’m passionate about student development. So, TimelyMD’s ability to leverage technology to break down barriers in care delivery was a huge catalyst for my decision to join. I love the company’s history—starting with a focus on medical needs, but quickly evolving to layer in multiple healthcare disciplines for a holistic strategy around student well-being. This approach provides the kind of exponential influence in students’ lives that can have a generational impact. This mission is so compelling, and I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to join the team.
Discover how a virtual health and well-being program helps students thrive.
Why is TimelyMD transitioning from Chief Medical Officer to Chief Care Officer?
What will this transition mean for TimelyMD and its partner institutions?
It means that TimelyMD has yet another great asset on its team to support students. Our company and partner institutions will benefit tremendously from Bob’s experience and leadership and will continue to have mine as well from a strategic perspective as an advisor and board member. Bob is a great addition and added value.
I’m fortunate to come alongside a success story that already has the first chapters written. Now, I have the opportunity to continue the work Alan started as TimelyMD’s Chief Medical Officer in scaling the care team to meet our increasing reach at colleges and universities across the country. To do this, I have to ensure the care team is set up to flourish so they can fully engage in helping our students thrive.
That means my focus will be to identify every possible way to push our care team forward to build on the quality care and innovation already in motion, while also removing any barriers that may slow our progress. I believe this approach will help us continue setting the industry standard for quality and equitable access for students.
What would you say is your top achievement as Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of TimelyMD?
The journey of taking an idea into a reality is an incredibly fulfilling adventure. I am extremely proud of building a multi-specialty, nationwide care network from scratch, while maintaining quality of care at industry-leading levels.
With that said, the thing I am most proud of is the impact we have been able to make as an organization on innovating health care. What our company does to support students can make an impact on the world as a whole. We work to help students, most of whom are young adults, have a healthy relationship with themselves, which they can carry with them for the rest of their lives, and even pass on to their own families.
How have you both seen virtual health and well-being evolve over the last few years?
Since TimelyMD was founded in 2017, the embrace of virtual health in the industry as a whole has been remarkable. Over a relatively short period of time, both patients and health care providers have gone from skeptics to proponents of virtual health.
The pandemic forced many patients and providers to try virtual care when they hadn’t before, and the utility of it became obvious. I’m excited to see how virtual care will continue to evolve to the benefit of society through innovative companies like TimelyMD and others.
Virtual care moved from a pre-pandemic novelty to an early-pandemic necessity, then to an expected standard as it is now. COVID-19 normalized virtual care, and the rapid adoption of the modality reveals the need existed pre-pandemic.
The steep ascent of virtual care is a positive development that emerged from COVID-19, but we need to continue to build on that momentum. I believe the next phase of virtual care’s evolution will reveal those partners and platforms that are complacent in the telehealth arena juxtaposed against TimelyMD’s approach to transform and lead the space.
As you begin as Chief Care Officer, what do today’s college students need to help them be healthy and engaged?
College students today need what we all need: A guide who cares about their health and well-being. They need a team of people who are immediately accessible 24/7 and dedicated to helping them build the foundation of health needed for them to be successful in both academics and life. They need a partner like TimelyMD.
And what do you think is next for virtual care?
In short, virtual health will be the default pathway where patients go first to engage the healthcare system. A brief historical review reveals a healthcare ecosystem that has unfortunately gravitated toward being a sick-care system that’s fiscally unsustainable. I’ve seen that healthcare experts for decades state that the future delivery of healthcare must solve this issue by increasing access and quality of care, while also decreasing the cost.
In addition, to control for a supply and demand mismatch of patient illness growing faster than healthcare resources, any serious healthcare solution must be built for illness prevention at a population-health level. When you take the virtual health platform in the direction TimelyMD has gone you get increased, high-quality, equitable access, with the ability to rapidly connect those in need with clinical providers who want to heal. By coupling this access with well-being and prevention resources embedded into the same platform, we can help transform our current sick-care system and increase the health in healthcare.
The future of virtual health care is found in a platform where patients not only start when they experience illness, but it’s where they also go for strategies to help prevent illness before it starts.
If you have questions about what a virtual health and well-being partner can do to transform your campus, contact TimelyMD for answers.