Hims & Hers' new board member on what healthcare can learn from Netflix, and other digital health hires

Hims & Hers taps Lynne Chou O'Keefe and David Wells as next board members, Eden Health names Jack Stoddard the next executive chairman of its board and more digital health hires.
By Laura Lovett
08:30 am
Interview, new hires

As Hims & Hers prepares for the public market, it’s adding new members to its board with backgrounds in investing and consumer tech. This morning it exclusively announced to MobiHealthNews two new board members Lynne Chou O’Keefeand David Wells

O’Keefe comes from an investment background. She is the founder and managing partner of Define Ventures and served as a partner in the Life Sciences Group at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. 

Wells comes from a big tech background, previously serving as chief financial officer at Netflix, and said the experience can be transferred to the world of health. 

“The most important lessons I’ve taken from my experience in consumer-focused businesses is to put the customer first and always design your service with that in mind –and within healthcare, that means putting the patient first,” Wells said.

“From my time at Netflix, the subscription model highlighted valuable lessons about how important quality is to customer loyalty and as a result, repeat revenue. This is just as important for Hims & Hers, given patients have various options to choose from in the telemedicine industry.”

The company got its start in men’s sexual health and wellness products but has expanded into women’s health, mental health and COVID-19 testing. 

“The pandemic has also exasperated the mental health crisis here in the United States and abroad,” Dr. Patrick Carroll, chief medical officer of Hims & Hers, said in a statement. “Telemedicine is uniquely positioned to improve access to care more broadly, enabling more people to get a wide variety of treatment more quickly for many mental health issues. This will remain a critical issue for the healthcare industry to address post-pandemic."

Over the summer the company announced a merger agreement with Oaktree Capital Management-sponsored special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Oaktree Acquisition. The public can expect the reverse merger to close at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. In October Hims reported a 91% year-over-year growth during the third quarter of this year. 

“Virtual pharmacies are part of the future of healthcare, but only one piece of what needs to be done in order to modernize the healthcare system and put customers first. Hims & Hers is focused on building a comprehensive set of services and solutions for a key demographic at the beginning of their healthcare journey,” O’Keefe said.

“The leadership team is creating deep and enduring relationships with patients by offering a variety of healthcare products and services to [deliver] solutions that address their health and wellbeing.”

However, Hims and Hers is hardly the only company looking into the virtual pharmacy space. Last week news broke that Amazon was launching its Amazon Pharmacy, a new digital shop that lets customers order and manage their prescription medications online and get them delivered at home.

While Hims and Hers is different from this model because it provides telemedicine services, where individuals can request certain conditions be treated, it does have a direct competitor in Ro, which now has a $1.5 billion valuation.

Tech-enabled provider Eden Health tapped Jack Stoddard as the next executive chairman of its board of directors. Before coming to Eden Stoddard served as COO for Accolade and Haven.

According to the announcement, Stoddard’s role will be helping to advise the company as it prepares for more growth and adoption.

"Telehealth is having its accelerated adoption moment. But if you look across the landscape of providers, most of telehealth is an 'Uber model' for virtual urgent care. Patients use it for a limited number of acute needs, but rarely see that doctor again," Stoddard said in a statement.

"Matt, Scott and the team at Eden Health are scaling a new form of primary care and are putting trust and the patient-provider relationship at the center. Eden is exposing hundreds of employers and their workforces to what the future of healthcare should look like: getting access to your doctor who knows you, your health, your benefits, and your ongoing needs, in the way that's most convenient and effective for you."

Insurtech company Bright Health named Elizabeth Ross its new chief marketing officer. Ross previously served as the CEO of Periscope, an independent advertising agency, which she sold in 2019. Her other work experience includes time at IPG Mediabrands, Publicis Groupe’s Digitas and Tribal DDB. 

“At Bright Health, we are completely rethinking health care delivery to improve the consumer experience from end-to-end,” Mike Mikan, Bright Health president and CEO, said in a statement. “With her decades of experience crafting dynamic, consumer-centric campaigns, Liz will be a vital asset in accelerating our growth and bringing our model to more consumers and providers across the country.” 

WELL Health, a digital patient-communication platform, named Dr. Dana Gelb Safran, as the company’s senior vice president of Value Based Care and Population Health. Before joining WELL Health, Safran served as the chief performance measurement and improvement officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Safran has also served as a founding team member at Haven Health. 

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