January 21, 2016
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“Oh my God, you are alive?”
A group of over ten people came rushing over to me after I was hit head-on while riding my bike home from work on a beautiful Chicago fall evening this last year, slammed into the car, rolled over the windshield, and came tumbling down in what felt like slow motion.
“Thank God I am alive!” I responded. I was lucky enough to be wearing my helmet, to softly roll over the now shattered windshield, and come to a soft landing.
At this time it drew a lot of attention from the people on the street, two ambulances were already being called, and a police officer was on his way. Physical pain and suffering is so easy to see, notice, and try to make better. Why is it so different with our minds?
Research shows that nearly 50 percent of people with mental health challenges do not seek care. The health of our mind is not so black and white and is similar to going to the gym; we all can have more mental resilience and strength.
This last year I was lucky enough to meet Rich Gengler, the Founder and CEO of Prevail Health Solutions. After serving our country as a Navy pilot and while finishing his MBA at The University of Chicago, he started a business at the intersection of mental health and technology with the simple mission to improve mental health for all. After working with leading clinicians from Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Beck Institute, and others, Prevail has been able to translate proven methods of care for mental health online in an anonymous, affordable, and accessible way. After going through multiple clinical trials, national delivery to the largest integrated health plan in America, the Veterans Health Administration, and a health economics outcomes study showing a 14.8X ROI and millions of dollars saved, Prevail is ready to expand. My goal is to use my knowledge in public health coupled with innate passion for providing access to care for those in need to bring Prevail to the masses.
Prevail combines my passions for health, technology, and improving the population’s health. I may not be able to plan ahead and better prepare for the next car that runs through an intersection, however we can strive to spark a population that puts more emphasis on the health of our minds and overall well-being. So much of our overall health and enormous increases in healthcare spending, now over 18 percent of the American GDP, stems from our behaviors. Enormous costs from diabetes, heart disease, and more can be minimized or reduced through improved behaviors.
What do you think about improving health outcomes while reducing overall costs?