Tag: mental health

Interview with SonderMind CEO Mark Frank

March 25th, 2021 by

Mark Frank headshot
SonderMind CEO Mark Frank

Mark Frank has a great sense of timing. He graduated from West Point just in time for 9/11 and had a summer job at Lehman soon before its collapse. Then a few years ago, he had an insight that a mental health wave was coming as stigma fell, mental health parity rules took effect, and as stresses increased. He co-founded SonderMind where as CEO he’s helping make behavioral health more accessible, approachable and utilized. 

In this episode of the HealthBiz podcast, Mark describes how his upbringing in Atlanta, Japan and Germany shaped his outlook and how family members have influenced his enlistment in the military and his path with SonderMind.

At Health Business Group, we have two decades of experience in developing robust strategies for telehealth and remote patient monitoring companies whose strategic opportunities and challenges are similar to SonderMind’s. If you need strategy consulting help, please reach out.

Check out the rough (AI generated) transcript.

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By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Chicken or egg: Do family dinners lead to health or vice versa?

November 19th, 2014 by
No class warfare at breakfast, please!
No class warfare at breakfast, please!

We’ve heard for a long time that families that eat dinner together experience all sorts of benefits: better physical and mental health, better diet, more satisfaction. According to today’s Wall Street Journal (No Time for Family Dinner? Try Breakfast), the same benefits may be available to families that eat breakfast together instead.

But deep down in the article we find the dirty little secret about the relationship of family mealtimes with all those wonderful things:

Children’s suppertime leg up on life may have more to do with the types of families that prioritize regular, happy time together, not the evening meal, itself, says Kelly Musick, associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University and co-author of two large-scale studies that question how family dinner affects teenage well-being.

Families with higher incomes, two parents, one parent who doesn’t work and strong family bonds have family dinner more often than families without those characteristics, according to the studies. “When we accounted for that, the link between family dinner and outcomes is much weaker than previously reported,” Ms. Musick says.

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

It bothers me when the Journal’s op-ed page uses the term “class warfare” to attack those who call for making income taxation more progressive. The truth is that we don’t live in an equal opportunity society. Those with lower socioeconomic backgrounds often lose out due to lack of opportunity, not a deficit of virtue.

 

photo credit: Robby Ryke via photopin cc

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Do veterans have timely access to mental health care?

November 5th, 2013 by

A front page USA Today article declares Many veterans face frustrating delays for mental health care, and reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs “failed to meet its 14-day goal in 34% of new mental health appointments.” I agree that it’s a problem if veterans aren’t being accommodated in a timely fashion and am happy that statistics like this are being publicly reported because they increase accountability in the system.

But access to mental health services is a challenge in this country in general. Try to book an appointment as a new patient with a mental health professional and see how long it takes you. Which brings up my main point: government-run systems like the VA actually measure and report things like waiting times, while systematic statistics on access to care are unavailable for the general population. Tell me who’s responsible for making sure non-CA patients can get an appointment in any specialty within a specific time frame.

Interestingly, there is more accountability for access in socialist systems such as the UK’s National Health Service. On the UK government site you can download a spreadsheet of monthly statistics by specialty and region. Take a look here for the most recent data.

I don’t support a government run health care delivery system for the general population, but before we start blaming the VA for offering poor access or make a blanket statement about rationing and wait times overseas, it would be good to confront the facts and see what we can learn. I, for one, would like to see systematic statistics on access for commercial, Medicare and Medicaid patients. And we might as well compare these stats to the VA’s while we’re at it.

As a started I’d be willing to bet we can find plenty of places where access to services is slower than in the VA system.