Location: Boston, MA
Rushika Fernandopulle, MD, MPP
Co-founder and CEO
“As a practicing primary care doc, it became clear to me that while we have great care and technology to offer our patients, the way we actually deliver it is awful,” says Rushika Fernandopulle, co-founder and CEO of Iora Health. “The experience is too often poor for both the patients and the doctors, our outcomes are embarrassingly bad, and the costs of the system are obscene. I particularly remember one evening, when after seeing 35 patients in seven minutes each and then needing to fill out countless charts into the night, a colleague turned to me and said, ‘Every day I lose a little piece of my soul.’” Fernandopulle decided that instead of trying to tweak the existing system, it was time to simply start over and rebuild the healthcare delivery system based on relationships.
Quick Tip “At Iora, we have chosen five values as core to our work: Feel empathy, bring creativity, serve with humility, act with passion and demonstrate courage.”
Iora Health started with a handful of people in a small room in Cambridge. “At first we had to learn how to build one practice, and then to do it in two places simultaneously, and then to do it in four places,” says Fernandopulle. “We had to learn to build systems, to build culture explicitly, to build a learning system.” Iora Health now has more than 350 employees serving 40,000 patients in 29 practices. “We tripled in size in 2015, and will double again this year,” says Fernandopulle. “I personally have learned how to play different roles as we grow, and adapt both the company and myself.”