Nudj Health Announces Creation of Interdisciplinary Advisory Board
Renowned experts in lifestyle medicine, cardiology, collaborative care and mental health equity to bring unique perspectives and extensive experiences to Nudj while advising company on strategic health and wellness initiatives
PASADENA, Calif. (November 30, 2022) – Nudj Health, a tech-enabled health service that partners with providers nationwide to deliver telehealth mental health and lifestyle interventions to patients using the collaborative care model, today announced the founding of its interdisciplinary Advisory Board that includes esteemed experts in the lifestyle medicine, cardiology, collaborative care and mental health equity spaces. Additional experts - from cardiologists, oncologists, nurse practitioners and more - will be officially announced to the company’s Advisory Board in the coming months as Nudj continues to scale across the United States.
The initial members joining the Nudj Health Advisory Board include:
- Padmaja Patel, MD, FACLM, DipABLM, medical director of the Lifestyle Medicine Center at Midland Health and president-elect of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM).
- Samuel F. Sears, Jr., PhD, professor at East Carolina University’s Department of Psychology and Cardiovascular Sciences and director of Doctoral Studies in the Department of Psychology.
- Solome Tibebu, CEO, Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech.
- Lori Higa, MEd, BSN, RN-BC, an innovation nurse at Kaiser Permanente designing new care pathways for frail and complex patients in the primary care setting.
“These four strategic advisors are highly-acclaimed, well-respected and extremely distinguished,” said Yuri Sudhakar, founder and CEO of Nudj Health. “All of them truly embrace and align with our mission to bring comprehensive, accessible and whole-person care to those who need it most. Their experience-rich and strategic recommendations will ultimately improve the well-being of patients with chronic disease nationwide as we seek to make Nudj’s lifestyle medicine services affordable and accessible to all.”
Dr. Patel serves as the president-elect of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and is the medical director of the Lifestyle Medicine Center at Midland Health in Midland, TX. She is a member of the National Quality Forum's 2022 Leadership Consortium and a founding member of the advisory board of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine's Health Systems Council. Dr. Patel serves as the Chair of ACLM's Clinical Practice and Quality Committee and on the Patient Care Subcommittee of ACLM's Health Systems Council. Dr. Patel co-founded Healthy City, a nonprofit organization, to raise awareness of the benefits of plant-based nutrition within her community. Dr. Patel has been awarded the prestigious status of Fellow of ACLM for her outstanding achievement in the field of Lifestyle Medicine. She received her MD from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“Nudj Health fills the gaping void in addressing the epidemic of chronic disease burden by offering an innovative, whole-person, continuous care model for patients,” said Dr. Patel. “Based on an evidence-based collaborative care model, this unique care delivery option offers a multidisciplinary team to integrate both mental health and lifestyle interventions."
Dr. Sears is a prominent authority on the psychological care and quality of life outcomes of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patients. He has published over 200 articles in leading medicine and psychology research literatures and has over 10,000 citations. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious O. Max Gardner Award by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, which recognizes the faculty member who has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race in the past year. He received his PhD in Clinical and Healthy Psychology from the University of Florida.
“I see first-hand with my cardiac patients the immense, immediate need for a healthcare solution like Nudj Health that smartly combines both the mental and physical aspects of patient care to improve outcomes and make a lasting, positive impact in a patient’s life,” said Dr. Sears. “No other company is offering strategic, specific ways for patients to mitigate their chronic health issues while also equipping them with the tools they need to cope with their health problems. I am continuously impressed by the passionate, savvy team at Nudj and I look forward to helping the company scale.”
Tibebu is the CEO of Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech, the largest conference focused on expanding access to mental health and substance use services through technology and innovation. Tibebu’s work as an investor, entrepreneur, nonprofit consultant and behavioral health technology expert has been featured as a Harvard Business Review case study, TEDx Talk, as well as in top-tier media outlets including: The Huffington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Upworthy, Psychology Today and more. As a former anxious teen, Tibebu founded a mental health tech startup, AnxietyInTeens.org, at the age of 16 and ran it for 10 years. She is also the co-author of ReThink Behavioral Health Innovation, the source for digital behavioral health technology and startups.
“Mental health and well-being are incredibly important to me. So much of mental well-being is about comprehensive lifestyle interventions that take place outside of the doctor's office,” said Tibebu. “I've been really impressed with Nudj Health's holistic approach to mental and physical well-being and I am excited about this next chapter of growth for the company."
Higa started her career in community mental health working with deaf, mentally ill adolescents, adjudicated youth, and school-based mental health programs at Seattle Mental Health. She has over a decade of experience as a home health and hospice care manager for Kaiser Permanente in Seattle, WA. Her role has evolved into an innovation and design contributor developing new pathways for patients with dementia in the home setting. Additionally, she played an instrumental role in pioneering Collaborative Care with the team from the University of Washington. Following the original CoCM IMPACT study these researchers replicated the CoCM study with different patient populations with depression and diabetes; adolescents with depression; depression and pain. She provides staff training and consultation to health systems adopting CoCM integration which includes behavioral activation, problem-solving treatment training with the AIMS Center at University of Washington.
"I've witnessed what the Collaborative Care model can do for patients with depression,” stated Higa. “Nudj Health is innovating and transforming this model from the outside with improved technology and providing more supportive care. Healthcare must truly expand care for patients by addressing them with a whole-person treatment perspective."
About Nudj Health
Founded in 2021, Nudj Health delivers integrated, whole-person, and continuous care for patients with chronic disease beyond the walls of the doctor’s office. The company provides collaborative care using evidence-based, Medicare approved pathways centered around six interconnected lifestyle areas: stress management, physical activity, sleep quality, social support, behavioral risks and nutrition.
Based in Pasadena, CA, Nudj Health has already integrated its service with several cardiology and oncology providers across the nation.
Affiliated providers can now integrate the use of evidence-based lifestyle medicine therapeutic interventions as a primary treatment designed to prevent, treat and often reverse chronic disease.
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