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About Backpack Health

Backpack Health is a health tech company building tools to help people manage their health details, care and communication. We believe everyone should be able to track their own health comprehensively, and do the same for the people they care about – no matter what their health concerns are, no matter what family means to them, and no matter what language they speak – all in one place.

Our mission

We’re making it easy for everyone to access, own and control all of their health information to support better health for themselves, their loved ones, their communities, and for us all.

Our journey

The inspiration behind Backpack Health was pretty simple: We shared similar problems, and we wanted to solve them.

It all started with Diane and Mark Goldman, who were looking for a better way to manage their son’s chronic condition — for years. Specialist after specialist, hospital form after hospital form, flare up after flare up. Over time, their son’s medical data got scattered, making it hard to make sense of his whole story. Things only got more complicated after they spent four years living outside of their native country – some documents weren’t even in their first language. If people can’t use their own health information to get the help they need, how would researchers ever find the answers their family was waiting for? They were frustrated. And they felt powerless.

Then they met a few like-minded people with a knack for thinking big. Jim Cavan, an avid traveler with a background in emergency medicine and medical research, and a niece who was born with a connective tissue disorder, understood their circumstances all too well. Together they decided it was time for change: People should have access to their whole health history. But they shouldn’t just have access, they should be able to make sense of it, and in whatever language they’re most comfortable using. They should be able to coauthor it and share pieces of it, and they should be able to do all of the same for their loved ones.

Jim and the Goldmans wasted no time assembling a team of people as dedicated to their cause as they were — and that we really are. This journey has had its ups and downs, its hurdles and successes. There were periods of time during which some of us barely slept. But we won't give up, and neither should you.

Here’s the thing: Your health information belongs to you. You have a legal right to it, and that means with the right tools, you can make the most out of your own health narrative. Our goal is to help you do just that.

Meet our team

Jim Cavan MS

President & CEO

Jim has great passion for helping healthcare companies tackle systemic problems, and 20 years of executive health research and startup leadership experience. The development of Backpack Health is the result of several key goals of his, including improved access to and control of medical information, and less obtrusive collection of research data. Along with his wife, Julia, he is an avid traveler and amateur chef. When not working, he can be found fly fishing or deep in a book. He lives with Julia and son, Hunter, in Dover, Massachusetts. linkedin

Sara Aswegan

Chief Commercial Officer & Managing Director Backpack Health Sàrl

Sara is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 20 years global experience in empowering patients, creating connections, and enabling advancement in research for rare and chronic conditions. She is also an advisor to startup biotech companies and patient organizations, volunteering and consulting to continue her mission to make a difference in rare diseases. Sara serves the team at Backpack Health from our Geneva, Switzerland, office where she resides with her partner, Brian, a diplomat dedicated to humanitarian work. Together, they are committed to making a difference in global health. linkedin

Kate Celauro MD

VP, User Journey

Kate is an award-winning physician with executive health startup experience. She's also a writer, with all of her creative work benefitting the non-profit she started to advocate for global maternal and child health. She lives in Nashville, TN with her musician husband and their children. linkedin

Brett Collinson

SVP, Product

Brett is an award-winning designer and the founding leader of two health startups, with over 25 years of experience. He blends his background of software engineering, design and product management to bring to life technology that makes people’s lives better – with health and wellness as a key passion. Born and raised on a small farm in Australia, Brett’s been enjoying the hum of New York City life for the last eight years with his partner, Moss. linkedin

Steve Dalton MBA

VP, Technology

Steve is a proven information technology executive with a background in designing and building complex enterprise systems who was instrumental in the long-term growth of two technology firms. Steve is a competitive sailor who met his wife, Heather, while racing against her in the Rhodes 19 National Championships. He continues to race in a variety of classes in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he and Heather are raising their two sons, Jack and Cooper. linkedin

Bob Palladino MBA

CFO

Bob is a senior financial executive with 35 years of global strategic and operating experience across multiple disciplines within the life sciences industry, including digital patient data, drug discovery, medical products, and pharmaceuticals. Bob has served as CFO for Cutis Pharma, Claritas Genomics, BioNevia, CORRONA, PatientsLikeMe and Biosphere Medical, and also founded Oxus Medical (Oximetry in Cardiac Resynchronization) and Tesa Medical (Orthopedics). Bob earned his MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts. linkedin

Melissa Anselmo MPH

Director of Research & Insights

Melissa’s passion for health innovation comes from challenges her family’s faced navigating the healthcare system. She previously co-led a healthcare transparency movement leveraging technology and the power of patients. She spends her free time riding horses in sunny Colorado where she lives with her husband and their labradoodle. linkedin

Cole Benson

Senior Product Designer

Cole’s current location is wherever his RV is parked. He’s worked in digital product design with both large companies and small studios, always with a passion for visual and motion design. He’s also an avid photographer. linkedin

Allison Goldman

Software QA Analyst

Allison has diverse experience in writing, research, and communications. She’s currently in Boston where she brings all of her skills together to perfect the Backpack Health experience for users. linkedin

Rob Goldman

Community Outreach Manager

Rob has worked in the health information and technology world since 2014. He’s also had first hand experience in the world of health data ownership and transparency as a patient for over 30 years. He’s from Boston, but he cheers for the Yankees – hey, no one’s perfect. linkedin

Julie Hunt

Chief of Staff

Julie has worked in higher education, non-profit, and pharmaceutical. At Backpack Health she wears many hats that include HR, event planning, executive assistant and any other roles that need to be filled for the success of the company. Living outside of Boston, she and her family enjoy all things New England. linkedin

Jerel Johnson

Senior Product Designer

Jerel has been designing for mission-driven organizations for several years. A proponent of design systems and storytelling — he believes in the power of empathy and logic made manifest in well-designed tools for living. He lives in upstate New York. linkedin

Steve Kreis

Lead Engineer

Steve has been involved in projects ranging from telecommunication systems to medical record capture and analysis. When he’s not building the Backpack Health application and infrastructure, you can find him serving his community with family & friends or playing with his woodworking tools. linkedin

Charmaine Liang

Product Director

Charmaine has spent her career guiding product development across varying industries, from finance to health technology. She has a passion for problem solving and making improvements, and you can find her designing our next Backpack feature. Charmaine lives in New Jersey with her husband and young son. linkedin

Aerica Lovett

Product Designer

Aerica was a designer at a cybersecurity startup before joining Backpack. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with an illustration degree. She lives in Watertown, MA where she spends her free time with her pet rodents and reading epic fantasy novels. linkedin

Lauren May MPH

Senior Director, Project Delivery & Compliance

Lauren has served in project management roles in both the pharmaceutical industry and academia and has extensive experience in human subjects research administration. She lives just outside of Philadelphia where you can find her doing home improvement projects. linkedin

Rob Medina

Director of User Support

Rob is based out of Portland, OR, where he enjoys the easy access to mountains, the beach, and an international airport. He’s spent his career in customer experience and self-service knowledge management. He’s also a scuba diver and owner of a 1981 Minnie Winnie. linkedin

Gary Pinkham

Technical Lead

Gary has spent over 30 years in software development and technical leadership throughout a variety of industries including healthcare and pharmaceutical research. Gary lives in eastern Massachusetts with his wife and children, and their two Shih Tzus. linkedin

Adam Russell

Software Engineer

Adam’s home base is Connecticut, but he is beginning to enjoy traveling as he works. He’s been a software developer, animator, and filmmaker. He’s a board game aficionado. linkedin

Michael Shapiro-Barr

Director of Business Development

Michael lives in beautiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife and two dogs. His passion for supporting those in need drives his creativity and direction in his work with rare disease populations. He is a dedicated bicyclist and film score enthusiast. linkedin

Natasha Wang

Director of Software QA

Natasha's expertise is full-cycle manual and automation testing of web, mobile, and desktop applications. She's a recent west coast to east coast transplant and lives in New York City with her husband and young children. linkedin

Helen Xu

Product Manager

Helen is in Houston, Texas, and before working at Backpack Health she was a chemical engineer in the oil and gas industry. She’ll go to extremes for the perfect photo and chooses her friends based on how cute their dog is. linkedin

Board of Directors

Mark Goldman

Chairman

Jim Cavan MS

CEO

David M. Duchesneau JD, CPA, CFP
Daniel Reale MBA, JD
Robyn Shapiro JD

General Counsel

Michael Weamer