Skip to main content

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.

Steve Dalton MS

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.

Lauren May MPH

VP, Compliance & Subscriber Success

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.

Daniel Z. Sands MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Danny Sands is a practicing physician with training and experience in clinical informatics and is passionate about healthcare transformation. He’s worked for over 25 years in a variety of capacities in the healthcare IT industry and spent almost 14 years doing clinical informatics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. There, he developed and implemented innovative systems to improve clinical care delivery and patient engagement. In addition to practicing, Dr. Sands is a co-founder and board chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine.

Charlotte BerlinRN

Senior Director of Client Engagement

Charlotte has served in various executive positions in the health field where she focused on patient experience. In her roles, she led U.S. and global transplant, immunology and dermatology strategy and focused on strengthening and empowering patients through their journey with educational and other support resources. She has also been listed among Pharma Voice's '100 Most Inspiring People.'

Kathleen CoolidgeMSW

Lead, Patient Advocacy

Kathleen has dedicated her professional career to working with patients and families and is the former Director of Patient Advocacy, Rare Diseases for Sanofi Genzyme, where she led a team dedicated to managing relationships with rare disease patient organizations. Prior to Sanofi Genzyme, she worked as a pediatric social worker dedicated to Cystic Fibrosis and other chronic illnesses.

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.

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.

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.

Jerel Johnson

Lead 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.

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.

Charmaine Liang

Senior Director of Product

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.

Aerica Lovett

Communication Design Manager

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.

Cris MontgomeryMS

Community and User Support Manager

Cris' passion has always lied in helping and improving the quality of life of other people, in a variety of different contexts. They live in Switzerland where they bring that drive and their multilingual background to help make Backpack Health more accessible to people across the world. They spend their free time traveling and taking photographs.

Jonathan Price

Senior Software Engineer

Jonathon has spent his career in healthcare informatics specializing in integration. Based in Auckland New Zealand, he has worked on projects all over the world. In his spare time, he can be found trying to create the perfect rum at a small craft distillery.

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.

Michael Shapiro-Barr

Senior Director of Business Development, Foundations & Non-Profits

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.

Erin Smith MPH

Senior Project Manager

Erin lives in the greater Boston area with her husband Topher and two children Hattie and Ben. She is most passionate about improving access to health care and tools that support wellness for vulnerable and underserved populations. As a project manager she gets to fulfill that passion working directly with our partners to create specialized groups within Backpack.

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.

Board of Directors

Mark Goldman

Chairman of the Board & Co-founder

Jim Cavan MS

CEO & Member of the Board

David M. Duchesneau JD, CPA, CFP

Member of the Board

Daniel Reale MBA, JD

Member of the Board

Robyn Shapiro JD

General Counsel & Member of the Board

Michael Weamer

Member of the Board

Carl Rosendorf

Key Advisor