What was the problem you wanted to solve with Tikvah?
When my son was young, his teacher said he had behavioral issues, so we talked to our doctor.
His solution was to put him on drugs, which didn’t line up for us. We did some research,
changed his diet, and he improved. Then, my wife had post-partum cardiomyopathy. Her
doctor said it didn’t look good for her, and that was it. We found a doctor who helped her get
her hormones balanced and her heart healed. The trouble is it’s expensive to go outside the
health insurance system.
Our healthcare system is heroic and valuable, but there’s no room for diversity in medicine.
There are a lot of situations that healthcare and health insurance are very effective in handling,
and great pharmaceutical advancements, but there are things that are missing. I love what
doctors do and how they’re trained, but we want them to think about how they’re
collaborating with others outside their fields. We believe there should be a multifaceted,
holistic approach to healthcare. We want to give like-minded people access to diverse care
options, including conventional medicine, that they don’t have now.
You’re driving a paradigm shift. How do you make that happen?
Our paradigms are formed very young when we’re young, naïve, and powerless. We go to the
doctor with our parents and form a programmed connection. They’re unconscious connections, so they’re rarely updated or evaluated. Most significantly, we assume they’re 100% accurate even when they’re not. In a paradigm shift, we have to unlearn and relearn. It’s the only way.
How do you determine what needs to change in an industry and what can remain the same?
Part of this is investigative work. Just because we’re innovative in this country doesn’t mean that’s the healthcare we need. Revenue in the pharmaceutical industry has never been higher, but collectively our health has never been worse.
At some point, people reach a threshold; they’ll find something that doesn’t line up and want an alternative. And some things aren’t seen as health needs that should be. We are adding voices; we’ll have a steering committee that can get people what they need. To make a change, you build on what works and incrementally add on other approaches. Things that make sense should stay the same.
How do you persuade others?
Society is always ripe for change, but it’s about timing. Post-COVID, everyone is more health conscious than before COVID. We have to be intentional about finding innovators and early adopters. We have to get people to question what they believe and why they believe it and be open to the fact that it might not be 100% true.
Health and wellness are much more mysterious than we ever imagined, and what we have now is a sick-care model. What we’re developing is a parallel system, and I predict people are going to get healthier because of preventative care, and there will be people in the other system that stay static. Most Americans aren’t going to be able to take this in overnight. Through education, though, we’ll start to make a shift.
You’re tackling something really outside of the box. How do you deal with self-doubt and stay motivated?
I keep going because this work is anchored in truth. I know this is what people deserve to have. I’d like it to go faster, but I’m okay with that. I’ve been fairly successful in accomplishing things at a high level, but I’ve never had to be so methodical as I am now. It’s hard, but I’m building resiliency that’s going to help because I expect to encounter friction as we grow.
My advice to other founders is anything in life that’s worth it doesn’t come easy. You can’t be afraid of healthy conflict; you have to be organized and ready to communicate in a loving way. When people ask questions, be ready to be transparent. We need to remain hopeful and expectant that if we do our part, we’ll progress.