Founded in 2011, First Stop Health was the idea of co-founders: Ken Anderson, Dr. Mark Friedman, and Patrick Spain. Their goal was to provide telemedicine services to address the U.S. healthcare system’s twin challenges of rapidly rising and unsustainable costs and the growing gap in access to primary care physicians. First Stop Health tested telemedicine services directly with consumers in 2012 and with employers in 2013. The latter was a more receptive market.

In 2014 First Stop Health began offering nationwide telemedicine coverage and in 2015 the company completed building its own proprietary physician network.

First Stop Health provides telemedicine services through employers to their employees. Through its nationwide network of physicians First Stop Health treats members' everyday health issues over via phone and video via the Web and smart apps. Our physicians are licensed in all 50 states and D.C.

First Stop Health differentiates itself through the use of intense engagement strategies that result in the highest utilization rates of any provider in the industry. High utilization results in savings from diverted visits to expensive physical healthcare facilities, allowing First Stop Health to provide its clients with a guaranteed ROI when purchasing the company's services. The company has grown its top line revenue at triple digit rates throughout its history and was an Inc 500 company in 2018.

First Stop Health is privately held and headquartered in Chicago.


Meet the Team

Patrick Spain
Co-Founder, Board Chairman, CEO

Patrick Spain started First Stop Health because of his own unsatisfactory experience with the healthcare system and his desire to improve that experience for others. Mr. Spain is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded four Internet-based companies.

After graduating from law school Mr. Spain worked for Extel corporation, a manufacturer of telecommunications and computer equipment, first as a lawyer then as a business executive. Extel was sequentially owned by Dow Jones, Rolls Royce and JWP from 1979-1990.   

Co-founder and long-time chairman and CEO of Hoover’s, Mr. Spain led the company from a small book publisher in 1992 to a profitable, publicly traded online business information services company with $31 million in revenue in 2001 with a sale to D&B in 2003 for $119 million.

Mr. Spain was also the Founder, CEO & Chairman and CEO of HighBeam Research, which he started in 2002 and sold to Cengage Learning in December 2008. He also co-founded and serves as executive chairman of Newser, a news filtering and summarization service with an audience of over three million readers each month.

Mr. Spain serves as a board member of Owler a Silicon Valley-based company information service that is using crowd sourcing and AI to revolutionize data collection, quality and delivery. Mr. Spain also serves on the board of Occasion, a Chicago-based calendaring and payment platform for small merchants. 

Mr. Spain is a member of the Library Council at the University of Chicago and is a member of the Board of Governors of Opportunity International, the largest and best capitalized micro-lender in the world. Mr. Spain has worked in the technology industry since 1979 and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in Ancient Roman History and a law degree from Boston University. 

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Patrick Spain,
Co-Founder, Board Chairman, CEO

Patrick Spain started First Stop Health because of his own unsatisfactory experience with the healthcare system and his desire to improve that experience for others. Mr. Spain is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded four Internet-based companies.

After graduating from law school Mr. Spain worked for Extel corporation, a manufacturer of telecommunications and computer equipment, first as a lawyer then as a business executive. Extel was sequentially owned by Dow Jones, Rolls Royce and JWP from 1979-1990.   

Co-founder and long-time chairman and CEO of Hoover’s, Mr. Spain led the company from a small book publisher in 1992 to a profitable, publicly traded online business information services company with $31 million in revenue in 2001 with a sale to D&B in 2003 for $119 million.

Mr. Spain was also the Founder, CEO & Chairman and CEO of HighBeam Research, which he started in 2002 and sold to Cengage Learning in December 2008. He also co-founded and serves as executive chairman of Newser, a news filtering and summarization service with an audience of over three million readers each month.

Mr. Spain serves as a board member of Owler a Silicon Valley-based company information service that is using crowd sourcing and AI to revolutionize data collection, quality and delivery. Mr. Spain also serves on the board of Occasion, a Chicago-based calendaring and payment platform for small merchants. 

Mr. Spain is a member of the Library Council at the University of Chicago and is a member of the Board of Governors of Opportunity International, the largest and best capitalized micro-lender in the world. Mr. Spain has worked in the technology industry since 1979 and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in Ancient Roman History and a law degree from Boston University. 

David Guttman
President

David Guttman led several early stage tech-based companies and has over 10 years of online B2B and B2C experience. David was recently the SVP and General Manager of Web Research Products Group for Cengage Learning. Prior, David was COO of HighBeam Research. David has over 25 years of financial, operating and technology experience in various capacities with companies from startups to the Fortune 500.

David graduated from Brown University with a dual degree in computer science and organizational behavior and management and holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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David Guttman,
President

David Guttman led several early stage tech-based companies and has over 10 years of online B2B and B2C experience. David was recently the SVP and General Manager of Web Research Products Group for Cengage Learning. Prior, David was COO of HighBeam Research. David has over 25 years of financial, operating and technology experience in various capacities with companies from startups to the Fortune 500.

David graduated from Brown University with a dual degree in computer science and organizational behavior and management and holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nick Severino
Vice President of Marketing

Nick Severino is an accomplished marketing leader, who has more than 20 years of professional marketing experience. He has extensive experience in the healthcare industry, working in the carrier, brokerage and TPA segments. Nick has thorough knowledge of the B2B2C channel and helped lead numerous organizations by aligning their marketing and sales strategies to routinely exceed goals.

Nick graduated from Dominican University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and holds his Master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.

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Nick Severino,
Vice President of Marketing

Nick Severino is an accomplished marketing leader, who has more than 20 years of professional marketing experience. He has extensive experience in the healthcare industry, working in the carrier, brokerage and TPA segments. Nick has thorough knowledge of the B2B2C channel and helped lead numerous organizations by aligning their marketing and sales strategies to routinely exceed goals.

Nick graduated from Dominican University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and holds his Master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Steve Vivian
Board Director

Stephen Vivian is a Principal & Founder of Kestrel Capital Group and has spent over 20 years financing and investing in growth oriented companies. He has deep experience as a principal investor across all stages of an enterprise’s life cycle, including start-ups. Prior to co-founding Kestrel in 2011, Vivian spent 15 years at Prism Capital, having joined as Prism’s second full-time professional in 1999. Prism invested in 40 companies across two (one start-up and one mezzanine) funds.

Vivian has been an active industry leader, having served as a past Chairman of the Small Business Investors Alliance, or SBIA (formerly known as NASBIC). He was also active in the inception of the Illinois Venture Capital Association and serves on the President’s Leadership Council of the Chicago Field Museum. Steve received both an MBA and a BS in General Engineering from the University of Illinois and has been a frequent speaker on the Urbana / Champaign campus, as well as at other colleges and universities. He also serves on the faculty of the Venture Capital Institute and has served on the board of numerous other not-for-profit entities.

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Steve Vivian,
Board Director

Stephen Vivian is a Principal & Founder of Kestrel Capital Group and has spent over 20 years financing and investing in growth oriented companies. He has deep experience as a principal investor across all stages of an enterprise’s life cycle, including start-ups. Prior to co-founding Kestrel in 2011, Vivian spent 15 years at Prism Capital, having joined as Prism’s second full-time professional in 1999. Prism invested in 40 companies across two (one start-up and one mezzanine) funds.

Vivian has been an active industry leader, having served as a past Chairman of the Small Business Investors Alliance, or SBIA (formerly known as NASBIC). He was also active in the inception of the Illinois Venture Capital Association and serves on the President’s Leadership Council of the Chicago Field Museum. Steve received both an MBA and a BS in General Engineering from the University of Illinois and has been a frequent speaker on the Urbana / Champaign campus, as well as at other colleges and universities. He also serves on the faculty of the Venture Capital Institute and has served on the board of numerous other not-for-profit entities.

Mark L. Friedman, MD FACEP FACP
Co-Founder, Board Director, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Friedman’s idea for First Stop Health grew out of his many years practicing Emergency Medicine and looking after the healthcare issues of his family. He is a nationally recognized expert in Emergency Medicine, quality assurance and medical cost containment, serving as an adviser to government agencies on medical billing, fraud, and abuse. He is an active member of the Telemedicine Committee of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Formerly, he was Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Frank Netter School of Medicine, Chief of Emergency Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of Boston, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois, and Adjunct Professor of Public Health at Benedictine University. Dr. Friedman has also served as president of The Brighton Group, a medical billing and consulting company, and CEO of National Medical Claims Analysts.

Dr. Friedman is a graduate of the Pritzker School of Medicine of the University of Chicago and the Kron Scholar Program of the University of North Carolina’s Kenan Flagler School of Business. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Life Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

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Mark L. Friedman, MD FACEP FACP,
Co-Founder, Board Director, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Friedman’s idea for First Stop Health grew out of his many years practicing Emergency Medicine and looking after the healthcare issues of his family. He is a nationally recognized expert in Emergency Medicine, quality assurance and medical cost containment, serving as an adviser to government agencies on medical billing, fraud, and abuse. He is an active member of the Telemedicine Committee of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Formerly, he was Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Frank Netter School of Medicine, Chief of Emergency Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of Boston, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois, and Adjunct Professor of Public Health at Benedictine University. Dr. Friedman has also served as president of The Brighton Group, a medical billing and consulting company, and CEO of National Medical Claims Analysts.

Dr. Friedman is a graduate of the Pritzker School of Medicine of the University of Chicago and the Kron Scholar Program of the University of North Carolina’s Kenan Flagler School of Business. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Life Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Robyn Docherty
Chief Financial Officer

Robyn Docherty has been involved with early stage tech-based companies since joining HighBeam Research in 2004. She served as VP of Finance & Operations in the Web Research Products Group of Cengage Learning after it acquired HighBeam. More recently she was Director of Finance at Hireology, a Chicago based SaaS hiring platform. Ironically, Docherty started her career working for very large companies in New Zealand, but after moving to the US, she has found her home in the start-up company culture.

Docherty graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Management Studies and was a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand.

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Robyn Docherty,
Chief Financial Officer

Robyn Docherty has been involved with early stage tech-based companies since joining HighBeam Research in 2004. She served as VP of Finance & Operations in the Web Research Products Group of Cengage Learning after it acquired HighBeam. More recently she was Director of Finance at Hireology, a Chicago based SaaS hiring platform. Ironically, Docherty started her career working for very large companies in New Zealand, but after moving to the US, she has found her home in the start-up company culture.

Docherty graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Management Studies and was a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand.

Ben McInturff
Vice President of Technology

With over 16 years of experience developing in the latest technologies, McInturff has extensive experience as a Full Stack developer in both .NET and Open Source technology stacks. McInturff has over 7 years experience in his roles at FSH, and maintains all the workflows and systems developed to facilitate First Stop Health's exceptional service platform. With experience developing systems in the news and financial verticals, McInturff brings unique capabilities to developing and maintaining FSH's secure real-time healthcare services platform. McInturff also has extensive experience developing for mobile delivery platforms, business to business communications systems, and in securely dealing with PII and HIPAA requirements.

McInturff has a bachelor's degree in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also earned an MBA from IIT's Stuart School of Business, and is a member of its Beta Gamma Sigma chapter.

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Ben McInturff,
Vice President of Technology

With over 16 years of experience developing in the latest technologies, McInturff has extensive experience as a Full Stack developer in both .NET and Open Source technology stacks. McInturff has over 7 years experience in his roles at FSH, and maintains all the workflows and systems developed to facilitate First Stop Health's exceptional service platform. With experience developing systems in the news and financial verticals, McInturff brings unique capabilities to developing and maintaining FSH's secure real-time healthcare services platform. McInturff also has extensive experience developing for mobile delivery platforms, business to business communications systems, and in securely dealing with PII and HIPAA requirements.

McInturff has a bachelor's degree in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also earned an MBA from IIT's Stuart School of Business, and is a member of its Beta Gamma Sigma chapter.

Rich Gallun
Board Director

Rich Gallun is an entrepreneur and business leader with extensive experience in the healthcare and employee benefits space.  Gallun co-founded and served as CEO of bswift from 2000-2015; bswift was acquired by Aetna in 2014. bswift provides cloud-based technology and services for benefits enrollment and administration.  He currently is serving as a Board Director for several organizations, including First Stop Health, Positive Coaching Alliance and Evanston Soccer Association.  

Gallun’s prior experience includes various sales, consulting and management positions at A.T. Kearney, IBM, Sachs Group and Health Partners.

Gallun earned his MBA from Harvard University, and holds undergraduate degrees in economics and history from Williams College.

 

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Rich Gallun,
Board Director

Rich Gallun is an entrepreneur and business leader with extensive experience in the healthcare and employee benefits space.  Gallun co-founded and served as CEO of bswift from 2000-2015; bswift was acquired by Aetna in 2014. bswift provides cloud-based technology and services for benefits enrollment and administration.  He currently is serving as a Board Director for several organizations, including First Stop Health, Positive Coaching Alliance and Evanston Soccer Association.  

Gallun’s prior experience includes various sales, consulting and management positions at A.T. Kearney, IBM, Sachs Group and Health Partners.

Gallun earned his MBA from Harvard University, and holds undergraduate degrees in economics and history from Williams College.

 

Maria Opdycke
Chief Operating Officer

Opdycke comes to First Stop Health from Chicago-based myFootpath.com, a provider of innovative enrollment solutions for higher education institutions. There, she most recently served as vice president of strategic develop and previously as vice president of operations. Prior to her experience at myFootpath.com, Opdycke was a co-founder of Malia Designs, a mission-driven, fashion accessories business where she sourced internationally-produced products, developed domestic distribution channels and managed daily operations was the co-founder of a mission-driven fashion served as senior economist at Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, a Chicago-based investment dealer that specialized in debt securities, including municipal bonds.

Opdycke earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

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Maria Opdycke,
Chief Operating Officer

Opdycke comes to First Stop Health from Chicago-based myFootpath.com, a provider of innovative enrollment solutions for higher education institutions. There, she most recently served as vice president of strategic develop and previously as vice president of operations. Prior to her experience at myFootpath.com, Opdycke was a co-founder of Malia Designs, a mission-driven, fashion accessories business where she sourced internationally-produced products, developed domestic distribution channels and managed daily operations was the co-founder of a mission-driven fashion served as senior economist at Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, a Chicago-based investment dealer that specialized in debt securities, including municipal bonds.

Opdycke earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Teira Gunlock
Vice President of Client Success

Gunlock comes to First Stop Health with extensive healthcare experience and a passion for service. Her interest in telemedicine blossomed in graduate school where she conducted research and planned new processes for reducing inconvenient and exhausting trips to specialists for follow-up care for inpatient rehabilitation patients. To be exposed to a multitude of care settings and provider systems, she joined Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC), a national leader in healthcare market research. Over her seven years there, she consulted with leading health systems across the country to help them understand patient experience and physician engagement data and use it to improve.

Gunlock earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri and an MHA from the School of Medicine, also at the University of Missouri.

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Teira Gunlock,
Vice President of Client Success

Gunlock comes to First Stop Health with extensive healthcare experience and a passion for service. Her interest in telemedicine blossomed in graduate school where she conducted research and planned new processes for reducing inconvenient and exhausting trips to specialists for follow-up care for inpatient rehabilitation patients. To be exposed to a multitude of care settings and provider systems, she joined Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC), a national leader in healthcare market research. Over her seven years there, she consulted with leading health systems across the country to help them understand patient experience and physician engagement data and use it to improve.

Gunlock earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri and an MHA from the School of Medicine, also at the University of Missouri.

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Thomas Chiang
Vice President of Corporate Development & New Products

Thomas Chiang is a senior corporate development, corporate venture, and product development executive. Through experiences from industry leading organizations, innovative startups, and senior advisory roles, Chiang brings a unique combination of perspectives to new venture, growth strategy development, and execution. Chiang successfully built and led teams, products, and new initiatives within Healthcare, Technology, and Financial Services sectors.

Chiang was 2nd VP – New Growth Ventures at Trustmark Insurance between 2008 and 2009, and the Executive Director – Strategic Business Development / Program and Product development at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association from 2011 to 2013, and currently serves as Executive in Residence at the Catapult Chicago. Chiang also serves as a mentor for Healthbox, and MATTER Chicago, and on the advisory board of Mozart Medical.

Chiang has a bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth

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Thomas Chiang,
Vice President of Corporate Development & New Products

Thomas Chiang is a senior corporate development, corporate venture, and product development executive. Through experiences from industry leading organizations, innovative startups, and senior advisory roles, Chiang brings a unique combination of perspectives to new venture, growth strategy development, and execution. Chiang successfully built and led teams, products, and new initiatives within Healthcare, Technology, and Financial Services sectors.

Chiang was 2nd VP – New Growth Ventures at Trustmark Insurance between 2008 and 2009, and the Executive Director – Strategic Business Development / Program and Product development at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association from 2011 to 2013, and currently serves as Executive in Residence at the Catapult Chicago. Chiang also serves as a mentor for Healthbox, and MATTER Chicago, and on the advisory board of Mozart Medical.

Chiang has a bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth