Profiles in Telehealth: Ladan Bourneuf - Lead Clinician Advocate

Our lead clinician advocate has found herself in her most fulfilling role to date, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out why she is so passionate about helping clinicians provide a better way to deliver care with Wheel.

What’s your role at Wheel?

I’m the Lead Clinician Advocate at Wheel and have the pleasure of recruiting our incredibly valuable clinicians. Being an advocate to our clinicians is one of the most important things we do at Wheel; we want to ensure that they are heard, valued, and attaining work-life balance with telemedicine. There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to hear the stories of what has driven clinicians to consider telemedicine and how we can help them in this journey. And now it’s more important than ever during this COVID-19 pandemic when clinicians across the nation are looking for meaningful and safe ways to help through telemedicine.

What’s your background? What did you do before working with Wheel?

I completed my undergraduate degree in international business at the University of Texas at Arlington and my graduate degree with a focus on global business at St. Edward's University.

After graduate school, I was lucky to land a job at a small, Austin-based startup. While I thought I needed a break from startup companies after a four-year run, I quickly learned that startups are exactly where I belong. I love the pace-- even while raising two young children and living with a husband in residency who works long hours!

I’ve spent a majority of my career in e-commerce start-ups, but was incredibly excited to join a healthcare company where I KNEW I would be able to make a larger impact. The daily sentiment my former colleagues and I used to share with one another during stressful times was: “Let’s slow down for a second, we’re not saving lives here, we’re helping people _______ (fill in the blank: get access to coupons, buy outdoor gear, etc). Now, I can truly say that we are taking a small part in helping save lives, especially with COVID-19 support!

Why did you join the Wheel team?

I joined Wheel in February of 2019, and at such a fast-growing company, this makes me an “old-timer!”

I love working alongside small teams who share the same common goals, who are gregarious and tenacious, and who are passionate about what they do.

Being at a growing company and having the ability to truly make a meaningful impact is incredibly fulfilling. Couple that with a mission to always put Clinicians First-- and my job is gold!

I also love connecting with clinicians, hearing their stories, and understanding what prompted them to want to practice telemedicine. It’s saddening at times to hear how much clinicians have given up to work in medicine, but knowing that we can help make a small impact on their lives is the most fulfilling work!

What’s your recent Wheel Moment of Reward?

Wheel was created to change the way healthcare works, while also putting clinicians first. Daily, I have the opportunity to connect with clinicians who are burned out, overworked, and seeking work-life balance. It’s incredibly rewarding to help clinicians find opportunities where they can continue to impact patients, while also giving them some of their time back.

There have been several recent situations where I’ve found myself overwhelmed with emotion when talking to clinicians. Amidst all of the COVID-19 support, we’ve really ramped up clinician onboarding to assist many of our telemedicine providers. Witnessing teams of clinicians coming together quickly, supporting one another, and jumping in with little to no lead time to help triage and care for patients during this incredibly ambiguous and unprecedented time has been amazing. The camaraderie and “let’s do this together” mentality that we have seen with our clinicians has confirmed my passion for what we are all doing here at Wheel.

Wheel partnered with an amazing telemedicine company that enables COVID-19 lab testing. Our clinicians are responsible for reviewing the test results and then delivering the results to patients and providing care strategies. While the news may not always be positive, knowing that we can help patients get ahead of what could turn into a devastating situation is indescribable! I’ve worked at some incredible companies throughout my career, but never have I felt so fulfilled and attached to the work that I’m doing.

What do you think the future of healthcare holds?

My response to this would have been very different about 3 weeks ago. While we have always seen a need for telemedicine and know that rural and remote areas can benefit immensely from the use of telemedicine, we are seeing a need now more than ever.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a huge shift from in-person care to virtual care. Not only are patients turning to telehealth, but we are seeing providers who want alternative avenues to deliver care to their patients while maintaining their own health and safety. Recently, along with the help of many telehealth partners, our goal has been to provide screening, triage, education and care strategies to patients while simultaneously driving down the number of patients who would normally be seen for non-COVID-19 medical needs in a primary care, urgent care or ER setting. Our collective goal is to ensure we are not overwhelming our healthcare system, and thanks to telehealth we are able to provide that service to patients through the aid of very specific protocols and guidelines.

It’s unfortunate that telemedicine has recently received so much attention under these dire circumstances, but it’s wonderful to know that virtual care is going to continue to play a huge role in quality care delivery for patients-- now and into the future.

Thanks, Ladan, for sharing your thoughts and being an essential member of the #WheelCareTeam!

Interested in joining our team? Check out the latest career opportunities with Wheel.

Learn more about our team in our staff profiles with Thomas Bazerghi, Operations Manager, and Dr. Rafid Fadul, Chief Medical Officer at Wheel.