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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 loves to write, and all of her creative work benefits the non-profit she started to advocate for global maternal and child health. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she sometimes writes songs with her recording artist husband and builds forts with her two boys, Ryan and Gus, and daughter, Maia Mae. 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


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


Cole Benson

Senior Product Designer


Allison Goldman

Software QA Analyst


Rob Goldman

Community Outreach Manager


Julie Hunt

Chief of Staff


Jerel Johnson

Senior Product Designer


Steve Kreis

Lead Engineer


Charmaine Liang

Product Director


Aerica Lovett

Product Designer


Lauren May MPH

Senior Director, Project Delivery & Compliance


Rob Medina

Director of User Support


Gary Pinkham

Technical Lead


Adam Russell

Software Engineer


Michael Shapiro-Barr

Director of Business Development


Natasha Wang

Director of Software QA


Helen Xu

Product Manager


Board of directors

Mark Goldman


Jim Cavan MS


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

General Counsel

Michael Weamer