Meet our team
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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
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
Member of the Board
Bob Palladino MBA