As seen in Medium magazine – In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. An interview with Luke Kervin.
Great Ideas — Whatever you are surrounding your career around has to be a good idea. Pitch your ideas to everyone you know and use their feedback. I remember pitching this model to our first medical director and he told me, “If half of what you say is true, I want in.” After treating that first patient he told me, “I don’t need to see any more case studies…this is one of the most profound results I have ever seen in my career in medicine.”
The global health and wellness market is worth more than 1.5 trillion dollars. So many people are looking to improve their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. At the same time, so many people are needed to help provide these services. What does it take to create a highly successful career in the health and wellness industry?
In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry” we are talking to health and wellness professionals who can share insights and stories from their experiences.
In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Wyatt Palumbo.
A chemical engineer by trade, Wyatt founded Lifestyle Healing Institute in 2014 after going through his own struggle with chronic illness. With nearly a decade of scientific research, development, and clinical data, Lifestyle Healing’s medical methods are now patented and work towards providing practical and accessible healthcare solutions for chronic disease, chronic mental illness, and the overprescribed epidemic of medications used to treat them.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you grew up?
Igrew up outside of Philadelphia in West Chester, PA. I always liked being active and enjoyed playing sports and hanging out with my friends and kids in the neighborhood. Math and science were always my favorite subjects in school, and I remember telling my mom when I was 15 that I was going to be a chemical engineer when I grew up. Funny how things work out.
Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to live a wellness-focused lifestyle? Can you tell us about your main motivation to go all in?
Health is very personal to me. I watched my mom suffer from a chronic illness growing up, and then when I was 18, my own health took a dive. I went to college and lost nearly 20 pounds in just a few weeks. After a few months, I became anxious, depressed, and stopped sleeping. My motivation was my own health — I didn’t want to feel that way.
Most people with a wellbeing centered lifestyle have a “go-to” activity, exercise, beverage, or food that is part of their routine. What is yours and can you tell us how it helps you?
We provide cold therapy in our clinic and I have a cold tub at my house. I spend a lot of time in my head and cold water is really centering for me. It helps me check in with myself, get out of my head — and just calm down.
To live a wellness-focused life is one thing, but how did it become your career? How did it all start?
When I got sick, I experienced healthcare from the patient perspective. It was hard — I felt like I wasn’t being heard, that my doctors were just throwing meds at me, and that ultimately, I may have to live like this. I also learned that this experience wasn’t unique to me. I opened Lifestyle Healing Institute to change that experience and ensure people get a genuine opportunity to feel better.
Can you share a story about the biggest challenges you faced when you were first starting? How did you resolve that? What are the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
My largest hurdle was that I needed to trial the therapy — I was sure it would work, but I was still in medical school. Our first medical director was actually a co-worker’s family doctor. He had a patient on multiple medications with treatment-resistant anxiety for over two years. After just a few weeks, the doctor was so blown away by the results of our first patient, that I ultimately left medical school to work on this full time. It taught me that if something is really important — you have to play it out.
Can you share with us how the work you are doing is helping to make a bigger impact in the world? Can you share a story that illustrates that?
I believe everyone deserves the opportunity for health, and people have come from all over the world to receive our therapy. But we are just one treatment center. Over the last two years, I have pushed our company into making our treatment methods more accessible, streamlined, and scalable. We will be able to license our medical technology to patients and providers alike and ultimately provide practical healthcare solutions to many more people in need.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I am really excited about the launch of our interactive healthcare platform and our first-in-class medication management software system. Patients and individuals will be able to learn about health by therapy, by condition, and by topic. Module-based coursework is taught by industry experts and will track understanding and progress. Our medication management software will help doctors provide assessment and recommend treatment plans for the 60 million Americans being overprescribed. Both products are expected by year’s end.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Determination. I was convinced our treatment models were accurate. I saw the results myself and was sure it could help a lot of people.
Leading by Example. Everyone is looking to you. When it comes to business, you are the example. When it comes to health, practice what you preach.
Listening. Taking the time to listen to every perspective helps me understand anything better — whether that be with a co-worker, patient, or anyone. The truth is there somewhere, take the time to listen.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. Wellness is an incredibly broad topic. How would you define the term “Wellness”? Can you explain what you mean?
To me, Wellness is quality of life. Sometimes in health, we are so concerned with a cure or what caused it that we miss the big picture. Our health is about the freedom of feeling good and we all want to maximize that feeling. To me that is what Wellness is, it is the quality of your life.
As an expert, this might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons with our readers about why focusing on our wellness should be a priority in our lives?
Your health is your freedom. The more sickness you experience, the more your freedoms will dwindle. Take the time to check-in and take care of your body and mind. Maximizing your Wellness is like maximizing your freedom.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasingly growing understanding of the necessity for companies to be mindful of the wellness of their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, can you share steps or initiatives that companies have taken to help improve or optimize their employees’ mental and physical wellness?
Work and Wellness are like oxymorons. In America, we often fit our lives into our work, and it is nice to see some companies making the stride to make our work fit more into our lives. More and more companies are offering their own wellness services and allotting rebates for personal wellness. More and more companies are seeing that if people are healthier and happier — we all win.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.
- Great Ideas — Whatever you are surrounding your career around has to be a good idea. Pitch your ideas to everyone you know and use their feedback. I remember pitching this model to our first medical director and he told me, “If half of what you say is true, I want in.” After treating that first patient he told me, “I don’t need to see any more case studies…this is one of the most profound results I have ever seen in my career in medicine.”
- Time — Make sure this is what you want to do because it will take up most, if not all, of your time. Whatever time you think it will take, it will take more, and you likely won’t have much to show for it in the beginning. I remember launching the business, flying back and forth from California to Florida while still in medical school, on a mere few thousand dollars of income. But I knew this could help people, and it is what I wanted to do.
- Support/Help — You’ll need help. Sometimes financially, and sometimes emotional support. Surround yourself with the right people and cut loose the ones that don’t serve your mission. My wife supports me every single day and listens to all my ideas, no matter how they sound. And my dad has been my biggest supporter and also my biggest help. He loaned me money to get the company started and let me live rent-free in his house when my income was only $4,000 in our first year. I was fortunate enough to have him help me, and I needed it. Sometimes you’ll even need some luck, but you will need help.
- Authenticity — It’s important to be authentic in any business, but for a career in health and wellness, it’s crucial. I suffered from chronic illness myself. I know what it is like and I worked myself back to where I am today. It’s something everyone who comes through our doors can relate to.
- Prioritize the Individual/Patient — A career in health and wellness is centered around the health and wellness of other people. My company has been treating people for nearly a decade, and I can assure you we wouldn’t have made it past year one if we didn’t listen to the patient. We continuously make changes to our treatment model and our business based on the overarching goal of getting people better. Any successful career in health and wellness is centered around the success of getting people better.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would promote the most wellness to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Changing the perspective of disease. From our perspective, we often feel our symptoms and diseases are taking our freedoms from us, but from the body’s perspective, it is merely telling us something is off and that it needs some help.
We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Elon Musk. I think he is changing the world for the better, but he has a lot on his plate. He will need some help solving healthcare [laughs].
How can our readers further follow your work online?
LHIhealthcare.com. It’s the hub for our information.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!
About the Interviewer: Luke Kervin is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of PatientPop, an award-winning practice growth technology platform. PatientPop is Kervin’s third successful business venture. Prior to co-founding PatientPop, Kervin co-founded and was President of ShopNation (acquired by Meredith Corporation) and was the first executive hire at StarBrand Media (acquired by POPSUGAR).