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Veteran Nurse Launches Telehealth Business

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Troop Health Initiatives
(credit: istock) Technology Report
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BAY CITY (WWJ) – A Bay City native and Air Force veteran who’s also a longtime nurse and a cancer survivor has started a new telemedicine business.

Susan Pfund has founded Troop Health Initiatives LLC and is reselling the JEMS remote medical consultation system manufactured by Lake Orion-based JEMS Technology.

Pfund grew up in Bay City and got her bachelor of science in nursing from Saginaw Valley State University in 1987. A self-described sufferer of “wanderlust,” she worked for a hospital in Saginaw for two years, then moved on to hospitals on Connecticut, California, Texas, New York and Ohio.

Eventually, when her mother took sick, she returned home. And after her mother died of cancer in 2003, she got an invitation to consider nursing in the United States Air Force. She said she visited her first air force base on Armed Forces Day in 2005, signed up, and started officer’s training in April 2006 — at the age of 44. She later served at Lackland Air Force Base and as a trauma nurse in Iraq.

Then cancer called again — and Pfund herself was diagnosed with lymphoma in February 2008. After two bone marrow transplants, in 2008 and 2010, and a medical retirement from the Air Force, she started THI “to do something with telemedicine for the military.” In 2011, she said she was introduced to JEMS through her brother. “So now I’m looking at helping provide distance health care to the military, so patients can be in front of doctors without having to travel.”

Earlier this year, THI was officially verified as a ‘Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business,’ which makes the firm a participant in the VA’s Veterans First Contracting Program, giving it priority status in the VA’s procurement hierarchy. As a result of program participation, THI was awarded a federal contract to provide the JEMS system to VA hospitals.

“I was looking to provide a solution, be it a method or a technology, which would positively affect health outcomes,” Pfund said. And JEMS, she added, “is that solution. Its ability to virtually reach the proper specialist for immediate healthcare advice is a game-changer and will make a very positive impact on the care that Veterans receive. I look forward to providing access to this technology to many other healthcare providers as well.”

Pfund said she’s looking forward to learning more about telehealth and distance medicine.

“This world of telehealth, we’re just on the cusp,” Pfund said. “So I’m learning a lot, and I have a lot to learn.”

Because of her work with mobile health, Pfund has joined the state’s mobile and wireless technology trade association, the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan. Said MTAM executive director Linda Daichendt: “I found Susan’s story to be completely inspirational and a story that needed to be shared. She has already provided a lifetime of service, and yet has elected to utilize today’s most advanced technologies to find a way of continuing that service. I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard a more inspiring story.”

More about THI at http://TroopHealthInitiativesLLC.com.

MTAM is a non-profit trade association for Michigan’s mobile and wireless industry. The organization’s mission is to increase the use of Michigan-based mobile and wireless technology products and services in-state, nationally and globally; to increase the productivity and profitability of every industry vertical in Michigan via the use of these technologies; and to create sustainable jobs and increased entrepreneurial opportunities in the state based on the use of these technologies, thereby achieving substantial growth of Michigan’s economy. More at http://GoMobileMichigan.org.

MTAM is also the statewide producer of Mobile Monday Michigan, a mobile and wireless industry networking and education organization which is a branch of the international Mobile Monday organization. There are currently four Michigan chapters — Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Grand Rapids — with more than 2,500 members state-wide.

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