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Hidden Gems: Meet Kelsey Ball Fomengia of FiveMedicine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelsey Ball Fomengia, PhD.

Hi Kelsey, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
FiveMedicine is a mobile telehealth company founded in 2018. The company’s primary focus is to change the health care landscape, making it convenient and accessible. Our passion lies in addressing issues regarding health equity by bringing quality health care services to the underserved and, often, overlooked community members. Given our telehealth focus, the name FiveMedicine was created to convey the messages of “wellness at your fingertips” and “medicine in the palm of your hand.” Since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, FiveMedicine has focused its energies on partnering with local departments of health, faith-based institutions, schools, and companies in their vaccination efforts and their COVID-19 surveillance programs. Millions of Americans need to be tested and vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to working or studying in person safely. Our company plays an integral role in facilitating this process. With our mobile testing and vaccination clinics throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, our extraordinary team has expanded our services, allowing us to broaden our scope during the pandemic. We have successfully reached tens of thousands of individuals in the DMV area, and our numbers continue to grow through continued targeted outreach.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Some of our earliest obstacles dealt with addressing the undeniable demand for services. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed medical and mental health needs in our community, and the demand for services and responses from the community was overwhelming at first (in a good way)! We quickly expanded our services from primary medical and mental health care via telehealth to include in-person work with testing, and vaccinating people in the community. Our mental health efforts also broadened to include conducting wellness screens at back-to-school events, conducting group therapy at youth summer camps, and offering therapeutic yoga as a stress management tool. Our staff grew exponentially between 2020 and 2021, and we will continue to pivot and expand in whatever ways we need to to respond effectively to the community’s needs.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
FiveMedicine specializes in telehealth and mobile health care services. Within the medical field, we offer COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, medical screenings, and physicals. Our mental health providers can complete psychological assessments, mental health screenings, and therapeutic interventions remotely or in person. In addition, we offer other wellness services, such as mindfulness training and therapeutic yoga, which are excellent complementary health care practices for both children and adults. While we have partnered with and provided services to various community members, we particularly strive to bring health and wellness to under-resourced areas. To that end, we offer services on a sliding scale, and we aim to ensure that no one is ever denied access to care.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting?
FiveMedicine’s founder and CEO is known for always encouraging the team to tackle problems head-on and to “JUST START.” Even if you don’t know the entire roadmap for accomplishing a dream or realizing a vision, it’s critical to get out there and start making moves. Talk to people, network, and never be afraid of getting a “no” or running into closed doors. Running a start-up company is truly a labor of love, but as the saying goes, when you do something that you love, you never have to work a day in your life!

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