Dr. Jonathan Ringo will step away from his position as president of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore to become the founder and CEO of a new telemedicine company, LifeBridge Health announced Jan. 8.
Sinai Hospital’s new president as of April will be Daniel Blum. He is the current president and CEO of Northwell Health’s Phelps Hospital in New York.
Ringo’s new technology company, Verrapo, will be based in both Israel and in Baltimore. It will bring care management services of a range of professionals to patients with chronic diseases. Ringo’s role as CEO and founder, he said, will be to bring in new customers, assist with financing, hire staff, and “all things in the beginning to succeed.”
He found interest in this niche when he realized how rapidly technology was advancing.
“Through my role as CMIO at LifeBridge Health and my travel to Israel, I was exposed to the advances in technology that existed in Israel,” said Ringo. “In discussions with colleagues at Israeli hospitals and start-ups, it became apparent to me that there were lots of opportunities to take Israeli technology and apply it to the care of patients.”
The majority of the staff will be working from Israel, including nurses, physicians, physician assistants, and pharmacists. It will also incorporate Israeli technology into the delivery of health care, such as artificial intelligence, algorithms, and remote patient monitoring technology.
“It is [part of the] wave of the future. A lot of care is delivered remotely, so the ability to coordinate that, bringing in Israeli technology,” is hugely powerful according to Ringo, who has a background in computer informatics.
“I am looking forward to working with talented professionals in Israel who have made aliyah, the innovation and technology available in Israel, and be in an environment that can nimbly react to new challenges in health care delivery,” said Ringo, who lives on the campus of Ner Israel with his wife Dvora Meira and six children. Meira is the executive director of Jewish Teen Advancement Program.
A humble man with a friendly South African accent, Ringo joined LifeBridge Health in 2014 as its first chief medical information officer. He then became the system’s vice president of clinical transformation. In 2017, Ringo became president of Sinai. Rather than boasting of his accomplishments, Ringo said his proudest achievement was working with his “incredible” and “devoted team” at the hospital that is more than 150 years old. Challenges, he said, include the health care industry’s complex and constantly changing nature.
Ringo is expected to officially step down this summer. He and Blum will work together for several months to ensure a smooth transition. Ringo states Blum’s biggest challenge will be to adjust to Maryland’s health care reimbursement system, but he has faith in Blum and the support he will have at Sinai and LifeBridge Health. Afterward, Ringo plans to remain involved with Sinai Hospital’s medical education program and, as a practicing OB-GYN, may continue occasional shifts on the Labor and Delivery unit.
“I look forward to joining the amazing teams at Sinai Hospital,” said Blum. He joins LifeBridge Health in a period of growth for the organization, including the recent acquisition of Grace Medical Center and plans for development at a site adjacent to the Pimlico racecourse. He is excited to “build on their well-earned reputation for providing high-quality, compassionate care along with the community initiatives that make a difference in a meaningful way.”
Blum began his career as a paramedic and emergency management system supervisor before he moved to hospital administration. In his new role, Blum will serve as senior vice president of LifeBridge Health, along with being president of Sinai Hospital and Grace Medical Center (recently renamed from Bon Secours Baltimore Hospital).
“As we wish Dr. Ringo well in his new venture, we are thrilled to have found such a strong and seasoned healthcare leader to carry on Sinai’s mission,” said Neil Meltzer, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health.
Sinai Hospital is located in Baltimore on Belvedere Ave.