Wednesday, December 2, 2020


Our mission is to empower frontline care providers to reach their full potential both professionally and personally.

Our Story

Florence Health is dedicated to helping frontline healthcare professionals live their best life—from navigating the changing world of health to helping you balance the responsibilities of work and home.

We understand the roadblocks that can make this seem impossible—frontline healthcare professionals are often under-supported or undervalued commensurate to their contributions, often overworked and underpaid, and face increasingly difficult working conditions. We are here to connect like-minded professionals with each other and with expert resources and content to provide the support and care every frontline healthcare professional deserves.

Our team recognizes the need for a better support system for nurses and advanced practice providers. This is why we created Florence Health, an online resources and social networking platform (Huddle) geared towards empowering nurses to share insights and experiences, connect, learn, collaborate, and support one another. What’s more: we want to help you take better care of each other and yourself.

Our Beliefs

  • We believe that nurses and physician assistants should have opportunities to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other.
  • We believe that healthcare providers should be able to build an online community where they can exchange ideas, discuss challenges, and care for one another in private, without the world reading.
  • We believe that information can help change and inspire action and hope.
  • We believe that frontline care providers should lead fulfilling, healthy, and well-balanced lives that allow them to do and feel their best.

Our Core Team

We named ourselves after Florence Nightingale, the undisputed and heralded pioneer of modern nursing and frontline healthcare professionals. To us, it's more than a name. We share the same commitment and passion for innovating. We also hope that, like Florence, we are able to inspire and serve others.

Karim Farag

Chief Executive Officer

Karim has 20 years of digital experience - the last 14 years in health. Prior to Florence Health, Karim was CEO and Founder of uGO Health, and was Senior Vice President of Business Development & Strategy at Everyday Health where he was part of the senior management team responsible for growing the company from early stage to a successful IPO.

Eliot Wall

VP Operations

Eliot has over 10 years of experience in healthcare and life sciences using technology to solve operational challenges and improve patient care.  Eliot was previously CEO and Founder of Beacinsight, a workflow optimization tool for health care professionals. He has also worked in leading medical centers including, Boston Children's Hospital, Mass General Hospital, and St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospital.

Carey Rossi

Director of Content

Carey has built a successful career creating compelling and targeted content. Building on her time as a research associate at UCLA School of Medicine, she has reported on all aspect of health and medicine. She served as the editor in chief of print and digital magazines, and has created content strategies for healthcare and pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations to speak to their audiences.

Veer Gidwaney


Veer is the CEO and Co-founder of two venture-backed organizations acquired by F500 companies. Maxwell Health (est. 2010) was acquired by Sun Life Financial in June 2018. Maxwell Health ranked #100 on Deloitte's 2017 Technology Fast 500™ list. Control-F1 (est. 1999) pioneered automated technical support solutions and was acquired by Computer Associates (CA) in 2006.

Paul Jaffe

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Paul brings a wealth of healthcare and life sciences experience around sales, marketing, and new business development.  Following a successful sales career at Roche Laboratories, Paul co-founded Physicians and Nurses’ News Network, bringing timely interviews with industry thought leaders to Healthcare Providers. Paul was also National Sales Manager and Associate Publisher of RN Magazine, a leading journal in the Registered Nurse space.

Sal Chieffalo

Chief Financial Officer

Sal has spent nearly thirty-five years as a financial executive in large corporations, middle market and start-up companies including past agency work at Assembly, TargetCast tcm, Sudler & Hennessey and Ammirati Puris Lintas and KPMG. He started an outsourced CFO practice in 2015 focusing on bringing world-class financial operations expertise to clients.

Our Founders

Michael Bator


Michael is a seasoned consultant and investor with 28 years of experience primarily focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries. He was a Managing Director at Jennison Associates for 14 years where he was a successful Equity Research Analyst and investor in all areas of healthcare both long and short. Previously, Michael was a management consultant for 14 years, focusing on pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Aditya Julka


A serial entrepreneur with a history of successful start-ups, Aditya co-founded two biotech companies in his twenties, and his last company, which was backed by Accel Ventures, sold to a publicly-listed company in 2010. He received his degree in engineering at the IIT, Delhi, and was a Baker Scholar at HBS. He was most recently Co-Founder, CEO and then Chairman of Paddle8.

Satish Tadikonda


Satish Tadikonda is an entrepreneur in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. His primary interests lie in Healthcare IT and at the intersection of drug, medical device and diagnostics development, and software systems development, primarily for accelerating clinical trials and regulatory approvals. Satish has helped found and/or fund a number of innovative companies in technology, health care and the life sciences.

Our Clinical Advisory Board

LaWanda Baskin


LaWanda is an Assistant Professor and serves as the Interim Director at the School of Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice in the College of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi. As a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over twenty years of nursing experience, her clinical practice experience includes orthopedics, family practice, emergency, and urgent care. Her clinical research focuses on social support and culture’s effect on health outcomes, and her academic research interest includes methods to improve student experiences in online courses. LaWanda enjoys cooking and camping, as well as spending time with her husband and three children.

Casey Blumenthal


Casey has 40 years of nursing experience, including acute care, home health, administration, leadership, regulatory practice, and more. She was a Vice President for the Montana Hospital Association from 2002-2018, where she provided hospital and post-acute members with various membership services, liaised with state and federal agencies, and oversaw rural nursing workforce development. Casey is co-lead for the Montana Action Coalition, and co-director of the Montana Center to Advance Health through Nursing, which she founded in 2011 to begin implementation of the recommendations from the 2010 IOM Future of Nursing Report. Casey is an avid skier and mountain biker who loves to travel with her husband to pursue both activities.

Catherine Burger


Catherine runs a consulting and freelance writing business, is an advanced board-certified nurse executive, and serves as the Chief Nursing and Marketing Officer for Moxie Apparel, Inc. In her 30 years as a registered nurse, Catherine Burger has worked in a myriad of specialties across the continuum of healthcare, including labor and delivery, ICU, home health, ambulatory care, education, and clinical practice consulting. Situated in the beautiful Idaho mountains, Catherine loves spending time with her husband, their five children, and raising service puppies for Canine Companions for Independence.

Melissa Fritz


Melissa is currently the Director of Patient Care for Abbott Northwestern Hospital, which is part of Allina Health, responsible for the operational leadership and delivery of high quality and safe patient care across three Intensive Care Units, Critical Care Float Pool, Rapid Response, Telemetry Units, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and the Allina Health Remote Monitoring Center. Prior to this position, she has held a number of leadership positions at Allina Health. She currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children. In her free time, Melissa enjoys running, gardening, and traveling.

Trish Morton


Trish is Dean Emeritus, University of Utah College of Nursing and the editor of the Journal of Professional Nursing sponsored by the AACN. Prior to her deanship, Dr. Morton held various teaching and administrative positions at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Trish has authored three textbooks, numerous book chapters, and over 50 journal articles. She has served on the editorial board of six nursing journals and for seven years was the editor of a journal sponsored by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. She is a certified acute care nurse practitioner.

Fred Neis


A graduate of the University of Kansas, Fred got his healthcare start as a firefighter/paramedic while pursuing his BSN. Today, Fred is an executive with Lumeris, leading efforts to support health systems and providers in a value-based care world. Keeping to his roots, he continues to work shifts for a fire department each month and is an author and speaker. With over 25 years of clinical experience, he has worked in various settings including the ICU, ED, and as a flight nurse, as well as served in health system leadership. He’s a dad, runner, lover of good food and drink, spectator to live sporting events, and world traveler.

Fernando Villa


Fernando currently is a nurse manager at Mount Sinai Hospital in interventional radiology. He began his career in 2010 in the neonatal ICU, where he formed an interest in airway management and congenital heart defects. He has also worked in physical rehab, telemetry, transition of the newborn, postpartum, and telephone triage for endocrinology. Fernando is a first-generation Mexican American and a Texas native who enjoys traveling, cooking, and brewing kombucha at home. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his husband and cat, and is very involved with community organizing for education equity.

Our Commitment to You

  • Florence will help you grow professionally and personally
  • Florence will be your adviser who informs you on the best practices to bring to your workplace and your field.
  • Florence will be your support system—a place that you can come when you need to talk to someone else who understands
  • Florence will help connect you to like-minded professionals that you can learn from or share insights with.


Reaching your career aspirations, improving your workplace, making the healthcare field better, these are just a few of the things that Florence Health advocates and works toward.


Together we can accomplish more than we can alone. By collaborating, communicating, and caring with each other, we can ensure that the nursing profession rewards all—mentally, physically, and professionally.


Delivering the highest quality advice, research and tools that can inform you on ways to improve your life—in your field, in your career, and at your workplace and your home.


We believe that a happy, productive, and successful career mirrors a happy, productive, and successful home life.

Our Policies

Advertising and Conflicts of Interest

Florence Health is an advertiser-supported website that observes the following guidelines

  • When content or portions of our site are sponsored by third parties, we will clearly identify the sponsors and the sponsored areas.
  • We will disclose when content or products are developed as a direct result of sponsorship, even if the content or products are developed by the editorial team without influence.

Links on the site to external parties and properties, including other websites, do not constitute editorial recommendations.

Writers and contributors must disclose any financial interests and affiliations that may influence, or have the appearance of influencing, the specific content they provide.

Contact Us

General Information

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