Two high profile names from the local healthcare scene are getting back in the game.
Tonya Mallory, the founder and former CEO of Health Diagnostic Laboratory, and former Bon Secours Virginia chief executive Peter Bernard are launching Creo, a West End-based company that describes itself as a blood testing and health coaching venture aimed at reducing employers’ long-term healthcare costs.
Reached briefly by phone last week, Mallory confirmed her and Bernard’s involvement, before ushering further conversation to a PR handler.
Bernard, in an email, confirmed that he is involved in the company.
The pairing gives Creo an experienced top layer of leadership in the healthcare sector. Bernard retired last year after 15 years as CEO of Bon Secours Virginia, where he oversaw an organization with nine hospitals, 12,500 employees and $2.1 billion in revenue.
Mallory built HDL from scratch on the basis that using special blood tests to predict a patient’s risk for ailments like heart disease could help lower long-term healthcare costs.
The company became a fast-rising darling of the Richmond startup scene that at its peak had nearly 900 employees and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, only to be toppled by federal kickback allegations due its practice of paying doctors to use its services. Mallory resigned from the company in 2014.
While HDL was consequently sold in a bankruptcy sale, Mallory and several of the company’s former sales contractors and shareholders, as well as other lab companies, continue to fight the federal government over whether they masterminded business models that flouted anti-kickback laws. Mallory’s attorneys continue to argue her case should be dismissed.
Creo is still in its early stages. It leased space late last year at 3460 Mayland Court and recently launched its website, which explains the company’s model will use “advanced blood testing, precision analytics, and health coaching.” It goes on to say “…our partners’ wellness initiatives are built on reliable data, employee plans are personalized and effective, and employers can expect real health improvements with measurable reductions in long-term health plan costs.”