Virgin Pulse Expands Industry-Leading Science Advisory Board, Adding Seasoned Healthcare Executives

Prominent healthcare leaders Jacqueline Kosecoff, Ph.D., and Gary Smithson, M.D., bolster Virgin Pulse’s market leadership in global employee health, wellbeing and engagement

Framingham, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Virgin Pulse, the largest global employee health and wellbeing company, today announced that Jacqueline Kosecoff, Ph.D., and Gary Smithson, M.D., have joined the Virgin Pulse Science Advisory Board. The board, a renowned group of scientists, clinicians and industry thought leaders, serves a critical advisory function, ensuring that Virgin Pulse’s strategies, platform and product offerings are rooted in the most current, relevant scientific evidence and clinical best practices.

“We are thrilled to welcome Drs. Kosecoff and Smithson to our Science Advisory Board,” said Rajiv Kumar, M.D., Virgin Pulse’s Chief Medical Officer and President of the Virgin Pulse Institute. “Their extensive industry expertise and impressive leadership credentials make them valuable additions to our team—and to our clients. Their deep healthcare innovation experience underscores our unique commitment to providing the best, most engaging and effective evidence-based solutions—both digital and live—to help our clients and members succeed.”

“We currently lead the industry in changing and improving the way employees engage with their health, and we have big plans to continue to drive health innovation in our space,” said Kumar. “Drs. Kosecoff and Smithson bring many years of experience aligning the vision, products, services, systems and people needed to transform the delivery and impact of healthcare, and their collaboration empowers Virgin Pulse to stay ahead of the curve. We couldn’t be more excited to add these accomplished individuals to our team.”

Kosecoff will collaborate with Kumar and other senior Virgin Pulse leaders on prioritizing the board of directors’ strategic initiatives. With over 30 years working with health services, life sciences and IT companies, from pre-public to large-cap, Kosecoff brings extensive experience starting, leading and growing innovative companies committed to using technology and data to make the health industry more efficient, while simultaneously improving the quality and delivery of care. Currently working in private equity, Kosecoff focuses on identifying, selecting, mentoring and managing health services and IT companies.

Dr. Kosecoff previously was a senior executive at UnitedHealth Group–PacifiCare, with responsibility for its specialty businesses, including its PBM, the Medicare Part D Drug Program, PacifiCare Behavioral Health (PBH), PacifiCare Dental & Vision (PDV), and Women's Health Solutions. In 2007, Dr. Kosecoff was appointed CEO of Prescription Solutions (now known as OptumRx) with responsibility for United’s PBM, Specialty Pharmacy and Consumer Health Products, providing services to more than 13 million members, with annual revenue of $18.5 billion. Dr. Kosecoff also served as a Senior Advisor there, identifying and developing new growth and collaborative opportunities. 

Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group–PacifiCare, Dr. Kosecoff was founder, President and co-Chief Executive Officer of Protocare, whose lines of business included the clinical development of drugs, devices, biopharmaceutical and nutritional products as well as health services consulting. Dr. Kosecoff was also co-founder and co-CEO of Value Health Sciences (VHS), the first company to combine medical sciences and information technology to reengineer the utilization review and approval process, saving payors millions while improving the quality of care.

Dr. Kosecoff was also previously on the faculty of the Schools of Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

In addition to her entrepreneurial accomplishments, Dr. Kosecoff is a recognized expert in the areas of clinical and health services research, quality of care and technology assessment, disease management, and organization of the healthcare delivery system. She has published and consulted extensively, and serves on numerous public and private boards of directors, including Virgin Pulse.

Dr. Kosecoff holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University, and a doctorate from UCLA.

Gary M. Smithson, M.D., MBA, has also joined the Science Advisory Board. Dr. Smithson is a board-certified pediatrician and accomplished healthcare executive with over 30 years’ business and clinical experience. Dr. Smithson has deep knowledge of healthcare management for businesses, with areas of expertise including wellbeing and disease management programs, on-site and near-site health services, high-performance provider networks, cost and quality transparency, telehealth, consumer healthcare navigation, employer-sponsored health benefits and health plan clinical operations.

In 2017, Dr. Smithson joined RedBrick Health as its Chief Medical Officer, where he focused on expanding the breadth of its clinical services offerings, and value quantification for employers. Prior to RedBrick, Dr. Smithson served as a senior healthcare strategy consultant at both Willis Towers Watson and Deloitte Consulting, where he specialized in understanding the clinical needs of employer populations, designing programs to address those needs, and implementing comprehensive care management programs to improve workforce health and productivity, and to lower costs. His focus areas as a consultant included health and welfare benefits strategy, disease management, wellbeing, healthcare analytics and health information technology.

Before transitioning to healthcare consulting in 1996, Dr. Smithson founded and served as managing partner of a private pediatric practice in Glendale, California. Through an academic appointment at the University of Southern California, he volunteers each week in the outpatient clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as a clinical instructor of resident physicians.

Dr. Smithson earned his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati, completed his pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and received his MBA from the University of California, Irvine.

Drs. Kosecoff and Smithson join Science Advisory Board colleagues David Batman, MSC, MB.CHB., D.R.C.O.G., D.I.H., MFOM, FFOM; Susan David, Ph.D., BJ Fogg, Ph.D.; David Katz, M.D., MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM; and Ron Goetzel, Ph.D., creating an unmatched powerhouse of strategic health insights. For more information about the Virgin Pulse Science Advisory Board and the Virgin Pulse Institute, visit

About Virgin Pulse
Virgin Pulse is the world’s largest, most comprehensive digital health, wellbeing and engagement company. Founded as part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, the company is focused on engaging users every day in building and sustaining healthy behaviors and driving measurable outcomes for employees, employers and health plans. Virgin Pulse is fusing high-tech with high-touch to deliver the industry’s only integrated digital platform with benefits navigation and live coaching to support clients and members across the entire health, wellbeing and benefits lifecycle—from screening and assessment to activation, behavior change and the adoption of sustainable, healthy habits to condition management support. Today, members in more than 190 countries, spanning over 3,300 organizations—many of the Fortune 500 and Best Places to Work—rely on Virgin Pulse’s digital and live solutions to change their lives—and businesses—for good. To learn more, visit and follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact
Wendy Werve
Virgin Pulse