Helping patients has always been Dr. Alex Yampolsky’s passion. After graduating from UW-Madison with a doctorate in pharmacy in 2008, he worked at Aurora healthcare for seven years in a variety of patient centric roles from clinic pharmacist to director of pharmacy operations.
In 2015, Alex decided to return to UW-Madison seeking an MBA in Operations and Technology Management. His motivation to return to school? To transition from pharmacy to a broader healthcare role that would allow him to have a larger impact on patient care. During his time at the Wisconsin School of Business he further progressed his skills in leadership and strategy. One class he particularly enjoyed was Hart Posen’s class on Business Strategy. Hart’s class helped him develop a better understanding on how to think strategically and examine the competitive landscape and relationships between all the players within an industry. Alex also mentioned the Weikel Speaker Series as being particularly helpful in developing his business acumen and allowing him to learn the world outside of healthcare.
While at UW, Alex also applied to and was accepted into the Fellowship in Enterprise Development Program. Attending various entrepreneurship events on and off campus exposed Alex to “regular people from Wisconsin” who were able to do amazing things in areas he used to think were out of reach for someone like him. This inspired him to change course and pursue entrepreneurship as his primary objective in business school. During his coursework, he enrolled in the Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship (WAVE) Practicum. This practicum provided students the opportunity to launch their ideas with guidance from experts and support from their peers. There was also the opportunity for up to a $50,000 in investment from the Weinert Ventures Fund and Daniel Neviaser Fund. During WAVE, Alex was able to kickstart his startup idea. Additionally, he was able to develop connections with like-minded entrepreneurs, board members, and alumni which provided a supplemental support network for him. This experience was invaluable for him
After graduating in 2017, Alex continued building his startup, Vytal Health, and took the role of co-founder and Chief Operation Officer (COO). His inspiration for co-founding Vytal Health was to fix the many things he identified as broken within the medical system. His main objective was to address the transactional nature of medicine, which centered around metrics that doctors would have to hit instead of focusing on solving the root of the patient’s health problem. In Alex’s view this creates a system that doesn’t allow doctors to truly care about the patient. This is something Alex experienced in his own struggles with adrenal fatigue and seeing many friends and countless patients slowly get worse, rather than improve and get better.
Currently, the focus of Alex’s business is to create a virtual medical group that takes a holistic approach and works to identify and heal the root cause of disease and troublesome symptoms. Vytal Health’s current offering is positioned towards providing telemedicine-based concierge-like services for people who are looking to dig in deeper than they are able to with the traditional medical model. It also places an emphasis on creating long-standing relationships between patients and healthcare providers.
After four years of building Vytal Health from the ground up, Alex transitioned out of his active role as the COO and joined CareDirect as their CEO. CareDirect makes technology-enabled medication cabinets to help healthcare facilities fight and prevent drug diversion.
Through his entrepreneurial experiences and education at UW-Madison and beyond, Alex has been able to pursue his passion for patient care and entrepreneurship. His advice to future entrepreneurs is this, “Find and then stick to what makes you excited and happy. Don’t settle.” It’s clear from my conversation with Alex that he has found what makes him excited and happy.