This is the next episode of this Inspiring Women collaboration highlighting several of the extraordinary women leaders in the 7Wire family.
Jennie joined forces with her father, Dr. David Shulkin, former US Secretary of the VA to address to create Override and to address chronic pain. Why? Two traumatic brain injuries left her with complex chronic pain and seeking treatment was not just hard, it was near impossible. Today, one in five people live with some sort of pain and solutions do exist for more simplistic targeted pain issues. But chronic pain requires a team-based approach and a more wholistic solution, queue up Override!
Hear Jennie talk about:
- Her journey from competitive athlete to criminal law to health entrepreneur. Growing up with her father, she wanted to avoid being in healthcare. Her frustrating lived experience with chronic pain pushed her to find solutions and not just for herself.
- How Override works: Pain physicians, coaches, physical therapists working as a team with a virtual platform to give everything a patient needs in one place. Functional, cognitive, and physical progress does take time and commitment. Override patients need to opt into the program. Those that do have excellent satisfaction. Jennie speaks with pride about patients who have now been discharged from the program or the woman who was bedridden for months, finally able to fulfill a dream goal of getting to the beach.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Jennie talks about building a company and what it means to have high standards of excellence (not a surprise when you consider her athletic career and Harvard Law training) coupled with the balance needed to build teams and deliver results.
- Her advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs? Do not seek to make yourself in the mold of others, being yourself matters!
Jennie Shulkin, JD
Co-Founder & CEO
CEO and Co-Founder Jennie Shulkin was a nationally ranked tennis and squash player and a student at the University of Pennsylvania when she suffered two head injuries within a year-and-a-half of each other. Soon after, she developed a complex chronic pain syndrome affecting multiple parts of her body. As best she could, Jennie continued living her life – pushing through Harvard Law School and building a career in law. All the while, she carried the burden of the agonizing, time-consuming, expensive, and both physically and emotionally painful journey of seeking pain relief. When each medication, intervention, and various other treatments failed, the treating providers shrugged, sent her away, and often told her she was “out of options.” Adding to the frustration, many of the doctors, physical therapists, and psychologists Jennie consulted treated her chronic pain no differently from acute pain and were therefore ineffective. Additionally, most had little interest in or time to communicate with other providers working with Jennie. The result was fragmented care, inconsistent messaging, and contradicting plans of action.
Jennie wanted a better way. Joining forces with her father, she began creating a solution that she and others in pain needed but did not exist elsewhere: a comprehensive, team-based approach to care that is implemented by providers who really understand chronic pain. Jennie lives with pain every day. But she has learned to stop cure-seeking – to stop putting life on hold until a pill, procedure, or doctor brings about the magic fix – and has found more effective ways to interact with the pain and build a fulfilling life.