Movers & Shakers: Former Walmart Exec Joins BetterUp; Pavillon Names New CEO

BetterUp taps Walmart exec as its first CMO

Behavioral health unicorn BetterUp, which provides counseling and coaching services through its virtual platform, has named Tom Van Gilder as its first ever chief medical officer (CMO).

Van Gilder comes to the company from Walmart (NYSE: WMT), where he also served as CMO. There, Van GIlder led and developed Walmart Health’s clinical organization, which includes behavioral health offerings along with primary care, dental, optical, hearing and pharmacy services.

A board certified physician and intellectual property attorney, Van Gilder has over two decades worth of experience serving in medical and executive capacities. His resume includes a stint as an epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and time as a director of wellness for the insurer Humana (NYSE: HUM).


Van Gilder is also currently an adjunct professor at the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Addressing mental health at work does not just mean treating the unwell,” Van Gilder said in a press release announcing his new position. “In order to create lasting impact, it’s crucial to focus on whole person development through hyper-personalized care. With BetterUp’s world-class network of coaches, AI, and research, I’m looking forward to innovating and building on this work at scale.”

Founded in 2013, San Francisco-based BetterUp uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology and behavioral science to provide mental wellness services to its members, who are employees of the company’s enterprise clients. Coaching and counseling is available to both individual and group formats. In all, BetterUp has over 100,000 members.


Some of the company’s 300-plus enterprise clients include Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Genentech, Hilton (NYSE: HLT), Mars Inc., NASA, Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) and Warner Media.

“For the past eight years, BetterUp has been working to bring the science of peak performance, resilience, and human potential to the workplace,” BetterUp co-founder and CEO Alexi Robichaux, said in the press release. “Adding Tom to our leadership team will give us the opportunity to dive further into the field from a medical perspective. We couldn’t be more thrilled that he is bringing a wealth of expertise in healthcare, public health, and innovation to our partners and members worldwide.”

In February, BetterUp raised $125 million in a Series D funding round led by ICONIQ Growth. The round brought the amount raised to date by the company to $269.8 million, according to fundraising tracking site Crunchbase.

With a valuation of $1.73 billion, BetterUp is one of the few pure-play virtual behavioral health startups to have reached unicorn status by crossing the billion-dollar threshold.

SUD treatment center names new CEO

Mill Spring, North Carolina-based Pavillon Addiction Treatment Center has appointed Barbara Bennett as its CEO.

Bennett has been with Pavillon since 2012, serving as the center’s chief operating officer. Bennett is a licensed clinical addictions specialist and certified addictions registered nurse, with prior experience working in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment.

Founded in 1996, Pavillon is a nonprofit that provides SUD treatment services, along with treatment for co-occurring conditions like trauma, depression and anxiety. Pavillon offers 12-Step programs and provides medical detox services, along with individual, group and family counseling.

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the western part of the Tar Heel State, Pavilion sits on 160 acres, holds 50 beds and has an additional 24 beds for extended care, which involves an additional level of SUD treatment.

Along with its flagship Mill Spring location, Pavilion also operates an outpatient facility for SUD treatment in Greenville, South Carolina.

Mental health center hires new psychiatrist

Oak Health Center, a Fullerton, California-based outpatient mental health care organization, has welcomed Johnathan Lee to its team.

A psychiatrist by training, Lee is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and serves both English and Mandarin-speaking clients. Lee specializes in the treatment of conditions such as SUD and anxiety, with a specific focus on young adults and individuals from marginalized populations.

Founded in 2015, Oak Health operates three centers in the Los Angeles-area — Laguna Hills, Beverly Hills and its flagship Fullerton location. Oak Health also provides telebehavioral care.

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