SAN FRANCISCO, March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipongo, which launched the Food Benefits Management category to address chronic disease, today announced that Dr. Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MBH has joined the company as Chief Medical Officer and Senior VP of Clinical Affairs. In his new role, Dr. Shurney will be responsible for the clinical aspects of Zipongo products as well as overseeing clinical research and analytics--particularly the impact of Zipongo Engage on eating behavior and the NutriScore, and the impact of Zipongo FoodScripts on clinical outcomes and ROI for payers. The news comes on the heels of the company's recently announced $18 million funding round to expand its pursuit of Food as Medicine via its new FoodScripts product.
Dexter Shurney has an extensive background in health care management and policy and has distinguished himself as a recognized leader in his profession for more than 25 years. He joins the company from Cummins, Inc. where he was the Chief Medical Director / Executive Director for Global Benefits, Health and Wellness. While at Cummins, Dr. Shurney built and implemented a highly effective lifestyle modification program featuring significant dietary changes, for cholesterol and diabetes management in the company's on-site clinic; it saw an over 90 percent success rate in terms of clinical outcomes.
Prior to Cummins, Dr. Shurney was the Chief Medical Director of the Employee Health Plan for Vanderbilt University and Medical Center. During his tenure at Vanderbilt he also held joint faculty appointments as Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Internal Medicine and Public Health, and Adjunct Faculty, Owens Graduate School of Management. Other positions that Dr. Shurney has held include Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Healthways, Senior Health Policy Strategist in the Division of Government Affairs for the biotechnology company Amgen Inc., Editor of the Journal of Managed Care Physicians and Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of medical affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Dr. Shurney serves on numerous boards including: The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) where he is President-elect, the Global Business Group on Health, and the National Association of Managed Care Physicians.
"Modern clinical guidelines like JNC8 for hypertension call on physicians to prescribe dietary improvements as either the first line of defense or a key companion therapy for treating conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, but it's often easier to fill a prescription than to provide clear guidance and support for eating better food. Zipongo FoodScripts will enable physicians to offer prescriptive, personalized, evidence-based nutrition programs to address these chronic conditions," said Jason Langheier, MD, MPH, founder and CEO of Zipongo. "We're thrilled to add Dexter to the team to help drive and evaluate these efforts, given his extensive experience through many halls of the healthcare industry. Dexter brings a wealth of clinical, nutrition and lifestyle medicine expertise, married with hands-on knowledge of the needs of employers, health plans and providers. Dr. Shurney has been an early leader driving the 'Food as Medicine' movement, with the same scientific rigor that's applied to other therapies, and it is an honor to call him a colleague at Zipongo."
"I was able to reverse my own health issues by changing my diet 12 years ago, and that's what sent me down the lifestyle medicine path," said Dr. Shurney. "Zipongo's mission resonated very strongly with me, particularly following my experience at Cummins and the results we were able to achieve with lifestyle modification. I'm excited to build on what I learned at Cummins and apply 'food as medicine' on a much larger scale here at Zipongo."
San Francisco-based Zipongo has opened up the Food Benefits Management (FBM) category to tackle chronic disease. Serving hundreds of companies and millions of members, Zipongo's FBM platform delivers sustained engagement to help people assess and improve their nutrition via the tools of the Zipongo Engage platform, including Health (Digital Dietitian), Cooking (recipes, meal planning, grocery delivery, and discounts) and Restaurants (menus, restaurant ordering, and workplace cafes). In addition, Zipongo FoodScripts fulfills Food as Medicine to drive ROI versus traditional drug and provider-only spending to reduce clinical costs for metabolic syndrome-related diseases, such as diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity/overweight and more. To learn more about Zipongo's digital nutrition platform, visit www.meetzipongo.com or request a demo at [email protected].