Category: Alumni at Work, Alumni Stories, Community Health, Health Magazine

Title:The making of a writer

Author: By Camille Scarborough
Date Published: June 1, 2022

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Robert Longyear (NHS’19) knew the undergraduate program he wanted to do and knew where he wanted to do it. Georgetown’s B.S. in Health Care Management and Policy perfectly aligned with his goal to improve the health care industry. Now a business executive and the author of two books, he’s well-versed in such innovations as the full-risk primary care model, telehealth, remote-patient monitoring, and technology-enabled care for high-risk patients.

“Everything I’m doing now directly relates to my course of study at Georgetown,” says Longyear, the VP of digital health and innovation at Wanderly and co-founder of Avenue Health, a company he and Mark Silverman (B’72, L’75) put together with a third co-founder after they connected on Hoya Gateway.

“Working on my Georgetown thesis taught me that I enjoy writing,” adds Longyear, who wrote about innovative payment and care delivery system reform efforts in state Medicaid programs. “I had to organize my learning and define a process. It set me on the path to my first book, Innovating for Wellness.

During his years at Georgetown, he faced an extended personal challenge: his mom’s chronic myeloid leukemia spiraled out of control. He acted as her caregiver as she fought for her life. This experience makes his book hit home for many readers. He understands, better than most, what is needed to support high-risk patients in the home.

Working on my Georgetown thesis taught me that I enjoy writing.

The success of his first book led to a second opportunity. His publisher agreed it was relevant to write a second book specifically on virtual care, remote patient monitoring, and telehealth. Longyear jumped into the project while working full-time.

“I wrote A Virtual Care Blueprint while stuck inside during the COVID-19 health crisis,” he says. “I wanted to approach it like the other one, with a mix of academic research, practical advice, and personal stories.”

The second book offers a deep dive into telehealth and remote patient monitoring. Twenty-five medical centers have adopted his company’s virtual care model.

Longyear shares that it was a challenge to complete the second book, but he had the advantage of a flexible work environment and supportive colleagues. “I may have neglected outdoor activities for a bit though,” he admits.

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