Sean O’Mara and Jonathan Frye

Presidential Medicine It’s Not Just for the President Anymore

An Interview with Dr. Sean O’Mara, Founder and President, and Jonathan Frye, Chief Executive Officer, Guardian 24/7

Editors’ Note

Sean O’Mara formerly served in the U.S. Army and provided medical support to the President of the United States, other senior government officials, and high-level foreign dignitaries. He is a trained emergency physician experienced in full-time practice. Prior to founding Guardian 24/7, O’Mara was Chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the largest U.S. military-run hospital in South Korea. In 2004, he was recognized as the outstanding physician of the year for his rank throughout the entire U.S. Army Medical Corps. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to holding a Doctor of Medicine degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, O’Mara holds a law degree from Villanova University. O’Mara continues to practice emergency medicine at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Virginia.

Prior to assuming his role with Guardian 24/7, Frye was the President and CEO of The Lindquist Group. His previous role was as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Intellinet. Before this, Frye served as National Federal Sales Manager for Kyocera Electronics Printer Division and worked as an Account Executive at IBM/Lexmark International.

Company Brief

Guardian 24/7 (www.guardian247.com) was established to provide Presidential-level health care to private-sector clients, ensuring the best possible medical care for these individuals anywhere in the world. The firm offers worldwide, 24-hour direct access to former White House physicians, who bring an unparalleled health care standard for clients while in the air, at sea, traveling on the ground, or at home.

What did you see in the market that made you feel there was a need for a company like Guardian 24/7?

O’Mara: I was on active duty in the military providing support to the White House for the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State, when I realized that this was such a functional service that we provided to the President and Cabinet members that I could see the idea of doing this in the private sector. I saw firsthand how quickly we could intervene when a significant government executive got sick so they could remain effective. The ability for physicians in this capacity serving in a pre-equipped model is an exceptional torch to the practice of medicine.

Were you initially able to find the talent you needed, and was there excitement about the concept?

O’Mara: Yes, there was enough talent present within the White House or from the pool of our personnel that had formerly been in the White House. We recruited the best physicians, nurses, communication personnel, and techs who would maintain the same level of excellence that we are accustomed to providing to the President and the White House.

How do you define your clientele?

Frye: The high-net-worth individual is our primary focus – that is where we have gotten the most traction initially. For people with significant means, their time is extremely valuable, and the more we can make health care services available to them on their schedule, the more they value that, as opposed to dealing with the system created for the masses.

That has led us into a couple of other areas. There is a significant need for medical coverage when yachts are out at sea and perhaps in remote areas. Based upon the experience in the White House, we are very accustomed to providing care anywhere or anytime, regardless of the situation. Aircraft runs into the same issue where we can provide the same solution, as well as in properties that are in remote areas that perhaps don’t have access to quality or in-time care.

Are there competitors out there, or are you creating this space as you go?

O’Mara: As awareness and understanding of the effectiveness and value of our approach to this particular practice of medicine spreads, you’re going to see a lot more people taking a look at it.

We’re reassured by our vast experience serving in the White House where we acquired quite a bit of understanding of how to be effective in the space. Emerging competitors will have to acquire this through practice, and this gives us an advantage.

Frye: Although the idea of remote medicine – telemedicine – has been around for the past 10 to 15 years, this is very commonplace for Sean and the White House docs we have on staff. You take the latest and greatest in technology – which we have in terms of our solution – and mirror it with the ability to integrate it effectively, so not only can you provide remote care but all the record-keeping that goes along with that. The planning with our clients based upon the White House experience, overlaid with this attitude of service and humility, which has been ingrained in these doctors, and that provides a service that would be not impossible to replicate, but is very unique.

Did you always have that entrepreneurial desire to create, and is that a part of your make up?

O’Mara: I’ve always been a troubleshooter, and I’ve seen some limitations in the practice of medicine. The ultra-high-net-worth market segment provides a unique ability to help finance and underwrite some innovative approaches in medicine that currently aren’t available in the conventional approach to how health care is rendered to the average individual. Part of the pioneering efforts here are to improve health care overall for everybody, because the concepts that the physicians within Guardian are developing, implementing, and refining are going to significantly benefit the overall masses, probably in a short period of time.

Have the more traditional leaders in this field accepted this concept, and is there an appreciation for what it can provide in terms of quality and service?

O’Mara: They don’t understand it well enough because exposure to it has not been sufficient to form an opinion. However, telemedicine is long overdue but rapidly upon us, and once physicians have gotten better acquainted with this model of providing health care, I’m confident they will quickly embrace it as a not only more efficient but a better way of providing health care to patients.

Do your skills complement each other and is there close coordination throughout the overseeing of the company?

Frye: We’re taking a team approach and our goal is to provide the very best service we can to our clients. Our test is, how would we handle this situation for the President? And that provides us clear metrics as to how to move ahead with some of the decisions that we make for our clients and allows us to be consistently excellent in the care and service we render.