LaDonna Carlisle grew up in rural Alabama and in an area commonly referred to as the blackbelt, where 26% of the population lives in poverty. In fact, 96.6% of Alabama land is of rural status and Carlisle grew up in an area that is 22.1 people per square mile. She set out on a mission to change healthcare and quality of care for everyone, despite their location, after losing family members that resulted in negligent care.
Healthcare in the United States is run and treated as if it is a "corporate healthcare". Therefore, you can only image healthcare in areas where poverty rates are at its highest. "No company will invest in a business where there is a 26% poverty rate so, with today’s corporate healthcare there is no one taking on the challenge, she said. The people of rural states and counties are often neglected, misdiagnosed and left untreated.
Carlisle established a team of physicians, pharmacists and scientists leveraging their expertise with technology to create quality healthcare despite patient location and provider training.
In addition to the paid application for Smartdocs, she and others founded the Smartdocs Foundation to aid in treatment and gaps for medically complex (MC) children.
Carlisle continued to build the platform alongside of Dr. Beacher when a group of parents requested for Smartdocs to create a line of service for medically complex children.
I commonly refer to Smartdocs as point of care anywhere. We are creating disruptive technology for patients, providers, residents, parents, and caregivers of medically complex children and with the medical expertise of Dr. Jon Beacher, one of the co-founders, the residency and critical care component of Smartdocs has soared.
LaDonna Carlisle (Carlyle)
Founder & CEO of Smartdocs Technologies
Medically Complex (MC) refers to a patient having multiple life-altering diagnoses. After the parents reached out, she also started meeting with mothers of children with medically complex diagnoses. "I thought, if I am going to go into something, I need to get on their level and understand what their needs are," she said. Those meetings led to Carlisle founding the Smartdocs Foundation in 2021. As part of the foundation's work, one vital mission is to build housing for the families of children facing prolonged hospitalizations — up to 8 months at a time or longer.
As she met with parents and caregivers, Carlisle discovered that it is common for them to travel for care. While hospitalized, their families may stay in hotels for months. Because of the length of these stays, other housing support is often not available.
"As I got more into it, I learned that in Jacksonville (Florida) children's hospitals, there are people from all over the world who, unfortunately, are put in hotel rooms," they might not be able to afford, she said. The idea was born for the Smartdocs Camp. The foundation seeks land and supplies for small homes for families and caregivers to live in during lengthy stays.
Carlisle said, growing up she saw how critical access to care is. Parents and caregivers of medically complex children often find themselves in a similar situation, staying in cities far away from their homes. "These kids have 21, 22, 23 different providers. It is heartbreaking," she said.
Smartdocs mission will always remain in the best interest of innovative patient care and following proven scientific guidelines, and with the Smartdocs Foundation, our mission is to help make an effective change.
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