After spending over 12 months living in stealth mode, this weekend, we revealed Project XYZ Ltd in its true form – Tend Health Ltd. It’s been a long time coming, and after lifting the veil of mystery, we thought we’d share the story behind Tend and how we arrived here.
Some of you might know that, over a number of years, James and I suffered a series of heartbreaking miscarriages and two late pregnancy losses. Our first daughter was stillborn at 5 months and within a year (almost to the day), we suffered our second late-pregnancy loss with another daughter. James and I were devastated, heartbroken and searching for help.
We sought answers from so many different sources, ultimately connecting over Skype with experts in Australia in 2015. This experience birthed the idea for Tend, and our daughter Leila was born just 11 months later.
As parents, there have been so many times that we’ve ventured out in heavy traffic or the middle of the night with the kids to a clinic, only to wait – at times for hours – to see a doctor, only to be turned away as a visit “wasn’t necessary”. We’ve had terrifying moments in the night, battling croups and high fevers, vomiting, bugs and rashes; desperate to speak to someone. Being a parent doesn’t come with a handbook, and dealing with the childhood illnesses that ensue can be deeply disconcerting.
The idea for Tend kept eating away at us. We then sold 70% of My Food Bag 6 months after Leila was born, which was truly life changing. The loyalty and love for our team kept us going post this transaction, but the truth was, we were never going to last working for someone else (we’d achieved financial freedom!). So, we resigned as CEOs, continuing in our roles on the board. In our last weeks as CEOs of My Food Bag in mid-2018, James would turn to me and say “so, are we doing it? I’ve done some more research…” and I’d say something like, “Honey, I just need a break”. There may have been some other words peppered in there too!
We finished up at My Food Bag and one day later we were on a flight to Europe. That summer, we returned to NZ and spent the days at our beach house on Waiheke. One day, Leila had a dreadful accident falling off the trampoline and splitting her head open. It was impossible to speak to a doctor. We only figured out how to see the after hours doctor once Leila had fallen asleep and quickly bundled her into the car, hysterical as she was sore and tired. We arrived, only to be told she didn’t need to be seen and we should go home.
The next day we took a beach walk and I said to James, “OK, I’m ready. Let’s do this.” A few months later, we jumped on another plane to Europe to explore the idea for Tend and undertake some work for the Princes Trust in the UK. By the time we returned, we were ready to ask Theresa Gattung and Dr Lee Mathias to join our team.
We lined up the only tech guy in NZ who we believed could execute on this plan, Josh Robb from PushPay (thanks to Ollie from Kerridge & Partners). We also connected promptly with Dr Mataroria Lyndon who is one of NZs most respected clinicians and asked him to join the team. They both said yes and joined us in quick succession and over the course of a few months we were lucky to add several amazing people to our team. Our former CFO of My Food Bag, Keiran Andersen came on board with us, Andrew Inder who used to be in charge of Primary Care at the Ministry of Health also joined the team. Since then, we’ve expanded to a group of 20 health professionals, technologists and business entrepreneurs with a vision to transform healthcare for current and future generations.
Our mission is to democratise healthcare and make it equitable and accessible to all! I’ve listed some of our core beliefs below to give you a flavor of who we are and what we stand for:
- We believe in doing what’s right for our patients first
- We believe that healthcare should be fair, equitable, kind and accessible
- We believe that technology and innovation will change the health care sector and achieve better patient outcomes
- We believe Kiwis can and should lead the way in making our healthcare system better
We’re accepting applications from people who are passionate about healthcare and who want to help empower kiwis to lead healthier lives. If you’re a clinician or think that you fit the bill, head on over on www.tend.nz, we’d love to hear from you.
Lastly, our purpose is simple. Our people are at the heart of everything we do, and we are committed to making all New Zealanders the healthiest people in the world.