By Billy Deitch, Principal, Oak HC/FT
When we partnered with Naomi Allen and Giovanni Collela last year to form Brightline¹, we recognized that by providing care to children struggling with their mental health, the company was filling a significant gap in our healthcare system. From our work with them in the past, we knew how much talent, energy, and passion these two proven entrepreneurs brought with them. And we were instant believers in their vision to build a company that would provide uncommon support for challenges that had become all too common for families everywhere.
However, like everyone else on the planet, we had no idea a pandemic would arrive that would transform these significant challenges into a full-blown crisis. Covid-19 has fundamentally changed life for nearly everyone on the globe and while children are mercifully less vulnerable to the virus itself, the ancillary impact of the pandemic has most certainly been felt. Kids and families need Brightline more than ever and the news stories highlighting this are everywhere you look:
These stories are undeniably frightening for parents and they reflect a reality that far too many are facing: my child is struggling and I don’t know how to help them. There is so much uncertainty when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic — when will my child go back to the classroom or see their friends or hug their grandparents or walk outside without a mask on? — but one thing we do know is that we must find ways to help kids and their families cope with the struggles they are facing.
That is why this is Brightline’s moment. By combining technology with personalized and coordinated care, Brightline is uniquely positioned to guide and support children and their families through the rollercoaster that mental health challenges can pose. In response to the urgent need for care and the restrictions caused by Covid-19, the company accelerated its launch of virtual care and began seeing patients last month. Coupled with a network of brick-and-mortar clinics, Brightline will deliver care to patients wherever they need it. And through partnerships with insurers, Brightline’s services will be affordable for an ever-increasing number of families.
Though we are still in the early innings of Brightline’s journey, the enthusiasm and response we’ve seen thus far has been remarkable — tremendous talent has joined the organization, commercial agreements with payers like Blue Shield of California and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts have been signed, and we’re thrilled to welcome a partner like Threshold Ventures to the team to co-lead the Series A with us here at Oak HC/FT. We could not be prouder to be associated with this world-class team and supporting them on this tremendously important mission.
 Then known as Emilio Health