Newtopia Announces New Board of Directors and Advisory Board
several people writing in notebooks in an auditorium

Telehealth-enabled, habit changing platform appoints new board and advisory teams

TORONTOMay 27, 2020 /CNW/ – Newtopia, Inc. (TSXV: NEWU), a habit change platform for disease prevention, today announced its appointment of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board.
Newtopia, Inc. (Newtopia) offers a telehealth-enabled platform that works closely with employers to deliver a highly personalized and targeted disease prevention solution that is proven to reduce healthcare costs. Newtopia’s platform is designed for individuals at risk of developing obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The newly appointed Board of Directors is comprised of thought leaders from across the U.S. and Canada. The Board includes:

  • Karen Basian, principal, KB Capital Management Inc. and former Newtopia Managing Director
  • Carleen Hawn, Founder and CEO, Healthspottr
  • Michael Palmer, CEO, Exhale Advisors, and former Chief Innovation and Digital Officer at Aetna
  • Jeff Ruby, Founder and CEO, Newtopia

Newtopia has also announced an Advisory Board with leaders across clinical research, benefits, and commercialization. The Advisory Board includes:

  • Hassan Azar, head of Global Total Rewards, JLL
  • Mike Payne, chief growth officer, ZOOM+Care, former head of commercial and policy at Virta Health and former chief commercial officer and head of medical affairs at Omada Health
  • Greg Steinberg, MD, former head of clinical innovation at Aetna

“Now more than ever, it is vital for organizations to ensure the health and safety of their employees. I am confident that our newly appointed Board and Advisory teams will provide excellent guidance as we continue to execute our goals of making populations healthier and more productive through proven habit changing technologies,” said Jeff Ruby, founder and CEO, Newtopia. “We are thrilled to welcome such a distinguished group of healthcare and business leaders to the Newtopia family and we look forward to working together to improve our platform, scale our business, and drive value for our clients and shareholders.”

About Karen Basian

Karen Basian is a proven, international board director, strategist and advisor, with over 25 years’ in the consumer products and services, financial services, travel and technology sectors.  Karen is President of KB Capital Management Inc. and a Partner with 3NP Realty Inc. Karen serves on the Board of Directors of goeasy (TSE:GSY) where she chairs the HR and Compensation Committee, The Flowr Corporation as Board and Audit Committee Chair, BookJane where she Chairs the Audit Committee, Kognitiv and was a Managing Director of Newtopia. Previously, Karen was Chief Global Strategy and Business Development Officer for McCain Foods Ltd. In 2000, Karen was recognized as one of Canada’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ for her work as the CFO & SVP, Corporate Services for 724 Solutions (NASDAQ/TSX). Prior roles include SVP Strategy for Frito-Lay North America, Manager with Bain and Company, and International Tax Specialist with Deloitte’s. Karen is a CPA, CA, an MBA from IMEDE, Lausanne, Switzerland and Honors Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.

About Carleen Hawn

Carleen Hawn is an experienced founder with a demonstrated history of working in the media, consulting, and networking industries. Hawn is the CEO and Co-Founder of Healthspottr. Previously, she was an associate editor with Forbes and later senior writer and West Coast Bureau Chief for Fast Company magazine. She also served on the Editorial Advisory Board of TEDMED. Hawn currently sits on the board of directors of CureSearch, a national non-profit foundation that accelerates the search for cures for children’s cancers. Hawn earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Barnard College, a master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School and she was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia Business School in New York.

About Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer is a lifelong healthcare and technology enthusiast and the founding CEO of Exhale Advisors, focused on healthcare strategy, M&A, digital transformation and innovation commercialization.  Prior to that he served as Aetna’s chief innovation and digital officer where he launched the Aetna Innovation Labs – driving clinical, technology, and digital innovations to improve the healthcare ecosystem. Palmer played key roles in envisioning the strategy and launching Aetna’s new $1B Consumer Business and reinvented Aetna’s digital landscape to make healthcare simpler and easier for consumers to navigate. Prior to Aetna, Palmer was a Partner at Accenture, where for nearly 20 years he served health clients in information technology strategy, post-merger integration, and global transformation programs. He also ran Accenture’s global medical technology practice P&L.  Palmer earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in Maryland.

About Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby is a health innovator with an extensive entrepreneurial track record in preventive health. Prior to founding Newtopia, Ruby was co-founder and chief operating officer of Cleveland Clinic Canada, a collaboration between the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Canyon Ranch, and Canada’s leading destination for preventive health and lifestyle management. Before that, he served as co-founder and chief operating officer of Life Screening Centers, a cancer screening and prevention company. Prior to Life Screening, Ruby was a co-founder and head of operations of Genetic Diagnostics Inc., an early stage biotechnology company commercializing a new genetic diagnostic testing platform. Ruby has a joint Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA) from Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business in Toronto and a bachelor’s degree from Western University in London, Ontario.

About Hassan Azar

Hassan Azar has over 25 years of experience as a leader and innovator in global corporate benefits programs and advisor to healthcare companies. He has successfully led several corporate health and benefit programs, including his current role as head of global total rewards at Jones Lang LaSalle. He has served in similar roles for other large corporations including at US Foods, Mondelez International, Kraft Foods, Delphi Automotive and The Ford Motor Company. Hassan has worked as a healthcare consultant with Towers Perrin and has held management roles at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, Mich. He is a member of the Health Affairs Journal Council on Health Care Spending and Value and serves as an advisor to the Employer Health Innovation Roundtable. He has an MHA, MBA, MA, and a BA from the University of Michigan, and a JD from the University of Detroit School of Law.

About Mike Payne

Mike Payne has a 20-year career in healthcare, working across almost every sector and with companies of all sizes. He is known as an innovator in the commercialization of evidence-based, digitally-empowered health interventions. Payne is currently the chief growth officer at ZOOM+Care, responsible for market-share and revenue growth. Prior to ZOOM+Care, he was vice president of health strategy and business development for Ancestry, overseeing development of long-term health genomics strategy as well as formation of partnerships that enhance the AncestryHealth product portfolio. Prior to Ancestry, Payne was the head of commercial and policy at Virta Health, whose online clinic provides the first treatment proven to reverse Type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery. Prior to Virta, he created and grew the commercial strategy and operations of Omada Health, the country’s largest digital diabetes prevention program. Payne previously worked at Gilead Sciences and McKinsey & Company and holds an MBA from Stanford Business School as well as an MSci in Health Services Research from Stanford Medical School.

About Greg Steinberg, MD

Dr. Greg Steinberg is a seasoned physician executive who is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Cardiology with substantial experience in varied healthcare settings. He began his career as the associate director of medicine and director of medical education at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, a major teaching affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Steinberg later went on to become the chief medical officer and later the chief executive officer at ActiveHealth Management (AHM), a startup population health management and clinical decision support company. After AHM was purchased in 2005 by Aetna, Steinberg was the first head of clinical innovation where he built a new clinical research and development capability that rigorously evaluates novel care management and digital health solutions by subjecting them to well designed, real world pilots with clearly pre-defined success metrics, including clinical outcomes, utilization and costs.

About Newtopia

Newtopia is a habit change platform focused on disease prevention that delivers a 1:1 individualized approach by understanding social, psychological, and genetic insights. Our approach is proven to deliver value on investment for risk bearing insurers in the form of reduced metabolic syndrome risk factors, medical claims savings and increased quality of life, productivity, and morale for at-risk individuals. Our mission is to inspire people to live healthier. To learn more, visit

For further information: PR Contact: Rikki Bennie, VP Marketing,, 1.888.639.8181 ext. 208