Jacqueline Gaulin is the founder and CEO of Gastro Girl Inc., the creator of GI OnDemand, a virtual care and support platform for patients suffering with gastrointestinal health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Patients can access a network of digestive health experts including gastroenterologists, registered dietitians, psychologists and nurse health coaches on-demand or via scheduled video calls using a computer, smartphone or tablet. GI OnDEMAND also provides tools for providers to improve patient care and increase revenue.
Jacqueline is a certified health coach and was previously director of communications and digital engagement for the American College of Gastroenterology. An entrepreneur at heart, she has been involved with several health startups, including Revolution Health, where she created and managed the digestive-health center and an online community for patients.
After spending most of her career in the Washington, D.C., area, Jacqueline moved to Wilmington last year to bootstrap her startup. An avid runner and “closet” dancer, she is usually joined in both activities by Charlie, her 3-year old bearded collie (who also provides much needed comic relief).
What do you like best about your job?
I don’t consider what I am doing a “job.” It’s my passion and my dream. I wake up every day grateful that I get to use my diverse set of skills, creativity, vision, knowledge and passion to do something that has the potential to impact many lives and improve health outcomes. And I get to do this with a stellar team.
What inspires you?
The fact that 1 in 4 people in the United States suffers from chronic digestive-health symptoms and conditions, yet most don’t have access to the experts and support that they need between office visits to follow their recommended treatment plans.
Who should we be paying attention to?
The up-and-coming startup scene in Wilmington, especially among female entrepreneurs because they are tackling big market problems. I’m just one of several women founders here working tirelessly on exciting and potentially disrupting technologies and leading startups that fly under the radar and often don’t get the exposure that a more traditional male-led company might get. Polly Harman of Pursuit Sleep Technologies is doing cool things with sensor technology to address a very costly problem related to sleep and snoring.
What was your biggest challenge this week?
I spent the past five days in Orlando at the World Congress of Gastroenterology at ACG 2017, the premiere clinical meeting for GI physicians, related health care providers and other industry stakeholders, including patient-advocacy groups. This made my biggest challenge this week time, and making sure I was available for important discussions since this event was truly our sweet spot in terms of target market and constituency.
As much as I’m a total geek when it comes to latest science related to digestive health and wanted to attend the scientific sessions, I needed to balance my time at our booth in the exhibit hall with talking with the many gastroenterologists who wanted to learn more about how they could get reimbursed for telehealth visits with their patients, and meeting with industry representatives and patient-advocacy groups who were excited about potential collaboration. This annual event is always productive and we come back with new knowledge and connections. I just wish I had more time — or a Gastro Girl clone!
Favorite N.C. vacation spot?
Vacation? I’m new to N.C., and the founder of a startup, so I haven’t had much free time to explore the state. But I’m fortunate to live a few miles from the ocean, and that makes my favorite N.C. “vacation spot” anywhere I can park my bike so I can dig my toes into the sand and savor the salty sea air and crashing waves at Wrightsville Beach.