SAN FRANCISCO–Today, Foresite Labs announced the addition of Ian Tong, MD to the team as its first chief clinical officer. Tong will work with Foresite Labs and Foresite Capital to improve access to equitable and effective healthcare at the intersection of technology and care delivery. Created in 2019, Foresite Labs’ mission is to found, build and scale life sciences initiatives at the intersection of healthcare and data science.
“New technologies and new scientific discoveries derived from them are transforming our understanding of disease, even allowing for its early detection and individualized treatment”
Early in his career, Tong became an advocate for equitable healthcare access. As a clinical educator at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Tong co-directed the Arbor Free Clinic and pioneered early telemedicine outreach at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. He also founded the Health Resource Initiative for Veterans Everywhere THRIVE program, which was awarded the national VA Secretary’s award for outstanding service to homeless Veterans. Tong holds his MD from The University of Chicago-Pritzker School of Medicine and is board certified in Internal Medicine.
After leaving Stanford in 2013, he joined Doctor On Demand as the founding medical director and led the practice for the last six years as its chief medical officer and president of the professional corporation. As a national leader in telemedicine innovation, Tong worked to transform care delivery through the creation of evidence-based clinical guidelines that utilized video examination to match the quality of in-person medical visits.
“New technologies and new scientific discoveries derived from them are transforming our understanding of disease, even allowing for its early detection and individualized treatment,” said Dr. Vikram Bajaj, CEO of Foresite Labs. “We will benefit from Ian’s leadership in developing businesses that harness these principles to equitably deliver precise and personalized healthcare.”
As a physician executive, Tong understood the impact of bias on clinical care and emphasized the importance of developing a high quality culturally competent clinical workforce. His responsibilities included leading all clinical care delivery across primary care, behavioral health, urgent care and specialty practices, clinical quality, and practice operations and performance. Under his leadership, Doctor On Demand won numerous awards for its commitment to quality and innovation, and boasted a 90% retention rate for clinicians.
In 2021, Tong was recognized by National Medical Fellowships with the Excellence in Medicine Award for his work as an educator and for promoting workforce diversity. Today, Tong is an Advisor with Jumpstart Nova, an investment company that backs Black-founded and led healthcare companies in the Seed or Series A stages.
“Joining Foresite Labs will allow me to support innovative and impactful biotech companies, and I am looking forward to being a part of a team dedicated to accelerating scientific discovery and advancing patient care,” said Ian Tong, MD. “I look forward to using my clinical and digital health background to help grow and build companies that are truly changing the way our healthcare system operates.”
Tong’s hire to the Foresite Labs leadership team follows the appointment of Mary Helen Black as the company’s vice president and head of genomics.
About Foresite Labs
Foresite Labs is a center for entrepreneurial innovation at the nexus of data science and healthcare. Based in San Francisco and Boston, Foresite Labs partners with next-generation healthcare entrepreneurs to launch life sciences and healthcare companies that use the tools of data science to solve our greatest unmet medical needs. For more information, please visit www.foresitelabs.com.