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Member Chats: Robin Shah and A Lunch That Led To Cancer Care Innovation


Over a lunch in college, Robin Shah experienced a life-defining moment when his father, an oncologist, presented him with the idea of creating a new, patient-focused approach to cancer care. That moment was the tipping point that Shah (CEO of Thyme Care) says kick-started his career.


In 2020, Robin Shah and Bobby Green founded Thyme Care, a cancer navigation company that assists oncology patients through their entire cancer journey. Thyme Care members have 24/7 access to a team of providers, nurses and resource specialists who can offer clinical advice, answer questions and connect patients to the resources and services they need.


Cancer care, an already difficult circumstance, is met with a serious lack of understanding. Thyme Care steps in when people enter the early peri-diagnostic period – the period when a result from a cancer screening test indicates the need for follow-up.


“What we build at Thyme Care is people, technology, and process to identify when bad things are going to happen and support people through every aspect of that care journey."

In a conversation with the Roundtable, Shah elaborated on how he grew Thyme Care amid a worldwide pandemic into a leading healthcare company with over 200 employees and counting.


“First, we had an opportunity to integrate quickly, recruit quickly, and build quickly because we were all in our homes. We had a lot of time. The constraints of being in the office and that being the time of when we were going to collaborate was limited. Second, we were able to bring in talent from across the country, regardless of where they were. We met people where they were.”


Thyme Care has entered a rapid growth phase, during which Shah hopes to add another 100 employees to the company's roster by the end of 2024, marking a 50% expansion to the team. He says that type of growth requires a lot of intentional organizational investment.


“Ultimately, it still takes additional investment to make sure that the team the culture and the mission stay intact. Our biggest challenge will be to keep this team focused on the highest priorities but also making that happen together.”

Thyme Care's clinical operations team is scaling very quickly.



With an early heavy investment into Thyme Care's people and recruiting functions, he says it’s not difficult to fill roles.



Looking specifically to Nashville, Shah believes the city's health tech ecosystem has accelerated – largely due to HCA's large footprint and Senator Bill Frist.



To healthcare and oncology business leaders, Shah encourages providers to put patients at the center of their business models.



Shah’s advice for other Tennessee business leaders? Adapt. He notes that we are in a rapidly evolving ecosystem which is experiencing a digital wave of access and availability. Thyme Care found success by adapting, learning, and moving on. Shah says that getting stuck on failure is not productive and suggests adopting an adapt-and-learn mentality.


In Shah’s perfect world, patients' data access will lead to better outcomes and easier treatment processes.


“I think the most impactful thing that would support people across the entire country to be more successful in their healthcare journeys is access to data on themselves. Our data lives in several different places, but it’s siloed. If you could give that data to any person or a team of people that are helping that person, there is a real ability to impact longevity, care, and other things for that person because they'll understand more what's going on.”

Learn more about Thyme Care and CEO Robin Shah by visiting thymecare.com.


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