Our Experts

The Telespine program for low back pain was developed because traditional, clinic-based care for back pain is simply too expensive, too inconvenient, and not effective enough. Telespine was developed over the course of three years in accordance with a significant body of research that proves 96% of people can get lasting relief from their low back pain using Telespine’s telehealth solution. Our solution is clinical and scientific, yet simple and effective.

Dr. Mark Barnes

CEO/Founder

As a doctor of physical therapy practicing for 25+ years, Dr. Barnes has provided orthopedic rehabilitative care to over 10,000 patients primarily consisting of complex spine conditions. Specifically, Dr. Barnes has developed wellness-based treatment and patient management strategies that focus on patient engagement and self-management of low back pain. He has owned and operated multiple businesses in physical and occupational therapy including facilities focused on evidence-based protocols, cost-containment, and employee health for large self-insured companies. Dr. Barnes has led business development using outcomes data for self-insured employer customers and developed multi-provider (medical/rehabilitation) collaborative clinical care teams to achieve superior outcomes for occupational employee health and wellness. In 2006, to solve a major problem in clinical care and patient outcomes, Dr. Barnes created patient-centric telehealth software called Tx Xchange, used by 300 provider users and over 80,000 patient users. As CEO of Telespine, Dr. Barnes developed the Telespine low back pain program of care and the new web app to deliver the program online. Dr. Barnes engineered the clinical and business operational methods for both the online and health coaching components of the Telespine program. Specifically, Dr. Barnes took his clinical trade secrets, combined with recent evidence-based clinical research, to create the Telespine posture, core exercise, yoga-based stretching, and spine mobility video tutorials for the program. Dr. Barnes is currently responsible for all corporate affairs, business development, operations, and clinical programs.

Dr. David Tinkleman, M.D.

Medical Director

David Tinkelman MD, created and ran the Health Initiatives department at National Jewish Health (NJH) starting in 1995 where he developed new business lines for National Jewish in health/wellness related fields. The first program developed by Dr. Tinkelman was their disease management program for asthma in 1996, followed by the launch of the COPD program in 1998. These two programs had over 40 clients, primarily health plans, Managed Medicaid plans, and large self-insured employers, with thousands of participants from across the United States. In 2005, Dr. Tinkelman on behalf of National Jewish engineered the sale of the entire disease management business line to Alere Medical. Dr. Tinkelman then developed for National Jewish within the portfolio of Health Initiatives, two telephonic and Internet based wellness programs, QuitLogix and FitLogix. These programs address the two most common causes of preventable morbidity and mortality in the U.S.: smoking and obesity. To date, almost 1,000,000 individuals have participated in these programs and they are still growing. Dr. Tinkelman continues to be active in medical research and is the author of over 140 journal publications, 5 medical textbooks, and numerous book chapters focusing on asthma, COPD, allergy, tobacco cessation, obesity and socioeconomic issues in healthcare. Dr. Tinkelman retired from his position as the leader of Health Initiatives in March 2012. Today, he serves as a clinical and business advisor and business and medical consultant for Telespine.

Dr. Mark Aloia

Behavioral Health Strategy

Dr. Aloia is Associate Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, CO. He has also been on the faculty at the University of Rochester and at Brown University as a prominent health researcher. Dr. Aloia has studied health behavior change for the past 25 years and maintains NIH funding with over $15M in funding to study health behavior change. He serves as an NIH grant reviewer and has published over 50 scientific papers in high quality journals. Dr. Aloia has also served on the Editorial Boards of the journals Sleep, Health Psychology, and Behavioral Sleep Medicine. He has edited a book on Behavioral Treatment for Sleep Disorders that has been translated into multiple languages. He is a regular blogger on Healthy Living for the Huffington Post.

Dr. Aloia’s focus on behavioral methods to improve adherence to treatment has made significant contributions to the sleep and health psychology fields. His studies include a strong focus on promoting positive health behaviors using theoretical models of behavior change and bringing theory into practice by incorporating these ideas into mobile applications and new sensor technology. His work with industry has resulted in products and services that have demonstrated effects on health outcomes and help differentiate companies as developers with empirically tested health outcomes. Dr. Aloia now leads Telespine’s behavioral health strategy.

Gordon Reinert

Acting CFO

Mr. Reinert has over 20 years of experience starting and building value in growing companies. He has broad expertise in the finance, manufacturing, and software industries. His areas of expertise include structured finance, sales, product and business development, risk analysis, and portfolio management.

Mr. Reinert is a founder and Managing Director at Pearl Street Technology Finance (PSTF). PSTF is an investment fund specializing in syndication of venture debt loans to expansion and later stage companies in technology and life science. He is also a founder of PSTF’s parent, Pearl Street Capital Group (PSCG), a leader in predictive analytics of venture debt and private equity portfolios as well as creating levered structures for venture lenders, private equity funds of funds, and private equity investors. At PSCG he has been instrumental in the design and development of investment vehicles, structured debt transactions, and analytics products. Among these were the first ever investment grade rated credit facilities for venture lenders.  To date Pearl Street has arranged $250 million in these facilities.  Mr. Reinert led the design and implementation of Pearl Street’s core intellectual property including its financial structure optimization and ratings models as well as the analytical methodologies and proprietary database that feeds them.

He is also a founding partner of Talon Capital Group where he provides consulting services to startup and developing companies. His core areas of focus include: business development, corporate and financial structuring, product development, and capitalization strategy.

Previously, he was a founding partner in a Zenith Leasing Group an asset backed lending firm focused on the small ticket sub-prime space. Zenith depended on its ability to efficiently source, evaluate, and execute a high volume of high margin small ticket deals.  Under Mr. Reinert’s direction, Zenith grew from zero to over $12 million in annual sales in three years. Zenith excelled at highly efficient risk analysis in origination and portfolio construction as well as automation of processing and documentation.  Mr. Reinert led successful exits for both Zenith and his prior company, Cromac Corporation, an international trading firm.

Gabe Hesse

Acting CTO

Gabe led development at Welltok of their essential platform for consumer engagement in healthcare designed for health optimization. The Welltok product was sold into Health insurance companies, brokers, large care providers (hospitals), government organizations, exchanges, and large self-insured employer groups. Welltok was one of those rare opportunities where they were first to a market and where real innovation was required every step of the way.

Gabe was responsible for all product development activities and helped build industry leading, innovative digital health tech and participated in the company’s explosive growth. Gabe led a team composed of world-class technologists with a shared vision and passion for success. Gabe now leads development at Telespine, managing product and strategic innovation as we partner with some of the largest healthcare companies in the U.S.

Barb Flitsch

SVP Sales & Business Development

Barb’s career spans 25+ years in the benefits industry in roles that range from account management in a large insurance company and a senior leader at a national human capital consulting firm working with some of the nation’s largest Fortune 100 companies, to sales and business development working with young, growing organizations. She began her career at Aetna, quickly progressing to a role as one of the first Account innovative organizations like Eagle Industries, Honeywell and Control Data Systems. She then moved to the benefits consulting segment with Alexander and Alexander (now Aon), managing clients’ vendors and conducting plan performance analyses for a wide variety of clients including labor groups such as the Pipefitters, IBEW and AFSCME. Recruited to Meadowbrook Insurance Group, Barb managed a self-funded health plan covering the employees of 26 Minnesota counties. At Definity, Barb held several positions as a Sr. Account Executive, Head of Sales Operations for Mid-Market and Head of Client Reporting, playing key roles in growing the company from zero to over 500,000 members, until the firm was acquired by United Healthcare in 2004. After the acquisition, she took the content expertise she developed at Definity Health to Watson Wyatt and spent the next five years working with Fortune 500 clients like Target Corp, BP, General Mills and others. Following the merger that created Towers Watson, Barb brought her expertise to two national health insurers – first at Highmark, then Aetna – as Head of National Consulting Firm Relations, focused on enhancing the communication and collaboration between the health plans and AonHewitt, Mercer and Towers Watson.

In 2012, Barb formed her own company, BroadView Consulting Services, LLC. Since that time, she has been working with early stage companies focused on developing promising consumer- focused health care technology or solutions. Barb helps them develop their products, create market-driven sales strategies for growth and revenue acceleration, hone their messaging and sales skills, and align organizational structures to their long-term vision. She also provides support and guidance to senior leaders as their businesses evolve and mature.

Serafim Suhenky

Software Development

Serafim is a highly skilled software engineer and computer science graduate with more than ten years of professional experience. His greatest skills include software development, attention to detail, and perseverance.

Jennifer Dowdeswell

Director of Health Coaching

As an ex-national team field hockey player, human kinetics graduate, personal trainer, and Health Coach, Jennifer brings with her over 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. After retiring from the national field hockey team, Jennifer worked at a high-end fitness facility as a trainer and as the key contact for members to help them in their behavior modification. It was at this time that she began to study coaching and behavior change more seriously. She then moved to the Netherlands and worked for 8 years with Philips Electronics in the wearable technology field. The goal of the product(s) was to help customers lead more active, healthier lives.  She was a key player in the partnership between Weight Watchers and Philips – ActiveLink, functioning as project manager for the system integration as well as coaching and customer service support. Her involvement spanned from app design, user experience, coaching dashboard design, coach behavior change training and certification, customer service training, quality control and reporting. She has also worked with the Philips Sleep and Respiratory Teams developing systems and processes for the team as well as training the coaches on weight loss coaching. Today, Jennifer is pleased to support the Telespine team as their Director of Coaching.

Dallas Hendricks

Director of Operations

With leadership experience across a wide range of industries—from natural resource exploration and environmental remediation to trade show manufacturing and e-commerce platform development—Dallas has engaged with and flourished in a uniquely diverse set of professional environments and people. Continuously examining where systems and their processes can be streamlined, Dallas has developed a keen sense for what is possible, prudent and effective.

Dallas studied Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Victoria.

Marinne Rice

Health Coach

Marinne has over seven years of experience working in the health and wellness industry as an exercise specialist. Prior to joining the Telespine Team, she worked as the Clinical Exercise Specialist in a physical therapy clinic. In this role she coached proper body mechanics and created exercise programs to help patients return to previous levels of function after suffering workplace injuries. She is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and holds a master’s degree in Health Promotion.

Nikki Costello

Health Coach & Program Instructor

Nikki is a certified NESTA personal trainer and is trained in Advanced Mat Pilates as well as Injuries and Special Populations through STOTT Pilates. Nikki is a certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach with the CHEK Institute and has over 35,000 hours of one-on-one coaching experience. Nikki was a nationally ranked competitive athlete for over 16 years and has specialized in corrective exercise, breathwork and movement for the last 10 years. Nikki has developed a unique system of breathwork and movement that addresses both nervous system and biomechanical dysfunction to restore the body to its natural state of strength and function. Nikki is a Telespine Instructor and developer of therapeutic content for the Telespine program.

Donna Rosen CPI

Health Coach & Program Instructor

Donna Rosen is the founder of Bolder Pilates and considered a Master Trainer and expert in her field of Pilates. She has developed a holistic therapeutic approach using Pilates based corrective exercise for musculoskelatal dysfunctions including low back pain. Because of Donna’s personal experience with chronic low back pain she has a particular interest and skill set in addressing this condition from a preventative and wellness perspective. Donna is a contributing Telespine Instructor and assisting in program content development.

Start here

Telespine is a proven, online 8-week program for lower back pain. It’s easy to do and based on over 20 clinical studies that show you can have near term and lasting relief from your pain by spending just 10 minutes a day with Telespine.

Telespine is a proven, online 8-week program for lower back pain. It’s easy to do and based on over 20 clinical studies that show you can have near term and lasting relief from your pain by spending just 10 minutes a day with Telespine.