McDonough School of Business
Michael O'Neil (MBA/JD'02), founder of the GetWell Network.
News Story

Beyond Business: A Personal Journey To ‘Get Well’ Advances Healthcare Accessibility for All

When Michael O’Neil (MBA/JD’02) embarked on his dual degree journey at Georgetown University in 1997, he never imagined his time in between attending classes would be spent undergoing hours of surgeries and intensive chemotherapy treatment in a hospital oncology unit.“It turns out that I had an orange-sized tumor in my stomach. It ended up being non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” says O’Neil.

After spending the third of his four-year joint degree program buckled over in class with pain in his abdomen and lower back, O’Neil finally had an answer, even if it was a life-altering one. The diagnosis changed everything— including putting him on a new career path—that brought a whole new meaning to what he now calls “values-based leadership and purpose-driven work.”

“I had a year of school left with a bald head and was about 15 pounds lighter from chemotherapy. My professors at Georgetown were incredible in both their flexibility and graciousness. They allowed me to get healthy and really steer my last year at Georgetown into building a business plan for a company called GetWellNetwork, which I founded and still run today.” 

Now called Get Well, that business is a global digital health company focused on “enterprise, experience, navigation, and retention.” The company provides digital patient engagement technology for large healthcare organizations, health systems, hospitals, and insurance professionals. According to O’Neil, the idea is to deploy consumer-facing digital tools that help these institutions deliver personalized care for all—meeting the expectations of patients as healthcare consumers, while supporting care teams. 

“We think about it as digital intimacy. How do you use technology to make every patient you’re dealing with feel like they have a nurse or patient navigator in their pocket? We do that on behalf of large, complicated organizations that are serving millions of people. We help make the care personalized for their patients and members,” he explains. 

While the company has achieved major milestones over the years, and millions of lives have been impacted, O’Neil says there’s still a lifetime of work to be done. He says knowing this keeps him motivated—every single day. 

“When you have an opportunity to take on projects of purpose—fueled by people of passion—it is quite the reason to stay up late and get up early.”

This story was originally featured in the Georgetown Business Spring 2023 Magazine.

Georgetown Business Magazine
Georgetown Entrepreneurship