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Divine intervention

Everything falling into place for Hilton Head Island businesswoman Donna D’Amico

Having a son with cystic fibrosis means Donna D’Amico understands the importance of health insurance and adequate preventive care.

Thanks to a career shift she attributes to “divine intervention,” the savvy Hilton Head businesswoman now gets to help healthcare providers make sure their patients have access to those things as well.

D’Amico is vice president of administration and customer service at WellTrackONE, a risk management company that provides software and wellness programs to hospitals and other healthcare providers. 

“We’re really a risk prediction company. But we process the annual wellness visit to generate the risk predication rating for patients who have the potential for chronic illnesses. We have the software and we contract with hospitals and smaller practices,” she explains. “We schedule (the wellness visit), they go to their doctor, then all the information goes into our software and processes the report with the risk predictions, factors and a five-year screening plan for the patient.”

The healthcare software industry is a second career for D’Amico, who worked as a developer with her husband, David, for many years. The D’Amicos moved to Hilton Head Island 20 years ago, and Donna was active in her children’s lives as they grew up, particularly when they attended Hilton Head Preparatory School.  

When the developing business took a nosedive in 2008, though, Donna found herself needing to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep her family afloat. Her son, Reid, had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 12, which had made the family’s health insurance go up to $3,000 per month.

So D’Amico took a retail job at S.M. Bradford in Harbour Town. It wasn’t what she was used to, but it was something.

“I said, ‘I’m getting on a health plan. That’s what I can do for my family,’” says D’Amico, who did so well at the ladies boutique she won a sales trip to Montana for having the highest sales total. “I had a ball with the customers,” she says.

But she was used to working for herself, and greatly missed the autonomy and excitement of being her own boss.

“I sent up prayers all the time. ‘Dear God, I need an opportunity. I need a business to run,’” she says.

At the time, the D’Amicos were minor investors in a healthcare data collection company based in North Carolina. When one of the principals and another investor in that company decided to form a new one, focused on helping providers handle preventive care in a way that would make Medicare approvals easier, the D’Amicos jumped at the chance to be involved.

“We convinced them that Hilton Head would be the perfect place to open this office,” D’Amico says. “There are so many underemployed people here, office space is plentiful, it’s not an expensive place to live, and with the cost of operations in terms of labor force, it was the perfect place to open this type of high-tech business.”

The businessmen put D’Amico in charge of the office, and she was once again the boss. They opened a small office on Bow Circle on Sept. 11, 2012, with four part-time staff members and D’Amico at the helm.

“Since then I’ve moved twice, I have 30 employees, and by the end of this year I’ll probably double again and we’ll move again,” she says of the company, which has clients in 35 states.  

“It was nothing short of divine intervention that brought this opportunity,” she says. “I think everything fell perfectly into place the way it happened.”

Though David now works for Massachusetts Mutual Financial Group, he also serves on WellTrackONE’s board of directors as its Operations Consultant. “Because of his background in real estate, he’s always found the best deals for office space,” she says. “And because of our growth we’re going to be moving again.”

D’Amico says she loves coming to work every day not just because of the difference they’re making in people’s lives, but because of the staff of go-getters and team players she’s put together over these last four years.

“I absolutely love it,” she says. “I’m so passionate about what this is all about, and that I was given the opportunity to learn about this business and surround myself with some amazing, wonderful people.”

Five Fun Things About Donna D’Amico:

  • She and husband David ride their bikes every night through Harbour Town Golf Links to watch the sunset. “It is such a ritual for us.”
  • She’s a seasoned cook who measures nothing. “Italian cooking is a feeling; it comes from the heart.”
  • Her bachelor’s degree is in Communications - TV/radio from Ithaca College in New York.
  • Her favorite vacation spots are St. Barts, Italy and Napa Valley.
  • She grew up in upstate New York.

 

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