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Ann Arbor Success Story: Workit Health

Meet the founders of this telemedicine company, Lisa McLaughlin and Robin McIntosh.

By Kim Madlom on December 29, 2021

Workit Health founders Lisa McLaughlin (left) and Robin McIntosh
Workit Health

Founded by Lisa McLaughlin and Robin McIntosh, Workit Health is an Ann Arbor telemedicine company that focuses on affordable and sustainable addiction care. Workit Health innovated at one of the most challenging periods in recent U.S. history, filling a need that existed long before the pandemic – making addiction and mental health care much more accessible in the privacy of people’s homes.

Q: What led you to launch Workit Health?

Lisa: We saw the gaps in our traditional treatment system firsthand when getting sober ourselves. Long before COVID, we saw the value of digital interventions in other areas of life and wondered why the same advances in convenience and quality weren’t being applied to addiction treatment. The status quo doesn’t offer the spectrum of solutions that substance use requires – not everyone needs inpatient care, and people shouldn’t have to wait until they have a severe problem to receive help.

Robin: One in 10 people who struggle with substance use don’t get the help they need in America. As people in recovery ourselves, we see this as untenable. COVID highlighted the brittleness of brick-and-mortar care in America and solidified something we’d known for years. Telemedicine can help overcome barriers like transportation and child care, reach people earlier in the addiction process, and expand the reach of clinicians and counselors to rural areas.

Q: How has your company grown?

Lisa: In 2015, Robin and I started with an idea. We wanted addiction care to be effective, trustworthy and accessible the moment you decide to get help. This concept of treatment in place, combined with low-barrier access to medication, wasn’t very common then. Now, the outcomes of our program speak for themselves – our membership has grown 300% in the last 12 months, and our clinical program, initially only available in Michigan, is now available in 10 states and covered for 93 million lives.

Q: What’s next for Workit Health?

Robin: We’re proud to be innovating not only our clinical program but also our technology. We’ve received a grant from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) to build a chatbot that simplifies simple processes for our clinicians and members and recently launched a freemium model available to anyone curious about what treatment with Workit looks like. Geographic expansion is at the forefront of our priorities, as well. We’re working with our health plan partners to plan launches in new regions where we’re most needed and plan to be available nationally by 2023.

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