The Leaders Rheum & ViuHealth Announce Innovative Partnership to Transform Rheumatology Care

NEW YORKJan. 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Leaders Rheum & ViuHealth Announce Innovative Partnership to Transform Rheumatology Care. ViuHealth, a pioneering company specializing in chronic care management for individuals with autoimmune conditions, is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking partnership with The Leaders Rheum, a trailblazing player in the field of rheumatology. This partnership brings a powerful digital dimension to the care provided to individuals living with autoimmune diseases, creating a paradigm shift in the way rheumatologists offer care to their patients.

ViuHealth is a virtual care solution that partners with rheumatologists and other autoimmune specialists to help patients better manage their day-to-day condition. ViuHealth’s approach combines access to a dedicated Care Team of Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, and Certified Health Coaches with an intuitive app that empowers patients to live a healthier life. Physicians use ViuHealth to increase their virtual care capacity, improve outcomes, and uncover new reimbursements to increase practice revenue.

The Leaders Rheum takes a transformative approach to the field of rheumatology, built upon their unwavering principles of trust and transparency. The Leaders Rheum is designed to truly elevate independent rheumatology practices, significantly enhancing financial viability, and revolutionizing patient care. Rheumatology providers are enabled to attain unprecedented levels of clinical and financial success, reshaping the landscape of rheumatology practices.

This strategic partnership paves the way for rheumatologists to provide their patients with expert care beyond traditional office visits. It ensures that patients receive the highest quality day-to-day care, helping them effectively manage their condition and enhance their overall quality of life.

“ViuHealth is dedicated to providing patients with the virtual care team, technology, and resources necessary to live a healthier life. Our collaboration with The Leaders Rheum signifies a transformative moment in the field of rheumatology care, offering patients and providers a comprehensive and innovative approach to managing autoimmune conditions like never before,” said Kwaku Owusu, CEO of ViuHealth.

The partnership between ViuHealth and The Leaders Rheum combines the expertise of two industry leaders in chronic care management and rheumatology. Together, they aim to revolutionize the way autoimmune diseases are treated and managed, ensuring that patients receive the best possible care beyond the confines of traditional office visits.

“The Leaders Rheum is thrilled to announce the collaboration with ViuHealth. They know the rheumatology space as well as we do and have a deep understanding of how to address and care for autoimmune patients in private practice. This partnership brings significant value, expertise and insights that are extremely beneficial for rheumatology providers and patients,” said Ray Waldrup, CEO & Co-Founder of The Leaders Rheum.

About ViuHealth: ViuHealth is a leading provider of virtual care solutions focused on chronic care management for individuals with autoimmune conditions. The company’s innovative approach combines a dedicated Care Team with personalized analytics, technology, and data science to empower patients to take control of their health.

About The Leaders Rheum: The Leaders Rheum is a visionary in the field of rheumatology, dedicated to enabling rheumatology providers to achieve unprecedented levels of clinical and financial success through trust, transparency, and innovation.


Director of Affiliate Development

Eliot Appel

Eliot brings over 35 years of experience in all aspects of physician practice management, growth, and sustainability.

Having worked with some of the most successful rheumatology practices all over the country, he has played an integral role working directly with partnering practices to provide guidance on financial performance, human resources, EMR systems, the billing cycle, purchasing, compliance, practice expansion, succession planning, ancillary services, etc.

Eliot’s previous work experience and accomplishments include managing the growth and development of a national rheumatology practice in nearly 30 states. He was also the Executive Director of Gastro Health, P.L., a 40+ provider Gastroenterology practice based in South Miami and was instrumental in its start-up.

Prior to Gastro Health, Eliot was the Executive Director of South Florida ENT Associates, a 35+ provider group practice in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. He has worked in the multi-specialty group setting as the Chief Financial Officer for the Florida Institute of Health and in his early career he gained CPA experience from Grant Thornton, a large, international C.P.A. firm.  Eliot earned his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Florida.

Chief Creative Officer

Victoria Giambattista

Vicky brings 15 years of marketing, branding and creative services to the healthcare space, beginning her career with agency experience and moving to medical device, surgical accreditation, and SaaS software organizations.

She has a proven track record of standing up marketing departments and building sustainable growth models within creative teams. She is well-versed in sales enablement, operations, client engagement and retention programs, along with tech stack development and optimization. Vicky’s efficient and effective strategies and tactics create workflows that save time and help streamline and shorten the sales cycle.

Outside of work, she enjoys watching historical documentaries, wine tasting and interior design.

President & Co-Founder

Mike chavez

Mike Chavez is a seasoned healthcare veteran and has played an integral role in the inception and development of national rheumatology provider networks, working with hundreds of care centers all over the United States.

He brings a wealth of knowledge on the growth and successful development of medical offices while also working with industry and pharma to support clinical initiatives, and strategic partnerships. Additionally, he leads our CIO Board Clinical Initiatives & Outcomes working with both pharma and physicians to develop new treatments, diagnostic tools, and pathways to deliver improved patient outcomes.

In 2020, Mike was nominated and awarded by the International Forum for Advancements in Healthcare as one of the “Top 100 Leaders in Healthcare” and the “Who’s Who Top Executives in America”.

In his free time, Mike enjoys mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, and spending time with his Frenchie, Nutella.

Director, Revenue Cycle Management

Leila Ballard

Leila Ballard is a seasoned healthcare business professional with over 30 years in roles ranging from Certified Medical Assistant to Practice Manager.

She has a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration along with multiple certifications under her belt. Leila has worked as a consultant for the last two years in software system management within multiple specialties.

One of her most significant contributions to the rheumatology space is when she helped grow a single doctor practice to one of the largest rheumatology groups in the country. Leila is excited to shift her focus to achieving our clients’ practice and financial goals.

Leila lives in the low country of South Carolina with her husband and teenage son. She is a foodie and loves to travel.


Ray Waldrup

As a 30-year veteran in healthcare, Ray Waldrup has a broad knowledge of all aspects of medical practices. He credits his early years of owning a medical billing and consulting company for his unique understanding of where monies are made and lost. He has successfully expanded medical practices in anesthesia and critical care to multiple locations and cities while personally recruiting providers.

In 2009, Ray joined a 4-doctor rheumatology practice with one location in Charleston, SC. After a few years, he formed what became the largest rheumatology practice in the country.

Ray has also revolutionized infusion suites by aggregating purchase volume and negotiating differential contracts others could not. He has helped significantly reduce physician burnout through a 4-day work week, while still increasing practice revenue. He’s most proud of the many physician friends he has made and how they recognize him for improving their quality of life.

In 2019, Ray led the formation of a rheumatology-specific GPO that quickly grew to over 300 members in 18 months. By 2021, he was leading a practice of 26 locations in 9 states with 65 physicians and over 300 employees. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf, pickleball, and boating in Naples, Florida.



Scott Gilomen brings over 25 years of executive management experience in the healthcare industry with a heavy focus on rheumatology and oncology. His primary areas of expertise include financial analysis, pharmaceutical and supply contracting, implementation of new ancillary services, direct management of revenue cycle, medical real estate acquisitions and oversight, physician and advanced practice provider hiring, and management of facilities and staff.

In 1996, Scott joined an oncology practice in Gastonia, NC as the Executive Director. That’s where he developed expansion plans and opened new clinics in multiple locations. He implemented patient care initiatives including chronic care management (CCM) and physician dispensing, technology initiatives including electronic health record (EHR) and patient self check-in.

Scott’s multi-faceted experience as a leader drew the attention of ION Solutions GPO Advisory Panel and was invited to serve in 2008. He collaborated with other panel members to review and advise pharmaceutical companies on current and proposed GPO contracts, patient assistance/access programs, and product launches.

Scott moved from oncology to rheumatology as CEO for a 15-provider group in 2019. Five months in, and despite great obstacles and unprecedented variables with COVID, Scott quickly pivoted to implementing telehealth in less than a week. The infusion suite never closed and patient care was maintained with little to no delay. Other implementations included patient self check-in, CCM, physician dispensing, new insurance verification and prior authorization systems, and clinical trials.

Outside of work Scott enjoys walking, swimming, gardening, golfing, and spending time with his family and pets.