An Interview With Maria Angelova – Authority Magazine
Inour world of constant change, and with life moving faster than ever, topics such as mental health, self-care, and prevention have become popular buzzwords. But there are misconceptions about the meaning of self-care and exercise. Many opt for quick solutions — surgery, pills — to dull the problem without adequately addressing the underlying cause. Meanwhile, many parts of the industry are unregulated and oversaturated. People with years of training are competing with people with weekend training. Many providers are overworked, overwhelmed, and underpaid. The public is not educated about asking the right questions when selecting a wellness provider. In the face of all this, what can be done to correct the status quo? In this interview series, we are seeking to hear from a variety of leaders in the health and wellness industries who agree that the wellness Industry needs an overhaul and offer suggestions about what can be done moving forward. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Christina DiArcangelo.
An entrepreneur and CEO with more than two decades of experience in the medical cannabis, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and medical device industries, Christina’s dedication to revolutionizing patient care is unprecedented. Through her roles as CEO, Spectral Analytics Precision Tele-Monitoring, Founder and CEO of Affinity Bio Partners, Board President and CEO of Affinity Patient Advocacy, and CEO & Co-Founder of AI Health Outcomes, Christina has been involved with revolutionary projects and global clinical studies that positively impact patients.
Thank you so much for doing this interview. It is an honor. Our readers would love to learn more about you and your personal background. Can you please share your personal backstory? What has brought you to this point in your life?
Igrew up with an ill Grandfather and he ended up passing from Congestive Heart Failure after a myriad of health issues from since he was 35 years old until he passed away when I was around 28 years old. My grandfather was in and out of the hospital often, and this was very taxing on the family. My grandmother used to get so upset when my grandfather was ill. He was the light of her life. It was so sad to see her upset and to watch my grandfather suffering.
All the things that I learned by watching my grandfather ill most of his life and then my father being diagnosed with prostate and stomach cancer when I was 21 years old took a toll on me. Often, my father thought that he was going to die from cancer because his mother had died of cancer. My father ended up dying from liver failure due to the liver cancer that he had. His entire body imploded with cancer, and he battled cancer for two decades.
I became sick in 2018, and was eventually diagnosed with two auto immune diseases. I was tested for cancer twice that year. It was very upsetting to me. Once I was aware of my diagnosis, I began my health journey. I changed my eating, exercising, started taking CBG, CBN, CBD and terpenes. Eventually, I received my Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana card and started using medical cannabis medically. All of these experiences drive me to pave the way in the biotech and nutraceutical spaces.
What is your “why” behind the work that you do? What fuels you?
The Why behind why I do the work that I do is because I have watched family members of mine suffer and later die from challenging health conditions. This has taken a toll on my family, and I vowed that we needed to do better. I want to always provide patients with a voice when they do not have one. I do not want patients being unfairly or unjustly treated.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting new projects you are working on now?
I am close to completing enrollment in the diabetic neuropathy cannabinoid study. This is the first of its kind wherein a cannabinoid treatment is being compared to traditional pharmaceuticals. I am excited to see the results and publish the white paper surrounding the research. I love working on projects that can give patients with other alternatives.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was supposed to take meeting minutes, which I did for a meeting, however, I wrote them on a paper in the meeting, and then threw the paper away mistakenly. I had to remember what we discussed, and then tried to assemble the meeting minutes. It’s funny to look back on, but it taught me to always double and triple check before discarding something, or sending an important document.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. From where you stand, why are you passionate about the topic of Reimagining the Health and Wellness industries? Can you explain what you mean with a story or an example?
The Health and Wellness industries can perpetually monitor their patients in real time with Spectral Analytics Precision Tele-Monitoring platform. The platform will provide doctors with information received through the portal that they have never had access to. Biometrics, lab results, etc. can all be measured, which thereby means that we can customize patients’ treatments. We are finally meeting patients where they really are.
When I talk about Reimagining the Wellness industry, I am talking about reimagining it from the perspective of the providers as well as from the perspective of the recipients and patients. Can you share a few reasons why the status quo is not working for both providers and patients?
The status quo is not working because patients are continually still getting sick and not receiving the full resolution that they need. Often, patients do not believe that they are being heard or that their opinion is being valued.
Why do you think there is a good opportunity now to improve and reform the health and wellness industry?
As we learned from the pandemic, it is very important to maintain health and wellness in your life to live your best life. Investing in your wellness is one of the most important ways to invest in yourself thereby contributing to your love!
Can you please share your “5 Things That Should Be Done to Improve and Reform the Health & Wellness Industry”? Please share an example or story for each if you can.
1. Review of what you are eating to understand if certain foods are triggering you.
2. Making sure that you are active so that you are burning calories and contributing positively to your mental and physical health.
3. Meditate — clear your mind so that you can be more at peace and rest.
4. Discuss things that bother you. Rather than holding things in, express yourself.
5. Listen to music. Music soothes the soul.
From the recipient and patient side of the industry, can you please share a few ways that patients and recipients should reimagine what the wellness and healthcare industry should provide?
Patients should expect to be fully supported in their wellness journey. It would be beneficial if more insurance companies covered wellness activities as part of the patient’s health coverage.
What do you think are the biggest roadblocks to reforming the industry? What can be done to address those hurdles?
Lack of studies, lack of funding, and a lack of credibility in the medical community. Patients do not have access to many nutraceuticals because they do not know they exist. They do not know that they exist because the medical doctors will usually not accept products unless they are FDA approved.
I’m very passionate about the topic of proactive versus reactive self-care and healthcare. What do you think can be done to shift the industries towards a proactive healthcare approach? How can we shift the self-care mindset for consumers and providers alike?
It starts with the person first. The person must be willing to head down the wellness journey to the path of wellness enlightenment. Metrics, data, and medical doctors backing nutraceuticals and wellness initiatives is equally important.
Thank you for all that great insight! Let’s start wrapping up. Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
Our universal force should always be love. Love for humanity, our planet, our animals, and for ourselves.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
Oprah — she is an inspiring woman!
I appreciate your time and valuable contribution. One last question, how can people reach or follow you?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.