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Ryan Phelan started DNA Direct in 2003 as a company that provides direct-to-consumer genetic testing and related consumer oriented genomic services. Phelan has been a strong consumer health advocate for the past 25
years, having started the first medical library for consumers in 1978. As Founding Director of Planetree, a nonprofit consumer health care organization, she helped create a national model for humanizing hospitals and a national model for
providing health information to the public, the Planetree Resource Center. In 1995 she founded Direct Medical Knowledge (DMK). DMK was an extensive consumer health web site highly regarded for its unique content depth and innovative search
interface. DMK developed proprietary software that enabled users to drill down through the most current medical literature and retrieve personalized health and medical information. As CEO of DMK, Ms. Phelan forged alliances with major
medical institutions, national health care plans, publishers, and consumer groups. In 1999 Direct Medical Knowledge was acquired by WebMD, and DMK's content became the backbone of WebMD's consumer health site. Phelan is also a co-founder
of the ALL Species Foundation, a global science initiative to discover all life on Earth in the next 25 years. In 2002, Phelan served as CEO for the ALL Species Foundation and continues her involvement today by serving on the Governing
Board of Directors. She graduated from UC Berkeley. Courtesy of Strategic News Service, SF Chronicle
Ryan Phelan, founder and CEO of DNA Direct, shares her thoughts on entrepreneurship, both for-profit and not-for-profit, based on her experience launching groundbreaking healthcare initiatives that provide public access to comprehensive medical information and genetic testing.
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