Hoy Health Corporation is a different kind of company, and Mario Anglada is a different kind of leader.
Hoy Health exists to bring better healthcare solutions to vulnerable populations and underserved communities. It does that through a unique combination of medication vouchers, pharmacy discount cards, chronic condition management programs, and bilingual telemedicine services. The company has created a network of seventy thousand pharmacy outlets in the US and Puerto Rico and has partnerships with the American Heart Association, the Mayo Clinic, Verizon Wireless, UBER, and others.
Anglada, Hoy Health’s founder and CEO, started the corporation in 2017 after repeatedly witnessing the impact broken systems have on people and communities. Then a marketing executive, Anglada had two decades of experience at major companies like Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, and Univision. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he joined the military and served in the US Army for four years, during which time he repatriated remains of soldiers who died in combat.
In his military and civilian roles, Anglada was often tasked with finding new ways to improve outdated, ineffective, and inefficient processes. “I’ve had a history of taking on roles others don’t want to tackle, and that can often lead to big things,” he says. By volunteering for tough assignments, Anglada learned the intricacies of complex organizations, met high-level leaders, and put himself in a position to make an impact.
While at Univision, Anglada planned and implemented a community health intervention program for Hispanic patients with diabetes. His team also started the first line of vitamins for pediatric Hispanic consumers in the United States and helped healthcare companies market to the growing US Latino demographic. However, Anglada was also aware of the widespread problems with access to care: when he was eight years old, he watched as his diabetic uncle struggled to find proper treatment.
This compelled Anglada to start Hoy Health, and building the organization into what it is today—an innovative company that addresses the needs of underrepresented patients in fifty US states, Puerto Rico, and parts of Mexico—has prepared him to take another step as a leader.
For Anglada, that next step is board service. “Serving on a corporate board is something that just makes sense when you have multifactorial and multi-industry experience because you have a broader view of how things are done. That means you have a lot to offer,” he explains. After all, boards benefit most when they are led by a group of people whose deep and varied experiences can help them navigate through a variety of problems that may arise.
As the bilingual and bicultural leader has moved through spaces like health services, medical devices, consumer packaged goods, medications, and pharmaceuticals, he’s created innovative marketing programs, deepened his leadership skills, and built expertise in product development, brand management, and multicultural communications. Throughout it all, Anglada has cultivated a reputation for solving tough directional challenges and says other leaders see him as a “sounding board” for their strategic or tactical needs. “The broader your experience, the more valuable your insights become,” he notes.
Anglada has also developed a critical trait that only comes through lived experience—grit. He credits his military experience with instilling in him the courage and resolve he’s maintained throughout his career.
“Everyone in the business world has to endure tough times, whether we like it or not,” he says. Tough times may come in the form of economic downturns, global pandemics, challenging partnerships, difficult political situations, family issues, or personal conflicts. Effective leaders learn how to manage whatever comes their way.
In September 2022, Anglada and Hoy Health were tested by two natural disasters. Their teams in Puerto Rico and Mexico were faced with a hurricane and an earthquake in one 24-hour period. Effective leaders coordinated communication with resilient teams—all personnel were accounted for, and Hoy Health managed to operate without interruption to its services in the regions.
Today, Anglada continues to find creative ways to solve complex problems. Hoy Health has introduced telemedicine kiosks in Mexico City and has established the first Spanish and English telemedicine platform in the world. Anglada and his partners are now looking to expand into places like Panama, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. They’re already making a difference and finding success in emerging markets with rapidly changing environments, and now, Anglada is ready to help others do the same.
Thoughts from Guest Editor Michelle Collins
Mario is a founder, an entrepreneur—as such, he knows what it takes to run a company, hire talent, build a team, balance a budget, invent a product or service . . . and sell it. Those attributes make Mario ideal for a board seeking active operating executives.
Moreover, Mario’s experience revamping old processes and systems—making them efficient and data-driven—would be vital to most companies that scale. Having the knowledge of how to build those systems (and knowing what to look for) gives Mario an edge as a board candidate.
Mario also demonstrates two character and business traits that are essential for today’s leaders: empathy and resilience. Mario demonstrates compassion for vulnerable communities and people. But, thanks to his experiences in the Army and with challenging weather conditions in Puerto Rico, he also knows how to manage through disruption and not be afraid of risk. Those are essential characteristics for board members today—we are all operating with a high level of uncertainty, but board members need to lead, make decisions anyway, and show their value.