About Us

The nation's leading surgery decision-support company

Welvie, LLC
400 N. May St #202
Chicago IL 60642

It’s a fact: people who have surgery are often unprepared for the process. This can lead to an increase in complications, which can negatively affect your quality of life afterward and cost more out of your pocket as well.

It’s also a fact that, while most surgeries are needed, sometimes the risks to patients can outweigh the benefits they’ll receive. According to some reports, the risks to patients outweigh the benefits by as much as 40% for some elective surgeries. Too often, the decision to have a particular surgery is made with little to no consideration to what the alternatives might be first. Is there another less-risky surgical option? Is there a non-surgical option that will do the trick, too?

Welvie is here to help you work with your doctor to decide what is right for you.

No surgery is routine. And no matter what your diagnosis, you typically have options. But if surgery is your best treatment choice, we can help you work with your doctor to get the best possible results.

Welvie helps you make a fully informed surgery decision. From treatment options to questions to ask your doctor to knowing what to expect and how to prepare for recovery, we’re here to help you get the best possible outcome.

Founded by surgeons with you in mind.

Welvie’s genesis extends back to 2000 when neurosurgeon Patricia Gelnar launched Graphic Surgery, a pioneering product that focused on helping patients thinking about surgery.

In 2008 Graphic Surgery evolved into Welvie, with expanded resources, functionality, and information. The first of its kind, Welvie is a reliable, trusted guide to help you navigate the process of coming to the best treatment decision.

Welvie—powered by pros.

Our leadership team is made up of health care industry professionals, many who had a hand in the development of consumer driven health care almost 10 years ago. Together, we offer a broad depth of health care knowledge, technology, and consumer marketing and behavior. We continue to lead the health care industry in innovative products and services that help consumers have better outcomes while saving money for employers and health plans.

Charlton (Chip) Tooke, executive chairman

Chip is recognized for his leadership in companies within the health industry that are known for their innovations, consumer-focused cultures, high performance teams and leadership positions.

Before joining Welvie, he was the founding CEO of Lumenos, a pioneer in the field of consumer-driven health care, which is revolutionizing and reshaping the health care system. Based on Chip's foresight, Lumenos consistently led the consumer-driven health care industry with innovations in technology and program design.

In June 2005, Chip led the sale of Lumenos to WellPoint, Inc., the nation’s largest publicly traded commercial health benefits company.

Prior to Lumenos, Chip was president and chief executive officer of Value Behavioral Health, Inc. (VBH), a $350 million specialty managed care company.

Doug Kronenberg, chief strategy officer

With an extensive background in packaged goods and marketing, Doug jointly founded Lumenos with Chip Tooke. While there, he created the Lumenos product strategy and launched the insurance industry’s first effective consumer engagement program. He continues to break new ground in health care by developing techniques to engage consumers in all aspects of their medical care.

Prior to Lumenos, Doug served as the national vice president of marketing for Prudential HealthCare and headed the national marketing organization for Humana Inc. He spent the first 15 years of his career in packaged goods brand management with both Procter & Gamble and Hallmark, Inc.

Tim Kotas, chief operating officer

Tim brings extensive experience in transformational health care innovation and operations to Welvie. He is currently responsible for Information Technology, Product Development and Surgery Analytics. Prior to Welvie, Tim was Vice President of product development and responsible for product development, business development, health plan administration, pharmacy and network management for Lumenos. Prior to Lumenos, Tim was Executive Vice President – west and southwest regions for Value Behavior Health, where he had responsibility for the overall operations of five service centers. Prior to VBH, he held a number of positions at MCC Behavioral Care (a CIGNA subsidiary), including Director of National Care Center, Executive Director and Clinical Team Leader of the Chicago Behavioral Care Office.

Charlie Hildebrand, executive vice president, sales

Charlie's expertise is in providing services that enhance efficiencies and reduce costs. He has shared this experience with a variety of payers, health plans and employers.

He currently heads the Welvie sales team and serves as the clients’ advocate delivering feedback for continuous product improvement. Before coming to Welvie, Charlie was senior vice president of the National Solutions Consulting Team at Emdeon. In addition, Charlie was a principal partner in a health claims communication outsourcer, which has grown to be the largest company in its segment.