We make learning simple, effective and accessible for every patient.

IKONA helps you to understand your health and treatment options in ways you didn't think possible. Understanding our health is a barrier for too many of us. It's time your individual needs and goals played a central role in how you learn about your health and live your life.


IKONA selected to participate in 2021 Artificial Intelligence Tech Sprint with US Department of Veterans Affairs


IKONA wins Phase I SBIR commercial contract from the United States Air Force


IKONA wins research award from the National Science Foundation

1 in 3 US adults is at risk of developing kidney disease.

It's time people had a reliable way to access, understand, and use vital information about their health that makes a difference in their lives.

IKONA makes it possible.


Why ikona?

A nod to our founders' Greek roots, ikona represents our vision for a future we aim to build together. We started this company to help patients face uncertainty. As a VA patient and two surgeons, our founders met from two sides of a shared struggle. Today, our multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, educators and engineers are rethinking kidney education using a combination of learning science, storytelling and immersive technology.

Tim Fitzpatrick Headshot.jpg


Tim Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer

Tim spent his last eighteen months in the US Navy as a patient. After several surgeries, hundreds of wound care treatments and far too many months spent in isolation, he experienced hopelessness firsthand. The challenges he faced in understanding his treatment plan and what he could do to take back control of his life are felt by countless other patients and families on a daily basis. Tim's journey through uncertainty is what he now draws upon to lead IKONA toward fulfilling its mission and transforming how patients learn.


Team Structure

Tim Fitzpatrick

Chief Executive Officer

Todd Maddox, PhD

Chief Learning Scientist

Jen St. Clair Russell, PhD, MSEd

Advisor, Education Programs and Research 

Chris Chmieliewski, NP

Nephrology Nurse Practitioner

Hillary Bekelis, AGAC-NP

Nurse Practitioner

Caroline Webb, RN, BSN, CNN

Nephrology Nurse

Steve Winfree, MS





Patient Outreach

Rory Mitchell

Creative Director


Our team's research spans disciplines and decades.

Digital Medicine

Maddox, T., & Fitzpatrick, T. (2019). The promise of virtual reality in healthcare education and training: It’s all in the neuroscience. Digital Medicine, 5(4), 133-137.

Nephrology Nurse Journal

Maddox, T., Fitzpatrick, T., & Chmielewski, C (under review). Using learning science to optimize chronic kidney disease education for patients and providers. Nephrology Nurse Journal.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Ashby, F.G., & Maddox, W.T. (2011). Human category learning 2.0. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1224, 147-161. NIHMSID# 249970.

Digital Medicine

Sainz-Fuertes, R., et al, Fitzpatrick, T., & Maddox, T (accepted). COVID-19 and mental health: A review and the role of telehealth and virtual reality. Digital Medicine.

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Nephrology Nursing Journal

St. Clair Russell, J., Southerland, S., Huff, E.D., Thomson, M., Meyer, K.B., & Lynch, J. (2017). A peer-to-peer mentoring program for in-center hemodialysis: A patient-centered quality improvement program. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 44 (6), 481-489, 496.

Seminars in Dialysis

St. Clair Russell, Jennifer & Boulware, L.. (2018). End-stage renal disease treatment options education: What matters most to patients and families. Seminars in Dialysis. 31. 10.1111/sdi.12665. 

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Scientific Advisory Board

Our scientific advisors serve a key role in our ability to stay at the forefront of innovation in kidney care.

Dr. Yolanda Becker
Dr. Yolanda Becker
  • LinkedIn

Transplant Surgeon

Director of Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Surgery, UChicago Medicine

Yolanda Becker, MD
Richard Wood, PhD
Rich Wood, PhD
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Metabolic Disease Expert

Executive Advisor, Complex Chronic Care Transformation Team at CVS Health

Rich Wood, PhD
Qasim Butt
Dr. Qasim Butt
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Interventional Nephrologist

Chief of Medicine, Clinical Nephrologist and kidney disease education expert

Qasim Butt, MD
Marc Leighton
Marc Leighton
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Vice President, Product

VP of Product at Florence Healthcare. Previously held senior product and strategy roles at Cleveland Clinic and GE Healthcare.

Marc Leighton
Kimon Bekelis
Kimon Bekelis, MD
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Neurosurgeon, Co-Founder

Neurosurgeon, Chairman of Neurointerventional Services at CHS, Assistant Professor at The Dartmouth Institute

Kimon Bekelis, MD
George Kakoulides
George Kakoulides, MD
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Neurosurgeon, Filmmaker, Co-Founder

Board Certified Neurosurgeon at CHS and Northwell Health Systems, VR Filmmaker and Fletcher School Graduate

George Kakoulides, MD



Change the way patients learn

Our mission begins and ends with people: those we serve and those who make it all possible. Be a part of something greater.

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