Kathryn Walker is predicting that 2022 will be the year many ideas come to fruition in the psychedelic industry. At Revitalist (CSE: CALM), the CEO says her ideas for rapid expansion will continue with the opening of several new clinics in strategic locations.
New Clinic Strategically Located For Research, Vets
Revitalist’s newest clinic is in the Washington, DC area in Bethesda, Maryland, in a county with one of the highest veteran populations in the country. It’s also near several well-known medical centers and institutions including the Walter Reed, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and the National Institutes of Health.
When asked if veterans are becoming more aware of ketamine treatment, Walker said that she’s already seen a significant number of applications from veterans in January 2022 alone, despite antagonism and stigma in the military and among Veteran Affairs (VA) about psychedelics and ketamine.
“The VA may not have the best reputation at times because they’re slower to get people in and their efficacy is not great, so a lot of veterans have a negative mindset with the VA,” said Walker. “We work with the VA to try and help streamline those things, but [we’re also dealing with] the antagonism of the drug ketamine, or the term ‘psychedelics,’ so we’re going against that grain as well.”
Why Not Everyone Will Succeed In Psychedelics
The new location in Maryland is the first of many that Revitalist will open in 2022: in addition to the 10 clinics currently operating, 10 more are set to open at a rate of three new clinics every two to three months. While these targets are aggressive, Walker said investors can expect Revitalist to hit each one.
“We are focusing directly on the clinic buildout, but as we get into this, people need to understand that not everybody is going to succeed in this space, and the reason is because [helping people with their mental health is] not easy,” she said. “When you start getting down to the nitty-gritty of mental health, there are specific things that trigger it…You’ve got to know how to address that effectively, without connecting with it, because you can’t connect with it as a provider.”
Even for Walker, who has twenty years of experience in emergency and psychiatric units, admits that it can be a challenge: “Providers, like myself, with anesthesia and psychiatric and critical care training, and our emergency physicians, we’re used to be being around significant situations… [but] I had no idea mental health would be this specific in detail.”
Walker pointed out that providers have to balance ethics, boundaries, safety, and patient care, things that can’t be sacrificed for profit, and require more than just money and supportive investments. Investors, she said, should consider looking at companies that are successful at “marrying” medical providers with the financial industry.
“They need to be asking executives, ‘have you thought about safety? Have you thought about malpractice?’ Malpractice is huge in this space,” she said.
“It’s one of those things where you don’t want to cut the bottom line and have people who have six months of experience dealing with [patients], because it’s not fair to anyone. They’re not going to have the skills to deal with a lot of the heaviness when it comes in.”
Walker stressed that continuing education is of utmost importance, and that the learning curve for people in the financial space isn’t an easy one.
Watch the interview above to learn more about Revitalist’s newly hired vice president of research, retired military colonel Dr. Denise Hopkins-Chadwick, and about specialized training that Revitalist staff undergo so they’re prepared to handle “the worst of the worst.”