(Bloomberg) -- Kristen Helton, who ran one of Amazon.com Inc.’s most important healthcare initiatives, is on a break that began earlier this summer.
“After more than 5 years at Amazon, Kristen decided to take some well-deserved time off to spend the summer with her family,” an Amazon spokesperson said Thursday in a statement. It wasn’t clear when she would return.
Helton, a research scientist with a doctorate in bioengineering, was most recently general manager of Amazon Care, a primary-care service offering telehealth and in-person treatment in such cities as Seattle, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Amazon Care, which launched in 2019, overlaps with services provided by One Medical, which Amazon is acquiring in an all-cash deal valued at $3.49 billion. One Medical, whose parent is called 1Life Healthcare Inc., operates 182 medical offices in 25 markets in the US. Customers pay a subscription fee for access to its physicians and round-the-clock digital health services. Amazon in February announced plans to expand Amazon Care to 20 additional cities, including New York, Chicago, Miami and San Francisco.
Amazon for years has been trying to break into the healthcare industry. It purchased mail-order pharmacy PillPack Inc. in 2018 and joined a highly ballyhooed healthcare venture with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that fizzled out after three years.
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