Matt Scantland is a husband, father, learner, builder, leader, and adventurer living in Columbus, Ohio and Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Matt is the Founder and CEO at AndHealth, a digital health company with the mission of helping people reverse chronic disease. AndHealth is the world’s first virtual Center of Excellence for migraine reversal, and is soon launching a virtual Center of Excellence for autoimmune diseases. You can read about why Matt started AndHealth in a letter he wrote introducing the company.
Matt is also a founder at Twofold Ventures, his family’s firm that is dedicated to building companies that create opportunity for their employees and the community. Twofold Ventures is an investor and creator of high-growth businesses across technology, healthcare, and media.
Previously, he was Co-Founder and CEO of CoverMyMeds, one of the largest and fastest growing healthcare technology companies in the United States. CoverMyMeds has helped millions of patients get the medication they need to live healthy lives. Widely considered one of the best places to work in the US, CoverMyMeds is ranked nationally as a top workplace overall, and a top workplace for women, parents, and millennials. In 2017, Matt led CoverMyMeds’ acquisition by McKesson, a Fortune-5 healthcare services company for $1.4B, in what was one of the largest healthcare IT transactions ever, and the largest private technology deal in Ohio’s history. CoverMyMeds’ new $240M campus in Franklinton will provide more than two thousand high-paying jobs in Columbus, while helping to create more opportunity and investment in the city.
Matt was ranked as the #14 US CEO of Large Companies by Glassdoor, and the #3 CEO in Healthcare, and has received a number of awards including Entrepreneur of the Year from VentureOhio, E&Y, and Columbus CEO. Matt is a frequent speaker and media source on technology, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and business and civic leadership.
Matt believes in the goodness of all people and the abundance we can find in the world. He believes we are all capable of growth and change, are all worthy of love, and are all ready to do great things, both big and small. Matt is dedicated to personal development and transformation, and living a life of awareness and adventure.
At various times, Matt has been both a failing dyslexic student and an honors scholar, a model citizen and a juvenile delinquent, an overweight basket case and a meditative marathon runner, and has worked as a bike mechanic, a sailing instructor, a technologist, a startup founder and CEO, a senior executive at a Fortune-5 company, and as an investor. Matt loves learning new things and has been serious about cave and technical diving, sailboat racing, cycling, aviation, and many other pursuits.
Beginning in 2020, Matt helped organize a multi-year project to explore and document the underwater caves on a prominent part of the coastal Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. With the goal of raising awareness for this fragile and special environment, his team will publish a book and are sharing their progress on Matt’s Instagram.
Matt and the organizations in which he is involved, are known for their commitment to creating shared opportunity and prosperity. Matt and his family support a number of organizations through the Matt and Meara Scantland Family Fund, and through board service:
The Columbus Partnership Member The Columbus Partnership is a non-profit, membership-based CEO organization of more than 65 CEOs from Columbus’ leading businesses and institutions. The Columbus Partnership’s primary goal is to improve the economic vitality of the Columbus Region.
The Columbus Foundation
Governing Committee (Board of Directors) The Columbus Foundation assists donors and others in strengthening and improving their communities for the benefit of all people, with the promise to help create the most effective philanthropy possible.
With billions in assets, the Columbus Foundation is one of the ten largest Community Foundations in the United States.
Columbus Downtown Development Corporation/Capitol South Board Member Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) is a private, non-profit development corporation with a mission to lead city-changing projects in the heart of Ohio’s capital city. CDDC has helped lead the revitalization of downtown Columbus with projects such as the Columbus Commons, the Scioto Mile, the Scioto Peninsula, and the National Veterans Memorial Museum.
The Wellington School Trustee The Wellington School was founded by entrepreneurs in 1982 as the first co-ed, independent school in Columbus, Wellington propels students in preschool through grade 12 to discover and cultivate their unique potential.
InnovateOhio Board Member Executive Committee InnovateOhio is a statewide effort led by the Dewine-Husted administration to make Ohio the most innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial state in the Midwest.
Orange Barrel Media and IKE Smart City Board Director OBM and IKE pioneer landmark media and smart city technology to improve lives in cities. Powered by the company’s dedication to innovation and creating public benefit, OBM and IKE have iconic media properties in 19 of the top US markets, and the leading interactive digital kiosk platform.
Lifework, Inc. Board Director Lifework is a leading collection of healthcare training, continuing education and vocational schools in the US. Known for their cost-effective approach to education and their embrace of modern technology, these schools have helped hundreds of thousands of people improve their lives through high-quality jobs in our country’s healthcare system.
As we pass a couple of hours, things really settle in. We breath slowly, the carbon dioxide we retained getting into the water is now so low that every muscle experiences total weightlessness—a profound sense of ease. Our minds maintain a calm situation awareness—what is happening with the environment, the team, the team’s resources. Visiting the past and future just to complete our picture of the present. Extreme nowness, that’s a big part of it for me.
We'd been working around some tight cave passage for about a week when we finally found an air-filled room that allowed us to crawl our way to the other side.
Back in the water and a few hundred feet later, we were surprised to emerge here. We called it Cenote Broken Stairs, after the wooden ladder someone built below the jungle many moons ago, probably to enjoy a dip in the water below. Now broken, and a reminder that these places came long before us.
Alongside other tools, Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs), or "scooters" have revolutionized technical diving by enabling exploration well beyond the limits of swimming. At speeds of 50 meters per minute or more, scooters provide tremendous capability but also move you a long way from "home" very quickly, making progressive experience, backup scooters, and conservative gas planning even more essential.
We've been using our scooters this month to cover many miles of karst area in our exploration project. Here, the effort bearing fruit in the form of a new cave entrance.
15,000 years ago, before these caves filled with water, the earliest hominoids in North America used them for shelter. They contended with giant sloths and cave bears, both massive and now extinct megafauna that also prowled these places.
Sometimes, we see charcoal from the ancient fire rings these pioneers used to cook, and maybe even to light the big ballrooms the caves naturally provided for a prehistoric party.
Here, @henryfrawleyfulcher, a modern cave person with a lithium-ion torch and perhaps fewer things to worry about.
Special thanks to the talented @ashinn for post production. Seeing our dark images, he thought people might want to see more detail. So I handed him a bunch of underexposed shots, and was shocked at what he was able to skillfully bring out.
Today I leave Mexico for a while, after what has been a very long time here, longer than I’ve ever been away. I’m really looking forward to being home, but also to returning again soon:)
I am so grateful for the time we had here and the people that made it special.
For Meara, who supported this dream of mine, and who makes me so proud of the strength she helps create in our family. When we weren’t together, I missed her and the kids terribly, but she was there in spirit, helping the world turn so beautifully. I couldn’t have done this without her.
For my family, Pete and Susan, my parents, my friends. I’ve never been away so long, but you helped it feel close.
For Henry, the greatest friend one could ever ask for, and an incredibly talented and creative human, full of a contrarian insight from which I have learned so much. Thanks for being you, thanks for being here, thanks for another great chapter together.
For Kelvin, my friend and mentor in diving since that first cave in Mexico many years ago. Thanks for the knowledge and training, thanks for the tough conversations, thanks for the laughs, and most of all, for that rarest thing of all, your care over all of these years and this time especially.
For Ivo, a man with an incredible heart and wisdom beyond his years, and an amazingly gifted diver and teacher. I’m grateful for our conversations, and for all of the time we’ve spent together, underwater and topside.
And for so many others I can’t mention here that helped along the way, some to create space for my time away, some to assist us here in Mexico, and some to do other things. Your support was meaningful to me, and valued.
It has been a tough year here on planet earth, undoubtedly for some more than others, but the unrelenting setbacks have cast a shadow over all of us.
But beneath it all, there is always the light. The time we all had together, and the time we all had apart both helped me to remember that this year....
Somewhere, there is a point inside these places where natural light no longer exists. We call everything beyond that point the “cave." And the part where light can still penetrate? We call that the "cavern zone." Both are beautiful, but we spend most of our time in the cave proper, since light penetrates distances ranging from nothing at all, to a few hundred feet from the entrance.
So everything we see in the cave is from light we bring with us. And when we shoot photos, that is 60,000 lumens, which is equivalent to the headlights of about 30 cars. That light turns these dark places into something else, often with profoundly different effects.
Here, with @henryfrawleyfulcher, a crystal forest, bathed in blue.
@henryfrawleyfulcher and I took the camera to one of our favorite passages in “B.”
The area itself is simply stunning. Highly decorated, with shallow air domes that transform into mirrors with our lights, and a thin layer of dust over everything that turns to a moody smoke in the water, setting the scene for a beautiful journey into our planet.
This area has the potential to yield more going cave to the west, which is important because most of the cave system we’ve seen so far, runs “downstream“ towards the Caribbean Sea, which will limit its length.
You’ve probably heard of stalagtites (ceiling) and stalagmites (floor) before. These cave formations, along with others like flowstone, helictites, and cave pearls, are called “speleothems.” Cave formations are developed over millions of years as mineral-rich water drips, flows, and ponds in the cave, leaving behind condensed calcite in beautiful shapes that decorate the caves like crystal palaces.
Formations don’t develop when caves are submerged in water, because mineral condensation can’t occur. But most of the caves in coastal Yucatan are both flooded and highly decorated. How did this happen?
The caves here were dry in the last ice age, about 15,000 years ago, when the earth was cooler and the sea level was lower. This allowed the beautiful speleothems to grow here, but also means that what we see now, is all that will ever be.
The stalagmites in this room, part of project cave “B” are a beautiful reminder of the importance of protecting the caves in Mexico.
Caves form in many types of rocks, and through several different processes, collectively called “speleogensis.”
But the largest caves, and those most frequently found, are formed in limestone, when the natural acid in rainwater dissolves away the rock leaving behind cave passages. These are called “solution caves,” and the porous limestone environment that supports them is called “karst.” Karst exists in most parts of the world to some degree, and is a prominent feature of places like the Nullarbor Plain in Australia, Southern China, the Southeast United States, and Mexico in the Yucatán Penninsula.
There are probably millions of caves on this planet, but we know of just a small fraction of them. Amidst telescopes and microscopes, satellites and submarines, we have tools to see big and small and up and down, but almost nothing that can allow us to see into the caves, other than going there and looking ourselves. Sometimes, this feels like what it might be like to go to the moon, something I thought this picture helps to capture.
This cave, codenamed “B” for now, is an incredibly beautiful place, with a spooky feel from the silt that’s floats down from the ceiling, and a network of tight passages and huge rooms decorated with large stalagmites that formed over millions of years, before being frozen in time with the thaw of the last ice age, about 15,000 years ago.
While so far we’ve mostly been focused on exploring and surveying this cave to make maps, we brought our big camera rig on a recent dive and did our best to capture what it feels like to be here. With @henryfrawleyfulcher
For almost a decade now, I’ve been cave diving, a passion that allows us to explore the inner part of our earth, and the inner part of ourselves too.
And amidst everything that has happened this year, the worlds aligned to allow me and a few friends to explore a large and magnificent place, that through its prominent location also offers a unique opportunity to raise awareness for the very fragile and special environment we have in the cave systems of the coastal Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. And at this spot in particular, a development that has been stewarded thoughtfully into an ecological wonder that demonstrates how people and nature can thrive together.
Our goal is to discover and share this special place with people that visit, whether in person or in their minds. Toward those ends, we’ll be releasing material regularly (link in bio), culminating in a book that tells the story of this ground, and the majesty that lies beneath.
Here is a picture we took that might begin to show the vastness and beauty of the places we can sometimes find ourselves.