RICHMOND, Va. — The President and CEO of Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. (HDL, Inc.) announced Tuesday she was stepping down immediately. Tonya Mallory, who founded the fast-growing Richmond business in 2008, cited “family reasons” for her departure.
“Many of you know that my brother lost his wife a little over two years ago. He has recently started a new business close to home to avoid what was a two-hour round trip commute each day. The new venture will permit him to keep his young kids in their supportive community. I am leaving HDL, Inc. to help him get his new company off the ground in an effort that we hope will give his family financial security in addition to allowing him more time with his children,” Mallory wrote in an email to employees. “Like you, I am very proud of the work we have done together to help people – revolutionizing patient care by changing the way that cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and related conditions are diagnosed and treated.”
HDL Inc. announced Mallory would continue to serve on the company’s Board of Directors and advise new President and CEO Dr. Joe McConnell. McConnell, who co-founded the company, was HDL’s Chief Laboratory Officer.
“It has been an honor to work with Tonya Mallory,” McConnell said in a written statement. “She has been a vibrant and visionary leader who has dedicated herself to the well-being of both the patients we serve and those of us in the company.”
With nearly 700 full-time employees, Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. was listed among the top 50 employers in Central Virginia by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. HDL, Inc. is a health management company that offers tests which “allow physicians to more effectively manage their patients and individuals to take steps to improve their health.”
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported HDL, Inc. stopped paying doctors a $20 fee for using their tests after those payments triggered a Special Fraud Alert from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Journal reported those payments could “give doctors an incentive to order unnecessary tests.” HDL, Inc. received payments from Medicare for each test.
Health Diagnostic Laboratory called the Journal article a “highly distorted picture of our company and our work.”
“In particular, HDL, Inc. vehemently disagrees with any insinuation that payments to doctors were an inducement, or that the payments were illegal or known to violate any law,” the company wrote in a statement. “The story inaccurately characterizes the HDL, Inc. of 2010 and totally ignores the world class 2014 HDL, Inc. laboratory practices of today, relying on misleading accounts from two former disgruntled employees who have not been with the company in more than three years – one speaking anonymously and the other dismissed for cause, including her opposition to HDL, Inc.’s zero-tolerance drug policies.”