Our Team

The SecureSenior Group was founded by a team of experts who were personally impacted by seeing the effect of loneliness in their family and friends and were determined to find a solution.  These experts in health care, insurance, and technology put their minds together to develop SecureSeniorConnections®. The SecureSeniorConnections® digital platform combines methodologies to reduce loneliness with a consumer model built to drive engagement. Our approach of an age-friendly user experience empowers members to connect with purpose – fueling a vibrant and trusted community. 


Chief Executive Officer

Michael Weissel is SecureSeniorConnections® CEO, leading the company as it unveils a platform that empowers seniors across America to create meaningful connections and engage in activities that add purpose to their lives. He is a former EVP of Optum where, most recently, he was the Head of Corporate Strategy, Product and Business relationships.  Prior to that, he was CEO of Optum’s Consumer Solutions Group. Mike was also the founder and Managing Partner of Oliver Wyman’s Health and Life sciences practices.  Motivated by seeing his parents and in-laws look for new purpose as they age, he combines his passion for positively impacting seniors' lives with his broad operating experience in healthcare and a wealth of in-depth industry relationships.

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Clinical Officer

Natasha Deckmann, MD, is SecureSeniorConnections® COO and a passionate advocate for transforming healthcare and finding ways to improve the consumer experience and reduce total cost of care. She was formerly the CEO of Carepoint Health System in NJ, and prior to that, Natasha played roles as the CEO of Population Health Solutions and as the COO of the Consumer Solutions Group at Optum.  Earlier in her career, she was the COO of Marsh International and a consultant at Oliver Wyman.  Natasha has a broad set of healthcare experiences across both the payer and provider landscapes and brings deep relationships in the PE and Venture space.  She also serves on the Board of Women’s Health USA. 


Chief Product Officer

Wendy Palmer is SecureSeniorConnections® CPO. Throughout her career, she has been a senior executive who has built pioneering capabilities and has led a variety of strategy and product-oriented efforts for companies that include: General Motors, Nationwide Insurance, and Dun & Bradstreet. Wendy has diverse experience working with consumers and businesses, is data-focused, and brings deep expertise in bridging strategy with execution. After seeing the effects that aging had on her family, she now devotes her professional proficiency to improving seniors' well-being. 

Chief Technology Officer

Erik Hjortshøj is SecureSeniorConnections® CTO, bringing extensive experience building and scaling leading health and wellness companies in the payer and provider markets such as, AmWell, ShapeUp, and Wellist. His 30+ year technical background includes experience in large data aggregation, search algorithms, machine learning, and natural language processing. He has a deep passion for building products that truly engage and help people. In his free time he endeavors to bike and cook daily, drive race cars as often as possible, and occasionally build a piece of furniture. 

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Julianne Holt-Lunstad is a professor of psychology and neuroscience, and the Martin B. Hickman distinguished scholar at Brigham Young University. She is also the founding scientific chair of the U.S. Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness and Foundation for Social Connections.

Dr. Holt-Lunstad’s research is focused on understanding the long-term health effects, biological mechanisms, and effective strategies to mitigate risk and promote protection associated with social connection.  Her work has been seminal in the recognition of social isolation and loneliness as risk factors for early mortality. She serves as a scientific advisor and consults regularly for organizations across sectors aimed at addressing this issue. She has provided expert testimony in a US Congressional Hearing, expert recommendations for the US Surgeon General, served as a member of the UK Cross Departmental Loneliness Team, a member of a National Academy of Sciences consensus committee, and a subject matter expert for the Gravity Project.  Her work has been widely recognized within her discipline including several awards and is regularly highlighted in major media outlets.