A Conversation with Dr. Mark McKenna

Dr. S. Mark McKenna has gained national attention in Forbes magazine as a “doctor-turned-entrepreneur who is building an Uber-style app for Botox patients.”

This venture, called OVME, will open in Atlanta early next year. Using that model, he plans to open a national chain of cosmetic medical offices – integrating an app that functions like Uber for Botox patients. Via the OVME app, customers will connect with freelance practitioners who make house calls. It’s Botox-on-demand at the customer’s doorstep.

This disruptive business plan reflects Dr. Mark McKenna ’s innovative mindset. His backstory: McKenna realized in medical school (Tulane University) that wealth would not come easily via medicine. Instead, he built a real estate business in New Orleans – which was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.

Overnight, Dr. Mark McKenna lost millions, but rebuilt the company within two years – buying flooded properties, renovating and selling to investors. He then dissolved that business – moving to Atlanta to open ShapeMed, offering cosmetic treatments like Botox, laser hair removal, and weight counseling. This extremely successful venture inspired his next – OVME.

The Origin of OVME

“The idea for OVME came from working in the medical aesthetics industry for over 10 years,” Dr. Mark McKenna said in a recent interview. “I grew my practice to be one of the largest in the America and ultimately sold it to a publicly traded company. During that process I noticed many opportunities to disrupt the industry.”

Originally, the company was to be called Face Medical but the trademark wasn’t available. “OVME doesn’t smack you in the face until you think about it. It’s pronounced “of me” and denotes attention to you,” says McKenna.

 

A Day with Dr. McKenna

Dr. McKenna is married to Gianine McKenna, they are the proud parents of daughter Milana Elle and a four-year old Pomeranian, Ryder. Dr. Mark McKenna is currently a member of Entrepreneurs Organization and he has previously served as a board member of the New Orleans Jazz Festival and the New Orleans Industrial Development Board.

His day starts at 6:30 am, when he gets his daughter out of bed. “We eat breakfast together while mommy sleeps,” McKenna says. “After breakfast I shower and then head into work around 8am. I normally work until 6pm then head home for dinner with the family. After dinner I head to Jiu Jitsu training and train until 9pm. After training I come home and work until I fall asleep.”

Bringing New Ideas to Light

S. Mark McKenna regularly sets goals and practices visualization. He also meditates once daily in a quiet place. “I have found the combination of meditation and active goal setting is a recipe for success,” he says.

He is a voracious reader, and surrounds himself with people who are smarter than himself. Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, and Barack Obama have influenced his thinking. Think and Grow Rich, written by Napoleon Hill, is a must-read for any entrepreneur. “Amazing book… a deep dive into the power of visualization,” McKenna says.

His first OVME clinics will be in Atlanta and Nashville.

 

The Rising Popularity of Botox

Boomers have been the mainstay of Botox, seeking a smooth youthful face. But millennials and GenXers are jumping on board. Younger women are using Botox injections to prevent wrinkles, reports Dr. Mark McKenna.

Fast facts on Botox:

  • Botox is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment; over 6 million Botox treatments are given every year.
  • Botox is a neurotoxin from Clostridium botulinum, a natural organism that is largely inactive and non-toxic.
  • Botulinum toxin is used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying muscles.

 

How does Botox work?

Botulinum toxin is injected into humans in extremely small concentrations. The substance works by preventing nerve signals from reaching muscles, which paralyzes them, McKenna explains.

A powdered form of Botulinum toxin is diluted in saline and injected directly into muscle tissue. The injection takes effect within 24-72 hours. In very rare instances, patients wait for 5 full days for the full effect of botulinum toxin to be noticeable.

Pregnant or lactating women should not use Botox, or people who have had an allergic reaction to the drug.

 

Beyond beauty

Botulinum toxin is predominantly used as a treatment to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and fine lines. Beyond aesthetic applications, Botox is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including strabismus, migraines, excess sweating, and leaky bladders.