Candice Escobedo APRN FNP-C
Candice received her BSN from University of Texas at Arlington in 2011 and started her career as a pediatric oncology bone marrow transplant nurse. Here she learned first hand what it was like to fight an invisible enemy while taking care of immune compromised children. Fighting cancer and compassion fatigue amongst a stigmatic mental health culture she learned first hand the mental and emotional toll being a frontliner had placed on her. After cancer affected her personal life she changed positions to become a specialized resource nurse, a highly selective and versatile position that prepared her to enter graduate school at Maryville University. While attending school she worked full time as a faith community nurse serving the underserved and vulnerable population. In this position she created a community care clinic that addressed the social determinants of health and built an organic community garden that addressed the need for fresh food for an isolated community outside of Austin Texas. The Care Clinic program was studied and published by a MPH student at the University of Texas and received accolades by the local community. During this time in her career she was able to set up emergency shelter for hurricane Harvey victims in a southwest Austin shelter and provided triage, medications, emergency medical care, and over $10,000 in delivered donations from WalMart and needed medications compliments of CVS. Candice went on to complete her Master of Science in Nursing degree to obtain her license as family nurse practitioner.
In December of 2019, she graduated and in early 2020 while interviewing for jobs COVID hit. Outraged and furious by the emotional toll and lack of PPE her fellow frontliners were experiencing, she vowed to create her own supply chain while co-creating a digital platform that allowed opportunity to those who needed PPE but were afraid of speaking out , in fear of losing their job. This platform allowed healthcare workers to anonymously “voiceout” their needs in hopes of connecting with distributors, non profits and manufacturers in hopes of getting supply to those who needed it the most. Simultaneously, she found her future business partner and fellow Texas nurse, Allie Cao, who was living in Shenzhen China. Here the two nurses began filling orders for medical facilities with a mission to heed their fellow frontliners cries and provide for their own. Seeing the exhaustion, compassion fatigue, and emotional distress of their fellow frontliners Candice and Allie launched their own brand, called Frontliners Med, dedicated to creating a movement that called for fundamental rights of all frontliners, the highest quality personal protective equipment and access to free or low cost mental health services via Therapy Aid Coalition. Frontliners Med is not only a trusted brand, but a movement, that stands to remind everyone what frontliners had to go without during this pandemic but also as a promise to strive and provide for what our frontliners deserve.
Allison Cao RN BSN
As a former trauma ICU and ER nurse who hung up her stethoscope as a result of burnout, Allison understands the unique needs of frontline workers battling mental health issues and experiencing compassion fatigue. For the last 10 years, Allison has worked in education, real estate, and trading while residing overseas in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China with her husband and 3 children. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Allison leveraged manufacturing relationships and expanded her Hong Kong-based trading company to source, supply, and manufacture medical products for a global market.
Her first client ended up being a fellow Texan nurse, Candice Escobedo, who also was on a mission to support her fellow frontliners by creating a supply chain. Knowing that ultimately they would find a way to give back to the wellness of frontliners beyond PPE, the two nurses teamed up and spent months building an expansive network of like-minded suppliers, manufacturers, buyers, brokers, financiers, and third-party inspection agencies all across the globe. In an industry full of fraudsters, greedy price-gougers, and supply chain shortages, they found a way to source and/or distribute products to US, UK, Africa, Bahamas, Dubai, Philippines, Japan, Korea, Spain, France, Italy, Australia, Germany, India, Thailand, Ukraine, Pacific Islands, Haiti, and Mexico. Frontliners Med was born. In late 2020, Candice and Allison finally found a way to give back to benefit the mental health and wellness of the frontline. They teamed up with Therapy Aid Coalition, a non profit providing free to low cost therapy for essential workers. A portion of profit from Frontliners Med supports the work of Therapy Aid.