About

UH Ventures is solving for the future of University Hospitals and the future of healthcare. We identify, develop, and deploy the most disruptive and creative innovations that originate from within University Hospitals as well as from organizations all over the world.

Built to draw on the historic and present strengths of University Hospitals, UH Ventures pursues the innovative opportunities that will drive definitive, sustainable, and scalable value to the way we care for our patients.

We do this through two platforms: (1) Our Operations Platform, which includes the oversight and potentialization of existing UH verticals including Specialty Pharmacy, Post-acute and Home Care, Lab Services, and others; and our (2) Ventures & Innovations Platform, which

stands up a variety of opportunities that can play a vital role in the overall future of healthcare in the realms of Clinical Tools, Business Services & Infrastructure, Population Health, and Consumer Centric Care.

This two-pronged approach, combined with our diverse team of innovators, our comprehensive process and toolkit, and our wide-ranging portfolio of projects enable us to take the risks needed to deliver value and vitality for our hospital, our patients, and our community.

Built to draw on the historic and present strengths of University Hospitals, UH Ventures pursues the innovative opportunities that will drive definitive, sustainable, and scalable value to the way we care for our patients.

We do this through two platforms: (1) Our Operations Platform, which includes the oversight and potentialization of existing UH verticals including Specialty Pharmacy, Post-acute and Home Care, Lab Services, and others; and our (2) Ventures & Innovations Platform, which stands up a variety of opportunities that can play a vital role in the overall future of healthcare in the realms of Clinical Tools, Business Services & Infrastructure, Population Health, and Consumer Centric Care.

This two-pronged approach, combined with our diverse team of innovators, our comprehensive process and toolkit, and our wide-ranging portfolio of projects enable us to take the risks needed to deliver value and vitality for our hospital, our patients, and our community.

 

 

 

 

What Makes Us Different

1. Sustainable Structure


UH Ventures was formed to steadily and effectively pursue opportunities to transform healthcare both today and tomorrow via its Operations and Ventures & Innovations platforms.

2. Wide-ranging Portfolio


We pursue a variety of opportunities of all stages and sources in our Business Optimization verticals and Innovation strategic themes.

3. Practical Process & Unique Tools:


UH Ventures streamlines the identification, development, and deployment of the most promising opportunities. We also work from a shared set of unique design-thinking tools to stimulate ideas and create actionable strategies.

4. Eclectic & Diverse Team:


Our collective resume, consisting of experience 
from both inside and outside of the healthcare ecosystem, demonstrates a distinct ability to work across numerous domains, think creatively, and achieve results.

 

Our Team

Eric Beck, DO, MPH

President, UH Ventures

Eric Beck, DO, MPH

President, UH Ventures

Dr. Beck has a portfolio of responsibilities including core operations, commercialization, industry partnerships, technology transfer, business development and strategic initiatives. He collaborates with UH leaders to accelerate system growth through new business endeavors and expansion of existing programs. His work includes identification and evaluation of new opportunities through acquisition, investment, joint ventures and other arrangements.

 

Dr. Beck has more than 20 years of experience as a leader in healthcare delivery and integrated systems of care. He brings deep expertise in healthcare operations, post-acute care, population health, physician practice management, clinical innovation, digital health and value-based payment. Dr. Beck has a solid track record of business innovation and success. He joined UH from the University of North Texas Health Science Center where he served as President and CEO for the UNT Health clinical enterprise, as well as Associate Professor and Chair for the Department of Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor of Public Health.

 

Previously he was a senior executive for Envision Healthcare, a Denver-headquartered, Fortune 500, publicly traded health care services organization. He served both as Envision Healthcare’s CEO for Integrated Delivery and President and CEO of the Evolution Health subsidiary. Prior to his tenure at Envision Healthcare, Dr. Beck served as Medical Director for the City of Chicago and as full-time faculty at the University of Chicago where he was the Assistant Residency Program Director for Emergency Medicine. Dr. Beck began his professional career training in the UH system as a paramedic and also served as firefighter/paramedic with both the Russell Township and Willoughby Hills Fire Departments.

 

Eric.Beck@UHhospitals.org

Sam Brown

Vice President, Operations

Sam Brown

Vice President, Operations

Prior to joining UH, Sam Brown was Associate Vice President of Medical Operations and Logistics at Evolution Health, where he led the launch of CAD initiatives in mobile integrated health. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Ohio University and a Master of Business Administration from Babson College.  Sam began his professional career at Pickands Mather Group (PMG), which provides market development, research, and sales and logistical support for companies consuming or producing coal and related products. Over his eight years at PMG, Mr. Brown grew to the role of Director of Sales & Marketing. He also served as a founding partner for PM Data Services, which emerged through the success experienced in identifying, developing, and deploying innovative solutions for the customers of the PMG. Sam has been a firefighter and paramedic for many years.

 

Sam.Brown@UHhospitals.org

Champ Burgess

Vice President, Operations

Champ Burgess

Vice President, Operations

Champ Burgess serves as Vice President, with oversight responsibilities that include building best in class Pharmacy Operations as new enterprises within UH Ventures. Champ came to UH with a proven and impressive track record in healthcare and business development. His previous experiences include creating business operations that improved service delivery, reduced costs and maximized reimbursement for large health systems. Champ earned his Doctor of Pharmacy at UNC Chapel Hill and a Master of Business Administration at East Carolina University.

 

Henry.BurgessIII@UHhospitals.org

Patricia Colella

Analyst

Patricia Colella

Analyst

Patricia supports both the Innovation and Operation units of Ventures by analyzing projects and reports in our business development strategy. She also produces the Home Care Podcast and the Health Voyagers Podcast Series. Prior to joining the team, she worked in private-duty home care across northeast Ohio. Patricia graduated from Ohio University where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Long-Term Health Care Administration.

Patricia.Colella@UHhospitals.org

Daniel Connor

Director, Business Development & Sales

Daniel Connor

Director, Business Development & Sales

Prior to joining UH, Dan worked in different corporate settings and functions ranging from marketing leadership at a major CPG company to business development and corporate strategy at a diverse global manufacturer and most recently, national population health management company. Dan graduated from The Ohio State University with a BSBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and from Duke University’s, Fuqua School of Business with an MBA.

 

Daniel.Connor@UHhospitals.org

Christopher Hart

Senior Portfolio Manager

Christopher Hart

Senior Portfolio Manager

As a life-long designer, Chris enjoys solving problems creatively, which requires balancing a vision of the future with understanding business realities. He currently supports innovation efforts within UH Ventures, where he leverages his diverse background outside of healthcare to put the patient at the center of the experience. Chris is also an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University ’s Weatherhead School of Management.

 

Christopher.Hart@UHhospitals.org

Kipum Lee

Managing Director

Kipum Lee

Managing Director

Kip leads the design thinking efforts and creative work done through UH Ventures. Early in his career, he was part of the team at frog design that produced a mobile service around HIV awareness and self-testing in South Africa that was hailed by The Economist as “the world’s largest field trial in mobile health technology.” He also helped plan and lead the design of Marriott Mobile, which debuted at number four in the iTunes App Store and shortly went on to become the third largest in mCommerce after Amazon and Apple. Kip graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BAS in biomedical sciences and from Carnegie Mellon University with a Masters in Interaction Design. He is currently wrapping up his PhD in Management at Case Western Reserve University and serves as one of the editors of the journal, Design Issues, published by MIT Press.

 

Kip.Lee@UHhospitals.org

Sarah Mihalik

Managing Director

Sarah Mihalik

Managing Director

Sarah is a Business Development leader within the UH Ventures Team. She has a deep commitment to healthcare innovation. As a strategic and creative healthcare professional, she has led the development and execution of new business models to help clients improve business results and foster collaborative relationships that drive sustainable value. Prior to joining UH Ventures, Sarah has enjoyed a 20-year career in healthcare in both early-stage and Fortune 500 companies in healthcare information technology, manufacturing, and distribution. Sarah graduated from The Ohio State with a B.S. in Microbiology.

 

Sarah.Mihalik2@UHhospitals.org

Lora Niazov

Senior Project Manager

Lora Niazov

Senior Project Manager

Lora is an experienced program and project management professional with extensive background in manufacturing, health care IT implementations and operational management as well as new software development.  She is able to plan and provide execution and orchestration of numerous large efforts within the UH Ventures organization.  Using her Lean Six Sigma background, Lora provides quick process analysis and helps to guide the team to achieve greater improvements.  Lora has a B.S. in Economics from John Carroll University and a Master of Business Administration from John Carroll University.  Lora also has a Project Management Professional certification from the PMI Institute.

Lora.Niazov@UHhospitals.org 

Biraj Patel

Portfolio Manager

Biraj Patel

Portfolio Manager

Biraj supports both the Innovation & Commercialization and Business Optimization platforms at UH Ventures. He is experienced in healthcare strategy and business plan development and has worked in a variety of hospitals and health systems. Biraj has a B.S. in Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Health Administration from Texas A&M University. He completed his administrative fellowship at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

 

Biraj.Patel@UHhospitals.org

Jonathan Sague

Vice President, Operations

Jonathan Sague

Vice President, Operations

Jonathan Sague, BSN, CNP, earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bowling Green State University, and Master of Science in Nursing, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Case Western Reserve University, where he is also currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Research and Leadership. He has been a firefighter and paramedic since high school, which has helped to shape his career path and his vision. Mr. Sague began his nursing career at the Cleveland Clinic first as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in Cardiothoracic Surgery/Anesthesia, and then as a part of the Critical Care Transport team after earning a sub-specialty in flight nursing at the National Flight Nurse Academy. He joined Evolution Health in 2013 as Director of the company’s Mobile Integrated Nurse Practitioners program. He quickly grew in his role at Evolution Health transitioning to roles as National Director, Clinical Operations, then to National Executive Director, Medical Operations and Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief Medical Officer. Before returning home to Cleveland to launch Ohio homeCare and Transportation, an exclusive non-emergency medical transportation offering paired with private duty homecare, Mr. Sague was Vice President of Medical Operations at Evolution Health. He continues to serve as a firefighter and paramedical locally. 

 

Jonathan.Sague@UHhospitals.org

Zack Scott

Senior Portfolio Manager

Zack Scott

Senior Portfolio Manager

Zack supports the Business Operations and Partnership growth of the University Hospitals Ventures team while focusing on technical integration and interoperability. Prior to joining the team, he worked in different areas of the healthcare industry, ranging from strategy consulting to managing big data integrations in both large hospital organizations and Clinically Integrated Networks. Zack graduated from Case Western Reserve University where he obtained both a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a Master of Engineering Management degree.

 

Zachary.Scott@UHhospitals.org

Dhanesh Shah

Senior Portfolio Manager

Dhanesh Shah

Senior Portfolio Manager

Dhanesh brings over 10 years of diverse experience in healthcare corporate finance, strategy, business development and technology commercialization. His technology commercialization experience spans throughout innovation life cycle across healthcare domains – medical devices, life science and health IT. At UH Ventures, Dhanesh strives to accelerate early stage innovation at University Hospitals through Ohio Third Frontier’s Technology Validation and Startup Fund. His main focus is to commercialize early stage inventions and develop robust investment thesis to make recommendation to UHV’s executive team and advisory boards for investments in startups. Dhanesh has a true passion for translating innovative healthcare solutions into viable business operations. Dhanesh has received a BA in economics/accounting and his MS in accounting/taxation from University of Mumbai. He received an MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

 

Dhanesh.Shah@UHhospitals.org

Brandy Sparkman-Beierle

Vice President, Operations

Brandy Sparkman-Beierle

Vice President, Operations

Brandy N. Sparkman-Beierle, RN, BSN is the Vice President, University Hospitals Home Care. In this role, she works closely with all interprofessional team members within home care to enable optimal patient care delivery and experience.  UHHS Home Care Services provides comprehensive home health, pharmacy services, hospice and personal care services, including the following: skilled nursing services, home infusion therapy, injectable medication, pediatric services, women’s health services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical social services, private duty services, home care aides, homemakers/companions, mental health and aging services, nutritional counseling, oncology services and wound care and specialized disease management programs. She has extensive experience in operations, clinical management, outcomes improvement, change management, process improvement, care redesign and business development. Much of her experience has been focused on innovation in post-acute and chronic care, population health, home-based services, telephonic navigation, digital/telehealth and transitional care using team based models. She is passionate about serving others and creating innovative ways to deliver human- centered care.

Over the past 16 years, Ms. Sparkman-Beierle has held various positions in clinical operations, nursing leadership and care management in several healthcare organizations, including University of North Texas Health Science Center, Evolution Health and Guardian Home Care.

Ms. Sparkman-Beierle is a practicing Registered Nurse. Brandy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Texas at Tyler and is working towards her Master of Science in Nursing/MBA at Benedictine University in Chicago.

 

Brandy.Sparkman-Beierle@UHhospitals.org

David Sylvan

Executive Director, Ventures & Innovations

David Sylvan

Executive Director, Ventures & Innovations

David leads a multi-disciplinary Innovation and Ventures team, responsible for identifying and generating alternate revenue opportunities for the health system, as well as the design & execution of various initiatives and programs aimed at optimizing the patient and provider experience. In addition to commercialization activities, the team is also tasked with the attraction and formalization of strategic partnerships from within healthcare and beyond, as well as the deployment of investment capital in support of the hospital’s mission.
David comes to UHV after a successful career in capital markets, where he led a derivatives’ trading and public finance investment banking platform. Prior to this, David spent 8 years at the sports marketing giant, IMG. He is also an adjunct professor in Weatherhead Business School’s department of Design & Innovation. David received a Bachelors in Commerce and Business Law from the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.

 

David.Sylvan@UHhospitals.org

Neil Wyant

Managing Director

Neil Wyant

Managing Director

Neil is an experienced early stage investor, manager and board member with 25+ years of experience in academic and commercial technology transfer, intellectual property portfolio management and licensing, business development and commercialization, and new venture formation.  Prior to joining UH Ventures Neil established and managed the venture investing business for a family.  Previously he has held several C-level positions in early stage ventures.  Early in his career he managed the technology transfer office at Argonne National for the University of Chicago.  Neil holds BS degrees in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

 

Neil.Wyant@UHhospitals.org

Matthew Zenker

Lead Innovation Strategist

Matthew Zenker

Lead Innovation Strategist

As a Lead Innovation Strategist, Matt works cross-functionally with the inside-out and outside-in portfolios on the Ventures and Innovations platform to attract, identify, and triage new innovation opportunities for the UH Ventures pipeline. Matt has been working in the technology innovation field for nearly a decade, with specific expertise in healthcare marketing, programming, and content commercialization. Prior to joining University Hospitals, Matt worked at another large healthcare institution in the field of strategic marketing, as well as a government affairs boutique, where he consulted on government funding opportunities for clients in healthcare, renewable energy, and manufacturing industries. Matt received his BA in English from the University of Notre Dame, and his MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

 

Matthew.Zenker@UHhospitals.org

Ventures Advisory Committee

Ralph Della Ratta

Citizens Bank

Ralph Della Ratta

Citizens Bank

In 2017 Citizens Financial Group acquired Western Reserve Partners. Citizens Bank named Ralph its new Ohio President. As Ohio president, Ralph oversees a region with 1,100 employees.  Ralph has more than 30 years of investment banking experience. Prior to founding Western Reserve Partners, Mr. Della Ratta managed the Investment Banking Division of McDonald Investments Inc. for more than 12 years. At McDonald he was responsible for the firm’s relationship with its corporate clients and prospects and for the firm’s activities in initial and secondary public offerings, private placements, venture capital and mergers and acquisitions. Ralph was a member of the KeyCorp’s Executive Council, the Equity Underwriting, Debt Underwriting and M&A Commitment Committees.

Joel Adelman

AdCapInc

Joel Adelman

AdCapInc

Joel Adelman is a member of the UHCMC Board of Directors, UH Board of Trustees, and the Rainbow National Leadership Council. He is the founder and senior director of Advance Partners, which was acquired by Paychex in December 2015 for $190.5m.  Joel is a member of the Investment & Finance Committee of Hawken School, WPO (World Presidents Organization) and is the past President of the Cleveland Chapter of the YPO (Young Presidents Organization). He also serves on the Corporate Steering Committee of the Cleveland Museum of Art.  Additional affiliations include National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Commercial Finance Association (CFA), International Factoring Association (IFA), Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), American Staffing Association (ASA), Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBENC), and Northern Ohio Minority Development Council (NOMDC). He is the son of UHCMC Director Shelly Adelman.

Heather Ettinger

Fairport Asset Management

Heather Ettinger

Fairport Asset Management

Heather Ettinger is a partner and Director of Fairport Asset Management, LLC. Having joined Roulston & Co. in 1987, Heather has been with Fairport since its founding. Previously, she served as an Equity Trader for Jefferies and a Research Analyst for Bordier & Cie and Baring Brothers. Ms. Ettinger is a UH Director and serves on the Diamond Advisory Council. Heather remains an ardent supporter of her alma maters including Dartmouth College, where she earned a B.A., and Laurel School, where she served on the Board of Directors for 12 years. Additional board engagements include the Sisters of Charity Foundation. She is active with In Counsel with Women and the nationally recognized wealth management study group, Family Wealth Advisors Council. Heather also sits on the Board of The Private Trust Company and Asurint-One Source Technology.

Chuck Hallberg

LiveSmart 360

Chuck Hallberg

LiveSmart 360

Chuck Hallberg is the CEO of Renew Advantage, which offers a loyalty program for aesthetic medical practices and their patients. He is also a senior advisor to CoverMyMeds, which develops web-based tools to speed up and automate the submission of prior authorization requests to health insurance plans. CoverMyMeds was sold in 2017 for $1.1 to McKesson; there is no indication of how much money Chuck may have made in the sale.  Chuck was previously the President and CEO of MemberHealth, which he founded in 1998. He sold the administrator of the nation’s second-largest Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan in 2007 for $630 million (it is unknown how much of this Chuck personally received). At UH, Chuck serves on the UHCMC Board of Directors, UH Board of Trustees, and Rainbow National Leadership Council. He also serves on the board of CWRU and the Naples Children & Education Foundation, through which he co-chaired the 2015 Naples Winter Wine Festival. Chuck and his wife Sharon have one daughter and live in Naples, Florida.

Robert Littman

BDO

Robert Littman

BDO

Bob Littman has more than 30 years of professional accounting consulting experience. He began his career at Ernst & Whinney in 1981 primarily servicing closely held, privately owned business clients. In 1985, Bob joined SS&G as its tenth employee and served as the firm’s CEO prior to its combining with BDO in 2015. During his tenure at SS&G, the firm experienced dramatic growth through its traditional audit and tax services, as well as its non-traditional services. SS&G was transformed into a multidisciplinary firm, adding a range of businesses, including SS&G Wealth Management LLC, SS&G Healthcare Services LLC, SS&G Parkland Consulting LLC, and Paytime Integrated Payroll Solutions. Through the integration of these services, SS&G became one of the largest accounting firms in the country, with 600 employees. Bob primarily serves middle-market clients in the manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, health care, and professional service industries. His principal areas of concentration include working with privately owned businesses; audits of financial statements, including use assessment; tax consulting, including tax planning, research; employee benefits; and business advisory services, including strategic growth consulting and financing, succession, and estate planning. He also has extensive experience with mergers and acquisitions, including tax structuring, due diligence and preparing companies for exit. Bob is active in a number of local business and charitable organizations and serves on a number of boards. He is a graduate of Leadership Akron Class of 1995 and Leadership Cleveland Class of 2009. He was also the recipient of the 2014 Frank L. Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award, presented by the University of Akron’s College of Business Administration.

Daryl Laisure

ZIN Technologies

Daryl Laisure

ZIN Technologies

Daryl Laisure is the President and CEO of ZIN Technologies, the technology company (originally called WL Tanksley and Associates) he purchased in 1993 with his engineer father Zindorf Laisure and lawyer Leonard Perry. ZIN provides advanced engineering services and product development solutions to support the full life-cycle development of aerospace hardware and software. They are a major contractor with NASA, managing and developing space systems (if all options are exercised, ZIN’s 7 year contract with NASA’s Glenn Research Center to support space flight systems development and operations, will be worth $151 million). ZIN has also applied specialized electronic, distributed sensor and remote measurement, pressurized fluid and gas systems, and power design topologies originally developed for space products, into terrestrial Department of Defense-Aerospace and Medical (patient/hospital) applications. Daryl is active in the community and serves on the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Len Pagon

Next Sparc

Len Pagon

Next Sparc

Len Pagon is Chairman and CEO of Next Sparc, LLC, a focused private capital group which invests in emerging Internet-based, software and services-based companies and helps them achieve significant growth. During the last eight years, Next Sparc has successfully completed many investments. In addition, Len currently serves as an Operating Advisor and a General Partner to Resilience Capital Partners, a leading private-equity firm that specializes in investing in middle-market companies in a broad range of industries, and in 2018 was appointed to the board of directors of CompanionLabs, an Akron-based start-up that enables customers to optimize their digital marketing spend.

Ed Pentecost

PNC Erieview Capital

Ed Pentecost

PNC Erieview Capital

Ed joined PNC Erieview Capital in 2000 and was named President in 2004, and President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman in 2006. Prior to his joining PNC Erieview (which was previously known as National City Equity Partners before National City’s purchase by PNC), Ed worked in the investment banking divisions of McDonald Investments, Inc., the Corporate Finance Division of NatCity Investments, Inc., where he was focused on structuring and placing senior and subordinated debt instruments in the private and public markets, and investment banking.  He serves on the board of directors of several portfolio companies and has served or is actively serving on several private equity and mezzanine fund advisory and non-profit boards. Ed lives in Pepper Pike with his wife and four children.

Geoffrey Thrope

NDI Medical

Geoffrey Thrope

NDI Medical

Geoff Thrope is the Founder and Managing Partner of NDI Medical, a hybrid venture capital and commercialization firm focusing exclusively on innovative neurodevice technologies. The company has spin-offs including Checkpoint Surgical and Deep Brain Innovations. He also serves on the Suburban Temple Board of Directors. His wife, Jan, is an urban activist. She has created photography exhibitions, books, plays, and tours intended to highlight both the plight of poor Cleveland neighbourhoods and the community residents working for positive change. Jan is also a co-founder of the Shaker Arts Council. The Thropes both served on the UH Rainbow National Leadership Council. They live in Shaker Heights, Ohio and have two sons.

Rick Fearon

Eaton

Rick Fearon

Eaton

Richard Fearon is the Vice Chairman and Chief Financial and Planning Officer at Eaton Corporation, a power management company. He serves on the board of PolyOne Corporation, Hawken School, Playhouse Square Foundation, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. He is also an avid golfer. Richard and his wife Robyn live in Bentleyville, Ohio and have a condo in Menlo Park, California.

University Hospital Ventures

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