Ted Meisel, Executive Chairman and CEO
Ted is co-founder, Executive Chairman and interim CEO of WiserCare. He helped Dr. Saigal turn WiserCare from a significant research project into a company for two reasons: (1) to elevate shared decision making into routine practice, as one of the few interventions with the potential to be a win for patients, doctors, provider organizations, payers and life sciences companies; and (2) to make it work for doctors, Dr. Saigal created the key to unlock shared decision making at scale.
Ted is an experienced healthcare and technology entrepreneur, executive and investor with a passion for making the healthcare system work better. He is co-founder of AVIA, which helps two dozen healthcare systems transform care delivery, for a digital age, to be more value- and patient-centered. He serves on the boards of a number of companies that, like WiserCare, use information technology to accelerate the transfer of medical evidence into practice, enable doctors to practice to the top of their license, and empower patients. He recently served CMS as a senior adviser focused on delivery system and payment reform, and continues to serve Hope Street Group, an agent of policy innovation in education, workforce development and healthcare, as board chairman.
Ted is the former CEO of public company Overture Services, an internet search company, which he led from its first dollar to over $1 billion in revenues before selling to Yahoo! He was an investor at Elevation Partners, making investments in companies like Facebook, Yelp and Marketshare. He started his career working on strategy and change management engagements at Mercer and McKinsey.
Ted holds a JD from Stanford University and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Ram Cherala, Vice President, Engineering
Ram is responsible for engineering and product development at WiserCare. Ram comes to the company from Predixion Software, where he was senior director, with a focus on product development as well as customer and partner experience. At Predixion Ram and his team created the Solution Accelerator which significantly helped speed up delivery of predictive solutions to customers.
Prior to Predixion, Cherala served almost 22 years in various technical leadership roles at Microsoft Corporation. As director of Shared Engineering Services for Health Solutions Group at Microsoft Corporation, he was responsible for release management, compliance, localization, globalization and documentation to enable release of quality Microsoft Amalga and Microsoft HealthVault products.
Before focusing on healthcare, Cherala developed his skills as a software developer and program manager in the Microsoft Windows group and Developer division releasing various versions of Windows and Visual Studio products. Cherala was the founding member of Microsoft's India Development Center (MSIDC) in Hyderabad, the largest R&D center outside the Redmond headquarters. Cherala lead the development of Services for UNIX, first product from MSIDC within a year of its forming and spent seven years helping grow MSIDC to a strategic development center outside Redmond.
Cherala holds an MS in Computer Science from Oregon State University. He currently resides in the Seattle area with his wife, two college going children, and a dog. While not busy at work, Ram likes to listen to music, play golf, read books and travel around the world.
Jared Drake, Vice President, Product & Operations
Jared is deeply committed to developing and delivering improvements to our care and the way it is delivered. At WiserCare, he is responsible for all business operations and key elements of product management in order to grow the business and deliver the full potential of WiserCare products to our customers. Jared joined WiserCare from McKinsey & Company where he was a core leader in the healthcare practice, delivering engagements for major U.S. health systems, biotechs, and prominent global health organizations on mission-critical topics such as growth strategy and operations transformation.
Jared has deep experience across the healthcare and technology sectors. He spent 5 years at Children's Hospital Boston and the Broad Institute as computational biologist studying population genetics and the effects of common genetic variation on disease. He also spent time at Blue Shield of California and Genentech in strategic and marketing roles. On the technology side, he has 7 years of experience developing software products including building core offerings for an early SaaS start-up and as a product manager for Adobe's online and mobile photo editing offerings.
He holds an MBA and MPH from UC Berkeley and lives in Seattle with his family. In his free time, he is an avid cook and outdoors enthusiast.
Tom Poole, Vice President of Sales
Tom has spent his 30+ years entirely in enterprise health IT and technologies where he has combined his passion for solving customer and patient problems through new and interesting technologies while growing his businesses. Tom most recently was with Deloitte Consulting driving a product-based solution offering. Tom was a part of the founding Microsoft health solutions group team, where he lead a number of sales organizations through growth. He continued on in new business sales and customer leadership roles through the creation of Caradigm (at the time a joint venture between Microsoft and General Electric). Tom’s foundation for this business was established in numerous sales, management and implementation roles at Shared Medical Systems and later Siemens Medical Solutions.
Laurie Smith, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development
Laurie Smith leads Marketing and Business Development for WiserCare. In this capacity, she leads company communications, branding, and case study development. Prior to joining WiserCare, Laurie served as a Director at UCLA’s Institute for Innovation in Health, and as a member of Evolent Health's early management team. As Senior Director of Marketing at the company's inception, she led product development, branding and marketing efforts. Laurie also spent five years as a Senior Consultant at the Advisory Board Company, where she led strategy and operations research for hospitals and health systems. She holds a Master of Public Health from San Diego State University and a Master of Business Administration from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management.
Arul Thangavel, MD, Vice President of Clinical Strategy
Arul is a practicing Internal Medicine physician with extensive research, quality improvement and clinical experience. He completed Internal Medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also went to medical school and graduated with honors. Directly before joining WiserCare, Arul was both an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Georgetown and a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to and during medical school, Arul researched in multiple fields, including human neuroscience, cognitive science, psychiatry, meta analytic techniques, hospital quality improvement and global health practice and policy. He has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and newspaper articles.
Board of Directors
Christopher J. Ahearn
Chris is a Venture Partner at FirstMark Capital, an early stage venture capital firm based in New York City. For the last several years, he was also the Chairman and CEO of Kevyn Aucoin Beauty (a high end cosmetics company) where he oversaw a complete turnaround of the business. He currently serves on the board of directors for WiserCare, NewsCred, Vibrant Media and The Kitchen.
Previously, Chris was the President of Reuters Media, where he led its two principal business groups: the Reuters News Agency and Reuters Consumer Media. Chris was also on the Thomson Reuters Markets Executive and Operating Committees, which oversaw $7.5 billion in revenues. While at Reuters he served on the boards of Factiva, Times Global Broadcasting (a Mumbai-based broadcaster), Pluck and Hexun (a Beijing- based media and information company).
Chris began his career on Wall Street. At J.P. Morgan, he held positions in LabMorgan where he was an Investment Partner and ran: the Corporate Development group; the Technology, Media and Telecommunications group; the Financial Institutions Group; and the Emerging Markets Financial Institutions Group (as co-head), where he worked with clients in Emerging Asia, Latin America and Emerging Europe. Prior to that Chris worked as an independent consultant in Moscow, Russia and for First Boston's Financial Institutions Group in London, New York and Los Angeles.
He is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He is married, has two children and one dog and resides in Santa Monica.
Gordon Hunt, MD
Gordon Hunt most recently served as the Chief Medical Officer of Sutter Health. He joined Sutter Health in 1994 as vice president for medical affairs and became chief medical officer for Sutter’s Sacramento area in 1995. Two years later, he became chief medical officer for the health system. Hunt earned a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Notre Dameand medical degree from Northwestern University. He also has a master’s of business administration from University of California Davis.
During his tenure at the Sacramento-based health system, Hunt initiated Sutter’s program to unite more than 1,400 doctors, nurses and administrators for specialized training so they could implement hundreds of quality improvement measures across the health system.
Early in his career, Hunt helped create the Sutter Physicians Alliance, which attempted to minimize barriers between multiple physician groups and make it possible for patients to move easily between primary care and specialty doctors across the Sacramento region. He also kicked off a number of patient safety programs, including medication bar coding, “smart pumps” that help prevent errors in delivering intravenous medication and establishment of Sutter’s electronic intensive-care unit.
As a board certified internist and pulmonologist, Dr. Hunt began caring for patients in the Sacramento area in 1978. He has served as a compassionate leadership voice behind multiple initiatives at Sutter and in the medical community at large to demonstrate higher value, quality and empathy in healthcare.
Christopher Saigal, MD, MPH, Co-Founder
Chris Saigal is a Professor of Urology and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Urology at the UCLA School of Medicine with a clinical practice at UCLA's state-of-the-art hospital in Westwood, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. His health services research has been supported by more than $23 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health. He is a RAND Health Scientist and an American Urological Association Gallagher Health Policy Scholar. Chris has published more than 90 articles in leading medical journals, sits on 7 national healthcare policy and committee boards and is often interviewed as an expert urologist and health services researcher by the national news media.
Sharon Stevenson, DVM, PhD
Sharon Stevenson has over 14 years' venture capital experience in all sectors of health care, with a focus on early stage investing. She has held senior operating roles in several early stage companies. Prior to her entrepreneurial/venture capital career, she spent 12 years in academic research positions.
Sharon currently serves as a Managing Director of Okapi Venture Capital, which she co-founded in 2005, and is responsible for the firm's life sciences investments. She led Okapi's investments in Helixis (acq: ILMN 2010); Obalon Therapeutics (Director); Orthalign (Director); PathCentral (Director), Wisercare (Director), Focal Therapeutics (Director) and WellTok (Observer). Prior to founding Okapi, Sharon was Senior Vice President of Technology and Planning for SkinMedica, an early stage pharma company acquired by Allergan.
Earlier, she was a Principal with Domain Associates, serving at the same time as President and CFO of Volcano Therapeutics, a company whose growth she led from product design through clinical trials. Sharon's past board affiliations on behalf of Domain include MicroVention (acquired by Terumo Corporation), Neuropace, NuVasive, Santarus, SkinMedica, and GenVault. Prior to Domain Associates, she was Executive Director of the Advanced Tissue Sciences/ Smith+Nephew NeoCyte joint venture, during which time she lead a multidisciplinary team and moved the product from bench-top research to IDE submission.
Prior to moving to the private sector, Sharon was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopedics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She is the author of more than 130 publications, including two guest editorships, and has made more than 50 presentations at scientific meetings. Her clinical training was in veterinary surgery and she is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). She has served on the governing boards of the ACVS and the Orthopedic Research Society, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy. Sharon received an MBA from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, a PhD in Comparative Pathology from UC Davis, and a Master of Science in Veterinary Pathology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University.
David served as WiserCare's first commercial CEO, and now serves as Vice President of Digital Innovation at Providence Health and Services in Seattle. David came to WiserCare from Zynx Health, where he was the executive vice president and chief operating officer, with a focus on revenue and commercial operations. Zynx is a leader in the market for clinical decision support.
Prior to Zynx, Cerino served as General Manager for the Health Solutions Group at Microsoft Corporation. As general manager, he was responsible for leading the team's 'connected health' strategy and for managing the products (Microsoft Amalga, Microsoft HealthVault and the Sentillion product line) that delivered their end-to-end value proposition.
Cerino managed all worldwide marketing initiatives for the Health Solutions Group. Before focusing on healthcare, Cerino developed his skills as a sales, marketing and general management executive in other service industries. He was chief marketing and product officer at Farelogix Inc., where he led development and execution of global marketing and product strategy for the company's travel-industry technology. He also served as vice president and general manager at Orbitz LLC and led the corporate travel unit, Orbitz for Business. He has also held executive marketing positions at First USA Bank and DigitalWork Inc.
Cerino holds an MBA from Florida Atlantic University, and a bachelor of science in mathematics and computer science from Wake Forest University in North Carolina. He currently resides in the Seattle area with his wife, three children, three dogs and three horses.
V. Srinivasan, PhD
Professor V. “Seenu” Srinivasan received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (Chennai), and was the gold medalist in his graduating class. He worked for two years as a production-planning engineer at Larsen and Toubro, Mumbai prior to joining Carnegie-Mellon University where he received his MS and PhD in Industrial Administration. He is currently the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Emeritus at the Stanford Business School. He was formerly the director of Stanford Business School’s doctoral program, chair of the marketing area, and the faculty director of its Strategic Marketing Management executive program.
Professor Srinivasan’s primary research interest is in the measurement of customer preference structures (conjoint analysis) and its role in product and service planning and pricing. He has also contributed to other market research areas such as measurement of brand equity and market structuring. At the Stanford MBA program, he taught the core course “Data and Decisions (Accelerated),” an elective course “Customer-Focused Product Marketing,” and was the faculty member in charge of the MBA Global Management Experience program SAIL (Stanford And IIMB - Indian Institute of Management Bangalore - Link). Professor Srinivasan has been a consultant to several companies and has won best-teacher awards. He was an associate editor of the Journal of Marketing Research and Management Science and is currently on the Editorial advisory board of Marketing Science. He received the Parlin Award for outstanding contributions to marketing research, the Churchill Award for lifetime achievement in marketing research, the Converse Award for outstanding contributions to the development of the science of marketing, the ”Buck” Weaver Award for lifetime contributions to the advancement of theory and practice in marketing science, and eleven other best research paper awards. Professor Srinivasan is a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and a fellow of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science (ISMS).
David F. Penson, MD, MPH
As a fellow, Dr. Penson studied clinical epidemiology and health services research at Yale University, obtaining a Masters in Public Health. Upon the completion of his fellowship, Dr. Penson joined the faculty of the University Of Washington School Of Medicine and was appointed affiliate investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He was awarded a VA Career Development Award in 2001 and soon after obtained R-01 grant funding from the National Cancer Institute to study quality of life in prostate cancer survivors.
In 2007, Dr. Penson received the AUA G. James Gallagher Health Policy Scholar award presented to urologists who demonstrate a commitment to health policy. He then served as Associate Professor of Urology and Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California from 2004 to 2009.
In August 2009, Dr. Penson joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University as Professor of Urologic Surgery and Director of the Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research in the Vanderbilt Institute for Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Penson maintains a clinical practice in urologic oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
In April 2013, Dr. Penson was awarded the Paul V. Hamilton, M.D. and Virginia E. Howd Chair in Urologic Oncology.