Focal Health Tech: 26 Leaders To Know
Get to know some of the healthcare operators we think are the city's most exciting.
Similar to our previous Focal Lists, we're spotlighting a mix of ascendant and established leaders in the New York community, this time with a focus on Healthcare Operators. We've been following New York City's most promising health tech leaders and want to celebrate them in this roundup, which shouldn’t be read as comprehensive so much as a series of shoutouts. Below is a list of operating leaders that include established players, exciting newcomers, as well as teams in our portfolio.
Aaron Zollman, CISO & VP Platform Engineering at Cedar
Aaron has accumulated extensive experience in security engineering across roles in government and organizations of varying sizes and challenges. In his current role at health tech startup Cedar, he leverages this expertise to establish a thoroughly tested security program that guarantees the safety of patients and providers’ sensitive health and financial data. As Head of the company's platform engineering organization, Zollman supports data, security, infrastructure, IT and developer experience engineers to create a simple, stable and sustainable architecture for all of Cedar's technical operations.
Molly Stein, Head of Strategic Health Plan Partnerships at Headway
Molly currently serves as Head of Strategic Health Plan Partnerships at Headway, a software company with a mission to connect patients with therapists who accommodate their insurance plans. Her background affirms a proven commitment to enhancing patient healthcare experiences through strategic approaches. She has previously operated as Manager of National Vendor P&L at Oscar Health Insurance and as a Senior Analyst at The Advisory Board Company. In the latter role, she functioned as an in-house authority on health system pharmacy business and clinical optimization.
Matt Raines, Chief Technology Officer at Unite Us
Matt draws on his 25+ years of experience in the technology field as Chief Technology Officer at Unite Us, a coordinated care network fostering patient empowerment in managing their health. In this role, he leads the Technology team including Platform, Data, DevOps, Security and Corporate IT in tackling technical challenges that support Unite Us’ continued growth. Prior to Unite Us, he held several pivotal technology positions. He has notably served as Senior Vice President of Engineering at CLEAR, an airport security tech company, and was previously Head of Amazon Web Services Billing. Raines has extensive knowledge in the realm of ecommerce, spearheading the development of product systems as Head of Shopbop Tech New York, Chief Technology Officer at Moda Operandi, and Vice President of Technology at Bluefly.
Lauren Stahl, Head of Sales at Komodo Health
Lauren, a field expert in the domain of healthcare data business development, currently serves as the Head of Sales at Komodo Health. Komodo is a software platform that delivers patient-level health data to patients, providers, and health care systems to reduce disease burden and improve overall care. Her pivotal role there involves driving revenue growth as the company scales its offerings across various market segments. She has held several roles in the arena of healthcare data including Head of Customer Success at Datavant, a health information technology company that improves care and speeds clinical research using data, and Director of Business Development at Universal Patient Key, a secure healthcare data analysis system. She also founded Sparkite in 2013, a company that focused on substance abuse aftercare treatment.
Julie Schiffman, Chief Delivery Officer at Aetion
Julie began her career as Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting, where she demonstrated her ability to deliver business results by employing novel operational strategies. She went on to spend over 16 years at Pfizer, moving up the ladder from Director to Vice President of Global Business Analytics. At Pfizer, she gained deep knowledge in the pharma field, led a global organization of 350 senior professionals, and helped Pfizer to scale an AI analytics platform for innovative drug development. She brings her 20+ years of experience to her latest role as Chief Delivery Officer at Aetion, a healthcare analytics company that delivers real world evidence to manufacturers, purchasers and regulators of medical treatments and technologies.
Gavin Corcoran, Chief Medical Officer at TrialSpark
Gavin’s positioning as a physician leader with extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D lends him the unique ability to innovate in the clinical trial space in his current role as Chief Medical Officer at TrialSpark. He has cultivated an expertise in the development of drugs across multiple medical categories through experience in past positions like Chief Research and Development Officer at Axovant Gene Therapies and Chief Medical Officer at Allergan.
Esther Farkas, Chief Operating Officer at Unite Us
After earning her undergraduate degree at Duke University and law degree at the University of Michigan, Esther began her career as a Corporate Associate focusing on mergers & acquisitions at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Nearly seven years later, she founded Farkas & Neurman PLLC, a business law firm focusing on providing legal advice to large companies through all stages of development where she met the founders of Unite Us. At Unite Us, Esther has held various roles, including Chief Strategy Officer and interim CFO and lead three acquisitions as well as being instrumental in all of the company’s funding rounds. As Chief Operating Officer and a director on its Board of Directors at Unite Us, Esther is leading Unite Us on its path to becoming a generational company that’s transforming the care delivery system and ensuring that one day, zip code will no longer determine a person’s health.
Justin Lambert, President & COO at Nomad Health
An accomplished strategic leader with a decade-long focus on healthcare, Justin Lambert is President & COO of Nomad Health, a digital marketplace that connects medical professionals with rewarding job opportunities. Before Nomad, Lambert was a core member of the Healthcare Practice at global consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, and Policy Advisor to two Governors of the State of New Jersey, where he led the state’s management of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds among other responsibilities. He received his undergraduate degree from New York University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Shilpa Patel, Chief Business & Legal Officer at Kindbody
In her capacity as Chief Business & Legal Officer at Kindbody, a fertility & family-building company that both operates tech-enabled fertility clinics and administers family-building benefits for self-funded employers. Shilpa plays a leading role in advancing the mission of making fertility & family-building services more accessible and affordable to all. She guides the team towards their objective of providing customizable solutions for companies to integrate in their benefits, from offering services such as IVF, egg freezing, to ancillary services addressing pre-natal and postpartum to menopause. She joined the founding team of Kindbody 5 years ago with a well-established background in healthcare, with previous roles at Quartet Health, a collaborative mental health ecosystem, and Oscar Insurance.
Josh Tauber, COO at Caraway Health
In response to the growing population of Gen Z adults with unique needs and expectations of their healthcare experience, Josh Tauber and Lori Evans Bernstein founded Caraway Health. Josh brings to the role of Cofounder and COO a particular passion for reimagining healthcare approaches, in part thanks to his past role as VP of Solution Management at Accolade Inc, a personalized employee healthcare services company. Additionally, he held the crucial role of Chief Operating Officer at HealthReveal, a clinical analytics firm leveraging AI to enhance patient outcomes and overall quality of life across the globe.
Luis Gonzalez-Silen, CTO at Operait Health
With over 20 years of experience in the field of computer engineering, Luis has adeptly harnessed his expertise to address technical challenges spanning an array of industries. He is currently operating as CTO at Operait Health, a progressive health tech company using AI to improve access to surgical care. Prior to his role at Operait, he built Pearl Health from the ground up and led the engineering organization through seed and Series A. He was an early team member at Oscar Health where he led the internal tech (Core Systems) engineering team.
Niren Gandra, Former Chief Commercial Officer at Cedar
Niren began his professional journey after earning his MD at Boston University School of Medicine, eventually training in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center. In 2016, he pivoted to the world of business, assuming the role of Engagement Manager at McKinsey. He then joined Cedar where he operated as Chief Commercial Officer; Cedar is an enterprise platform that improves administrative and billing user experience, leading to better outcomes for providers and patients.
Sameer Berry, Chief Medical Officer Oshi Health
Dr. Sameer Berry is a practicing gastroenterologist and physician-entrepreneur dedicated to using evidence-based, whole-person care to improve the lives of patients with digestive disorders. Dr. Berry practices on both sides of hybrid care delivery as the Director of Healthcare Economics Research and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and as Co-founder & Chief Medical Officer at Oshi Health, a venture-backed virtual-first specialty care clinic for digestive health. He serves as a principal investigator on randomized-controlled trials and conducts grant-funded research focusing on the validation of digital health technologies, integrated care delivery, and alternative payment models in complex subspecialty care. Dr. Berry finished his residency and fellowship training at Cedars-Sinai and the University of Michigan and holds an MBA in health sector management from Duke University.
Charissa Qian, Head of Growth at Pomelo Care
Charissa joined Pomelo Care, a valued-based virtual maternity care delivery provider, in 2023 as their Head of Growth. In this role, she partners with health plans and employers to improve maternal and newborn outcomes. During her six-year tenure at Quartet Health, a technology-driven mental health provider, she reduced health plan sales cycles by 35% as Head of BD Operations, created access to care for 5,000+ patients as AVP of Strategic Partnerships, and then helped complete an acquisition of a leading provider group as Chief of Staff. Charissa brings a multifaceted perspective to her role with an academic background in Anthropology, Global Health, and Health Policy from Princeton University.
Ishaan Jalan, Chief of Staff at Yuvo Health
Having dedicated his career to identifying innovative opportunities for more equitable access to quality care, Ishaan has had to wear a number of different hats across both the private and the public health care landscape. He's previously led kidney care operations and strategy across US, Brazil and UK, supported COVID-19 emergency response work in India and evaluated and invested in biotechnology ventures. In 2022, he joined the leadership team at Yuvo Health, a company uniquely designed for community health centers to gain an advantage in the value-based care world. At Yuvo, Ishaan continues to wear a number of hats as the Chief of Staff and Head of Business Development.
Joshua Geleris, MD, Cofounder, Head of Product and Data Science at SmarterDx
As an attending physician and medical researcher at Columbia University Medical Center, Josh focused on the application of data science to the notoriously messy data contained within electronic medical records. Hoping to leverage his combination of technical and clinical expertise to wrangle healthcare data at scale, he co-founded SmarterDx. The company provides hospitals and health systems cloud-based solutions that use data and AI to improve the accuracy of medical coding, capture more revenue from insurance companies, and better represent the quality of care that is provided.
Ava Woychuk-Mlinac, Head of Operations & GTM at J2 Health
Ava boasts a wealth of experience in operations and planning, beginning with her role as a White House Advance Associate in DC. In this capacity, she worked within the The Office of Scheduling and Advance to plan Presidential events around the world. Since then, she has had a variety of roles that showcase her impact as an Operations leader, from Senior Manager of Legal Operations at Oscar Health Insurance to Strategic Planning and Analysis Intern at Survey Monkey. She now utilizes her expert Ops skills as Head of Operations at J2 Health, a cloud-based software solution that eases the healthcare organizations’ creation of solid provider networks.
JP Patil, Chief Product Officer at Canvas Health
JP brings his expertise in business development, data, and strategy to ensure success. His resume includes experience in software development tools and healthcare, with past stints as VP of Data Platform at Included Health (formerly Grand Rounds), a health-tech company delivering integrated virtual care and navigation, and NimbleWork, a work and project management platform for software development. He currently operates as Chief Product Officer at Canvas Medical where he oversees Product, Design and Engineering. Canvas Medical is an EMR and payments platform that enables health care and health tech companies to rapidly build and iterate on differentiated care models by facilitating developer and clinician collaboration.
Mike Goodman, Head of Strategy & Ops at Oshi Health
Transitioning from a role as a Research Analyst in the field of medicine, Mike made the decision to pivot to Consulting. In this new domain, he continued to apply his proficiency in healthcare and relations between health systems and payers. As a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, he gained significant experience in pioneering innovative payer/provider systems. In 2018, he Cofounded Oshi Health, a virtual clinic specializing in gastrointestinal care. As Head of Strategy & Ops, he has helped to negotiate value-based GI contracts with multiple national and regional payers, and oversees all business development within the company.
Gabe Drapos, COO at Pearl Health
Before his role as COO at Pearl Health, a technology company dedicated to enabling providers in value-based care, Gabe gained years of experience immersed in the intricacies of building innovative health plans. He spent nearly 6 years at Oscar Health Insurance, taking on varied roles and progressively ascending from the Data team, to Head of Marketing, to Chief of Staff to the CEO. He then moved on to the health plan Centivo in 2019, where he operated as Director of Network Product. In his current capacity as COO at Pearl, he uses his unique skill set to lead efforts in clinical and corporate strategy, operations, actuarial, people and recruiting. Gabe received his A.B. in Philosophy, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.
Laurence Coman, COO at AvoMD
The exponential growth of medical knowledge paired with the increasing workflow demands on providers' time and energy at the bedside has created an unprecedented burden on clinicians.
AvoMD was founded with the mission of equipping both clinician builders and users with the tools and automation at the point of care to empower more efficient and accurate decision-making, while automating related tasks in the workflow. Cofounded in 2020 by Laurence Coman, AvoMD recently raised a $5 million seed round led by AlleyCorp which will aid in the continuing development of their innovative no-code, AI-powered platform.
Anay Patel, COO at Quartet Health
Anay has carved a unique space for himself within the world of healthcare, with years of experience in the realm of growth strategy and mergers/acquisitions. After working within Mergers & Acquisition as a Strategist at Management Consulting firm Deloitte, he took on the role of Head of Revenue and Strategy at MD Insider, a healthcare technology company using data to produce performance insights on providers across the healthcare ecosystem. He later moved to personalized healthcare platform Accolade, where he was the Solution Owner for Virtual Primary Care. As COO at Quartet Health, he focuses his expertise on the realm of mental health, helping clients find the right clinicians based on health plans and need.
Sam Wiener, Executive Vice President of Growth at Spark Advisors
After completing his Bachelor's degree at Vanderbilt University and Master’s degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Sam began a path working in sales, growth, and operations at healthcare startups. He was a Sales Manager at Zocdoc before moving to Oscar Health and holding various senior sales and growth positions. At the moment, he’s the Executive Vice President of Growth at Spark Advisors, a technology-enabled Medicare brokerage that partners with independent agents and agencies to help Medicare beneficiaries take control of their healthcare. At Spark Advisors, Sam is responsible for leading the sales, marketing, and operations teams, and is focused on building durable growth for the organization.
Nick Gossen, Head of Growth at Dandelion Health
Nick is responsible for driving growth at Dandelion Health, a data platform that provides clinical AI and life sciences companies easy and ethical access to a range of longitudinal, multimodal patient data. Previously, he was SVP of Strategic Initiatives at Covera Health and spent six years at Oscar Health in sales, strategy, and operational roles, most recently as Vice President of Corporate Strategy.
Scott Chesrown, Cofounder and COO at Perry Health
A seasoned senior operating executive, Scott Chesrown is a Cofounder and COO at Perry Health, a health tech startup offering care and monitoring for people with diabetes. Previously, he was COO at K Health, a data-driven clinical healthcare company, and Cofounder and Chief Revenue Officer at Vroom, an online used car dealership that went public in 2020.
Jerry Tang, Operations at Dandy
With an engineering and supply chain management background, Jerry joined GE in 2007 and spent nine years leading global supply chain and manufacturing in the U.S. and China. He then joined Flexport, a supply chain and logistics startup where he helped build the business from Series A through Series D, with more than $1 billion topline, 2,000+ employees, and a global network across 80+ countries. Nowadays, he’s leading operations at Dandy, a digital dentistry startup.