Leadership

Robert Palmer, MBA

Chairman, President, and CEO

Robert is an experienced technology developer, entrepreneur, and executive with over 20-years of industrial experience in developing analytic models for healthcare payers, providers, life sciences, professional sports, financial services, private equity, and manufacturing. Robert developed the firm’s PotentiaMED analytics products including comparative effectiveness analysis and predictive analytics for clinical and economic outcomes. He has also held executive leadership across various privately held companies and startups. Robert holds an MBA from Washington University, Olin School of Business, and a BS in Business Administration from Regis University. He is a member of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society and the YPO (Young Presidents Organization).

Kendall Qualls, MBA

Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President

Before joining PotentiaMetrics, Kendall spent 20+ years leading Marketing and Sales teams in BioPharma and the Med Tech industries with global leaders such as Medtronic, Covidien and Johnson & Johnson. For the past 10-years, he has been tapped to lead new product launches or recruited to revive stalled or declining businesses. Kendall is an innovative leader and led transformational commercial projects before the era of value-based healthcare that resulted in new go-to-market strategies and structure. Before entering the healthcare industry, Kendall served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, Field Artillery for five years in the U.S. and South Korea. Kendall holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Masters of Arts from the University of Oklahoma and Bachelor of Arts from Cameron University.

Jeff Block

Vice President, Process and Technology

Jeff is responsible for defining and leading the firm’s technical strategy and project delivery. He has over twenty years of experience in the development and deployment of large-scale, complex information technology. He was formerly a Regional Training Manager at BEA Systems, Inc., focusing on building the fundamental technology enterprise of Fortune Global 1,000 companies. He has experience in the development of courseware and training including software development methodology, enterprise and application architecture, and customer interaction. Jeff has a Bachelor of Science from the Engineering College of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Sal Calta

Senior Director

Sal brings extensive experience in information technology and business transformation. Sal was a Senior Executive at IBM (most recently the VP of Business Transformation), retiring in 2015 after a successful 36-year career that included product development, supply chain, business transformation, and information technology. Sal then served as the interim CIO at Florida Blue, focusing on healthcare innovation, successfully applying years of his business transformation experience. Sal is also on the advisory board for the Mercy College MBA program, is an advisor to Astia (a non-profit organization that provides guidance and support for women entrepreneurs), has recently served on the board of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and is the chair of the executive volunteer leadership board of the New York Blood Center. Sal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Giri Venkatraman, MD, MBA

Director

Dr. Venkatraman is responsible for the development and management of PotentiaMED outcomes registries. Dr. Venkatraman is an otolaryngologist who was most recently a member of the faculty at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC). As the Associate Quality Office at DHMC, Giri was involved in patient safety, process improvement as well as clinical utilization and registry research with researchers at The Dartmouth Institute. Giri is trained in lean and certified six sigma black belt from Villanova University. Giri also held assistant professor roles at DHMC and Emory Healthcare and has served as Director of a healthcare intelligence firm. Giri holds an MD from the University of Maryland Baltimore and an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Technical Advisory Board

Barton Hamilton, PhD

Economics and Econometrics

Bart directs the healthcare management program at Washington University, Olin Business School in which professors from both the medical and business schools teach courses to both business and non-business majors. In addition to being an expert on healthcare economics, he also has expertise in entrepreneurship, and has directed the Hatchery Entrepreneurship Program at the Olin Business School. Before joining Olin, Barton was an assistant professor of economics at McGill University for five years. He brings to PotentiaMED both publications and an extensive expertise in evaluating surgeon performance, surgeon costs and cost volatility, and the impact of surgeon specialization on patient outcomes. He earned his PhD in Economics from Stanford University and an A.B., Economics, with honors, from University of California, Berkeley.

Gregory Mayhew, PhD

Decision Modeling, Valuation

Greg has extensive experience in advanced technology development and production. He has managed design departments and implemented numerous start-up technical and business divisions. Greg holds five patents that cover multiple technologies and seventeen technical publications. He holds a Doctorate in Information Theory and Discrete Mathematics from the University of Southern California. He earned his Master of Business Administration with concentration in finance and operations management and Master of Finance with concentration in asset pricing and econometrics from Washington University in St. Louis, Olin School of Business. He also holds a Master of Science in Digital Communications from the University of Southern California. Greg completed his Bachelor of Science in Electronics (with a minor in economics) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a professor of finance with St. Louis University, Cook School of Business.

Clinical Advisory Board

James L. Cox, MD

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Cox trained in Cardiothoracic Surgery under Dr. David Sabiston at Duke University, where he remained on the faculty as an Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor of Surgery. Dr. Cox subsequently became the first Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, a position he held for 14-years. In July of 2000, he retired as the Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center. On July 1, 2006, Jim became the Emeritus Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. He has been the President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Editor of the Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Editor of Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Chairman of the Residency Review Committee for Thoracic Surgery, a Director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and a member of the Surgical Study Section at the NIH. Dr. Cox is best known for his work in the field of cardiac arrhythmia surgery and the development of the Cox-Maze Procedure which is considered the “gold standard’ for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Dr. Cox has trained many prominent surgeons in America, Europe and Asia and has served as the Guest Lecturer, Visiting Professor or Guest Surgeon over 200 times and in over 30 countries. Dr. Cox was honored in Paris, France as one of only thirty “Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery” for the First 50 Years of the Specialty. In April 2005, Dr. Cox joined Dr. Michael DeBakey as only the second American cardiac surgeon ever elected into the Russian Academy of Medical Science.

Robert Farmer, MD

Clinical Advisor

Currently serving as Medical Director for the Southern Illinois Division of HSHS Medical Group, Dr. Farmer has over twenty years of experience in family medicine. Dr. Farmer attended Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed a family practice residency at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana.

Keith Fleming, MD

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Fleming is a founding member and president of Tejas Anesthesia in San Antonio, Texas. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Fleming completed his medical training at Baylor College of Medicine, and residency at UT Health Center in San Antonio. Dr. Fleming is a Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and belongs to the San Antonio Division of the American Board of Anesthesiology.

Preethi H. Gunaratne, PhD

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Preethi Gunaratne brings extensive experience in genomics, analytics and personalized medicine. Following a stint as Assistant Director of the Baylor College of Medicine DNA Diagnostic laboratory. In 1999 she joined the International Human Genome Project through which she directly contributed to the sequencing and annotation of Human Chromosomes 3, 12 and X. In 2000 she was appointed Director of gene (cDNA) sequencing at the Baylor Human Genome Sequencing Center (Baylor-HGSC). In 2005 she lead her team to make the largest single contribution of 15,000 sequences each to the National Cancer Institutes’ (NCI) Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) in Phase I and the National Institute for Diabetes & Digestive Kidney Disease (NIDDK) - Stem Cell Genome Anatomy Project (SCGAP). Dr. Gunaratne joined the University of Houston in 2006 and went on to establish one of the first comprehensive functional genomics platforms to rationally define genetic signatures that accurately stratify and predict responsive and non-responsive host genomes to externally administered microRNAs and drugs. She collaborated with teams from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) to pioneer methods for discovering strong tumor suppressor microRNAs for ovarian, colorectal, metastatic breast, skin and kidney cancers, multiple myeloma, and pediatric neuroblastoma and osteosarcoma. Through this work Dr. Gunaratne’s group has also established a framework for defining unique microRNA-regulated gene signatures that can be used for personalizing cancer treatments based on underlying genetic mutations in tumors as defined by Whole Exome or Whole Genome sequencing (WES or WGS). To rapidly translate their findings into clinical practice Dr. Gunaratne co-founded NEXTmiRNA Technologies a company dedicated to harnessing tumor suppressor microRNAs as the Next Generation cancer drugs – acting as circuit breakers of multiple oncogenic pathways driving cancer. Preclinical work for a tumor suppressor microRNA for ovarian cancer.

Jonathan Heinlen, MD

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Heinlen is a board-certified urologist with fellowship training in Urologic Oncology and minimally invasive surgery. He specializes in the treatment of urologic cancers, with a particular focus on prostate and kidney cancer. In addition to cancer, Dr. Heinlen offers minimally invasive solutions for complicated urinary stone disease and benign prostatic hypertrophy. Dr. Heinlen elected to pursue medical training at the University of Oklahoma and continued on in urology residency in Oklahoma. He then trained at the City of Hope National Cancer Center in Los Angeles.

Dr. Heinlen has a particular interest in improving the way physicians interact with their patients to create better healthcare outcomes. This includes a focus on cost-efficiency, patient-centered decision making, and evidence-based practice. Dr. Heinlen has ongoing research studies in urologic clinical practice and also participates in multiple cancer trials.

Henrikas Juknis, MD

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Juknis has over twenty years of experience practicing nephrology and internal medicine. Dr. Juknis graduated medical school at Kaunas Medical Institute and completed a residency at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island. He went on to serve as a fellow at the University of Minnesota Minneapolis.

Tara Kaufmann, MD

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Kaufmann completed her undergraduate education in Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. She sub-matriculated during her undergraduate years to also complete a Masters Degree in Chemistry. She received her medical degree at the University of California –San Francisco and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina. She then completed a palliative care fellowship at Duke before moving back to UPenn for a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology. Her research interest is in patient-reported outcomes and advanced analytics in aiding treatment decisions and targeting supportive care services for patients diagnosed with cancer.

George Lundberg, MS, MD, ScD (hon)

Clinical Advisor

George Lundberg, MS, MD, ScD (hon) is an American board-certified pathologist, speaker, writer, and editor. Dr. Lundberg is the former (1982-1999) Editor in Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and he is currently the Editor in Chief of Cancer Commons; Editor at Large, at Medscape, a Clinical Professor of Pathology at Northwestern University, and President and Board Chair of The Lundberg Institute. Dr. Lundberg served as President of the American Society for Clinical Pathology; Professor of Pathology at University of Southern California for 10 years; and for 5 years was Professor and Chair of Pathology at the University of California, Davis. A frequent lecturer, radio, and webcasting guest and host, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Lundberg was also a professor at Harvard from 1993 to 2008 and at Stanford from 2006 to 2018. Dr. Lundberg is a Vietnam Era Veteran, having served in the US Army for 11-years, leaving active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Michael Papagikos, MD

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Papagikos is a radiation oncologist in Wilmington, North Carolina specializing in the management of lung and prostate cancer. He is very committed to offering and conducting high-quality clinical cancer research in the community setting and underserved populations through physician initiated and national cooperative group studies. He is affiliated with the New Hanover Regional Medical Center and serves as the Director of the Multi-Disciplinary Lung Program. He received his medical degree and residency training from Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Luis Rodriguez, MD

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Rodriguez is a practicing oncologist with 18 years of experience and a special interest in gastrointestinal and breast cancers. He completed his bachelor degree at the University of Michigan, and medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where was awarded membership to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Rodriguez completed his residency and fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

S. Joshua Swamidass, MD, PhD

Clinical Advisor

Josh is both a physician and a scientist, appointed as an Assistant Professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, where he is focused on using machine learning and predictive modeling to discover new medicines and new uses for existing medicines. He brings to PotentiaMED a specific expertise in solving medical problems with purpose-designed machine learning and modeling methods. This builds from both his medical training and his PhD training in Computer and Information Sciences at the University California, Irvine. He is one of the few computationally trained physicians in the country. His collaborators and consulting engagements have included the Broad Institute of Harvard/MIT, Pfizer, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson).

David Theodoro, MD

Co-founder and Clinical Advisor

Dr. Theodoro is a co-founder of PotentiaMED and is a developer of the company’s analytics products for cardiac surgery. Dr. Theodoro brings substantial clinical and cardiac surgery practice management expertise. Dr. Theodoro is a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon, chief of cardiac surgery for one of the largest heart surgery programs in the Midwest at SSM Hospital System, St. Louis and president of a medical service business. He has broad experience in program development, team integration, and contract negotiations. Dr. Theodoro completed Cardiothoracic Surgery training at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He finished General Surgery training at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.