About Us

STORY

Our story begins in 2013, when two intensive care physicians and two engineers were inspired to action after witnessing patients with serious, life-limiting illness who received aggressive care in the ICU against their wishes. The reason? Care planning documents such as advance directives and POLST forms were not available to help guide the care team. This seems like an easy problem to solve, right? With no solution available, our co-founders came together to develop a technology to help individuals, families, and care teams make care planning decisions, create accurate documentation, and share the documents across the care continuum.

LEADERSHIP

Ryan Van Wert, MD

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Van Wert is a co-founder and CEO of Vynca. In addition to his role at Vynca, Dr. Van Wert is a part-time Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford University, where he maintains a small clinical practice. Prior to Vynca, Dr. Van Wert co-founded AWAIR, Inc., a medical device company focused on reducing complications for critically ill patients, which was acquired by Cook Medical Technologies in 2015. He is frequently invited to speak about his passion for improving care delivery at the end of life and the process of value-driven healthcare innovation. He is a named inventor on multiple issued and pending health technology patents.

Dr. Van Wert graduated with the University Medal in chemical engineering from Queen’s University, Canada. He completed medical school internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto, and his post-doctoral training at Stanford University in Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine and Biodesign. He holds three board certifications from the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada.

Emelia Altschul

Director of Marketing

Emelia brings more than 10 years of healthcare marketing and sales experience. Most recently, Emelia led the channel and partnership program at PointRight, a post-acute analytics company. Prior to that, she spent a number of years at Allscripts, leading marketing for ambulatory solutions and professional services, and was also a client sales executive on the national accounts team.

Emelia received her BA from Denison University, and an MBA from Northeastern University with a concentration in marketing.

Jack Chiou

Director of Engineering

Jack brings more than nineteen years of experience in application design and implementation. Prior to joining Vynca, Jack led teams in IT and engineering functions at Capgemini, Cisco, Southern California Edison, CCC, Groundhog Technologies, and his own start-up. He has architected and implemented products that have been used by fortunate 500 companies, and specializes in production integration and big data calculation.

Jack has bachelors and masters in Biomedical Engineer from University of Southern California.

Ashish Kaul

Director of Product & Engineering Programs

Ashish brings more than fourteen years of experience launching web and mobile products for consumer and enterprise markets. Prior to joining Vynca, Ashish led teams in product management, IT, engineering, and business and product operation functions at Facebook, Cisco, Halosys and his own start-up. He has launched and supported products that have been used by up to 100M users and up to $5M in yearly revenues in the e-commerce, social networking and professional training businesses.

Ashish has a bachelors and masters in Computer Science from San Jose State University, and an MBA from the Haas school of business at University of California, Berkeley.

Rob Merrell

Director of Product Management

Rob brings in more than fourteen years of experience building and growing web/mobile solutions for the acute and post acute users. Prior to joining Vynca, Rob built out multiple products through his knowledge and expertise throughout his the years in product management, pragmatic marketing, agile development, IT and UX/UI design best practices while at the American Hospital Association, Accretive Health, Aetna, and Allscripts. With an eye to the strategic future, Rob likes to build for the future while accomplishing early wins for clients.

Rob has a Bachelors in Sociology from Iowa State University, a Masters degree in Information Systems Management from Keller Graduate School, and Pragmatic Marketing Certified VI.

BOARD

Ryan Van Wert, MD

Dr. Van Wert is a co-founder and CEO of Vynca. In addition to his role at Vynca, Dr. Van Wert is a part-time Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford University, where he maintains a small clinical practice. Prior to Vynca, Dr. Van Wert co-founded AWAIR, Inc., a medical device company focused on reducing complications for critically ill patients, which was acquired by Cook Medical Technologies in 2015. He is frequently invited to speak about his passion for improving care delivery at the end of life and the process of value-driven healthcare innovation. He is a named inventor on multiple issued and pending health technology patents.

Dr. Van Wert graduated with the University Medal in chemical engineering from Queen’s University, Canada. He completed medical school internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto, and his post-doctoral training at Stanford University in Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine and Biodesign. He holds three board certifications from the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada.

Rush Bartlett, PhD

Rush is an experienced early stage medical technology entrepreneur who has previously founded three healthcare technology companies. He has a wide breath of early stage startup experience in operations, product management, business development, and as an early stage CEO. Rush is also an accomplished inventor with 9 issued patents and over 30 pending patent applications in the fields of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare IT.

Rush received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, his MBA from Indiana University, and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University. He completed Post-Doctorate studies at Stanford University in the Biodesign Fellowship and is regularly invited to teach their Innovation Process to R&D teams at major medical technology companies.

Arnie E. Burchianti, II

Arnie E. Burchianti, II is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Celtic Healthcare, Inc. and served as the founding CEO of Graham Healthcare Group, a leading post-acute, hospice and home healthcare provider in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Michigan. He has served in this leadership capacity from 1996 through March of 2018 and has led the company through a significant period of growth by utilizing technology to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of business processes and workflows.

Burchianti has led Celtic Healthcare to being honored numerous times throughout the past decade as “Fastest Growing Life Sciences Company,” “Best Place to Work in Pittsburgh,” “Top 50 Best Places to Work in Western PA,” and “Top 100 Best Places to Work in PA.”

In September 2012, Graham Holdings Company (formerly The Washington Post Company) acquired a majority interest in Celtic Healthcare with Burchianti continuing to run the business as CEO and co-owner. This strategic transaction has positioned Celtic Healthcare for continued growth by combining Celtic’s strong leadership, technology and expertise with the financial resources and long-term investment commitment of The Washington Post Company.

In 2015, Burchianti spearheaded Celtic Healthcare’s strategic joint venture with Highmark Health’s Allegheny Health Network Home Health & Hospice. While simultaneously, securing PA Certification for Celtic’s software analytics tool for Home Health Utilization Management.

In July 2016, Celtic merged with Residential Home Health and Hospice to form Graham Healthcare Group, and Burchianti assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer over the combined company, which doubled in size and revenue.

Education & Special Recognitions:

• Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy & Bachelors Degree in Health Science, Duquesne University, 1994
• Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” 2014 and two-time Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” Finalist, 2002, 2007
• Pacesetters Award Finalist for Emerging Business, 2007
• Pittsburgh Technology Council Life Sciences Tech 50 Awards Finalist, 2008
• University of Pittsburgh Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program, 2007
• American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Finalist as Software Development Partner, 2003
• American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Excellence in Home Care Award, 2002
• Duquesne University Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2000
• Inventor: System for Integrated Business Management: Ref No. 07-113 CIP (7911.0016)
US Patent Application No.: 12/235,190, Filed: September 22, 2008

Professional Activities & Memberships:
• Member of National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC)
• Advisory Board Member, National Association of Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), 2009, 2010, 2011
• National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Homecare and Hospice Industry Strategic Planning Congress, 2007, 2008, 2009
• National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Proprietary Homecare Section
• National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Therapy Advisory Committee
• Advisory Board Member, Institute of Entrepreneurial Excellence, University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business, 2011 & 2018
• Board of Directors of Duquesne University since 2010
• Duquesne University Century Club of Distinguished Alumni, September 2009
• Served on the Health Advisory Board for the 110th Congress member Jason Altmire, US House of Representatives, 4th District, PA
• Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania Allied Member
• Active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) since 1992
• American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Technology Special Interest Group, Government Federal Affairs Liaison, & Electronic
Communications/Telehealth Work Group
• Proprietary Home Care Association of America (PHCAA) Advisory Board Member, 2005
• Member of the Academic Advisory Board for Rangos School of Health Sciences (RSHS), Duquesne University
• Past President & Executive Board Member of the Duquesne University Alumni Association
• Homecare Elite Agency, 2009, 2010, 2011
• Company of the Year, Homecare Marketing Award, H2 Marketing, 2009

Specialties:
• Post-Acute Home & Community Healthcare Industry Strategic Planning / Home Healthcare Industry Business Development / Home Healthcare Industry Acquisitions, Startups and Joint Ventures / Home Healthcare Industry Information Technology

Phil Fogg Jr.

As the fourth-generation of a family of long-term care providers, it was probably inevitable that Phil Fogg Jr. would devote his life to serving seniors. His great-grandmother was one of Oregon’s pioneers in the profession, and by the age of only 13, he was already working in his father’s facilities—doing laundry, washing dishes, making beds or whatever else was needed. “It felt like my second home,” he recalls, “and the residents became like family.”

Almost immediately after his college graduation, Phil formally entered the profession as an administrator, then regional manager at his father’s company, before finally stepping out on his own. Even with dire financial challenges facing providers in Oregon, he started Marquis Companies in 1989, and assumed the management of his first skilled nursing facility. It was a challenging but ultimately successful turn-around project that’s still in the family today as Marquis Vermont Hills.

Since then, the organization he created has grown to become one of the Northwest’s premiere providers of senior care services, with more than 4,000 employees. Marquis owns and operates 22 skilled nursing, assisted living and independent living campuses in Oregon, California and Nevada, and also provides home health and home care services. Responding to opportunities in the changing health care environment, the company most recently launched AgeRight Advantage—a Medicare Advantage health plan, and AgeRight Clinical Services, which provides nurse practitioner services in skilled nursing facilities.

Phil founded its sister company, Consonus Healthcare, in 2004, and it now serves rehab therapy and pharmacy customers in 11 states, as well as offering a wide range of consulting services. Again in response to challenges facing long-term care providers, he led the profession in the creation of the innovative Co-Pilot data analytics solution, which helps facilities demonstrate their patient outcomes and quality of care to potential payors and referral sources.

Looking back on almost three decades of leadership and achievement, Phil’s measure of accomplishment has little to do with growth or revenue. Instead, he defines true success by the impact Marquis and all its corporate entities have had on the lives of those it employs and serves. “Our proudest achievement has been in creating a positive culture that promotes vitality in our residents, clients and staff members,” he says.

Throughout his career, Phil has been an active advocate for long-term care in Oregon, and an influential national voice in the nation’s capital. He is secretary/treasurer and an at-large board member of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), and a passionate champion for fair and predictable reimbursement systems, resident care quality outcomes and workforce development initiatives. He also serves as a Director on Point Click Care and Vynca Board of Directors.

Phil is a Health Care Administration graduate of Concordia University, and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Oregon. He is board chair of the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition, and has previously served as president of the Oregon Health Care Association and chair of AHCAs Strategic Planning Committee. In 2013, he was honored with the Association’s Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Award.

Phil’s life-long commitment to charitable causes, and a desire to bring greater meaning and purpose to the lives of staff, residents, clients and business partners, led to his creation of the Vital Life Foundation in 2008. Each year, the Foundation supports programs and causes focused on children and seniors, and its charitable partners include the Ronald McDonald House, Friends of the Children, Alzheimer’s Association, Wish of a Lifetime, Meals On Wheels People and the American Heart Association.

Outside the pressures of the office, Phil’s preferred leisure pursuits include traveling, snow skiing, water skiing and racing cars. But his favorite pastime these days is in simply spending time with family—and especially his grandchildren. With his three sons already working by his side at Marquis, they represent the possibility of a sixth generation of Foggs serving in long-term care.

Joe Mandato

Mr. Mandato was one of the first investors in Vynca and joined the board in 2015. He leverages more than 25 years of experience as a successful CEO and company-builder to provide strategic guidance and mentorship in the areas of value creation, leadership and execution for Vynca’s management team.

Mr. Mandato is a Senior Advisor to Mainsail Partners and its portfolio companies. He has served as CEO of several successful operating companies, including two leveraged buyouts. The first, an ophthalmic implant company, was sold to a UK based public company, and the second, a leveraged purchase from Johnson & Johnson, subsequently acquired by a NYSE company. Both transactions resulted in significant value creation for shareholders. He also advised the founders, was an active investor and was appointed to the Board of Directors of Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN), developer of the Invisalign clear orthodontic appliance.

Earlier in his career, he served as President and CEO of Origin Medsystems, a developer of minimally invasive surgical devices, where he also co-founded and served as CEO of Gynecare, a women’s health spin-out from Origin, which was later acquired by Johnson & Johnson. Origin was acquired by Guidant Corporation (NYSE; later acquired by Boston Scientific), where Mr. Mandato served as a Vice President and member of the founding management committee and CEO of two of its five operating units. He has served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mayfield Fund, a venture capital firm.

Prior to his distinguished career, Mr. Mandato served as a Captain in the U.S. Army. He currently serves on the boards of Embrace Global and has served on the board of Save the Children. He received his doctorate degree in management from Case Western Reserve University, and serves on its Board of Trustees. His research focused on the evolving role of boards in ensuring effective governance. He was appointed the 2014-2015 Carlo Rossi Chair of Entrepreneurship at The University of San Francisco’s School of Management and is a Lecturer at Stanford University. Additionally, he was a 2012 Fellow in the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative.

Arnold Whitman

Mr. Whitman is the founder and Chairman of Formation Capital, a leading equity investor in the seniors housing and care industry, and Co-Chairman of Genesis HealthCare. Most recently, he has become a partner in Aging2.0, a platform for innovation and technology for seniors. Over the past 15 years, Mr. Whitman has strategically led Formation Capital in its growth and execution of over $6 billion in transactions. Mr. Whitman serves on the board of Trident USA Health Services. He is also a current board member and Chairman Emeritus of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care Industries (NIC). His other interests in the “seniors” business include being a Principal in Primecare Properties, and a board member of Care Institute. Mr. Whitman’s career has allowed him extensive speaking engagements both domestically and internationally. He has written and been featured in many publications including National Real Estate Investor, McKnight’s Long Term Care News, SeniorCare Investor, Contemporary Long Term Care, Assisted Living Today, Modern Healthcare and Real Estate Forum.

Rachel Kern

Rachel Kern currently serves as an investment professional at First Trust Capital Partners, LLC (FTCP) - a private equity and venture firm based in Wheaton, Illinois. FTCP invests across multiple sectors with a focus on the Financial Technology and Services and Health Care Technology and Services sectors. Prior to her role at FTCP, Rachel was an analyst at Healthcare Growth Partners, an Investment Banking & Strategic Advisory firm exclusively focused on the Health IT market. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dallas.

INVESTORS