Opportunities For Innovation and Investment in Healthcare in NEO

The Center for Free Enterprise is back to in-person events! Our first four events were well-attended, safe, and successful. Our next event will focus on opportunities for innovation and investment in healthcare in our region.

The discussion will be moderated by CFE Co-founder Ben Calkins of the Calkins Law Firm, Ltd. The panel includes:

  • Neema Mayhugh of Wave Strategy
  • Rudy Sangari of Pars Capital Partners, LLC
  • Swarna Solanki of Team NEO
  • Nancy Tinsley of Innovation Accelerators, LLC

About Ben Calkins

CFE co-founder Ben Calkins is an honors graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School. His “new model” law firm, The Calkins Law Firm, Ltd. is a premier boutique law firm that specializes in business law and focuses on business transactions and business disputes. He maintains a perfect 10 “Superb” rating from Avvo.com and was presented the Client Distinction Award by Martindale Hubbell. Ben is the former President of both the Harvard Club of Northeast Ohio and Ohio Venture Association. Mr. Calkins co-founded the North Coast Angel Fund, one of the largest angel funds in America, as well as the Center for Free Enterprise.

About Neema Mayhugh, PHD:

Neema Mayhugh is a healthcare innovation expert who helps large academic medical centers and biotechnology incubators bridge the gap between research and product delivery. Neema designs and executes a comprehensive strategy to take technology from bench to bedside — engaging partners, securing capital, and delivering desired outcomes, always with an eye toward ensuring the highest quality patient care and enhancing the patient experience.

Built on a solid foundation of clinical innovation, Neema’s expertise stems from strong basic research training and early positions in healthcare management consulting and with Pfizer, Inc. Her specialization then grew rapidly when she joined the industry-leading Cleveland Clinic, where her roles and responsibilities expanded to include:

  • Start-up formation
  • Licensing
  • Intellectual property portfolio prioritization
  • Clinical trial management and execution
  • Sponsored research program negotiation
  • Management of commercialization projects
  • Strategic portfolio oversight

As Chief Operating Officer of Mobile Hyperbaric Centers, Neema expanded her expertise base again, overseeing operations for seven hospital centers and all corporate functions including insurance authorization, billing, documentation, compliance, human resources and center safety and maintenance.

Neema holds a Doctoral degree in Pharmacology & Toxicology from Dartmouth College and a Bachelors of Science in Human Physiology from Boston University.

About Rudy Sangari:

Mr. Sangari is the founder and Managing Partner of Pars Capital Partners, LLC. Mr. Sangari has over 20 years experience in LifeSciences space beginning in Medical Devices at Siemens. Prior to founding Pars Capital, he served as a Managing Director at BrokerBank Securities, LLC a FINRA registered Investment Bank focusing on capital formation projects in the Biotech. Mr. Sangari also has extensive experience in shale and heavy crude, underwriting over $500 million in North American shale. Prior to BrokerBank Securities, Mr. Sangari served as an Advisor at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

Mr. Sangari is a Previously Registered Investment Advisor and holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses.

About Swarna Solanki:

Swarna Solanki currently serves the Northeast Ohio community as the Director of Healthcare at Team NEO. Team NEO is Northeast Ohio’s private, non-profit economic development organization, formally designated as JobsOhio’s regional network partner. Team NEO works on retaining, growing, and attracting regional business by focusing on four strategic pillars – sites, talent, industry, and promotion. As the Director of Healthcare, Swarna leads the team’s healthcare practice by building trusted relationships with key stakeholders, connecting dots between strategic partners and resources, promoting NE Ohio industry around the world to generate more opportunity, synthesizing insights and identifying needs for community alignment, and driving community owned strategic development that enables the community to take action towards a common vision. The aim is to develop a more engaged and connected community that strengthens our ecosystem’s ability to support the translation of healthcare innovation such that economic impact is realized here in NE Ohio.

Swarna serves in her current role by leveraging her diverse and complementary background as a biomedical engineer, strategic consultant, and entrepreneur. Prior to joining Team NEO, Swarna spent a year in the Cleveland NeuroDesign Fellowship modeled after Stanford’s Biodesign Innovation Fellowship. The fellowship was an unparalleled opportunity to work through the multiple stages of healthcare innovation in an immersive and robustly supported environment established jointly by CWRU and CCF. The experience gave Swarna valuable insight and practical experience in identifying clinical needs, inventing tech driven solutions, and developing business plans for commercially viable opportunities.

Swarna earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and master’s degree in neural engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Through her graduate-level research she worked on enhancing control systems for neuroprostheses aimed to restore arm function in individuals with high level spinal cord injuries. This built a passion for identifying and translating high value clinical solutions with commercial viability. In order to build more skills to work in the later stages of the healthcare innovation continuum, Swarna built experience as an associate at McKinsey and JumpStart and co-founded two separate healthcare companies. The passion within Swarna to see the incredible ideas generated by our region’s brilliant researchers reach the hands of clinicians and patients has only grown through her career, and she looks forward to having a positive impact in our community through her current role and engagements.

About Nancy Tinsley:

Nancy Tinsley is a transformative healthcare executive recognized for leading strategic excellence, innovation, designing scale, and driving success in execution. Her career includes leadership and board positions in healthcare, non-profit organizations, professional societies and academic organizations. She focuses her work on accelerating strategic growth and advancing leadership, as an innovator, health system and start-up advisor, and entrepreneur.

Her leadership experience includes roles as hospital president, innovator, and system service line executive. She served as Hospital President in Cleveland, Rochester and Chicago. This executive work focuses on innovative strategic planning, clinical and systems integration, creating physician alignment and advancing health care services across the continuum. She has advanced experience in innovation, performance improvement, business analytics, systems thinking and leadership development.

She is currently the President of Innovation Accelerators, a health tech consulting firm focusing on accelerating entrepreneurial and start-up success. Expertise includes, CEO and strategic advising, healthcare industry navigation, business model design, financial modeling, leadership and governance, funding strategies and growth acceleration.

She has authored, published and presents nationally on the innovative development and implementation of system models for clinical institutes, focusing on the strategic growth, improvement and systems approach to the design. This model was identified as a nationally recognized model.

Across her career, she has developed a reputation as a passionate, innovative leader – skilled at defining strategic opportunities and goals, teaching teams to think strategically, and implementing changes to solve operational challenges. She is adept at developing partnerships, building and advancing highly reliable teams, and encouraging innovative thinking across hospital systems. She has led numerous healthcare start-ups, transformations and turn-arounds. Her leadership skills are diverse and encompass executive skills in leadership, strategy, operations, finance and budgeting, analytics and improvement.

Ms. Tinsley received a dual degree, holding both a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master of Healthcare Administration from Cleveland State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Kent State University and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Ms. Tinsley served as Adjunct faculty for 12 years at Case Western Reserve University developing curriculum and teaching healthcare improvement at the graduate level. She is a certified leadership coach and promotes strength in careers and leadership teams. She serves as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence for Case Western Reserve University.

She holds numerous recognitions, including Crain’s Cleveland Business Woman of Note, YWCA Women of Achievement, Athena Woman in Business, Beta Gamma Sigma, Honor Society for Business Excellence, Sigma Theta Tau, Nursing Honor Society and multiple scholarship and achievement awards.

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