Vital Simulations is an award winning health care education and software development company which is a spin-out company of the University of Minnesota. This academic collaboration has produced a series of 3D and virtual reality educational games which provide continuing education credit for health care professionals. The construction of the platform allows for rapid development and distribution of new content with collaborative partners around the globe. This type of virtual “serious gaming” training technology has been proven effective time and time again, with studies showing improved outcomes by up to 108% compared to 17% for training such as lectures (Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 2008).
In addition, the company has a joint venture with HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research for the development and commercialization of SiMCare Diabetes. This EHR-based projected outcome simulator was born from a $12mm NIH grant which tracked thousands of patients over a 10-year period. The result is quite simply the best diabetes training program on the market which has been widely reported in many peer-reviewed publications. SiMCare Diabetes was named a National Finalist in the American Diabetes Association 2016 Venture to Stop Diabetes Challenge.
The company also works with health care manufacturers to develop training simulations for the medical device, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The technology platform is robust enough to encompass any sort of professional training or workforce development needs in a variety of industries.
David Wrightsman, CEO: David sets the overall strategic direction and manages the day-to-day operations at Vital Simulations. Prior to this he spent several years as a financial systems consultant at eCapital Advisors, working with numerous companies around the Twin Cities area (including multiple Fortune 500 companies). This involved enterprise-wide implementation and delivery of their budgeting, consolidation and financial reporting systems.
Chris Merritt, VP, Sales & Marketing: Chris brings 20 years of sales, marketing and business development experience in the life science and healthcare marketplace. He has led commercialization efforts including market creation, product launch and sales force deployment in the medical device and biotechnology industries in startup and mid-size companies. Chris was previously Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Mitomics, Vice President of Sales & Customer Care at Timm Medical and Regional Sales Manager, Neurosurgery at PMT Corporation.
Chris Boxmeyer, Director, Product Development: Chris has been producing video games for major game publishers since 1994. For the past five years, he was a producer at Big Island Publishing having worked on numerous hit titles such as Bass Pro Shops’ Trophy Hunter and Bass Pro Shops’ Trophy Bass video games. He was also the producer on such titles as Diner Dash (#1 hit casual game), Survivor and Fear Factor (games based on hit TV series).
Steve Wirth, Chairman: Steve is the current President of WirthCo Engineering and VP at TriMed International. Steve brings a wealth of startup, management, and investing experience to the board as well as his specializations in mediation and new ventures. He received his JD from Hamline University School of Law and his Master of Laws (L.L.M.) from Denver University.
Don Gerhardt, Director: Don is former President and CEO of Lifescience Alley, an internationally recognized trade organization serving the medical and life science fields. He has more than 30 years in high level positions within health care organizations including CEO of MedCenters HealthPlan.
Mark Wrightsman, Director: Mark has served as president and chief executive officer of PaR Systems since 1999. PaR Systems provides specialized material handling and automation equipment to many diverse industries, including aerospace, defense, Department of Energy, food and beverage, government, hazardous material management and industrial manufacturing. Prior to joining PaR, he led five other very technical businesses, including two global businesses of more than $300 million in annual revenues. Mark began his career at General Electric and served there in various engineering, product management, account management and business leadership assignments.
Dr. Charlotte Weaver, Director: Charlotte Weaver is a visionary senior executive with 25+ years of experience in nursing informatics, patient safety and quality, evidence-based nursing practices and healthcare automation in acute, ambulatory and post-acute care. As Senior VP, Chief Clinical Officer at Gentiva Health Services, she oversaw clinical-care delivery and quality and regulatory compliance of over 460 Home Health and Hospice Programs operating in 42 states. Previously at Cerner Corporation, Ms. Weaver was Chief Nurse Officer and VP of Patient Care Systems, overseeing the product suite making up the hospital EHR modules with full P/L responsibilities.
Dr. Joann Sperl-Hillen, Director: Joann is a board certified internist and senior investigator in the HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research in Minneapolis, MN and co- director of the HPRF Center for Chronic Care Innovation. Her primary area of interest is research and quality improvement to improve the care of people with diabetes and chronic disease. Dr. Sperl-Hillen is a current work group member of the Minnesota Diabetes ICSI Guideline and co-author for the BMJ Epocrates resource for type 2 diabetes.
Andrew Nelson, Director: Andrew is Executive Director of Research for the HealthPartners Institute of Education and Research, and has provided leadership for this nonprofit, medical/ health care research organization since 1990. Mr. Nelson also serves as a corporate officer for HealthPartners, Inc. HealthPartners is an integrated health delivery system, providing care and coverage to more than one-million people in Minnesota.
Dr. Norrie Thomas, Director: Norrie is the President of Manchester Square Group; a Board Member of the Patient Access Network Foundation, Washington DC; and Senior Fellow at the Center for Leading Healthcare Change at the University of Minnesota. Previously, Dr. Thomas helped found one of the first pharmacy benefit management companies — Clinical Pharmacy Advantage. She has also held senior management positions at MedCenters Health Plans, Aetna, Clinical Pharmacy Advantage, McKesson, PCS, Eli Lilly, St. Jude Medical, Schering-Plough, and Magellan Health Services. Norrie is one of the founders of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP).