Board of Managers and Advisors

Dr. Bruce L. Gewertz


Dr. Bruce L. Gewertz has agreed to serve as Chairman of PreferUS Healthcare. He serves as Surgeon-in-Chief, Chair of the Department of Surgery, Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs and Vice-President for Interventional Services at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles. Previously, he was on the faculty at the University of Chicago for 25 years, serving as the Dallas B. Phemister Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery from 1992 until 2006. He was educated at Pennsylvania State University and Jefferson Medical College in the combined BS-MD five year program. He trained in general and vascular surgery at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Gewertz is the author of more than 250 original articles, book chapters and books including the just released “The Best Medicine.” His principal clinical and research interests include mesenteric ischemia, cerebrovascular disease and human factors in clinical care delivery. Recently, he led a $4 million multi-institutional research project integrating human performance and technology funded by the Department of Defense. Dr. Gewertz has received numerous awards for his basic investigations and teaching and was selected Outstanding Science Alumnus of Pennsylvania State University in 2003 and Alumni Fellow in 2009. A large number of invited and named lectureships throughout the years have addressed a broad range of topics in vascular disease and human factors research as well as the challenges facing academic medicine.

Michael Franz

Founder and C.E.O.

Michael Franz is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and a Manager. He has built and led successful teams in both large corporations and start up enterprises. He has a deep experience in international ventures with an emphasis in Asia. Mr. Franz is accomplished at achieving high growth results against larger and stronger competitors and consensus building in diverse environments.

Prior to founding PreferUS, Mr. Franz was the CEO of the Texas Back Institute, which is one of the world’s largest multi-disciplinary spine institutes. Prior to Texas Back Institutes he has had a wide range of experiences and successes in his career. Mr. Franz founded and grew Murata Business System to $264 million in its first 48 months of operations, taking them from the 16th ranked fax company in the US to number one in four years. Upon joining Sprint, Mr. Franz served as President of Sprint Wholesale, a business unit that he started and grew to $1.2 billion in 24 months. He then served as both President, Sprint Wholesale and Chief of Staff, Long Distance Division. His last assignment at Sprint was as President of Sprint Business where he was responsible for the $6 billion, eight thousand person organization, that provided voice and data communications products and services to all business and government customers of Sprint’s long distance division. During his tenure as a partner in Chardan Capital, a merchant banking venture that employed a dual strategy of investment banking and advisory/consulting services for China based companies, Mr. Franz led efforts on a successful Series A fund raise while also establishing the China side support team. During his tenure, the group was successful in completing multiple transactions and taking three Chinese companies public to the NASDAQ exchange. Mr. Franz has also served as consultant Chairman and CEO to several companies, focusing on successfully establishing sources of funding, redirecting the management teams, and completion of the business plans. Mr. Franz graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts in General Humanities and a Masters of Business Administration. Mr. Franz has served on numerous boards including the National Paralysis Foundation, where he served as Chairman of the Board, The Dallas Rehabilitation Institute, The Texas Back Institute Research Foundation and The Children’s Mercy Hospital of Kansas City.

Dr. John Harvey


Dr. John Harvey, M.D. is the Chief Executive Officer of the Oklahoma Heart Hospital. Dr. Harvey was unanimously appointed to the position by the hospital board in January after holding the position of co-president for the hospital since it was built in 2002. Dr. Harvey did his pre-med work at Oklahoma Baptist University from 1974 to 1977. He then completed his medical degree at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in 1981. He went on to conduct his Internship and Residency in internal medicine at the O.U. Health Sciences Center. He completed his Fellowship in Cardiology on that campus in 1987. Dr. Harvey then undertook a Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology from Harvard University at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Professionally Dr. Harvey was an attending physician at VA Medical Center of Oklahoma City in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and a clinical instructor and assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He was appointed the Director of Interventional Cardiology at Oklahoma Memorial Hospital in 1988, and in 1991 joined the Heart Group of Oklahoma as an Interventional and Clinical Cardiologist. In 1998, Dr. Harvey became one of the founding members of Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates. When the Oklahoma Heart Hospital opened in 2002, Dr. Harvey was named Medical Director and co-President.

He also serves with the Oklahoma Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, the research arm of Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates and has published a long list of research projects for such prestigious journals as the Annuals of Internal Medicine, Circulation and the Journal of the American college of Cardiology.

The Oklahoma Heart Hospital was the first all-digital hospital in the nation when it opened in 2002. Press Ganey Associates, a nationally recognized company that measures the level of patient satisfaction among the nation’s top hospitals, named the Oklahoma Heart Hospital a 2006 Summit Award winner. OHH has ranked at 99% in patient satisfaction for the past three straight years. Dr. Harvey lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Kim, and three sons.

Neal Dempsey


Mr. Neal Dempsey is Managing General Partner of Bay Partners, one of the largest-running venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. With Neal at the helm, Bay Partners has shepherded its portfolio to 26 IPOs in 20 years and 19 significant M&A deals, delivering over $2.5 billion in investment returns. Throughout his career, Neal has served on over 75 public and private boards for companies such as Guidewire, Xactly, Eloqua, Brocade and Apigee. 

Neal’s ability to drive successful portfolio exits has made Bay’s 2006 vintage fund one of the industry’s top performing funds, ranked #2 by PitchBook. Forbes also named Neal to its “Midas List” which names the top 100 venture capitalists in the world. 

Neal is a regular speaker, author and a newly appointed lecturer at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. His love of mentoring young entrepreneurs led him to establish the Neal’s Running Start program, which bring entrepreneurship from around the world to Silicon Valley for an intensive mentorship program with Neal and his posse of accomplished friends. 

Giving back is a cornerstone of Neal’s investing philosophy. Neal not only volunteers at the University of Washington, he has endowed scholarship funds for students, young assistant professors and athletes at the University of Washington, Willamette University and Claremont McKenna College. A lover of outdoors, Neal serves on the board of ACES, an environmental organization in Aspen, Colorado. He also is the incoming Char of Uplift Family Services, which helps over 30,000 children and their family members recover from trauma, such as abuse, severe neglect, addiction and poverty. 

As a serious college sports fan, Neal is actively involved with the University of Washington sports programs. He has provided scholarships for football, golf, tennis and track. Neal believes all success is founded in passion and perseverance. He not only admires these qualities in others, he strives to be a living example for others. 

 Dr. Stephen Hochschuler

 Board Observer

Dr. Stephen H. Hochschuler has agreed to serve as a Board Observer of the Company. Dr. Hochschuler is a leading spine expert with surgical practices in Texas and Arizona. He is a Co-Founder of the Texas Back Institute and the Chairman of the Board of TBI Holdings, Inc. Dr. Hochschuler has published numerous research papers in international spine journals, as well as authored “Back in Shape” (1991) and “Treat Your Back without Surgery” (1998), a Co-founder of Texas Back Institute and also the founder of one of the first back schools in the United States. He possesses over 30 years of experience and specializes in lumbar spinal problems. Dr. Hochschuler graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed an internship and surgery residency at Harvard Surgical Service, Boston City Hospital Boston, and Massachusetts. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas and Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Hochschuler holds many achievements in his medical career including, President and founding member of the Spine Arthroplasty Society, past Chairman and current Board of Director at SpineMark, founder of the Spine Division at the Veterans Administration, and is also a decorated United States Air Force Major. Dr. Hochschuler is a Founding Board Member of the Spine Arthroplasty Society as well as a past president and current Board member. He is an active member of other organizations such as North American Spine Society, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and AOSpine. Dr. Hochschuler also serves in an advisory capacity for several other entities. He is on the Board of Directors of Alphatec Spine, Inc. and is on the Board of Directors of SpineMark, Inc. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Pioneer Surgical Technologies and several other evolving spinal technology companies. Dr. Hochschuler serves on the Business Advisory Board of a number of companies, including Abbott Spine, Orthofix, Inc., BioAssets Development Co, Inc., LDR Spine, DePuy Spine, K2 Medical, Mazor Surgical Technologies and Facet Solutions, Inc.