World Class Leadership & Experience
From 1978 through 1997, Dr. Jacobson served on the faculties of UT Southwestern (1978-1985) and Vanderbilt Medical Center (1985-1997). In 1997, Dr. Jacobson became Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University (VUMC), Nashville, TN (CEO at the medical center). From 1997 through 2009 it grew from $750 M to $2.25 B in revenue, moved from 24th into the top 10 in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and $1 B of new clinical and research facilities including Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Sciences – all three of which are recognized as world-class programs. In 2008, VUMC became recognized by Fortune Magazine as a top 100 places to work.
As CEO of VUMC, Dr. Jacobson chaired the Chancellor’s Fund and oversaw the University’s technology transfer operations. During that time, the Chancellor’s Fund, alongside $250 M of institutional capital invested in 29 startup companies created from Vanderbilt intellectual property through the technology transfer offices. The Chancellor’s Fund returned 2.4x cash on cash with several portfolio companies yet to exit.
As an entrepreneur, Dr. Jacobson founded or co-founded many companies including Contact Software (the developer of Act!, the world’s leading contact software at the time) which was acquired in 1993 by Symantec (SYMC); Renal Care Group (RCG:NYSE), a leading dialysis service provider acquired by Fresenius in 2006; Ambulatory Services of America, a diversified outpatient services provider acquired by U.S. Renal in 2013 (Institutional Co-investor with Medcare was Lindsay-Goldberg); CeloNova Biosciences (funded by MedCare), a medical device company with 2 major product lines, one of which was sold to Boston Scientific for up to $270 M in 2015; MindCare Solutions (funded by Medcare and WP Global), a tele-behavioral health company.
After retiring from Vanderbilt in 2009, Dr. Jacobson became Chairman of MedCare Investment Funds, the family office of Dr. Jim Leininger until April, 2017. He currently is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of TriStar Health Partners.
Dr. Jacobson has served on the boards of 3 NYSE companies, KCI (2004-2011), Renal Care Group (1995-2006) and Merck (2007-2013). Currently he serves on the Board of Ingram Industries and on the boards of several MedCare Portfolio Companies. In 2002, he was named Ernst and Young Southeast Entrepreneur of the Year and has been recognized as one of the top 50 most Powerful Physicians Executives in America. In 2002, Dr. Jacobson was elected into the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine. In 2017, he was elected to the Tennessee Healthcare Hall of Fame. In 2016, Dr. Jacobson published a book on health care reform entitled, Begin Again Now, The Path to Fixing Health Care, Jacobson HR and Jacobson TC, Fort & Hilton Publishing, Nashville, Tennessee.
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Mendez has an extensive track record building intrinsic value through opportunity, purpose and leadership on a global level. Before joining IRC, Mendez was CEO of OrthoNOW, the nation’s only orthopedic care franchise. He has served as President and CEO of Enovate Medical, a manufacturer of IT equipment for the healthcare industry. He also served in leadership roles for Gambro AB, now part of Baxter, including President of both Gambro Americas and Gambro Global Acute Business, led the efforts as Vice President–OM Specialties of Owens & Minor, a Richmond, Virginia-based healthcare logistics company.
Nick is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder. He has completed graduate level programs at both the Darden School at the University of Virginia and the IMD Business School where he studied international business.
In the complex world of healthcare delivery, compliance and regulatory management are paramount. Layering corporate acquisition and growth in healthcare delivery requires special experience and careful execution. Jon has an outstanding record in working to expand healthcare companies within this complex environment.
His work in the broader healthcare sector and entrepreneurial growth matched with his detailed understanding of the dialysis business makes him ideal to provide legal and strategic support to IRC.
Jon completed his legal training at the University of Alabama School of Law in 1990. He received his bachelor’s degree in Communications from Vanderbilt University.
Steve Johnson, MBA
Co-Founder, EVP & COO
Steve Johnson has served as a senior executive operations leader in a variety of healthcare settings. Within the dialysis industry, he helped found Renal Disease Management (RDM) where he authored the company’s business plan for an innovative disease management enterprise to retard the progression of renal disease in patients with CKD. He helped design and build the care delivery networks along with physician and case manager protocols that were necessary for risk contracting with insurance payors. RDM successfully managed CKD populations for major payors before being acquired by Fresenius Medical Care. While with RDM, Steve also launched a physician group joint venture and was responsible for designing and overseeing construction and operations for three de novo dialysis programs that are still operating independently today.
Mr. Johnson left RDM to join Renal Care Group, Inc. (RCG) as Vice President of Operations, where he was responsible for more than 60 outpatient dialysis clinics (including JVs with seven medical groups representing 25 clinics) and more than 40 hospital acute programs. Steve oversaw rapid growth through aggressive de novo development and strategic integrations and his clinics produced exceptional clinical outcomes and strong financial performance.
In 2005, when Fresenius announced its acquisition of RCG, Steve was promoted to President of Fresenius’ West Business Unit, comprising 18 states west of the Mississippi River, more than 250 outpatient dialysis clinics, and over 100 acute hospital dialysis programs. Steve was responsible for revenues of more than $850 Million and JVs with Kaiser Permanente, SKI and numerous other hospitals and nephrology groups. He served on the Integration Team that managed the integration of 80 outpatient clinics and the FTC mandated divestiture of 20 clinics from his region, and also on the Synergy Committee that was responsible for right sizing the enterprise while continuing to deliver quarterly financial results that exceeded budgeted expectations.
For the past seven years, Mr. Johnson served as the President and Chief Operating Officer for Cardiovascular Care Group where he oversaw the acquisition of acute care hospitals specializing in cardiovascular services and the development of integrated delivery networks to improve care coordination for patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Mr. Johnson is skilled in evaluating operational workflows and processes to reduce undesirable performance variations. He is proficient at translating business objectives into budgets, action plans and specific performance metrics that enables accountability across the organization. He is recognized as an expert in the dialysis services industry by Gerhson Lehman Group, Primary Insight and Third Bridge/Cognolink advisory firms.
Mr. Johnson graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He received his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.
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Co-Founder, EVP & CFO
Robert Stillwell, has served in a number of Senior Healthcare Financial and Executive roles over the previous 40 years across public, not-for-profit, and private equity organizations. Among his major career accomplishments are: as a Founder of Renal Care Group, Inc. (“RCG”) assisted in the leadership of its successful IPO, multiple debt offerings with various companies raising $1 billion, led M & A activities of transactions valued at $1.5 billion, and headed up management initiatives for various companies in the area of revenue cycle and cost containment valued at $35 million.
Stillwell, a Certified Public Accountant, began his public accounting career in 1975 at Peat Marwick, Mitchell & Company (now KPMG) as an auditor and reimbursement specialist working exclusively in the healthcare industry, later achieving partnership level with a large regional public accounting firm, O. H. Putman & Company, specializing in the healthcare industry. In 1984, he joined the Baptist Medical Centers ($2.0 billion in revenues) as Vice President, Finance. In addition to his role as Chief Financial Officer over the medical centers, he served as the system’s chief administrative officer to Alabama Dialysis Services, a large hospital/nephrology dialysis joint venture.
Stillwell relocated to Nashville in 1995 and joined Renal Care Group, Inc. ($1.8 billion in revenues) as a Founder and its Senior Vice President, Finance. He assisted in the leadership of its successful IPO. RCG operated with remarkable growth for a period of 10 years and was subsequently sold to Fresenius Medical Care NA, Inc. for a record $4.5 billion in 2006. As a result of the transaction, he joined Fresenius Medical Care ($11.0 billion in revenues), as its Senior Vice President, Operational Finance in Waltham, Massachusetts. In 2008, he accepted the position of Chief Financial Officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (“VUMC”) for the Metropolitan Nashville Hospital Authority. Most recently, Stillwell served since 2012 as Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Cardiovascular Care Group, Inc. (“CCG”) (Portfolio Company/MedCare Funds). CCG owns and operates heart hospitals and physician practices.
Stillwell, holds a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and Master’s Degree in Business Administration (“MBA”) (with honors) from the University of Alabama. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1977 and in 1978 was admitted to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In 2007, he successfully completed the Executive Development Program at the INSEAD Graduate School of Business, Fontainebleau, France. He served as a Healthcare Executive Adjunct Professor for the Master’s Program in Healthcare Administration, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University during his tenure there. He is a former trustee for the National Kidney Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the Tennessee Hospital Association Solutions Group.
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From the clinical perspective she launched the Vanderbilt Subacute Care Unit which provided post-acute care for the complex Vanderbilt patients. She also provided Medical Direction and developed a collaborative practice with nurse practitioners to provide patient care to residents' nursing homes affiliated with Vanderbilt. In addition, she provided care to patients on the hospital’s Acute Care for the Elderly inpatient unit.
In 2011 Dr. Robin changed her career focus to hospital administration where she became the Medical Director for Care Access and an Assistant Chief of Staff. She had oversight responsibility for Case Management, Social Work and Utilization Management and the hospital’s Access Center. She also led the Professional Advisory Board at Vanderbilt Home Care. During this time, she completed her Master of Science in Healthcare Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Robin left Vanderbilt in 2013 to join Lumeris as the Medical Director, providing clinical support for strategic development, product development, marketing, sales, consulting and clinical content for this startup company that provides services, support and cloud-based technology for clinical data integration and population health management. In 2014 she became the Corporate Medical Director at naviHealth, a rapidly growing company that manages post-acute care utilization for Medicare Advantage plans and Accountable Care Organizations and is the largest convener for the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative. In this role she provided clinical leadership and expertise for utilization management, care coordination, strategic projects, health plan account management and provider engagement.
As the SVP for Care Innovation at IRC, Dr. Robin is responsible for the development and implementation of the clinical programs that address the complex interdisciplinary needs of dialysis patients outside of those usually provided such as primary care, medication management, behavioral health and patient engagement.
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As SVP, Finance & Analytics for IRC, Rajiv is responsible for financial projections and decision support analytics and is actively involved in negotiating equity and debt financings, acquisitions analysis and due diligence, market development, strategic relationship development, and data analytics. Rajiv is highly passionate about making renal care more patient-centric and has developed significant expertise and sophisticated predictive models to improve the financial and operational models for dialysis providers.
Prior to his current role with IRC, Rajiv held senior corporate finance positions with various portfolio companies of MedCare Investment Funds (a private equity group managing approximately $1 billion in assets) in Nashville, TN and also consulted as a strategic advisor to a few MedCare portfolio companies in San Antonio, TX. Rajiv was VP, Finance & Analytics for Cardiovascular Care Group, an acute care hospital and physician practice management company with a Cardiovascular Center of Excellence. Before Cardiovascular Care Group, Rajiv worked as the head of Corporate Development for MedSolutions, now eviCore (largest radiology benefit management company in the US).
Prior to MedCare Investment Funds, Rajiv worked as M&A Advisory and Healthcare Restructuring Director with FTI Consulting (NYSE:FCN, a global business advisory firm with a top 5 Healthcare Consulting Practice). Previously, Rajiv was Vice President of Finance & Investments at BH1 (a spun-off corporate investment group of the former Baptist Hospital System of Nashville). BH1 had a portfolio of approx. 20 companies, across various healthcare sectors, including HealthSpring, Regency Healthcare, and Gemino Healthcare. BH1 was a seed investor in HealthSpring (currently Cigna HealthSpring). Rajiv started his career with Cognizant Technology Solutions (NASDAQ: CTSH) where he provided technology consulting services to major healthcare clients including IMS Health, Independence Blue Cross, Amfac Pty Ltd, and Intermountain Health Care, at client sites in the US, UK, Portugal, Spain, and Australia. He was also the first employee at Cognizant to work at client sites and lead client relationships in Portugal, Spain, and Australia.
Rajiv earned an M.B.A. in Finance and Operations from Vanderbilt University and a B.B.A. from Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani, India. Rajiv is actively involved as a mentor with his alma mater, the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University mentoring current students and recent graduates; serves as the Nashville Chapter Coordinator with his alma mater BITS Pilani; and has served as a mentor with the JumpStart Foundry where he mentored early stage companies on Corporate Finance and Investment Strategy.
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