Healthcare Achievement Awards 2018: Executive of the Year

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO
John Raden

John Raden couldn't have predicted the circumstances that led to his current position at Signet Accel and subsequent contributions to healthcare. While Raden was working in international business—not at all in the healthcare industry—a sudden family health emergency was the catalyst for him to step out of his role with the company and opt instead to be with his family. He was living in Maine for eight months before he got an unexpected call about a new position.

“An old friend called and said, ‘We've got a company you need to look at. It's got 300 employees'—that's a lot of employees in the state of Maine,” he says. “That's how I got into healthcare.”

While Raden was working for another electronic healthcare record company for behavioral health, he was recruited to join Signet Accel. The technology behind Signet's product, Avec, was created at Ohio State University's Bioinformatics Group. Once OSU's Tech Commercialization Office knew it had a viable, sellable product, it struck an agreement on the outside with Akron-based Signet. While Signet was staffing up its new company, Raden was contacted.

Avec takes disparate data sets and populates them in one place. “Most everyone races to the idea that it's just an electronic health record,” Raden says, but it's actually taking data sets that are all from different places and making them operable together. For example, if a patient is referred to a specialist by their primary care provider who then does tests and records the results, those results stay with the specialist.

“We can connect all those data sources into one single pane of glass for providers, researchers, specialty organizations, translational medicine. That's what we do.”

Raden is especially excited about the way Avec can aid researchers in their fight to find cures for diseases. “With this company I'm pretty excited about the fact that we can be a participant—through data—in finding a cure to some disease out there,” he says. “That's pretty damn exciting.”

Hassan Zahir, manager of client deployment at Signet, wrote of Raden on his Healthcare Achievement Award nomination form, “John is unique in the fact that his experience in large corporate environments has been able to effectively translate to a startup environment.” During Raden's tenure at Signet Accel, he has more than tripled employees, secured one of the largest series A financing rounds Ohio has ever seen and led a complete redesign of its technology platform.

“We've made a conscious decision to rebuild the product,” says Raden. “When you think of technology being 13, 14, 15 years old—that's really old. … The fact that we rebuilt in 2017, and it has all the current products and technologies in the stack—that's a big milestone.

“The next [milestone] is that we have continually worked with our clients to listen to them, and we've added great features on functionality to the product that have really broadened it out in a big way,” he adds.

Not only is Raden a business whiz, he is a good leader to boot. Zahir also wrote of Raden that when he says he “works for his associates,” it isn't mere lip service. Zahir says Raden is a servant leader. He is always available for the thoughts and concerns of his team and constantly works to mentor and grow associates while offering them a good work/life balance.

“When you look at our associates—our associates are really who we are—and we've got some really great people,” says Raden.

When he looks toward the horizon, Raden sees Signet Accel's Avec becoming a market fixture that is able to do what competitors have not. His aspirations are for more than just revenue.

“We're getting it to market as fast as we can. Our competitor is really interesting—it's all the failed centralized models that have been in the marketplace for 13-15 years,” he says. “I can't tell you how many times I hear this is that ‘if you can do what you say you can do, this is unbelievable'—and we can. … [So] let's watch what we can do for healthcare.”


Nick Lashutka, President & CEO, Ohio Children's Hospital Association, OCHA Foundation & Ohio Children's Hospitals' Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS)

Nick Lashutka is a heavyweight lifter for children's healthcare in Ohio.

He spends his time at the helm of not one, but three different organizations all working to benefit children and children's hospitals in the state, one of which he began himself in 2010—the Ohio Children's Hospital Foundation, which utilizes grants and government funding to be used by Ohio Children's Hospitals' Solutions for Patient Safety.

With his oversight, much has been accomplished, including the formation of a research arm of OCHA called Ohio Children's Hospital Association Research Collaborative, which was formed when Gov. John Kasich awarded OCHA $4 million to do research on urgent children's health issues. Additionally, SPS protected 7,700 children from serious harm and saved over $118 million in healthcare costs under Lashutka's leadership.

Spence Fisher, Executive Vice President, Memorial Health

For the past 13 years, Spence Fisher has been part of an effort to strengthen Memorial Health's once-feeble finances with his unique background in microbiology and finance. Fisher began by evaluating statements and offering suggestions that have helped get it back on its feet. But he didn't stop there. Fisher can also take credit for reinstating the anesthesia program, recruiting much-needed primary care physicians, expanding practices into Plain City, Richwood and Urbana, Ohio, and negotiating collaborative partnerships with other organizations. One such collaboration—with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center—resulted in TheHeart Partnership, a collaboration that utilizes cardiology physicians from OSU.

Now, Memorial Hospital is Memorial Health System, thanks in part to Fisher's strategic contributions in finance, collaboration and leadership.

Michael Morgan, CEO, Updox

Before Michael Morgan joined Updox in 2012, the company offered a secure communication channel to independent physicians that acted as one home for all faxes, lab results, referrals, appointment requests and other medical documents.

Updox is still doing that job, but with Morgan's leadership, it has expanded to include independent pharmacists as well. Along with expanded reach, Updox has seen 2,400 percent in revenue growth and the addition of 2.8 million users since 2012.

In addition to these business milestones, Morgan is a passionate mentor of college students and recent graduates, working in particular with Otterbein University, his alma-mater, to develop a program for interns placed in startups. He also helped develop the university's STEAM Innovation Center, which offers support and lab space to startups and manufacturers.