Our Team

We are business leaders, engineers, physicians, academics, and doers. Our mission is to fundamentally improve the value of health care.


Team Members

Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg

Derek Haas, CEO

Derek founded Avant-garde Health to create a truly scalable solution for hospitals to deliver value-based care. Avant-garde Health builds on his work as the Project Director and Fellow for Value-Based Health Care Delivery at the Harvard Business School, where he works with health care providers to help them better measure and manage their costs. Derek also teaches in HBS executive education courses related to value management in health care.

He has previously worked on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, advised the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General on a range of health care policy issues, consulted with Bain & Company where he focused on performance improvement, and partnered with the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives to launch the Chamber Health Coop to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses.

Derek holds a MBA and a BA in Economics from Harvard University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Danny Yagoda, Vice President of Client Success

Danny is passionate about improving health care quality and brings a wealth of industry experience.  Prior to joining Avant-garde Health, Danny served as Director for the Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality and Safety at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he oversaw strategic and financial planning, as well as human resources across the Center. Danny also founded a collaboration between MGH and Northeastern University's Healthcare Systems Engineering Institute to integrate engineering in health care and drive performance improvement.

He completed the executive education program on Value Measurement in Health Care at Harvard Business School, and received his Hospital Administration Fellowship training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He holds an MPH in health care management and a BS in biomedical engineering from Columbia University. 

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Gil Yee, Manager of Data and Informatics

Gil has over 20 years of experience as a management consultant developing and improving business processes in many industries, including consumer goods, luxury goods, electronics, financial services, industrial products, and education. 

He has previously led fortune 500 companies in several areas such as mergers and acquisitions, SAP implementation, corporate strategy, change management, and new product development. 

Gil holds a BS in Finance and Computer Information Systems from Indiana University. 

Robert Kuzma, Senior Developer 

Robert has over 15 years of experience in designing and building software for start-ups. Systems he has built include: a platform that enables schools to manage their content and editorial processes; an innovative, interactive tool for accessing the wisdom and practical experience of great management thinkers and practitioners; and a school-based web application used by schools across the US to track and assess their musical instrument inventories.

As a full stack developer, Robert specializes in web and mobile platform development, incorporating front- and back-end technologies: HTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, Python, Laravel, Django, Joomla, Wordpress, and SharePoint (WSS3, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013).

Xiaoran (Luka) Zhang, Data Scientist

As a Data Scientist, Luka helps to translate data into insights through constructing statistical models , data visualizations, and performing predictive analysis. Prior to joining Avant-garde Health, Luka has worked as an analyst at Wakely Consulting Group, a healthcare consulting firm. She has also worked as a researcher with HarvardX, the online curriculum organization of Harvard University, analyzing and visualizing education data. Luka graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Economics, and from Harvard University with a Master's degree in Statistics with a focus in data science and machine learning.

Tianxing (Lisa) Ma, Data Engineer and Analyst

Lisa is interested in understanding how to better manage healthcare data and overcome its challenges to build a clearer picture of health issues and systems across institutions through data visualization. As a Data Engineer and Analyst, she works both on the data manipulations behind the product visualizations and also their creative development. 

Lisa previously led the design board of The Harvard Crimson as chair and has been twice recognized by the Associated Collegiate Press for her infographics. She also helped establish the D-Tank initiative, an effort to bring insight to NGOs through data analysis, at the Harvard Forum for International Development.

Lisa graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Statistics and a secondary in Computer Science.

Matej Rogac, Developer

Matej studied Computer Science and Information Technologies at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Maribor and finished a bachelor's degree with focus on mobile app development. He has 5 years of experience with different programming languages and technologies such as C/C++, Java, Objective-C, HTML/CSS, JavaScript, PHP and Python.

Bojan Krizanic, Developer

Bojan became enthusiastic about computer science and website development in college. With the help from a few friends, he created a regional news portal which has now been running for more than 10 years. His core interests lie in presenting information to users in a correct and meaningful way and exploring options in transforming data in the application back-end to achieve that goal.

As a front-end developer Bojan is skilled in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP, C# and Unity. He is also passionate in building games on the Android platform.

Irwin Grossman, Recruiter

Irwin comes to Avant-garde with over 22 years of recruiting in the Boston area across all verticals. Third party contingency, internal, contract – he’s done it. “I’m always attracted to emerging start ups – there’s something very exciting about building something there isn’t any model for and creating a culture as you grow. Everyone’s position is critical to the success of the company and their voice is heard and respected.”

He holds a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Vermont.


Nicole West Bassoff, Analyst

Nicole joined Avant-garde Health to promote value-based practices and behavior change in hospitals and health systems. As an analyst, she works with clients to make sure Avant-garde’s tools and analytics most effectively serve their decision-making.

Previously, Nicole has worked for the Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission and the Value Based Health Care Delivery team at Harvard Business School. 

She holds a BA in History and Science from Harvard University and an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine from the University of Cambridge.


Andrew Johnston, Vice President of Product

Andrew has 10 years of product and corporate development experience across Healthcare, Energy, Telecom, and FinTech, including as co-founder, CEO of SwayMarkets (sold to Q Factor and a U.S. MNO) and founder of Intractable Ventures.

His work and research focus on increasing the efficiency, robustness, and resiliency of complex systems, particularly critical infrastructure networks. He was a Research Fellow at MGH, where he used machine intelligence to understand and mitigate delays in inpatient flow, and he advises several startups pursuing the above themes.

Andrew holds an MS, Computer Science and MBA from MIT as well as graduate and undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering from Dartmouth College.


Tom De Santes, Director of Marketing

Tom has spent the past decade marketing new start-up technologies to enterprise innovators. His passion is to help progressive organizations achieve continuous improvement through education and analytics. Having earned national awards from NCMPR and ACHE, his work has been recognized for its blend of creative impact and data-driven results.

Previously, Tom helped build critical mass for ConnectEDU’s education management solution and APS’ healthcare learning and analytics platform.

Tom graduated from Stonehill College with a BA in Communications and earned an MEd from Eastern Nazarene College.


Joe Sirianni, Senior Sales Executive

Joe joined Avant-garde Health to grow Avant-garde Health’s network of organizations that are transforming the health care industry.  Joe’s passion involves helping health care leadership strategically invest in innovation that improves outcomes for patients.  

Previously, Joe has worked in a sales capacity for athenahealth, Inc., a leading vendor of network-enabled EHR, medical billing, and care coordination services.  

He holds a BA in Political Science from Providence College.


Suzanne Nylander, Executive Assistant

Suzanne joins Avant-garde Health with over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Her background includes work with pharma, medical devices, rare disease patient advocacy, health insurance survey research, and pharma data analysis consulting. She is delighted to bring this experience to support the mission of Avant-garde Health. 

Suzanne is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.


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Michael Porter

Michael E. Porter is a leading authority on competitive strategy. Professor Porter is generally recognized as the father of the modern strategy field, and has been identified in rankings and surveys as the world’s most influential thinker on management and competitiveness. 

As the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor based at Harvard Business School, Professor Porter has received the highest professional recognition that can be awarded to a Harvard faculty member. In 2001, Harvard Business School and Harvard University jointly created the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, which is dedicated to furthering his work and research.

The author of 18 books and over 125 articles, Professor Porter received a B.S.E. with high honors in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Princeton University in 1969, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He then received an M.B.A. with high distinction in 1971 from the Harvard Business School, where he was a George F. Baker Scholar, and a Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard University in 1973.


Dr. Robert S. Kaplan

Dr. Robert S. Kaplan is a Senior Fellow and the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus, at the Harvard Business School. He joined the HBS faculty in 1984 after spending 16 years on the faculty of the business school at Carnegie-Mellon University, where he served as Dean from 1977 to 1983. Dr. Kaplan received a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T., and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University. He has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Stuttgart (1994), Lodz (2006), and Waterloo (2008).

Dr. Kaplan’s research, executive education teaching, and consulting focus on linking cost and performance management systems to strategy implementation. He was the co-developer of both activity-based costing and the Balanced Scorecard. He has authored or co-authored 14 books and more than 150 papers, including 23 in Harvard Business Review. Recent books include The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage, the fifth Balanced Scorecard book co-authored with David Norton, and Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing with Steve Anderson

Dr. Elizabeth Edersheim

Dr. Edersheim is a management consultant, author, lecturer, and senior management advisor.  She was among the first women partners at McKinsey & Company, as well as the global leader of the firm’s operations and manufacturing practices. She then founded New York Consulting Partners. 

Her strategy development and operations optimization experience spans a multitude of industries and sectors, with clients including the Fortune 100.  She has assisted over 70 senior management teams in envisioning and executing innovative and transformative market leadership initiatives, gaining operational flexibility and seamless integration with customers.

Along with her books, McKinsey’s Marvin Bower (Wiley 2004) and The Definitive Drucker(McGraw Hill 2007), which articulate the values and methods of her two key mentors, she has written numerous articles for publications that include inter alia, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Harvard Business Review. 

Dr. Edersheim holds a PhD and Masters in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from M.I.T.  She received her Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Tom Feeley

Thomas W. Feeley, M.D. is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School and the Helen Shafer Fly Distinguished Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.   He is the Head of both the Division of Anesthesiology and Critical Care and the Institute for Cancer Care Innovation at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Feeley received both undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Boston University and trained in anesthesiology and critical care at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital.  He was a faculty member at Stanford University for 19 years practicing cardiovascular anesthesia and critical care. 


Dr. Mark A. Kelley

Mark A. Kelley, M.D. is a physician executive educator at Massachusetts General Hospital where he is the Director of the Faculty Leadership Initiative for the Department of Medicine.  He is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School where serves as an advisor to its MD-MBA program.

As Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr. Kelley was the lead physician in development of its Health System.  He subsequently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for the Henry Ford Health System, one of the nations largest integrated academic delivery systems. In 2013, Dr. Kelley was as an Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University, where he studied health care economics and policy at the Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Kelley’s research interests include health care quality, physician leadership and medical economics.  An advisor and board member to several start-up companies, Dr. Kelley is currently developing an Internet solution to direct consumers to the best sources of health information. 

Dereesa Purtell Reid

Ms. Reid is a nationally-recognized executive leader in value driven and integrated healthcare systems, with deep experience in all aspects of healthcare administration, spanning from a record of growth in joint ventures, managed care network development, to early adoption and design of bundled payment contracting programs for transplants and joint replacements.  Her additional experience in semi-conductor, chemical manufacturing, technology and agriculture serves as a broad foundation of skills solving a variety of business challenges in multiple industries. 

Dereesa is a co-founding member of Notable Systems, Inc., a group of technology and healthcare experts that has built a cutting-edge technology product enabling clinicians to spend more time delivering patient-centered care, while health data is seamlessly captured and recorded.  The product is currently being rolled out to test sites.

As CEO of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI) and previously as its COO (2011 – 2016), Dereesa built a nationally-recognized hospital, top ranked orthopedic institute, and a premier value-driven organization, with sustained outstanding clinical quality, top patient and employee satisfaction. The Harvard Business School wrote a case study on Hoag Orthopedic that is used nationally as a teaching tool for a value-driven model of care.  An innovative leader in transparency, HOI was the first hospital in the nation to publish outcomes.  It received top rankings for patient satisfaction: in 2015, it was the only 5 star hospital in Orange County, CA to achieve the CMS 5 Star rating, and maintained scores in the 98th+ percentile.  HOI also attained Meaningful Use certifications and HIMSS Stage 6 certification; and obtained five consecutive years of top performing results in finance, quality and volume. 

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Dr. Richard Santore

Dr. Santore is a Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSD (Vol.), President and CEO of Orthopaedic Medical Group of San Diego, the Founder and Director of the San Diego Hip Preservation Center and the Founder of Santore Consulting, Inc. He is the past Chief of Staff of the 1,200 Physicians of Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where he led the medical staff during the implementation of the electronic medical record, the opening of a new hospital and a successful Joint Commission full review.

He is a Harvard trained (Massachusetts General Hospital) orthopaedic surgeon who specialized in hip and knee surgery and is one of the world’s leading authorities on hip dysplasia and osteotomy surgery of the hip. He is a Past President of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the California Orthopaedic Association, the Western Orthopaedic Association, and the San Diego Surgical Society, and is a member of the Hip Society, the Knee Society, the International Hip Society, the American College of Surgeons, AAOS, the Orthopaedic Research Society, and the American College of Physician Executives.

He has been a Visiting Professor or speaker at Universities and academic meetings all over the world, including Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, England, Japan, China, Micronesia, Australia, South Korea, India, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. He has served, or serves, as a Director or President of numerous professional societies and not-for-profit organizations and foundations, and as a consultant or Director of for-profit healthcare and insurance companies.

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