Board of Directors

brian rodvien Brian has worked as a multimedia engineer, producer and small business owner for the last 15 years. As the former Chief Operating Officer of a health education company he specialized in the production of health-related content for distribution over the internet. Brian is a graduate of University of California at San Diego where he received a degree in Cognitive Science with an emphasis in Neuroscience.

Throughout his life, Brian has been exposed to his father’s understanding that anxiety and bewilderment can affect all individuals with serious illnesses. He has been influenced by his father’s deeply-held concerns for helping to improve this situation. While the medical community treats both the physical and mental aspects of a person’s illness, trying to ease patients’ anxiety, and that of their families, can be difficult if not often impossible.

Brian’s personal experience helping his mother battle two separate cancers over a 12-year period helped him focus on how important it is to have better tools to promote patient education and the issues surrounding illness. His mother was able to have a better quality of life because his father could translate “medical speak” for her and help her understand what she was going through. Discussions about his family’s collective experience made him realize that there is a real need to help others going through serious affliction as they cope with the ins and outs of illness, including their anxieties.

To help meet this need, Brian and his father began to produce customized animated videos that deliver bite-sized chunks of information designed to help medical professionals facilitate better dialogue with patients and their loved ones. The animated videos help patients and their families better understand what is happening as they deal with doctors, other caregivers and day-to-day medical issues that can complicate their everyday lives.

Robert Rodvien Dr. Rodvien received his medical degree from Columbia University and then did 7 years of post-graduate work in Boston at Tufts, MIT, and Harvard before moving to San Francisco as a clinician and scientist. He was the Chair of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at California Pacific Medical Center, but active also in the cardiac surgery program, and the clinical coagulation laboratories.

Mark has strived for excellence since the turn of the millennium in a variety of endeavors in investment management & philanthropy. He ardently believes that the best investment one can make is in yourself and your community.

Chris is currently President of AxisPoint Health, which specializes in providing care management solutions and services to healthcare payers to help them improve health outcomes and manage healthcare costs. Chris also serves as President of ClearTurn Consulting, Inc., which specializes in advising healthcare payers and providers with a variety of strategic efforts including performance turnaround, outsourcing and interim executive management. Previously, Chris was COO of StayWell Health Management, EVP and General Manager of LifeMasters and a Senior Director at Blue Shield of California. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Science and Information Technology from Virginia Tech.

Advisory Board

Linda Hawes Clever, M.D.

President of RENEW, founding Chair of the Department of Occupational Health at California Pacific Medical Center and former Editor of the Western Journal of Medicine, received undergraduate and medical degrees from Stanford University. Dr. Clever is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine. In 1970, Dr. Clever became the first Medical Director of the teaching clinic at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco where she started patient education and nurse practitioner training and research programs. She has chaired the Boards of KQED and University High School and has served on numerous other boards including the Stanford University Board of Trustees. She is president of the Western Association of Physicians and serves on the Boards of the Buck Institute for Research in Aging and the Northern California Presbyterian Homes and Services.

Morris Flaum, M.D., MBA

Served as the Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, Chief Executive Officer of the Physician Foundation at St. Luke’s Hospital and CEO of the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation at California Pacific Medical Center . He also served as a member of Executive Management at California Pacific Medical Center, and as a Director of California Pacific Medical Center. Dr. Flaum also served as Chairman of the Board and Director at California Transplant Donor Network. Dr. Flaum received his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn., and was a clinical associate in hematology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

Todd Gitlin

An American writer, sociologist, communications scholar, novelist, poet, and not very private intellectual, is the author of fifteen books. He holds degrees from Harvard University (mathematics), the University of Michigan (political science), and the University of California, Berkeley (sociology). In 2003-06, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA. He is now a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University. Earlier, he was for sixteen years a professor of sociology and director of the mass communications program at the University of California, Berkeley, and then for seven years a professor of culture, journalism and sociology at New York University. During 1994-95, he held the chair in American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

S. Andrew Lasher, Jr., M.D.

Board certified in internal medicine, certified by the American Board of Palliative Care. He holds an M.D. from University of Texas at Houston, did his Internship and Residency at Stanford University Medical Center and Fellowship at the VA Medical Center in Palo Alto. Presently, he is the chief medical officer of a palliative care company in Nashville, Tennessee.

David Siskin

David Siskin is a founding member of Boomity, and has a wealth of successful experience in strategic marketing, building brands and growing companies. From consumer products to service businesses, from startups to multinational corporations, Siskin has successfully applied creative, analytical and organizational skills to making great ideas become a business reality. Siskin founded The Ingenious Company (, a start-up business incubator out of which Boomity was born. Prior to The Ingenious Company, Siskin founded, Addwater, to help retail companies integrate the shopping experience across catalogue, web and in store environments.

Melanie Sperling, Ph.D

Melanie Sperling is Professor of Education at the University of California, Riverside, and Chair of the UCR Graduate School of Education faculty. Her PhD is from the University of California, Berkeley. She combines interests in language and literacy, English education, and classroom practice to study issues of literacy and its development in and outside of schools. Related to these research interests, she teaches courses at the PhD and masters level in the Education, Society, and Culture program of the Graduate School of Education. She works with teachers across the country to improve the teaching and evaluation of reading and writing in classrooms. She has sat on and headed a number of boards in her field, has served as editor of a national journal on research in the teaching of English, and has won numerous awards for her work.

Barry M. Straube, M.D.

Director of the Marwood Group, a healthcare advisory and financial services firm headquartered in New York City with offices in Washington, DC, London & Kuwait. The Group provides services to institutional investors, corporations and trade associations. Dr. Straube is also a member of the Boards of NxStage Medical, a medical device company, Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, and National Patient Advocate Foundation, a national non-profit organization providing the patient voice in improving access to, and reimbursement for, high-quality healthcare through regulatory and legislative reform at the state and federal levels. Dr. Straube received an A.B. degree (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Princeton University and received his M.D. degree from the University of Michigan Medical School.He completed an internal medicine residency at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology.

Cecily Wait, M.D

Dr. Wait is a graduate of the University of California San Diego, and received her medical degree from the Oregon Health and Science University. She trained in both internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. She has also participated in the Global Health Course at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Wait accepted an assignment to work with the Pediatric AIDS Corps through Baylor College of Medicine to work in Mwanza, Tanzania, from 2009-2011. Upon returning to the U.S., Dr. Wait joined La Clinica de la Raza and began practicing in Oakland,CA.