About

Who We Are

Verdi was founded on the belief that cancer treatment should be patient centric and value driven. To this end, we have invested heavily in the 4 pillars of great treatment: clinical trials, patient centered care, value based care, and technology and quality systems. We will continue to be pioneers in the field of oncological care and, with the help of physician partners, improve cancer treatment for our patients and their families.

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Verdi Oncology is an oncology practice management company founded in 2016 by Wes Chapman in partnership with Pharos Capital. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, we partner with oncology practices, patients, and payers to create value through high quality, low cost, patient-centric oncology care.

Wes Chapman

CEO

Wes is founder and CEO of Verdi Oncology, as well as an Operating Partner at Pharos Capital. Wes has been a pioneer in the incorporation of advanced quality systems – lean/six sigma and ISO into medical clinical practice. He is an expert in value based care reimbursement systems, teaching and lecturing about these subjects at Dartmouth and Vanderbilt.

He has helped develop advanced quality and oncology care and clinical models at Dartmouth, UPMC, The West Clinic, Tennessee Oncology, Advanced Medical Specialties (Miami Baptist), Charleston Area Medical Center and the State of Vermont.

Wes has a track record of strategic and operating excellence as a CEO and investor, with particular success in developing functional strategies to simultaneously improve quality and reduce costs. He has a proven ability to realize value from the companies he runs and/or invests in.

He is a Dartmouth College (magna cum laude, high honors) and Tuck School of Business graduate, holds a Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt from the Thayer School of Engineering and is certified as an oncology nurse.

Prior to Pharos, he was SVP of Strategy at Tennessee Oncology, Chairman & CEO of M2S, Inc. for 10 years, and was a partner at the investment banking firms of Oppenheimer & Co. and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette prior to that. Wes is a founder of the cancer charities, Reach for a Peak and Journey Gives, and regularly leads climbing teams up Kilimanjaro to raise money for cancer research.

“I founded Verdi Oncology to partner with exceptional medical oncology practices, and bring the best patient-centric care to oncology patients in the community.”

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Bob Crants

Chairman of the Board

Bob Crants is a Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Pharos Capital Group. Mr. Crants is responsible for setting the firm’s investment and risk management strategy, developing targeted investment themes, supervising the transaction structuring process and fundraising.

Mr. Crants is a member of the investment committees of Pharos’ funds and currently serves on the boards of Back Yard Burgers, Sona Dermatology and Medspa, Employee Benefit Solutions, FasPsych, MOTION Physical Therapy, TechLab, Seaside Healthcare and TotalTrax.

Mr. Crants has been directly involved in private equity investments for over twenty-five years. Prior to founding Pharos, Mr. Crants was with Goldman Sachs, where he was a founding member of the Special Investments Group, and was active in the development and marketing of proprietary equity derivative products, equity private placements, exchange funds and merchant banking funds.

Mr. Crants graduated from Princeton University with an A.B., summa cum laude, in Economics. Mr. Crants is based out of the firm's Nashville office.

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Wael A. Harb, M.D.

Director of Clinical Research

Dr. Harb completed his medical training at the University Of Damascus School Of Medicine. He developed his specialization in both Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and is board certified in both. In 2001, Dr. Harb opened Horizon Oncology Center to serve the Lafayette community.

The center offers a wide range of comprehensive cancer services to our patients, including advanced technological options, premier clinical expertise and cutting edge clinical trial opportunities. He served as the director of oncology and research at Indiana University Health Arnett Cancer Services between 2010 and 2014. He served as the Executive Director and Coordinator for the Lafayette Medical Education Foundation between 2008 and 2018. He serves as Chairman of Community Cancer Network, a nonprofit organization that helps cancer patients. Dr. Harb dedicates himself to get to know each patient on a personal level to find the best treatment plan possible. He partnered with Verdi Oncology in March 2018 as the Director of Clinical Research.

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Brian E. Buck

Director of Revenue Operations

Brian is the Director of Revenue Operations at Verdi Oncology and has over fifteen years of healthcare experience ranging from a large physician owned practice to a leading academic health system.

Throughout his career in healthcare finance and revenue cycle operations, Brian has proven to be a results driven leader by seeking efficiencies in processes, developing strong relationships across multi-functional areas, and instituting programs to increase revenue while reducing cost. Brian received his Masters of Business Administration and B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Florida. He lives in the Nashville area with his wife, Leann, and three sons, Warren, Jackson, and Weston.

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Henry Varnell

Director of Corporate Development

Henry is the Director of Corporate Development for Verdi, where he is responsible for the company’s growth strategy; including mergers & acquisitions, new center development, and other organic growth initiatives.

Prior to joining Verdi, Henry worked in a similar role with Sona Dermatology & MedSpa, a dermatology practice management company, and IPC Healthcare (NASDAQ: IPCM), the country’s largest provider of hospitalist and post-acute physician services where he was on the M&A team. Henry received his B.S. in Business Administration with a focus on management and entrepreneurship from Samford University. He lives in the downtown Nashville area with his wife, Elle, and 2 sons, Hank and Jude.

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Matthew Piatko, CPA

Controller

Matthew Piatko is the Controller for Verdi Oncology. He is an accounting and finance professional with over 16 years of experience in the healthcare field. Matthew is a graduate of Nashville School of Law and has a master’s in accounting from MTSU. He is also a certified fraud investigator and an enrolled agent with the IRS.

Wael A. Harb, MD

Dr. Wael Harb completed his medical training at the University of Damascus School of Medicine. He developed his specialization in both Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and is board certified in both.

In 2001, Dr. Harb opened Horizon Oncology Center to serve the Lafayette Indiana community. The Horizon Onoclogy joined IU Simon Cancer Center and IU Health Arnett in 2010. Currently, Dr. Harb serves as Division Director of Cancer Services and Research at IU Health Arnett. He leads the service line and encourages a high level of coordination among the different healthcare providers that accompany a cancer diagnosis. He is committed to clinical research, working directly with IU Health Arnett’s system partner, IU Simon Cancer Center, to research new therapeutics to treat cancer when there is no standard treatment available and is currently the Principal Investigator for over 25 active clinical protocols ranging from Phase I to Phase III studies. As Division Director for Research, he is responsible for the oversight of over active 90 research trials within the IU Health Arnett system.

Dr. Harb currently holds faculty positions at both Indiana University and Purdue University. He serves as President of the Community Cancer Network, a nonprofit organization that supports the non-medical needs of cancer patients and is the coordinator for the Lafayette Medical Education Foundation. He is also a Board Member and Chief Community Officer of the Hoosier Oncology Group.

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Ajita Narayan, M.D., PHD

Dr. Ajita Narayan completed her medical training at Goa Medical College in Goa, India. She pursued a doctoral program (PhD) at Tulane University Medical Center in Biochemistry and then completed her Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Head and Neck Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Narayan specialized in Internal Medicine at St. Luke’s Hospital in Missouri. Her Medical Oncology and Hematology specialization was at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, and she is board certified in all three.Laura obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and her Master of Science in Nursing- Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Specialization from Purdue University. She achieved ANCC board certification in June 2013.

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Gilbert Almanza, AOCNP

As a Veteran of the Gulf War, Desert Storm and Desert Shield, Gilbert decided to pursue a career in oncology medicine. Gilbert obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Purdue University and his Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Indiana University at Indianapolis.

He began his career working as a Staff RN and later a Chemotherapy Infusion Nurse where he obtained his Certification as an Advanced Oncology Nurse in 2000. In 2006 Gilbert became certified as an Advanced Oncology Nurse Practitioner and now has been working alongside Dr. Wael Harb at Horizon Oncology Center since 2008.

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Laura Feller, AGPCNP-BC

Laura obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and her Master of Science in Nursing- Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Specialization from Purdue University. She achieved ANCC board certification in June 2013.

Laura has been working in the oncology field as a Staff RN since 1988. Since 2004, she has worked alongside Dr. Wael Harb as an oncology nurse. In 2008, she pursued her love for research by becoming a clinical research coordinator in which she became ACRP certified in September 2013. Laura is a member of the Wabash Valley ONS, Sigma Theta Tau and CAPNI.

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Tarik H. Hadid, MD, MPH, MS, FACP

As a board-certified medical oncology and hematology specialist, Dr. Hadid provides his patients with comprehensive and personalized oncology care. He focuses on treating gastrointestinal and thoracic cancers, and extensively treats hematologic malignancies.

Dr. Hadid received his medical degree from the University of Khartoum Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for over 15 years.

In addition to numerous peer-reviewed oncology publications, Dr. Hadid conducts clinical trials and is the Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. He is fluent in both English and Arabic.

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Karl M. Rogers, M.D.

Karl M. Rogers, M.D. attended Rush Medical College in Chicago where he received his M.D. degree in 1987. Upon graduation, Dr. Rogers moved to Nashville where he completed a medical internship and residency at Baptist Hospital in 1990. He continued his training at Vanderbilt University and completed a fellowship program specializing in oncology and hematology in 1993. Dr. Rogers is board certified in medical oncology. Dr. Rogers treats all adult cancers including breast, colon, and lung with a special interest in lymphomas.

Dr. Rogers holds the following academic appointments:
• Instructor of Medicine, University of Tennessee, St. Thomas Midtown Hospital, 1993-Present
• Attending for Medical House staff Teaching Service, 6/93-Present
• Clinical Instructor in Nursing (Medicine), Vanderbilt University School of Nursing “ 7/00-Present

Dr. Rogers is an active member of the Nashville Academy of Medicine, Tennessee Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Cancer Society, and American College of Physicians. Dr. Rogers previously served as the Chairman of St. Thomas Midtown Hospital's Cancer Committee and Ethics Review Board. He also served as a board member of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Rogers has called Nashville home. Dr. Rogers' wife, Connie, is a nurse practitioner and works with him at Nashville Oncology Associates, PC. He is active in his community and church. Dr. Rogers is an avid pilot and enjoys flying airplanes, playing tennis, and bike riding.

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Carl R. Willis, M.D.

Dr. Carl R. Willis became an associate with Nashville Oncology Associates in June 2004. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine for the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Internal Medicine Training Program based at St. Thomas Midtown Hospital as well as serving on several hospital committees.

Dr. Willis received his Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and Biochemistry in 1989 from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and he attended the University Of Alabama School Of Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama where he received his Doctor of Medicine in 1993.

After completing medical school, Dr. Willis received his commission as a Captain in the United States Army, Medical Corp. He completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC in 1996. Dr. Willis then completed his fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland in 1999. During this time, he also participated in a Research Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Translational Research in Hematological Malignancies in Baltimore, Maryland.

Following completion of his training, Dr. Willis served as a staff Hematologist/ Oncologist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for five years, as well as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD.

Dr. Willis is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in the disciplines of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology.

Dr. Willis became an associate with Nashville Oncology Associates, PC in June 2004. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine for the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Internal Medicine Training Program based at St. Thomas Midtown Hospital as well as serving on several hospital committees.

Dr. Willis is an active member of the Nashville Medical Society, the Tennessee Medical Association, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Willis and his wife, Sonya have 3 children. He enjoys reading and spending time with his family.

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Connie Rogers, MSN, FNP-BC

Connie Rogers, MSN, FNP-BC is a Nashville native who graduated with honors from Belmont College in 1987 with a B.S. degree. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University
School of Nursing in 1991 at which time she was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Connie has 19 years of oncology experience. She is also a pilot who enjoys flying, hiking, skiing, and scuba diving with her family.

Jivesh Sharma, M.D

Dr. Jivesh Sharma has been in private oncology practice since 1993 and founded NexGen Oncology. He also serves as clinical faculty for Internal Medicine Residents and also for multiple other academic clinical training programs. Dr. Sharma has been in private oncology practice since 1993. He also serves as clinical faculty for Internal Medicine Residents and also for multiple other academic clinical training programs.

He received a B.S. degree in biology from the University of Texas at Arlington and his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Medical Oncology Fellowship at The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. He is Board Certified in Medical Oncology.

Dr. Sharma's core training is in cancer translational research. He also trained in a Phase 1 cancer therapy development center. The focus of his training was in developing new bench to bedside treatment strategies for cancer patients. Dr Sharma is certified in Medical Informatics and has participated in EMR development and the development of expert decision support tools to help oncologists caring for cancer patients.

Dr. Sharma has over 25 years of clinical experience caring for all types of cancer patients including lung cancer, breast cancer, Ovarian cancer, GI cancers such as colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lymphomas and leukemias.

Throughout his career, Dr. Sharma has received multiple teaching awards and was honored to present as the keynote speaker for the UT Arlington College of Science Commencement. He is a multi-year recipient of the Best Doctors in Dallas award.

Dr. Sharma is a member of the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He has also been a member of American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME), Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), American College of Physician Executives (ACPE).

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Amy Cripps, M.D.

Dr. Cripps joined Dr. Sharma in practice in Dallas, TX in April, 2013. She is a member of the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American College of Physicians, American Medical Women’s Association, and the American Medical Association.

She obtained her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston in 2003. Dr. Cripps interned and completed her residency in 2006 at the Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, California.

In 2007, she served as Chief Resident at Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, California. Then, from 2009-2011, she was a Medical Oncology Fellow at the University of California in San Francisco, California.

Dr. Cripps lives in Dallas with her two kids, husband and dog. She is very involved in their school activities and also likes to read, cook, swim and hike.

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