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Gray Granger is a Sr. Coordinator and Advisor for Transplant Coordinators of America (TCOA) with more than 20 years of experience as a senior organ placement specialist and CPTC with UNOS. In this role, Granger provided assistance to organ procurement agencies and transplant centers by allocating organs, assisting with transportation, and with providing input on policy development. He has served as a faculty member at university-sponsored symposiums and other public-speaking venues.
Steve Pitzer is the CEO of Transplant Coordinators of America with nearly 25 years of experience in the organ donation field. He got his start in the field in 1986 as an organ procurement coordinator in the U.S. Air Force. From there, Pitzer was employed with UNOS Organ Center as an organ placement coordinator. He moved to South Carolina in 1993 to take a position as an organ procurement coordinator with the South Carolina Organ Procurement Agency — now known as LifePoint. He was promoted to director of organ recovery in 1998 and as the company grew, he became the vice president of organ recovery.
Columbus, OH: VyrtX today announced successful execution for a proof-of-concept demonstration, deploying multimodal delivery of 3D printed kidneys, that took place earlier this month. This was a first of its kind logistics demonstration, with a pair of 3D-printed kidneys traveling on a normothermic perfusion device, in combination with a thermo box of blood tubes and other transplant essentials across a 35-mile distance. The demo started in downtown Columbus and utilized Ohio’s Smart 33 corridor to fly around and between two airports, eventually completing in Marysville at a local hospital.
This multimodal approach offers a new process to linking current and future air and ground transportation, proposing a faster path to implementation of autonomous systems with drone integration and scalability across greater distances. This milestone is a major move forward for VyrtX, a company working to simplify logistics for solid organs and medical essentials. This new strategy aims to connect healthcare organization supply lines with sophisticated mapping and routing technology and a combination of both air and ground autonomous vehicles working in tandem across an integrated digital platform.
With support from JobsOhio and DriveOhio, several companies collaborated on this event, including Airspace Link, Inc., Workhorse Group (WKHS), The Ohio State University, specifically OSU’s Airport and Center for Automotive Research, along with several medical partners: Columbus’ local Organ Procurement Organization, Lifeline of Ohio, Sentient Perfusion Labs, who supplied a Waters RM3 kidney perfusion system and Transplant Coordinators of America, who provided coordinators, blood units, and other medical essentials necessary for transplant
“Ohio is working to safely develop and integrate connected, automated, shared and electric vehicle and infrastructure, on the ground and in the air, into our transportation system. As these technologies continue to mature and these ground and air capabilities grow, demonstrations such as this, validate DriveOhio’s approach to advanced ground and air mobility in the 21st century,” said Howard Wood, DriveOhio executive director.
“This multimodal organ delivery demonstration is an example of the groundbreaking Advanced Air Mobility work taking place in Ohio” said Glenn Richardson, Managing Director, JobsOhio. “We have a statewide strategic plan to lead in the design, test and deployment of autonomous air and ground technologies and we are proud of our partnership with VyrtX and the collaborating companies to demonstrate this life changing delivery system for transplant patients.
“The reality is that a national system is needed to fairly allocate life-saving organs” said Dr. Robert A. Fisher, Chief Mission Officer at VyrtX, Transplant Surgeon, and retired Navy Veteran. “United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) was Federally created to bring a unified measurable, and efficient system to Transplant patients. This UNOS system’s weak link is the lack of a secure, data driven unified transportation system for getting organ gifts of life to their recipients, during all hours of the day (and night), and all days of the year. VyrtX is the transformational logistics system needed to connect the right vehicles with the right missions, provide continuous quality and end to end data management”.
Accomplishing this demo places Ohio and the collaborating companies as first-movers in the following:
“This is one big step forward in using connected technology to plan and accomplish game-changing milestones” said Michael Healander, CEO of Airspace Link. “The key for drones is to safely integrate with the national airspace and our communities – we do that by leveraging the best hazard data to develop a drone digital infrastructure that can support these operations at scale.”
“By aligning VyrtX and Airspace Link as a combined digital infrastructure, and then connecting a pool of transport options, we are able to cut hours of coordination time down to minutes, and potentially hours of transportation time by 50% or greater” said Alice Cummings, President of VytrX.
About the Mission: VyrtX is a Dayton, OH based organization with a developing platform for Organ and healthcare logistics. Organ transportation, including other medical essentials like blood units, biopsies, tissues, and vessels propose very complex use cases in need of better “on-demand” or “just in time” transport resources. VyrtX believes that if the general population can access tracking and data for their amazon packages and pizza deliveries, then the organ transplant industry should be able to as well.
Available for Interviews Upon Request:
John.Graber@workhorse.com, Stevepitzer@tcoacorp.com; email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
For VyrtX contact: Alice Cummings, email@example.com
For JobsOhio contact: Meghan Patterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
For DriveOhio, contact: Luke Stedke, Luke.Stedke@drive.ohio.gov
For Airspace Link, contact: Jake Serwer, email@example.com
For Workhorse Group, contact: Dan Zito, Daniel.Zito@workhorse.com
For OSU Center for Automotive Research, contact: Colleen Herr firstname.lastname@example.org
For Transplant Coordinators of America, contact: Steve Pitzer, Stevepitzer@tcoacopr.com
Edward Craig is a season technical leader with 23 years of entrepreneurial, domestic and global public enterprise successes.
His expertise spans communications (RF and network), systems management, GIS, Cyber and Public Safety systems design and architecture, project management, and cyber security. Ed is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
He was recognized as a subject matter expert (SME) and senior instructor in cyber defensive methodologies while working as a cyber professional for major defense contractor. Ed has over 20 years experience working as a member of a fire and rescue service. He has formal training in the National Incident Command System, operational planning and response, and as a certified Emergency Medical Technician.
Dr. Fisher is a licensed transplant surgeon with transplant and operating room experience on over 10,000 patients. Dr. Fisher recently retired from 36 years active transplant surgery; and also as an Instructor of General Surgery from Harvard Medical School. He stepped down from Directing the Transplant Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and The Transplant Institute to lead SP Global, Inc. in a Chief Medical Officer role, assisting the VyrtX project with innovative logistical transport solutions for the transplant industry, and as an entrepreneur, commercializing his own proprietary regenerative medicine patents.
Dr. Fisher completed his pre-med education at Texas A&M, and his MD degree in Texas as well at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his General Surgery Residency and post-doctoral training in Ohio at Case Western Reserve University Medical Center. After residency, Dr. Fisher’s medical journey continued with service as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Medical Corps, rising to 7th Fleet Surgeon on the USS Forrestal before completing a fellowship in Pediatric and Adult Solid Organ Transplant Surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. Dr. Fisher was recruited to the Medical College of Virginia in 1991 by Dr. H. M. Lee, where he rose to be the tenured HM Lee Professor of Surgery and Chief of Liver Transplant and transplant research. He was able to help build and direct the VCU Health/ MCV Liver Transplant Program to an ASTS top tier fellowship program with one of the first cell transplant and adult to adult living donor liver transplant programs in the nation. He left there in August of 2014 to become the Chief of Transplantation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and he was named Peter Medawar Professor of Surgery, the second named in Harvard history, where he stayed until retirement just this past August, 2019. Dr. Fisher also taught and instructed anatomical anatomy to Harvard medical students and instructed residents in transplant and hepatobiliary.
Throughout his career, Dr. Fisher has led major administrative and advisory positions on regional, national and international levels since 1996. His research, editorials and grant review activities are extensive. Dr. Fisher has acted as PI or Co-PI on 73 different projects and garnered funding of over $10 million for those projects collectively.
Bio Comin Soon
Dave has 25+ years of experience in Product Management and Product Marketing with a proven history of taking high-tech solutions from concept to “best of breed” status. His primary focus is on product advancement, market share growth and exceeding revenue expectations.
Prior to VyrtX, Dave has held executive positions in Marketing, Engineering, Sales, and Support in organizations that include: ILS Technology, ComBrio, Telco Systems, Sengex and SP Global.
Dave holds degrees in Electrical Engineering, Business Management, Data Communications, and Telecommunications from Northeastern University.
Ms. Cummings is the co-founder and President of VyrtX, a creative LaaS (Logistics as a Service) solution focused at improving transportation within the organ transplant industry. Alice is well versed in perishable logistics and is a repeated business development performer.
Early in her career, Alice crafted an extensive financial services acumen in the real estate and private investment space and has spent years networking with family offices, private investors, and serial entrepreneurs to raise capital for various early adopter investments and projects.
Ms. Cumming’s early career started with Wells Fargo and managing mortgages and private investments in New York City, but after a down economy, Alice changed paths and worked over a decade, to climb the ladder in manufacturing and perishables distribution. After building and managing a national sales territory of $10 billion+ and coordinating distribution networks of 1,000+, Alice is highly regarded as an expert on logistics within the CPG and food distribution industries. Alice has worked for, and with, giant organizations such as PepsiCo, Sysco Foods, UNFI, and many of the Blackstone owned organizations.
Alice spent most of her career in the Northeast markets, managing many large and niche distributors across the United States. She’s now located in the Greater Washington DC area. Alice is a licensed EMT and works as a volunteer with her local rescue squad outside of work. She is also an avid runner, triathlete and girls running coach.
Panel & Keynote Speaking Engagements:
Jami Shawley fills the COO seat at VyrtX and brings boundless energy and extremely deep knowledge of aviation, air operations and where the nation is headed with air mobility. She fills this role in addition to her day job leading and training the U.S.’s military teams. Jami’s highest concerns with the VyrtX project are to develop and standardize safety measures within the organ & surgical team transport space.
Brigadier General Jami Shawley was commissioned as an Army Aviation Second Lieutenant through the United States Military Academy in 1992. She began her career flying AH-1 helicopters in the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea and served at company, battalion and brigade level staff positions in the 3d Infantry Division, Savannah, Georgia.
Following the Engineer Officer Advanced Course, Brigadier General Shawley transitioned to Special Equipment Mission Aviation and Army Fixed Wing operations. She commanded a company in the 224th Military Intelligence (Aerial Exploitation) Battalion, conducting Guardrail missions flying Army RC-12s.
Brigadier General Shawley transitioned to the Army Reserve in 2001 and re-entered active duty as an Active Guard Reserve officer in 2006. She served as the Army Reserve Aviation Branch Chief at Human Resources Command and as the Headquarters, Department of the Army, G-3 Aviation Fixed Wing Officer in the Pentagon prior to deploying as a Task Force Air Director in Afghanistan.
Brigadier General Shawley commanded the 2-228th Aviation Regiment as it supported simultaneous split rotations in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan and provided sustained airlift support to Joint Inter- Agency Task Force South throughout the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility.
Following graduation from the National War College, Brigadier General Shawley served as the military advisor to the Department of State, Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism and as a senior crisis operations and policy officer for the bureau. She then served as the Assistant Deputy Director in the Joint Staff Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate (J5)-Africa. Brigadier General Shawley currently serves as the Commanding General, Army Reserve Aviation Command.
Brigadier General Shawley has two master’s degrees and holds a number of awards and badges to include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star and Senior Aviator Badge.