Patrick Phillips Health Decisions CEO

Patrick Phillips, BSc (Hons), D.Phil. –
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Patrick Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Health Decisions, is an experienced and respected clinical development executive and industry leader. He is responsible for executive oversight and strategic leadership of Health Decisions. In his role as CEO, Dr. Phillips has redoubled Health Decisions’ focus on women’s health, expanded the organization’s therapeutic focus to encompass a greater range of indications that affect women’s health and a greater range of potential products that address women’s healthcare needs, including drugs, diagnostics and medical devices, throughout the life-cycle. In Dr. Phillips’ vision for Health Decisions, if a healthcare issue matters to women, it matters to Health Decisions. Dr. Phillips agrees with the assertion of the International Council on Women’s Health Issues (ICOWHI): The Health of Women and Girls Determines the Health and Well-Being of Our Modern World. To further his vision for Health Decisions, Dr. Phillips is establishing a Health Decisions Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

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Before his appointment as CEO, Dr. Phillips served for over two years as Health Decisions’ Vice President of Clinical Affairs. He frequently advises current and potential Health Decisions’ sponsors on program strategy, study design and operational challenges of clinical development projects for drugs, diagnostics and other medical devices.

In a career spanning more than 23 years, Dr. Phillips has defined and managed value-driven, innovative strategic partnership agreements on behalf of sponsors and CROs alike. He has provided executive oversight and led operational delivery on more than 200 regional and global clinical development projects in all major therapeutic areas, across all phases of drug development as well as a variety of medical device and diagnostics studies. His oversight has included development programs and clinical trials resulting in successful NDAs for four drugs and numerous successful PMA approvals and 510(k) clearances for IVDs.

Dr. Phillips frequently speaks at industry events and serves on advisory boards for key industry conferences on clinical development. Dr. Phillips holds a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from Liverpool University and a D Phil in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Oxford in England. Dr. Phillips’ pro bono work has included serving as a board director for the British American Business Council.

Stephen DeCherney Health Decisions CEO

Stephen DeCherney, MD, MPH – Senior Medical Advisor

Stephen DeCherney, MD, MPH, Senior Medical Advisor at Health Decisions, is a former CEO of Health Decisions and an active member of the Board of Directors. Dr. DeCherney is a respected endocrinologist, pharmaceutical industry leader, clinical development executive and clinical scientist. He provides medical guidance and protocol commentary as necessary on active and planned Health Decisions clinical trials. Dr. DeCherney is committed to improving the efficiency of clinical development through concepts such as replacing phase 3 trials with a novel phase 2c approach. A member of the Science Policy Committee of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, Dr. DeCherney has made refining study design and operations to provide optimal support for development of precision medicines a top strategic priority at Health Decisions.

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For more than 30 years, Dr. DeCherney has led quality improvement initiatives based on statistical process control in both healthcare delivery and research processes. He often provides strategic advice to Health Decisions’ clients and private equity firms, drawing on extensive experience in medical research at multiple levels.

Dr. DeCherney has managed clinical research staff in 53 countries; provided executive oversight on numerous clinical studies in a wide range of indications; served as Principal Investigator for over 100 clinical trials during 11 years in the Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Delaware; and served for five years as a Guest Researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH). He was formerly a senior executive at Quintiles Global Transnational and PRA International.

Dr. DeCherney’s current activities in clinical research include:

  • Reviewing protocols, study designs and operational plans for clinical trials conducted by Health Decisions;
  • Reviewing clinical research  protocols and study design as a member of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Institutional Review Board;
  • Serving as Trustee, William Harvey Research Institute, of Queen Mary Medical College, London, St Barts and The London Hospitals, London, England;
  • Serving as Chair, University of Delaware Research Foundation;
  • Serving as Trustee, Christiana Care Health System, Delaware.

Board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology/diabetes, Dr. DeCherney is Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also Professor (Adjunct) in the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina, where he teaches a course in pharmaceutical economics. Earlier in his career, Dr. DeCherney served as an associate professor at both the University of Delaware and Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. DeCherney received his medical degree from Temple University in Philadelphia and an MPH, Healthcare Management, from Columbia University School of Public Health.  He completed his residency at the Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and performed his endocrinology training at Vanderbilt University. Dr. DeCherney is a graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University in New York City, from which he received a BA in Molecular Biology. Dr. DeCherney has served as director of a variety of organizations and corporations in the United States and the United Kingdom, including the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina.


Emily Friedman

Emily Friedman, CPA, CGMA -
Corporate Finance

Emily Friedman, Head of Corporate Finance at Health Decisions, is a seasoned financial professional with over 30 years of experience in both public accounting and private industry. Ms. Friedman provides the Health Decisions’ Board of Directors and Executive team with the information they need to provide executive oversight and strategic leadership to the company and provides operational teams with the information they need to leverage their therapeutic expertise and deliver efficient, high-quality clinical development services. Ms. Friedman has experience in all areas of finance, including accounting, reporting, analysis and management, and has managed finance across a broad range of corporations and industries.

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Ms. Friedman’s experience includes serving as Director of Finance and Administration for a medical device company and as Controller for a technology company from startup through full commercialization and acquisition. Her background also includes serving as a Senior Audit Accountant for PwC (Price Waterhouse). Ms. Friedman received a B.S. in Accounting summa cum laude from California Polytechnic State University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.


Steve Siferd

Steve Siferd –
Vice President
Sales & Marketing

Steve Siferd is a sales and marketing executive with 20 years of experience in genetics and molecular biology and 14 years of experience managing and delivering molecular diagnostics services in support of clinical development projects for diagnostics and biopharma companies and private and public institutions. Throughout his career, Mr. Siferd has sought to improve human health by leveraging genomics in the clinical development process to achieve better therapies and outcomes. Mr. Siferd is ideally positioned to support clinical development projects that leverage molecular diagnostics to improve patient selection and the ability to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of investigational products.

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Mr. Siferd is committed to enabling biopharma companies to utilize precision-medicine techniques to increase the efficiency of clinical development and accelerate delivery of improved treatments to patients with significant unmet medical needs. He has extensive expertise in the application of high-throughput gene expression, genotyping, and next generation sequencing technologies in the clinical development process. His experience ranges from early wet lab responsibilities to executive leadership for genomics business development.

After beginning his career as a molecular biologist serving over six years in the research genomic testing market, supporting analysis and consultation services for clients from academic, government and commercial institutions, Mr. Siferd identified an unmet need in the emerging precision medicine market. He transitioned to business development, marketing genomics services in progressively responsible roles for three companies. Most recently, Mr. Siferd was Global Head of Genomics Business Development for Q2 Solutions, a joint venture between Quintiles Transnational and Quest Diagnostics.

Mr. Siferd has extensive experience in the application of next generation sequencing technologies in the clinical and diagnostic development process. A recognized expert in precision medicine, he has given invited talks at the National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, FDA, and numerous academic institutions. Mr. Siferd holds a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Erin Garney

Erin Garney -
Human Resources

Erin Garney, Head of Human Resources at Health Decisions, is responsible for leading Health Decisions through acquisition, development, retention and enrichment of the organization’s culture and talent brand. As a strategic partner to the business, she is responsible for HR strategy and planning, staffing and retention, talent management, as well as compensation and benefits, leadership development and training. Erin has over twenty years of experience specializing in small to mid-size start-up organizations within the software technology, energy services, risk specialty and CRO sectors.

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Prior to joining Health Decisions in January of 2016, Erin provided HR consulting services to technology and non-profit organizations, served as Vice President of Human Resources and Community Engagement with the Redwoods Group and HR Director for SciQuest, Inc. Erin is a graduate of the University of North Carolina- Asheville with a degree in Business & Marketing Management. She is active in various community organizations and most recently served on the Board of Directors for the Lucy Daniels Center.


Kevin Bickford

Kevin Bickford -
Clinical Operations

Kevin Bickford, Head of Clinical Operations at Health Decisions, is a clinical operations executive with 20 years of clinical development experience spanning many therapeutic indications and virtually every phase of clinical research. Mr. Bickford is committed to supporting a focused, specialized, and dedicated Health Decisions Operations team in the arena of Women’s Health as well as IVD development and precision medicine research. Mr. Bickford’s extensive experience includes providing team leadership and executive oversight for both Sponsor and CRO companies and managing operational teams ranging from large global teams on multi-protocol development programs to small teams executing studies of investigational products for rare disease and orphan indications.

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Mr. Bickford’s therapeutic experience includes not only studies of novel drugs, but also studies of medical devices and Over-the-Counter (OTC) drug reformulations. Mr. Bickford’s extensive experience in global research includes hands-on management of clinical trials in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. During his 20-year career, Mr. Bickford has continuously built upon a diverse project management and operations management skill set, with the goal of optimizing effectiveness and efficiency for study teams under his direction. His focus on service delivery and effective partnership among study team stakeholders has guided his efforts in Risk, Quality, and Resource Management, including on multiple Governance Committees. Mr. Bickford is skilled at analyzing operational and performance metrics to guide Sponsor and provider team members toward the best path for successful study conduct.
Mr. Bickford has a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Vermont and certification from Northeastern University as an Emergency Medical Technician.


Clint Dart

Clint Dart, MS -
Data Services

As Head of Data Services at Health Decisions, Clint Dart is responsible for oversight of Biometrics, Data Management and Medical Writing. Over his 20-year career in clinical research, Clint has had a broad range of experience extending from the planning phase to the reporting phase of clinical trials. He serves as Principal Investigator for the Statistical and Clinical Coordinating Center for the Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a unit of the National Institutes of Health. Clint has designed protocols that incorporate interim analyses and sample size re-assessments, as well as designing Case Report Forms that are focused on collecting the critical data for analysis and regulatory approval. His first concern in every clinical trial is ensuring that all trial activities “defend the statistical analysis.”

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Clint has been the lead statistician attending FDA meetings, provided input into Investigational New Drug filings, and has often played a leading role in executing and reviewing analyses used in submissions for regulatory approval. In addition, Clint has provided leadership for the Health Decisions team developing statistically sound methodologies for reducing monitoring costs while maintaining high data quality, including processes for both risk-based monitoring and reduced source data verification. Clint has a wealth of experience in CRF and database design and an understanding of how these activities affect data quality and ultimately regulatory submissions. Clint has also led efforts on multiple rescue studies, which involve taking data from a previous CRO and transferring the data to Health Decisions part way through the study. Clint has managed Data Safety and Management Board committees for a variety of sponsors and led efforts providing data for committees to review in order to make assessments of subject safety. During his years in clinical research, Clint has collaborated closely with other departments at Health Decisions, enabling him to create and support efficient processes across the organization.

Before joining Health Decisions, Clint analyzed clinical trials at one of the nation’s largest healthcare companies. Clint’s experience spans phases 1-3 and a wide variety of therapeutic areas, including Women’s Health, Oncology, Central Nervous System, Anti-Infectives, Anti-Virals, Gastrointestinal, Analgesics, Neurology, Urology, Devices and Diagnostics. Clint holds a Master’s Degree in statistics from the University of Georgia.