Board of Directors

Richard M. Smith, Chairman of the Board

Mr. Smith is the Chairman of the Board and co-CEO for ReliantHeart. He was the former CEO and board member of of BioScrip, Inc. a specialty pharmacy and alternate site infusion provider.  Mr. Smith established industry leading clinical programs in heart failure managing as many as 5,000 heart failure patients on a monthly basis for inotropic infusion therapy, many in combination with LVAD technologies.  Mr. Smith’s clinicians and sales teams worked closely with the leading transplant centers in the United States and was the exclusive transplant provider for the United Healthcare/Optum Transplant Center of Excellence Program Nationally.Mr. Smith has a Bachelors of Science in Accounting and a Masters in Science, Taxation from De Paul University, Chicago, IL.

Gopal K. Chopra, M.D.

Dr. Chopra is a Director and the co-CEO for ReliantHeart. is a Neurosurgeon, Entrepreneur and co-Founder of pingmd, Hansen Medical, and other healthcare technology companies. Dr. Chopra has extensive experience in working with competitors in LVAD Space. Dr. Chopra was a senior investment banker with Lazard Freres working on many transformative cardiology company M&A and financing transactions, both public and private as well as strategic positions at BostonScentific and advisor to many of the large medical device companies. He has been an invited expert for his work in Neuroscience, Neurosurgery, Robotics and Neurocognition. Dr. Chopra obtained his medical degree from the University of Melbourne in Australia, his degree in neurosurgery from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and his master’s degree in business from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Dr. Chopra will be focused on European and USA sales Growth and Clinical Operations.

Rodger G. Ford,  Chairman Emeritus

Mr. Ford is the Chairman Emeritus.  Mr. Ford served as the CEO and Chairman of the Board for ReliantHeart from October 2013 to January 2017. He served as director of MMC from July 2008 to July 2011, and was Chairman of the Board of MMC from January to May 2011. Mr. Ford served as CEO of MMC from May to July 2011, where he oversaw the business systems and development of the company’s remote monitoring technology. Prior to his positions with ReliantHeart and MMC, he served as CEO and President of SynCardia from May 2005 through May 2011, and served on SynCardia’s board of directors from December of 2003 to January 2012. During his tenure as CEO of SynCardia, Mr. Ford guided and directed the development of two new driver systems for powering SynCardia’s Total Artificial Heart. At SynCardia, Mr. Ford helped raise capital to fund product launches, installed modern and effective business systems and recruited an experienced management team. He is also the co-founder and President of Anthem Equity Group, Inc., a Tucson real estate and business development company formed in 1990. Mr. Ford was Quick Printing Man of the Year in 1985, Arizona SBA Entrepreneur of the Year in 1986 (AlphaGraphics), a Lifetime Achievement recipient from the Arizona Printers Association in 1994,  and an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 (PETsHOTEL). Mr. Ford has served as a director of Great Western Bank (Arizona) from 1976 to 1982 and CitiBank of Arizona from 1982 to 1987. He served on the Apple Advisory Board from 1984 to 1990 and the Lotus Advisory Board from 1986 to 1989. Mr. Ford earned a B.S. degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University in 1965 and an MBA, with an emphasis in Finance, from the University of Arizona in 1967.

Michael Ward

Mr. Ward has been an innovator and thought leader in the healthcare industry for more than 28 years, helping to define best practice, work flow optimization, product enhancements, supply chain software systems, sales leadership and ground up medical device development. Mr. Ward was the founder of Wren Medical Systems, and is currently the President of Mainbridge Health Partners and the director of Relia-Source, an innovative Group Purchasing Organization with a focus on technology. Mr. Ward was the architect of industry leading software systems including the One-Med System, the One-Track Asset Management System and the new Relia-Source supply chain portal.