National Bioskills Expands to California, Creating Learning Opportunities for Doctors

— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — July 11, 2018 — 9:00 AM

A Downtown-based surgical training center is opening a third location in San Francisco — its biggest so far — as it expands learning opportunities for doctors outside the hospital.

National Bioskills Laboratories was founded in 2014 by Douglas Hampers and Yeshvant Navalgund, starting with a 15,000-square-foot surgical training center on the Boulevard of the Allies. The company’s second center, 10,000 square feet, is in Dallas and the newest facility in San Francisco fills 25,000 square feet.

The centers offer doctors the opportunity to learn new surgical techniques on cadavers to keep pace with advances in medical technology and devices, Dr. Navalgund said.

“The last thing you want is a physician practicing what they learned 20 years ago,” said Dr. Navalgund, 47, who also runs six pain management clinics in the region.

Each center has an auditorium for lectures about new surgical techniques and hands-on opportunities to practice. Medical device makers provide technicians to guide doctors in the use of their products in the operating room.

Allegheny Health Network, which opened its own 7,400-square-foot surgical training lab at Allegheny General Hospital in 2016, has occasionally used the National Bioskills facility for training doctors in the use of joint replacement implants. Medical implant companies and individual physicians also pay for the sessions.

National Bioskills clients are medical device makers that want to train doctors in the use of products such as spinal devices, artificial joints and surgical robots. Some of the training is accredited for continuing education credits by the Chicago-based Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

Continuing medical education, which is required for physicians for licensure, was intended to be an ongoing process for doctors, said Melanie Fisher, assistant dean for continuing medical education at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. She is not involved with National Bioskills.

“The purpose is lifelong learning once they’ve finished training,” Dr. Fisher said. “The technology has exploded and the types of procedures that are available is phenomenal.”

National Bioskills has 23 full- and part-time employees. The company is private and does not release financial results.

“We hated traveling to learn new techniques,” said Dr. Hampers, 48, an orthopedic surgeon who lives in San Francisco. “The idea was to create a bunch of these centers and make it convenient for the physician to go train. The whole idea of the company was to be national.”

Cadavers used in the training sessions are procured from outside contractors accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks.

The two doctors met during medical residencies at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. At the time — around 2007-2008 — academic medical centers were distancing themselves from teaching arrangements with prescription drug makers and medical device companies to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Dr. Navalgund said.

As medical centers began shunning such arrangements, Dr. Navalgund said training opportunities for doctors diminished.

Moving the training outside the hospital eliminated the appearance of a conflict of interest created when medical institutions conduct industry-financed training programs, which can suggest endorsement of a certain company or product.

Original article:

Kris B. Mamula: or 412-263-1699

President & CEO

Douglas A. Hampers, MD, MBA

Dr. Hampers is a board certified orthopedic surgeon. He successfully created his own private practice, Reflex Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, in Greensburg, PA in 2009 and was named by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s readers as one the top three orthopedic surgeons by 2012. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as, his sports medicine fellowship under the tutelage of world-renowned surgeon Dr. Freddie Fu in 2004. He was the first person to be accepted into a combined MD/MBA program at Dartmouth College and completed it in 1998. Dr. Hampers was elected in 2012 to serve as a board member for Cardiac Assist (dba TandemLife), an international medical products company based in Pittsburgh, PA, which was acquired by LivaNova (LIVN) in March 2018 for $250 million.


Medical Director

Yeshvant Navalgund, MD

Dr. Navalgund has extensive experience in advancing medical device education and technique. He is a Board-Certified physician in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and Assistant Professor, West Virginia University, Department of Anesthesiology, and Adjunct Professor, University of Pittsburgh, School of Anesthesia. He is the author of many publications and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neuromodulation and is a Founding Member of the Pennsylvania Pain Society. He is also President & CEO of DNA Pain, and a Lecturer and Instructor for numerous national and international companies and societies. His hands-on knowledge of devices and experience as a peer-to-peer educator have helped to develop and customize the wraparound services offered by National Bioskills Laboratories.


Vice President of Operations

James P. Funkhouser (844) 625-5227 Ext. 701

An experienced manager and leader with an early career background in nuclear medicine, Jim Funkhouser oversees the day to day operations and management of our three national facilities and our highly experienced staff. A former Executive Director of the Tomayko Group, his experience with clinical staffing and recruiting means National Bioskills Laboratories hires only the best candidates who excel at providing outstanding service and event planning to our clients. An active Councilman in his local community, Jim’s leadership and organizational skills lend depth to the NBL leadership team.


Chief Financial Officer

Kerry Rice, CPA

With an academic background in Accounting and Economics, Kerry Rice brings more than 20 years of financial experience to National Bioskills. His early experience in accounting and auditing gave him a solid background in the fundamental ways a successful company should operate, after which Kerry went on to work as a research analyst in investment banking. There he strengthened his understanding of how businesses should operate to maximize their full potential, leveraging his knowledge of revenue and spending patterns to develop detailed forecasts. Kerry serves as National Bioskills’ Chief Financial Officer and heads up the company’s financial team.


Facility Manager, Pittsburgh

Kaelin Wiser (844) 625-5227 Ext. 704

With a background in radiology, Kaelin ensures that clients and their physician guests are treated the way they want to be treated: From making sure that specimens and equipment are on-site and training labs are prepped, to ensuring the facilities are sparklingly clean, to assisting guests with event and travel arrangements, Kaelin is responsible for the total comfort, luxury, and safety of attendees, creating a happy, relaxed atmosphere so physician attendees are primed for education and more receptive to learning, leading to better retention, adoption, and patient outcomes.


Facility Manager, San Francisco

Kenneth Thomas (844) 625-5227 Ext. 706

High-energy and talented at providing excellent event planning services while overseeing the many details of our busy San Francisco facility, Kenneth ensures efficient, orderly, and successful training events for all West Coast bookings. In addition to providing NBL’s signature wraparound event planning and customer service, Kenneth applies his background in specimen handling to a passionate commitment to ensuring top-tier standards of safety and credentials for NBL and all its clients, employees, and stakeholders.


Facility Manager, Dallas

Bethany Wright (844) 625-5227 Ext. 709

Extensively trained in all aspects of specimen management, Bethany brings a host of skills and experience to her role as Facility Manager in Dallas. A licensed embalmer, funeral director, and crematory operator and a specialist in anatomical embalming, she employs the highest standards of safety and testing in specimen-handling procedures. In her prior experience at Texas A&M College of Dentistry, she served as Anatomy Lab Manager and Willed Body Program Manager, and has collaborated with professionals across a wide range of industries including law enforcement, professional schools, and the military. Fueled by an ongoing passion for anatomical education, Bethany takes pride in serving the medical community and all donor families by providing excellence throughout every stage of scientific donation and surgical training.

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Operations Manager

Erin Hall

Erin brings extensive background as a surgical technology expert to her role as Operations Manager at National Bioskills. A native of Colorado, Erin holds a degree in Surgical Technology and worked for more than 10 years as a surgical technician, a bioskills laboratory manager, and a lab services coordinator before assuming her current position at National Bioskills. Working closely with the Facility Managers, Erin uses her technological expertise to anticipate client needs and to ensure that every lab runs smoothly. Providing respectful, detail-focused customer service to clients and physicians is Erin’s hallmark and passion.

Sales Representative

Cary Roussel (844) 625-5227 Ext. 700

In her recent professional experience with healthcare networks and wellness program management, Cary energetically developed and implemented new nationwide programs, managing network-provider relationships and fostering win-win outcomes for care providers and patients. With an academic background in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Cary is a lifelong athlete, learner, and health and wellness advocate, passionate about the life-changing potential of medical devices. With specialized training in sports medicine, Cary brings a comprehensive understanding of the products and procedures involved in shoulder repair, meniscal repair, ACL reconstruction and orthobiologic products. In her early career, Cary garnered experience as an exercise physiologist with a focus on strength and conditioning, wellness coaching, and cardiac rehabilitation.