Meet the leaders that inspire our team to develop solutions that transform patients’ lives.
Mike Kujak, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mike joins Francis Medical with more than 30 years of broad healthcare marketing and sales leadership experience in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, clinical research, and payer economics. Prior to joining Francis Medical, Mike was the Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of International for NxThera. Prior to NxThera he was the Vice President and General Manager of the Prostate Health business unit of American Medical Systems, which developed and commercialized medical device solutions to treat BPH, prostate cancer, and stone disease. Mike received his MBA from the OPUS College of Business, University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science in physics and chemistry from the University of South Dakota.
Michael Hoey, PhD, MBA
Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Michael founded Francis Medical in 2018 where he serves as a director and chief technology officer. Prior to founding Francis Medical, in 2008 Michael co-founded NxThera to develop and commercialize the urology applications of the vapor platform technology that he invented. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Michael taught in several departments and performed research at the University of Minnesota, including the Department of Physiology, the Department of Urologic Surgery in the School of Medicine, the Institute of Technology, and the Carlson School of Management. Professor Hoey also taught in the department of Biological Sciences at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Michael is an expert in the interaction of thermotherapy and tissue and a prolific inventor, with 127 patents granted and 143 patents pending, the majority of which are in the medical device field. Michael’s inventions include platform technologies, which are the foundation for products being sold, or in development for a variety of cardiac surgery, oncology, orthopaedics, pulmonology, general surgery, urology, gynecology, and vascular surgery applications. Michael has been a consultant to, as well as a founder/principal of, several medical products companies, which combined have raised over $250 million of capital.
Christopher M. Dixon, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Christopher Dixon, MD, joins Francis Medical as Chief Medical Officer. With over 25 years of experience as a urologist, his practice spans various clinical settings, including academia, private practice, and large hospital-based systems. Dr. Dixon brings extensive clinical investigative experience, playing pivotal roles in multiple landmark trials in urology, including the VA Cooperative Studies Program, National Institutes of Health grants, and industry-sponsored pharmaceutical and medical device trials. Since 2008, he has been integrally involved with developing water vapor ablation as a therapeutic tool, including being instrumental in developing the Rezūm™ device and conducting its pivotal trial leading to FDA approval. Dr. Dixon has consulted for Francis Medical since its inception and has been closely involved in the design and preclinical work leading to the groundbreaking therapy we have today.
Michele Shepard, MEd
Vice President, Clinical Affairs
Michele brings 25 years of experience in clinical research leadership, strategy, study development, and execution. Michele previously held clinical leadership roles at both Amphora Medical and Coloplast bringing extensive experience on devices in surgical urology to Francis Medical. Additionally, she has held leadership roles at Osprey Medical and worked across several therapeutic areas while at Medtronic and the University of Minnesota Medical School. Michele received an inter-disciplinary B.S. degree in Public Health/Anthropology and a Master of Education in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development from the University of Minnesota.
Matt Byrne, MBA
Vice President Research, Development and Operations
Matt has extensive medical device start-up experience in roles spanning product development, marketing, strategy, and business development at companies including Ablacon, EP Map-System, Digma Medical, and NxThera. Additionally, Matt has worked as a management consultant for The Boston Consulting Group, where he advised clients in the MedTech industry. As a key member of the R&D team at NxThera from the company’s early days through its acquisition by Boston Scientific, Matt developed a deep understanding of and appreciation for the power of water vapor technology to treat urological conditions. Matt earned a dual-BSE degree in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical/Computer Engineering from Duke University, an MS degree in Engineering from Harvard University, and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was a George F. Baker Scholar and a Robert S. Kaplan Life Sciences Fellow.
Vice President, Finance
Michael brings over 20 years of experience in the medical device industry, primarily with startup companies. Prior to Francis Medical, he served as Vice President of Finance and Administration at NexGen Medical Systems, a Venous Thrombo-embolism technology for the treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis. Before NexGen Medical Systems, Michael operated his own CFO/Controller consulting company supporting companies on both long-term and short-term projects, mainly in the medical device industry, over two separate periods. In between these two consulting phases Michael served as Vice President of Finance at BridgePoint Medical, a catheter-based technology to treat coronary chronic total occlusions. BridgePoint Medical was eventually acquired by Boston Scientific. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from the University of South Dakota and is happily married with two sons.
Director of Regulatory and Quality Assurance
Joel has over 20 years of experience in medical device product and process development. Prior to joining Francis Medical, Joel held technical, management, and leadership positions in R&D, Process Development, Operations, and Regulatory and Quality Assurance at Incisive Surgical, Velocimed, and Boston Scientific. Joel holds degrees in Biology and Mechanical Engineering and is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, Six-Sigma Black Belt, Supplier Quality Professional, Manager of Quality / Operational Excellence, and is a TPECS Certified ISO13485 Lead Auditor.
Richard Hill, MBA
Rich brings over 25 years of experience in the healthcare and medical device industries. He received his MBA in Marketing from the Carlson School of Management at the University of MN and has generated proven results in a variety of impactful strategic marketing roles at Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems, ThreeWire, and Scanlan International. Rich is also a CPA and early in his career he worked in finance roles on the healthcare provider side at Southdale Pediatrics and Ridgeview Medical Center. He is passionate about utilizing his unique breadth of skills and experience to frame critical questions, acquire the relevant data, and provide actionable insights to get to the root of complex business challenges and opportunities. Rich looks forward to helping bring this more patient-friendly therapy to market as, like many of us, Rich has a father who is a prostate cancer survivor.