Our Team

Executive Management / Physician Leadership

Leadership can be hard to define and it means different things to different people. Our leaders set direction and help themselves and others to do the right thing to move forward. To do this they create an inspiring vision, and then motivate and inspire others to reach that vision.

Irv Edwards, M.D., FACEP

Founder & President
Dr. Irv Edwards obtained his Bachelor's Degree from McGill University and his Medical Degree from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. He came to Los Angeles to pursue his interest in Emergency Medicine and interned at Los Angeles County Hospital. After his internship, Dr. Edwards completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. Following his residency, Dr. Edwards pursued private practice at a variety of hospital sites in Los Angeles and Orange Counties including Chino Valley Medical Center, Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, La Palma Intercommunity Hospital, Mission Community Hospital, Montclair Hospital Medical Center, Olympia Medical Center, Sherman Oaks Hospital, and Valley Presbyterian Hospital. He was the Director of Performance Improvement at Mission Community Hospital from 1998 – 2003 and he currently serves as the Director of Case Management at Mission Community Hospital and as the Chief of Staff at Chino Valley Medical Center. He is the Director of Emergency Services at Chino Valley Medical Center, Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, Mission Community Hospital, and Montclair Hospital Medical Center.

In 1989, Dr. Edwards founded Emergent Medical Associates and has served as its President since inception. Since 2001, Dr. Edwards has been a dedicated member of CAL/ACEP and he currently sits on their Executive Board. He served as its President from 2005-2006.

Mark R. Bell, M.D., FACEP

Dr. Mark Bell has been a managing partner in EMA since 1998. As Co-President, he has led the start-up and management of several emergency departments, and developed along the way a unique skill set centered on creating department efficiencies and managing the critical role emergency departments serve in driving hospital performance. He developed the EMA administrative residency program which prepares EMA physicians for administrative roles. His expertise covers customer service, strategic planning, business development, and community service. Dr. Bell is an active physician, hospital advocate, and represents his colleagues in healthcare issues on a local as well as national level.

Mark is a graduate from the Chicago Medical School. His undergraduate training was at Westmont College, in Santa Barbara, California. He completed residency in emergency medicine at the University California Irvine in 1996 and is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Following residency, Dr. Bell went into private practice in the South Bay of Los Angeles and soon partnered with Dr. Irv Edwards at Emergent Medical Associates. Through a dedication to quality, service, and efficient patient care, their emergency department management company grew from 5,000 patient visits per year, to more than 700,000 over the next decade. Mark is also the President and co-founder of Benchmark Hospitalists, a hospitalist company based in Los Angeles, and managing partner of Pipeline Health. He sits on various boards including the Marconi Foundation, Huntington Beach Hospital, Norris Cancer Leadership Board, and Goals for Life. Dr. Bell’s expertise is particularly strong in emergency department and in-patient efficiencies, customer service, paramedic outreach, strategic planning, and business development. Mark spends much of his time teaching physicians the skills required to succeed in administrative management and leadership. He has published on many topics, including pediatric cardiology, nutrition, and emergency medicine reimbursement, and frequently lectures on subjects most interesting to him such as The History of Nuclear Biological and Chemical Warfare, EMTALA, the Field Management of the Unknown Overdose, and the effect of efficient hospital care on morbidity and mortality. When he’s not working, Dr. Bell enjoys surfing, cycling, rugby, and traveling with his family. He’s married to Dr. Camela Ott, and has two children Luke and Dominic.

Ari L. Nagler

Chief Executive Officer
Ari Nagler has spent the last two decades building high-performing teams and efficient companies in healthcare, service, retail and hi-tech. He's a previous business owner and M&A executive having closed over 50 transactions for himself and his clients. He possesses a B.S. degree with emphasis in Management and Organizational Development, from Cornell University.

Eugene Veksler

Chief Financial Officer
A member of Emergent Medical Associates’ management team since 2019, Eugene Veksler has oversight responsibilities for the finance function. Prior to joining Emergent Medical Associates’ staff, Eugene held various financial positions within Eisner Health, StarPoint Properties, The Walt Disney Company, and The Clorox Company. He holds a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Eugene graduated from a Health Care Executive Program at UCLA in 2013 and is scheduled to graduate from a Business Analytics Program at Harvard University by 2020.

Responsible for leading and managing all aspects of analytical reporting, project management and corporate initiatives • Previous experience in multi-national public and private organizations, leading financial operations on several continents • B.A. in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara, M.B.A. in Finance from University of Colorado, Boulder.

Nancy Garcia

Chief Administrative Officer
Responsible for overseeing daily administrative operations and human resource management • Previous experience in business management specializing in the entertainment and apparel industry • B.S. in Accounting, California State University, Northridge

Kristi Tucker

Chief Provider Relations Officer
Responsible for Recruiting, Credentialing and Scheduling • First employee, helping the company grow from a single contract to its size today • B.S. in Health Administration, University of Phoenix

Shweta Patel, Esq.

General Counsel
Responsible for managing and leading internal legal matters • Prior experience within the medical/healthcare industry; medical malpractice defense; Assistant GC for a for-profit healthcare organization • J.D. from Southwestern Law School / B.A. in International Studies with a focus on Business Management, University of California, Irvine

Matthew Edwards

Director of Operations
Matt Edwards has spent the last 3 years with our parent company, Pacific Healthworks. He has assisted in the launch of multiple new business lines in the healthcare space during that time. He graduated from the University of Denver in 2018 with a degree in Communication and Marketing.

Nick Orzano

Nick Orzano is the Co-Founder and Principal of Pipeline Health and Managing Partner of Stanton Road Capital. His primary responsibilities are on transaction structures, due diligence, underwriting, and portfolio management.

He previously served as Director at Paladin Capital, LLC a boutique investment bank in Los Angeles, and executed over $700MM of transactions, including over $400MM in the healthcare industry. Nick started his career in investment banking and focused on turnaround deals of distressed or bankrupt entities. During this time, he encountered several healthcare companies and hospitals that were in need of a reorganization and while doing so, gained significant insight into the healthcare business space. This niche experience is what sets him apart within the industry and made him well-suited to take the reins at Pipeline while working collaboratively with the CFO and other decision-makers. Nick’s highly focused skill has enabled Pipeline to have a more versatile and well-rounded management team with a depth and breadth of experience that isn’t easily found at other large hospital ownership groups.

This creativity and agility came into play in their most pressing time last year. Nick was able to use his business acumen and negotiation prowess to identify ways to stay ahead of the many extreme challenges brought on by the pandemic that affected their operations. He found ingenious ways to get the tools they needed to continue to successfully treat patients as well as ensure that their medical staff had the essential resources that were necessary to keep moving forward. Nick holds BS degrees in Finance & Banking, Real Estate, and Economics and an MBA from the University of Missouri.

Bernadette Savio

Director of Recruiting and Marketing
Bernadette Savio is the Director of Recruiting and Marketing for Halcyon Nurse Staffing. She has been in the healthcare staffing industry for over 5 years. Starting off as a recruiter and growing to train and teach others the best practices of becoming a successful recruiter. Bernadette staffs travel nurses and respiratory therapists across all 50 states, skilled in constant communication between hospital clients and her travelers to ensure a great match throughout assignments. She has received the highest clearly rated score consistently through every quarter directly from her travelers and clients’ reviews of her.

Bernadette is a highly motivated professional with exceptional customer service skills, eager to help our organization grow and increase client and healthcare professional satisfaction.

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

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