Cortica Announces Leadership Appointments and Strategic Investment by Ajax Health and Questa Capital

January 13, 2020

Leadership Additions and Investment to Support Continued Innovation and National Expansion of Integrated Care Model for Autism

SAN DIEGO, CA—Cortica Inc. (“Cortica”), a leading provider of advanced neurological therapies for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, announced today leadership appointments to further its mission to design and deliver life-changing care – one child, one family, one community at a time.

“We are thrilled to have attracted a team of leaders and investor partners with a proven record of success and an unwavering commitment to help children with neurodevelopmental differences and their families,” said Neil Hattangadi, MD, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Cortica. “These leaders will help us accelerate the rollout of our comprehensive care model for autism nationally and support ongoing technological innovation for clinical care delivery and the patient experience.”

The following operational leadership team will help position Cortica for its next phase of growth.

Daniel Virnich, MD, MBA, Chief Operating Officer: Dr. Virnich brings over 15 years of healthcare leadership experience to Cortica. He was previously President, Florida Market, for DaVita, Inc./Healthcare Partners. In this role he was responsible for growth, operations, and clinical quality of a $1 billion delegated medical group, serving approximately 100,000 Medicare Advantage patients. He previously served as Senior Vice President, California Market, for DaVita and National Chief Medical Officer, Acute Care Services, for Team Health Inc. Dr. Virnich earned his MD from the University of Chicago and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern; he completed his clinical training at UCLA Medical Center and is board certified in Internal Medicine.

“Cortica has developed an innovative, neuroscience-based care model to treat a very important and underserved population,” said Dr. Virnich. “As COO, I am committed to operational excellence that enables strong clinical outcomes, a great experience for families and the well-being of Cortica’s team members.”

Briana Elvaiah, Chief Financial Officer: Ms. Elvaiah joined Cortica with over 12 years of financial leadership experience, specifically in in multi-site healthcare services and healthcare technology environments.  In her role, she is responsible for Cortica’s finance, revenue cycle management and human resources functions. Prior to joining Cortica, she served as Chief Financial Officer at Correctional Medical Group Companies, Inc. (CMGC) a national provider of medical, mental health, and dental services to inmates in county jails.  She was previously Executive Vice President of Finance and Revenue Cycle at Vericare Management, Inc., a leading provider of mental health services for seniors. Ms. Elvaiah earned her BAcc from the University of San Diego.

Ben Nathan, MS, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Privacy & Security Officer: With over 15 years of healthcare technology experience, Mr. Nathan is responsible for leading Cortica’s overall digital strategy and services, including electronic health record, software development, analytics, and information security. He previously served as the Chief Information Officer for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine where he led a 250-person technology team and was responsible for digital strategy and transformation in the schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, and public health, and building shared services with UCLA Health. He was previously Deputy CIO at Weill Cornell Medical College. Mr. Nathan earned his MS in technology management from Columbia University.

In addition to these leadership appointments, Cortica appointed two new members to its Board of Directors, in conjunction with an equity investment last year by Ajax Health, with additional investment from Cortica’s original institutional investors Questa Capital and Aperture Venture Partners.  Duke Rohlen, a serial healthcare entrepreneur and Chairman and CEO of Ajax Health, has joined Cortica as its Executive Chairman, and Aftab Kherani, MD., Chief Medical Officer of Ajax Health, has joined as a member of the board.

Mr. Rohlen commented, “At Ajax we seek to bring transformative innovation to therapeutic areas with large clinical unmet need – and I can’t think of a more impactful space to apply our expertise and resources than pediatric neurodevelopment. Cortica’s care model represents a much-needed evolution in this field, and I’m excited to partner with the Cortica Leadership team and Neil after multiple previous successes together in therapeutic areas like peripheral vascular disease and ENT.”

About Ajax Health

Ajax Health seeks to identify, develop, and scale disruptive technologies in the healthcare space by providing operational expertise and guidance. Taking an active operating role, the Ajax team has a proven track record of helping companies of all sizes, stages, and structures achieve their value-creation goals. Ajax is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA and backed by a strong investor consortium.

About Questa Capital

Questa Capital is a venture growth equity firm focusing on investments in expansion-stage healthcare companies. Questa seeks out disruptive, technology-enabled business models that help improve patient lives, streamline market inefficiencies, and provide better quality care. The firm partners with superior management teams to help build innovative market leaders in the healthcare technology, services and medical devices sectors. Questa is led by industry veterans in healthcare investment and operations who have invested in and advised more than 50 growth-stage companies. More information is available at

About Cortica Inc.

Cortica Inc. is a leading provider of advanced neurological therapies for children with autism, speech and language delays, sensory processing disorder and other conditions that impact brain development. The company offers a comprehensive set of services through its integrated care model that incorporates therapies across neurophysiology, biochemistry, sensorimotor integration, communication, cognition and behavior. Cortica delivers its services in-clinic, in-home and via telehealth to empower families to achieve long-lasting, transformative results. Headquartered in San Diego, the company operates multiple centers in California serving families globally who are seeking more advanced treatment for developmental conditions. For more information, please visit