We are here to save lives around the world, refugee, civilian and combatant alike.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been invaluable to innovation within field trauma medicine. Beyond US casualty statistics, the War on Terrorism has produced an unfathomable amount of death when civilians and local forces are taken into account, nearly 801,000 between 2001 and 2019.
Traumatic hemorrhage is the cause of death in nearly 90% of Killed In Aٖction, with 24% of those potentially survivable, leaving highly effective warfighters to die needlessly. Rapid hemostasis and replacement of whole blood has been shown to be key factors in survivability.
Desert Valley Tech began in 2018 with a chance meeting between founders Burt Skiba and Travis Witzke discussing prior ventures. Centering their unique skills in the startup world and orienting their passion for helping those in need toward a personal story of loss in combat for Travis. To shore up medical device development, Jeff Skiba was brought in to guide technology development and to assist with FDA certifications. To guide medical theory and practices, retired Air Force Colonel Lynda Vu has been brought on to make sure we do not stray from safe practices in field and transportation medicine.
MEET OUR TEAM
Jeff Skiba - CEO
Mr. Skiba has over 30 years in medical device design, development and manufacturing with over 30 issued patents in the areas of cardiovascular, orthopaedics, OB/GYN, and tissue regeneration. He is an active consultant to the University of Arkansas part of a DOD sponsored research group. Mr. Skiba was CEO of a medical device company from 2004 to 2012 to develop unique soft tissue regeneration products from concept through commercialization. Mr. Skiba has presented to USSOCOM as well as at Walter Reed/Bethesda and has worked with the Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Diagnostic and Translation Research. Mr. Skiba has successfully written and passed FDA reviews of multiple medical implants. Mr. Skiba is an experienced advisor and entrepreneur who has worked in the Medical technology field for over 30 years. He has experience taking products from conception, through the FDA approval, and to market. He has a B.S.E. in Biomechanical Engineering from Arizona State University and a business degree from University of Arizona.
Travis Witzke - Founder, COO, PI
Mr. Witzke has a B.S. in Business Management, and M.B.A. from Arizona State University. He has over 15 years experience leading and developing small teams and is a Researcher responsible for expeditionary medical end user needs. As a soldier, Sergeant Witzke led fire teams in a variety of roles while serving two tours of Iraq including Combat LifeSaver (CLS training) as a front line medical responder. His combat and unique experience in providing medical care under fire directly led to the creation of the Hemaporter. His experience as a CLS, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and post graduate work leading a fixed wing global medical evacuation company provided the understanding of medical needs in the domestic and international repatriation of critical care patients including humanitarian and refugee medicine.
Burt Skiba - Founder, CTO, General Counsel
Mr. Skiba has extensive mechanical engineering experience including designing and testing environmental storage containers. Mr. Skiba is a licensed attorney specializing in intellectual property law. Mr. Skiba has Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University, M.B.A in Finance from Western International University, and Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University. Mr. Skiba holds four patents with four pending patent applications. Before law school Mr. Skiba worked as a lead mechanical engineer at Orbital Sciences now Northrop Grumman, and at General Electric where he worked on complex systems such as gas turbine engines, rockets, and missiles. After law school Mr. Skiba has worked as an intellectual property attorney using his engineering and business experience to help his clients to protect their ideas, processes, and novel methods. Mr. Skiba is a serial entrepreneur, having founded, or been a co-founder in two previous startup companies.
Lynda Vu - Medical Advisor
COL USAF (ret.), USAF, MPH, MC, SFS, PI
Dr. Vu obtained her M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA, and M.P.H. from Wright State University in Dayton, OH. Dr. Vu is a retired USAF physician. Dr. Vu served as the senior validating flight surgeon at the Theater Patient Movement Requirements Center – Pacific from 2007 to 2009. Dr. Vu also served as the US Air Force Central Command’s Chief of Aerospace Medicine for 6 months while deployed to the CENTCOM Area of Operations in 2017. These military experiences gave critical insights into wartime casualty evacuation operations including the challenges of transporting life-saving blood and blood products long distances.