About ENT Specialty Partners

We are a growing community of quality ear, nose, and throat practitioners and audiologists dedicated to harnessing the power of TOGETHER.

ENT Specialty Partners is building a practice community dedicated to excellence. Our growth is based on bringing TOGETHER world-class physicians, best practices, and innovation with the goal of unsurpassed patient care.

ESP preserves independence for our partner doctors while giving them access to best-in-class resources, collaborative opportunities, and expertise.

Our Leadership

Anthony Natale, MD

Executive Chairman

Tony, our Executive Chairman, is a healthcare leader and visionary with a track record of building successful organizations. He has over 20 years of experience as a physician, inventor, founder, operator, and investor. He has worked closely with his companies across the med-tech, life sciences, and health care services industries to devise strategy and rapidly scale operations. Given his related clinical background, he has been particularly active in the ENT sector, with involvement with companies including Mako Surgical, Inspire Medical, Spirox, Entrigue Surgical, Otonomy, XII Medical, Cortica, XLumena, Channel Medsystems and Avedro.

Tony trained in General Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Connecticut/Hartford Hospital and holds a BA from the University of Virginia, an MD from the University of Florida, and an MBA from Yale. 

Ron Kuppersmith, MD

Chief Executive Officer

Ron is the CEO and co-founder of ENT Specialty Partners. He also is one of the co-founders of Texas ENT and Allergy, a multi-site and full-service private practice in Central Texas. He is a proven leader within the specialty, having served as the President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, President of the Texas Association of Otolaryngology, and as a Professor of Surgery at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

Ron has extensive experience working closely with management of health service, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, non-profit organizations, and investors in a variety of capacities including board member, founder, investor, advisor and in operational roles.

Ron trained in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He has a BA in Economics and MD from the University of Michigan and an MBA from University of Washington.

Drew Franklin

Chief Strategy Officer

Drew was previously the Chief Strategy Officer for ENT and Allergy Associates, the largest ear, nose, throat, and allergy practice in the country. During his tenure, the practice had unprecedented success in expansion, recruitment, and contract negotiation and was consolidated as the premier practice in the competitive New York City market.

Drew was responsible for the creation, management, and oversight of several divisions within the practice. He played a key role in the optimization of physician workflow and billing to streamline and maximize revenue. His expertise lies in business process re-engineering, managed care contracting, clinical affiliations, provider analytics, practice development, and marketing.

Prior to entering the field of health care administration, Drew completed a two-year tour of duty as a staff sergeant in the Israel Defense Forces. He is a Fellow of the America College of Medical Practice Executives and holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and a BA from Franklin and Marshall College.

Chris Watt

Chief Financial Officer

Chris is a leader in finance with extensive experience in the health care industry, supporting growth and emerging companies. He has proven success in joint ventures, mergers, acquisition, and monetizing owner goodwill in divestitures. Prior to serving as the Chief Financial Officer of ENT Specialty Partners, Chris was the Chief Accounting Officer at US Acute Care Solutions, a leading national provider of emergency medicine and physician services with more than 4,000 clinicians at 220+ hospital systems in the US. He also served as the CFO for a large physician practice and clinical trials research center in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. Chris has served as advisor to a startup telemedicine enterprise and a medical education company.

Previously Chris worked as a Controller and a Director of Financial Operations for global Fortune 500 companies: Gentiva Health Care, Sodexo, and Marriott International. During his time at Gentiva he led the division finance team with growth from $60M to $750M in annual managed volume within five years.

Chris earned his CPA while at Ernst & Young, specializing in health care and banking. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Vanderbilt and MBA from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Jill Nichols

Vice President of Operations

Jill is an accomplished healthcare executive whose expertise lies within multi-site operations, performance optimization, and financial stewardship.  She is particularly enthusiastic about conceiving and implementing new initiatives that drive performance excellence and fuel bottom-line profitability, which she’s had the opportunity to do across multiple specialties and business functions.

Prior to joining ENT Specialty Partners, Jill served as Regional Operations Director for DaVita Dialysis, where she provided operational leadership for 12 dialysis centers and 200 teammates, while maintaining accountability for $30M P&L.  In this role, she was also responsible for identifying and developing strategic growth opportunities, driving operational and clinical outcomes, and establishing/overseeing a centralized COVID unit to serve the broader Dallas-Fort Worth Division.  Earlier in her career, Jill served as Regional Operations Director for True Results/USPI and as Executive Director for Legacy Physicians Group.

Jill holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Trinity University and received her BBA in Finance and BBA in Economics from Texas Tech University.

Connie Wright

Vice President, Human Resources

Connie is a proven human resources leader specializing in health care and passionate about cultural transformation that prepares organizations for the changing world. She has 25 years of experience in health care, primarily in acute care hospitals including Richardson Regional Medical Center, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, and Scottish Rite for Children.

Dedicated and passionate about developing strong employee relations, Connie is a change agent with innovative leadership that aligns human resources vision and strategy with business goals. She has served as a leader through numerous mergers and acquisitions in the health care space, established leadership universities across multiple companies, and consistently produced best-in-class HR metrics.

Connie is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), has an MBA from Texas Woman’s University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Marissa Walker

Director of Communications

Marissa is a strategic communications leader with nearly 15 years of experience in developing and spearheading thoughtful, effective, and measurable campaigns in public relations, corporate communications, public policy, and marketing.

She recently served as Senior Communications Program Manager for Southwest Transplant Alliance, where she led community outreach, media relations and data-driven initiatives for the health care nonprofit. She has dedicated much of her career to the nonprofit and health care industries, identifying opportunities to affect change through storytelling and comprehensive communications programs. She led the marketing, communications, and legislative affairs initiatives for a number of professional membership associations and serves as volunteer and advisory board member for community nonprofits.

Marissa has a Master of Public Policy and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from The University of Texas at Dallas and a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Texas Christian University.

Practice Leaders

Richard Thrasher, MD
Board Certified in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Ashley Bergstrom
Practice Administrator
Andrew de Jong, MD
Board Certified in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Mary Whitmire
Practice Administrator
Jed Grisel, MD
Board Certified in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Mary Twyford
Practice Administrator

Our team is growing! Learn more about joining our practice community:

At ESP, we’re physicians building toward the future TOGETHER.