Retired Vice Admiral Raquel “Rocky” C. Bono Joins Red Cell Partners as a Senior Advisor and the Board of TARA Mind

TYSONS, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Red Cell Partners, an incubation firm building technology-centered companies that are bringing revolutionary advancements to market in national security and healthcare, today announced that Vice Admiral (Retired) Raquel “Rocky” C. Bono, MD, MBA, FACS, has joined as a Senior Advisor. Bono, who made history as the Navy’s first female medical officer to achieve the rank of three-star admiral, will also bring her decades of expertise to the Board of Red Cell portfolio company, TARA Mind

“Rocky’s brand of disruptive leadership represents a perfect fit at Red Cell, where we leverage the power of innovation to help solve some of our nation’s most pressing problems,” said Red Cell Founder & CEO and TARA Mind Co-founder Grant Verstandig. “Throughout her illustrious career, which includes 36 years in the Navy, Rocky has built a reputation for being a trusted leader who drives impactful and transformative change. As a designer of healthcare solutions across military and civilian sectors, Rocky has been a tireless champion for not only the health of service members and their families, but the general population as well. I could not be more honored to welcome her as a member of our team.”

“Having Admiral Bono, a true healthcare luminary with a track record of bringing innovative solutions where they are most needed, joining the ranks of TARA Mind is a full circle moment for me as a former Navy Seal,” said TARA Mind Co-founder and CEO Marcus Capone. “During her tenure with the Navy, Rocky oversaw the most comprehensive reform that the Military Health System had ever undergone, which helped to centralize shared services, standardize health processes, and eliminate inefficiencies. Her background as a doctor, military officer, and a creative, out-of-the-box thinker, will bring great value to TARA Mind as we work to tackle our nation’s mental health crisis and expand access to safe and affordable psychedelic-assisted therapy.”

Bono, who currently serves as the Chief Health Officer at Viking Cruises and a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, brings a wealth of experience as a healthcare leader to Red Cell and TARA Mind. In addition to serving as a Vice Admiral in the Navy, Bono was the second director of the Defense Health Agency, a $50 billion health enterprise that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services. In this role, Bono oversaw 55 military treatment facilities and more than 300 affiliated clinics. A board-certified trauma surgeon and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Bono was also the 11th Chief of the Navy Medical Corps. In 2020, she was tapped to lead the Washington State COVID-19 Health System Response Management, where she created public-private partnerships to help coordinate the state’s response to the coronavirus. Bono holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from the Carson College of Business at Washington State University, and a medical degree from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. She completed her surgical internship and residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va.

“Leadership is about creating the conditions for change. True leaders assess the requirements and capabilities needed for change, design strategies, assemble the best teams, and decisively follow through,” said Bono who has appeared on Modern Health Care’s lists of 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives (2019); 50 Most Influential Physician Executives (2018); and 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare (2018). “What we do in health and medicine provides the foundation for functional and robust economic systems and is therefore critical to national security. To be part of an organization like Red Cell whose mission is so in line with my own personal and professional beliefs represents a rare opportunity. I am eager to roll up my sleeves and work alongside exceptional leaders like Grant and Marcus on how we can get from flash to bang sooner –or as others may refer to as ‘informed speed to market’ – so we can affect meaningful change and have a true positive and lasting impact on the US healthcare system.”

About Red Cell Partners:

Red Cell Partners is an incubation firm building rapidly scalable technology-led companies that are bringing revolutionary advancements to market in healthcare and national security. United by a shared sense of duty and deep belief in the power of innovation, Red Cell is developing powerful tools and solutions to address our Nation’s most pressing problems. Learn more at and follow us on social media (LinkedInInstagram,Twitter).

About TARA Mind:

TARA Mind is a Public Benefit Corporation founded in 2022 to expand safe and affordable access to psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT). Rooted in science and sound clinical practice, the company has built a network of vetted providers across the US to deliver PAT and is equipping them with proprietary digital measurement-based care tools that underpin the data-driven framework that supports value-based reimbursements for PAT by both employers and payors. Learn more at and follow us on social media (LinkedInInstagramTwitter).