Leadership & Staff
Dean Emeritus, University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health
Richard S. Kurz, PhD
Dr. Richard S. Kurz is Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC). He formerly served as Dean of the Saint Louis University School of Public Health from 1993 through 2001and as Chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy at Saint Louis University as well as in other administrative roles. He received his baccalaureate degree in sociology from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (1967) and his doctoral degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1976).
In 1991, he served as Chairman of the Board of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), the international consortium of accredited health administration programs, and on the Executive Committee of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) from 1996 to 2001. For six years, he was the Editor of the Journal of Healthcare Management, the international journal published by the Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). He served as a Commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) from 2004 to 2010 and as Co-Chair of the Missouri Council for the Accreditation of Local Health Agencies, and is currently a member of the Public Health Accreditation Council of Texas.
Dr. Kurz has published and presented in the areas of health services organization and management, especially on the topics of leadership, access to care, and quality improvement. Recently, he was coprincipal investigator of a three-year, St. Louis-based project “Managing Hypertension in African America Males” and a co-investigator for the five-year, St. Louis site of the CDC funded, national project “Controlling Asthma in American Cities”. He has served on advisory boards and task forces nationally for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Veterans Administration, and the Institute of Medicine as well as for the Missouri Department of Health and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
While in St. Louis, he was active locally in several civic organizations concerned with children’s health, including service as Chair of Vision for Children at Risk, a multicounty coalition of organizations serving children; as President of the St. Louis City Board of Health; as Chair of the Board of the St. Louis Regional Asthma Consortium, and a Board member of the St. Louis Material, Child, and Family Health Coalition. In Fort Worth, he is co-chair of the Hispanic Wellness Coalition and United Way of Tarrant County Health Council and the UNTHSC representative for the Healthy Tarrant County Collaboration. He is currently leading a community collaborative effort to reduce infant mortality in Tarrant County based in the School of Public and the UNTHSC Center for Community Health.
Chair, Governance Committee
Associate Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President – Program, Health Group Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Michelle A. Larkin, JD, MS, RN
As Senior Program Officer and Team Director, Michelle Ann Larkin, J.D., M.S., R.N., leads the Foundation’s Public Health Team to improve the performance of the federal, state and local public health systems; build the evidence for what works to improve the quality and effectiveness of public health practice and policy; and advocate for the use of law and policy to improve health. Larkin leads a major initiative to build the field of public health law through three integrated strategies: building the evidence for effective public health laws and policies; enhancing the public health infrastructure to support public health practitioners and their legal counsel; and increase the support for, demand for and use of law by policy-makers, academics and professionals in fields that impact health.
Recruited to the Foundation in 1999, Larkin focused on tobacco control policy efforts and end-of-life care. During her tenure at the Foundation, she has worked to improve health and health care by working in several areas including tobacco control, nursing, end-of-life care, quality of care and public health. From 2003 through 2006, Larkin co-led the Foundation’s Tobacco Team, promoting increased tobacco excise taxes, adoption of state and local smoke-free air laws, and increased funding for tobacco prevention and treatment. Through her work, the Foundation has helped 21 states and numerous localities enact comprehensive smoke-free air laws. In addition to increasing the percent of the population covered by smoke-free laws, Larkin’s work has resulted in an increase in the combined state and federal excise tax from $1.11 to $1.55, preventing thousands of children from taking up smoking.
Larkin is also a member of the Foundation´s Quality/Equality Team, which helps communities improve the quality of health care of their citizens by aligning those who give care, get care and pay for care. She serves as executive editor for Charting Nursing’s’ Future, a policy brief series that focuses on solutions to the nation’s nursing shortage. This policy brief series won the American Academy of Nursing 2007 Media Award for helping policy-makers and health care leaders address the nurse and nurse faculty shortages.
Larkin views RWJF as a unique opportunity to bring her clinical, policy and legal experience to bear to improve the public’s health. She strongly believes in the power of law and policy to create lasting social change. RWJF’s commitment to tackling some of the nation’s toughest health and health care problems fulfills the promise she made to herself “to never forget that the work I do impacts the lives of many and that I have a duty to ensure that work makes it easier for people to live healthier lives.”
Prior to joining the Foundation, Larkin worked as a health policy analyst at the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Washington, D.C., developing and analyzing policy proposals related to state, national and international tobacco prevention and control and contributing to the development of Healthy People 2010. As a Presidential Management Intern, she also served as a legislative fellow for the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, working on tobacco control, poison control, managed care reform, and children´s health issues. She has served on several federal review committees and work groups. Previously, she was an oncology nurse at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, Md. She is a member of the American Public Health Association, the Public Health Law Association, the American Bar Association and the New Jersey Bar.
Larkin received a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, an M.S. in nursing/health policy from the University of Maryland and a B.S.N. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Larkin and her spouse have one child and live in Bordentown, N.J. She enjoys martial arts competitions, distance walking and plays a “mean” game of Scrabble.
Chair, Testing Committee
Edyth H. Schoenrich Professor of Preventive Medicine, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
James D. Yager Jr., PhD
Dr. Yager was the senior associate dean for academic affairs of the Bloomberg School of Public Health from 2000 to 2013. In that position Dr. Yager was responsible for overseeing, facilitating, and coordinating existing, and development of new academic, training, and continuing education programs in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Yager oversaw the School’s large, highly rated on-line education infrastructure and programs. Working with members of the School’s faculty, he was instrumental in facilitating the development and funding of the School’s Open CourseWare program, which provides the free availability of the content of over 100 of the School’s courses to individuals throughout the world who desire access to this knowledge for self-improvement, use in teaching, or use in their professions. Individuals from over 120 countries now visit the School’s OCW web site. He was influential in facilitating development of the School’s partnership with Coursera, a company that offers Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at no charge. Faculty currently offer over 30 courses and enrollments have exceeded over one million. In collaboration with faculty and the Pan American Health Association, Dr. Yager facilitated development of a novel internet-based certificate program in Spanish titled “Certificate Program in Epidemiology for Public Health Managers”. Twelve cohorts of 30 students from various countries in Central and South America have completed this 8-month highly successful customized certificate program. A consortium of Latin American institutions along with the Bloomberg SPH now participate in this program which serves as a model for training and capacity building of public health professionals in developing and developed countries. Dr. Yager was an Association of Schools of Public Health representative on the Council of Education in Public Health (CEPH), the body that accredits schools and programs of public health in the United States and internationally from 2004-2009, and was president of CEPH in 2009. In 2010, Dr. Yager was the recipient of the Ernest L. Stebbins Faculty Award recognizing exceptional contributions to the development of educational programs throughout the school.
Dr. Yager is an expert on the mechanisms of estrogen carcinogenesis. His research is focused on investigating pathways and mechanisms by which endogenous and environmental estrogens contribute to the development of “spontaneous” breast cancer with the goal of developing strategies for assessing genetic and environmental risk factors as targets for prevention. He is the author or co-author of over 200 publications, book chapters and abstracts and has trained numerous doctoral and postdoctoral students. Dr. Yager has served on various NIH grant, program project, center and doctoral training program review panels, and served as chair of an NIH R01 grant and a fellowship study section. He was a member of the National Academies of Science Committee on “Toxicity Testing and Assessment of Environmental Agents” that published two reports, the second of which, “Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and A Strategy” presented a new, innovative paradigm for the toxicity testing process in the context of risk assessment.
Dean, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences
Craig H. Blakely, PhD, MPH
Dr. Craig H. Blakely, is dean at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. He obtained his doctorate degree from Michigan State University and a master of public health degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
He has researched and published extensively regarding access to care for underserved expectant mothers, juvenile delinquents, substance abuse and rural health. He has served as principal investigator for grants totaling more than $13 million. His expertise is in bioinformatics and policy development. He has been a reviewer for numerous journals and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Primary Prevention.
He is a member of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control International Advisory Group and the American Public Health Association.
Chair, Maintenance of Certification Committee
John A. Drew Professor of Healthcare Administration, and Director, Doctor of Public Health Degree Program, University of Georgia College of Public Health
Joel M. Lee, DrPH, CPH
Dr. Joel Lee holds the position as John A. Drew Professor of Health Administration, and Director of the Doctor of Public Health degree program at the University of Georgia College of Public Health and previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Dr. Lee completed his MPH and Dr.P.H. at the University of Texas School of Public Health and is a member of the charter group certified by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. He previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Chair of the Department of Health Services Management, and Director of Doctoral Studies, and as director of the University’s undergraduate and graduate degrees in health administration.
Dr. Lee has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), the Kentucky Health Care Strategy Forum and a variety of American College of Health Care Executives committees. He was an inaugural inductee and secretary/treasurer of the Beta Gamma Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, and a founding member and officer of the Beta Chi Chapter at the University of Georgia. Professor Lee currently serves as Program Chair for the American Public Health Association Academic Caucus and Chair of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) Doctor of Public Health Program Directors. He has served as Chair for the Associate Deans for Academic Affairs, and as chair of the ASPPH Health Services Administration Council, as a member of the ASPPH Health Policy and Management MPH Competency Workgroup, the DrPH Competency Model Development Project Task Force, and the Steering Committee of the Academy of Distinguished Public Health Teachers. He was the founding chair of the AUPHA Public Health Faculty Network, and chaired the Doctoral Education Faculty Forum.
In 2005, he was appointed to the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Performance Excellence Award. He serves as a judge for the Kentucky Center for Performance Excellence Awards. Dr. Lee was appointed to the Item Writing Committee for the NBPHE examination, and its Outreach Committee. He was elected as a member of the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association representing the Health Administration Section, and has served on the editorial boards of several journals. Most recently he served as a co-editor of a theme issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice addressing: Teaching and Learning in the Community sponsored by the ASPPH/Pfizer Academy of Distinguished Public Health Teachers. He has been engaged in a variety of workforce continuing education programs and certificates for healthcare practitioners in the U.S. and international public health/health administration activities in Russia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Dr. Lee is a recipient of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association “Great Teacher Award”. In 2005, he was selected by students for the “Golden Apple Award”.
President and CEO, Public Health Accreditation Board
Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN
Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been the President and CEO of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) since 2009. Prior to coming to PHAB, she worked in both local and state public health practice and as dean of a school of nursing on an academic health sciences center campus. She chaired the Exploring Accreditation Steering Committee, the precursor study for the establishment of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Dr. Bender has served on three Institute of Medicine study committees related to public health and was recently appointed to an IOM standing committee on credentialing research in nursing. She has numerous publications and presentations related to governmental public health infrastructure improvement. She is an active member of the American Public Health Association and is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She was recently inducted into the MS Nurses Hall of Fame for her work on improving public health in the United States.
Assistant Dean for Graduate Education, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
David F. Cruess, PhD, CPH, FACE
Dr. David Cruess earned his PhD in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in 1978, and is currently Assistant Dean for Graduate Education at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He is also Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, as well as Professor of Medicine and Emerging Infectious Diseases. He was Certified in Public Health in the initial 2008 cohort, and is also a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology.
Oscar Boonshoft Chair and Director, Center for Global Health, Wright State University
James R. Ebert, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, CPH
Dr. Ebert is Professor and Chair Emeritus of the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences, Wright State University, having retired in 2019. He was program director of Wright State University’s MPH program from 2006 through 2016. He continues to serve part-time as medical director of the Lipid Clinic at Dayton Children’s Medical Center, and teaches part-time in the MPH program. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honorary. He completed his pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s, and a fellowship in adolescent medicine at the Case-affiliated program based at MetroHealth Center in Cleveland. He is board certified in adolescent medicine and pediatrics. He is a member of Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Lipid Association, and the American Public Health Association. He currently serves as Chair of the Governing Board of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. He is the founding president of the Gamma Alpha Chapter of Delta Omega public health honorary at Wright State University. He is a member of the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, and serves on the National Board of Public Health Examiners, writing examination items, and making presentations about Certification in Public Health.
Dean, University of Minnesota School of Public Health
John R. Finnegan Jr., PhD
Dr. John R. Finnegan Jr., is dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and assistant vice president for public health. He holds MA and PhD degrees in Mass Communication that he earned from the University of Minnesota. He began his public health career in 1980, following a first career path as a journalist during the 1970s. As a doctoral student, media professional and later as public health faculty, he was a member of the pioneering research team that developed the Minnesota Heart Health Program (MHHP) at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. The program was one of the most important U.S. community health promotion intervention research initiatives sponsored by the NIH in this period, along with the Stanford and Pawtucket, RI projects. Standards for many of the commonly used research design, intervention, and evaluation strategies for community trials were developed in this work. Based in this initiative, Dr. Finnegan launched a career specializing in the role of communication and mass media in leveraging change in health knowledge, behavior and public policy in the context of community campaigns to improve the public’s health. Central to his research are socio-economically driven inequities in population exposure to health information, part of the larger problem of health status inequities. He also launched a teaching program in media communication and health in the 1980’s as an important addition to the public health intervention curriculum. He was honored in 2007 by the APHA for career achievement.
Dr. Finnegan chairs the board of directors of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) through October, 2014, and is a member of the Framing the Future: The Second Hundred Years of Education for Public Health Task Force. He also sustains strong interest in global health, learning innovations and interprofessional education among the health professions in the context of better integration of public health and health care systems.
ASTHO Executive Director
Michael Fraser, PhD, CAE, FCPP
In August 2016, Michael Fraser began serving as the Executive Director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in state‐based public health practice.
Michael is a dynamic leader in the health field and brings to this post experience leading both public health associations and medical societies. Prior to joining ASTHO, he served as the executive vice president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Medical Society in Harrisburg, PA. Michael has been a distinguished leader in public health for twenty years. He served as CEO of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) from 2007 to 2013, where his leadership was recognized nationally by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Director’s Award in 2014. In addition, the American Public Health Association’s MCH Section awarded AMCHP the Outstanding Leadership and Advocacy Award. Prior to joining AMCHP, he was the deputy executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials from 2002 to 2007, and served in several capacities at the US Department of Health and Human Services, including positions at the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2015, Michael was nominated for SmartCEO magazine’s nonprofit executive of the year in 2015 and CEOUpdate magazine’s “Top CEO” award in 2013 by his coworkers and peers. In 2009, he received a “Young and Aspiring CEO” award from Association Trends magazine. In Spring 2015, he was admitted as a Fellow in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, one of just a handful on non-physician Fellows in the nation’s oldest professional society.
Michael received his doctorate and master’s degrees in sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a masters in management, strategy and leadership from the Eli Broad School of Business Michigan State University. He received his B.A. in sociology from Oberlin College in 1991.
Since coming to ASTHO, Mike has crisscrossed the nation to meet with members, partners, and public health leaders to further advance ASTHO’s mission as an advocate, voice and resource for state and territorial public health. He has served on several national boards and advisory committees throughout his career. He is currently active in the American Society of Association Executives, serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, and an ex-officio member of the Public Health Accreditation Board.
Founding Dean, Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health - Indianapolis
Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, FACHE
Dean, New York University Global Institute of Public Health
Cheryl Healton, DrPH
Dr. Cheryl Healton is the dean of global public health at New York University (NYU) and director of the NYU Global Institute of Public Health (GIPH). In this capacity she is responsible for building the GIPH’s academic, service, and research programs in collaboration with partners at NYU and throughout the public health community. The GIPH focuses on domestic and international health issues with an emphasis on prevention, systems intervention, and innovation in public health practice.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Healton joined the staff of Legacy, the foundation created by the Master Settlement Agreement between the States Attorneys General and the tobacco industry as the first President and chief executive officer. In this role she worked to further the foundation’s ambitious mission: to build a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. During her tenure with the foundation, she has guided the highly acclaimed, national youth tobacco prevention counter-marketing campaign, truth®, which has been credited in part with reducing youth smoking prevalence to near record lows. In 2007 with Dr. Healton’s guidance and support, Legacy spearheaded a national coalition of public and private organizations – the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation – to launch the first-ever national smoking cessation campaign since the Fairness Doctrine, a brief period during which public health groups received free time on the airwaves to counter televised ads to sell tobacco. Legacy has also established a research institute, The Steven A. Schroeder Institute which has grown markedly since its inception.
Dr. Healton holds a doctorate from Columbia University’s School of Public Health (with distinction) and a master’s degree in Public Administration from NYU Wagner in Health Policy and Planning.
From 1975 until present, Dr. Healton held a variety of posts at Columbia University including associate for clinical administration and assistant vice-president for the health sciences where among other roles she oversaw hospital affiliation affairs. In 1987 she joined Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York, where she served as chair of the department of socio-medical sciences, associate dean for program development, and director of the center for applied public health. During her tenure at Columbia, Dr. Healton worked to expand the scope of public health programs and undertook innovative educational initiatives to advance public health practice in NYC and throughout the nation. She was the founding chair of the Public Health Practice Council of the Association of Schools of Public Health and served on numerous committees of the AAMC and ASPH.
Senior Fellow and Adjunct Associate Professor, Morehouse School of Medicine
Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, CPH
Executive Director, Council on Education for Public Health
Laura King, MPH, MCHES
Laura Rasar King has served as Executive Director of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) since 2004. Her career spans nearly 20 years in public health, most of which has focused on quality assurance in higher education in public health and related professional fields. In her current role, she is responsible for managing the work of CEPH and supporting its Board of Directors. She assists universities interested in establishing a public health degree program and pursuing accreditation both nationally and internationally, and maintains relationships with governmental and private sector organizations that share common interests in higher education, accreditation, academic public health and public health workforce issues.
Her other professional positions have included: Outreach and Education Director in the Environment and Health Program at Physicians for Social Responsibility, as well as positions focusing on clinician education at The George Washington University’s Medical Faculty Associates and the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation. Early in her career, she worked at HealthReach Network, a consortium of 11 federally funded health centers in rural Maine, as a VISTA Volunteer.
Her professional activities have included a variety of appointed and elected positions in the American Public Health Association (APHA), and in APHA’s Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) section. She was the 2002 Judith R. Miller Award recipient for service to the PHEHP section and APHA in support of the practice and profession of health education. She has served on the Division Board for Professional Development of the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), on the Board of Trustees of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) and as a member of the Assessment Process Workgroup of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). She currently serves as Chair of Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).
Although her primary interest lies in higher education quality, she is also interested in quality education throughout the lifespan. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, on the Elementary Curriculum Advisory Committee for Howard County, Maryland and on the School Improvement Team for Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School. She received an MPH in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and BA in Psychology from American University, both in Washington, DC. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Organizational Leadership at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).
Assistant Professor College of Public Health University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Shari Kinney, DrPH, RN, CPH
Dr. Shari Kinney is the Practicum Coordinator for the College of Public Health and Vice Chair of the Department of Health Administration and Policy at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She has Doctor of Public Health, Master of Public Health and Master of Nursing Degrees. Her research interests focus on quality improvement in public health, inter-professional education and measuring competency attainment. She teaches US Healthcare Systems, Organizational Theory and Behavior and Integrated Public Health Practice. She has developed online courses and developed strategies to provide active learning opportunities for online students.
Prior to her appointment to the College of Public Health in 2013, she was the Administrative Director for Cleveland and McClain County Health Departments for 10 years. She also spent 15 years at the Oklahoma State Department of Health as a Chief in Maternal and Child Health Programs.
Dr. Kinney has served on the Governing Council of APHA and has served on the Board of Directors for NACCHO, the Public Health Institute of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Public Health Association. She earned her CPH in 2013 and has served as an exam writer. She received the 2016 Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching at the OU College of Public Health.
Deputy Executive Director Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service
John E. McElligott, MPH, CPH
John E. McElligott grew up in Naperville, Illinois, and graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Science degree. He then served as a community health volunteer in the Peace Corps in both Cote d’Ivoire and Madagascar. John received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. He was a Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellow and received the Outstanding Graduate Award of his class. He is an elected member of Delta Omega, the national honorary society in public health. John earned the Certification in Public Health from the National Board of Public Health Examiners.
In July 2012, John became Deputy Executive Director of the Commissioned Officers Association of the United States Public Health Service and of the PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health. He is co-chair of the Guard/Reserve Committee of The Military Coalition. From 2010-2012 he was Public Health Policy Analyst for the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and from 2008-2010 he was Project Manager at ASPPH. From 2006-2008, John worked for the Arizona Department of Health Services in Phoenix, Arizona.
John is an officer in the United State Army Reserve. He is currently with the Civil-Military Operations Center, 354th Civil Affairs Brigade. He served on active duty in 2015 at the Institute for Military Support to Governance, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. John earned the Leadership Award from Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate of the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. John was an Honor Graduate and received the Army Values Award from the Quartermaster Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Lee, Virginia. Other military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the Norwegian Road March Badge.
John and his wife Leslie live in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Health Officer, Clark County Public Health Department
Alan Melnick, MD, MPH, CPH
Alan Melnick, MD, MPH, CPH, is the Health Officer for Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum Counties, Washington and Chair of the Washington State Health Officers Forum. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and Public Health & General Preventive Medicine. From 2005-2006, Dr. Melnick was a Board member of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). Currently, he is a member of the NACCHO Workforce Strategic Development Team, the NACCHO International Health Workgroup, the Community Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP) of the National Institutes of Health and Vice President of the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington. Dr. Melnick was a Year 3 Scholar in the National Public Health Leadership Institute, past Chair of its alumni association, the National Public Health Leadership Society (PHLS) and is currently Co-Chair of the PHLS Ethics Committee. He conducts research in public health services and practice. Currently, he is Principal Investigator on two projects, a Robert Wood Johnson Active Living Research project, PAWN – Planning for Active Walkable Neighborhoods and a multisite randomized clinical trial, Effectiveness of Home Based Distribution of Hormonal Contraceptives for Women at Risk for Unintended Pregnancy.
Vice President, Socially Determined
Ashley Perry, MPH, CPH
Ashley Perry is a Director with Premier’s Population Health team, specializing in enhancing organizations’ value-based care capabilities. In this capacity, she provides strategic and operational advisory services and support to organizations working to enhance the health of the communities they serve through the implementation of population-based care delivery and payment models, including Accountable Care Organizations, Clinically Integrated Networks, Patient Centered Medical Homes, and Perioperative Surgical Homes. Ashley also helps facilitate the development of innovative cross-sector collaborations, including partners from the education, faith-based, housing, public health, and social services sectors, to help delivery systems address health-related social needs that may impact population health outcomes.
Ashley provides thought leadership and operational support to national learning collaboratives focused on accelerating population health development through shared learning, using data to identify high impact opportunities and drive performance improvement. These collaboratives include Premier’s Population Health Management Collaborative and the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Perioperative Surgical Home Learning Collaborative. This work includes developing and implementing tools and resources that enable collaborative participants to navigate the transition from volume- to value-based care successfully, pairing care redesign with payment reform.
Prior to joining Premier, Ashley managed a portfolio of federal and privately funded research studies for Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health that focused on examining socio-cultural and structural determinants of health disparities. Findings from these studies have been published in journals such as the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Social Science & Medicine. Earlier in her career, she led research and programmatic initiatives for organizations ranging from a federally qualified health center to the country’s largest local health department and a national healthcare consulting firm.
Ashley graduated with honors from Duke University with a major in Economics and a certificate in Health Policy. She also holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University.
Ashley is a Certified Public Health Professional and an active member of the American Public Health Association. She is based in Washington, DC where she serves as a member of the DC Department of Health’s Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Advisory Board. In 2014, Ashley was selected as a Next Generation member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Women of Impact in Healthcare” (www.rwjf.org/womenofimpact) and she continues to be an active contributor to that group.
United States Public Health Service Public Health Analyst/Project Officer Health Resources and Services Administration
CDR Sam Price, MBA, MPH, CPH
CDR Sam Price began his career in the Department of Health and Human Services as a Presidential Management Intern in May 1997 and joined the USPHS Commissioned Corps in April 2009. He began working at the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care in October 2013 as a Public Health Analyst for the Northeast Division and works with Health Centers in the New England Region to improve the health of the Nation’s underserved communities and vulnerable populations. He previously served at the Department of Health and Human Services in various offices within the Office of the Secretary planning and coordinating budget activities. He has earned a Bachelor of Business in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a Master of Business Administration from Rice University, and a Master of Public Health from the George Washington University. He also passed the Certified in Public Health (CPH) Exam in 2013 to earn the CPH credential.
Health Commissioner - Marion County, Ohio
Thomas Quade, CPH
Mr. Quade is the Health Commissioner for Marion County, Ohio. He is also the immediate Past President of the American Public Health Association. His public health mission is a consequence of his Peace Corps service in the Kingdom of Nepal. After earning his MPH from Yale University, he worked briefly for the World Health Organization at the end of the crisis in Kosovo. He returned to his family home in Akron, Ohio when his mother passed away to provide for his sister who lives with developmental disabilities. Once there, he began his local public health career as an epidemiologist with the Akron City Health Department and worked his way up to eventually serve as the interim director of health when he led the department through a successful consolidation with the Summit County Public Health District. He then became the deputy health commissioner for the combined agency and successfully led the process that resulted in it becoming the first health department in Ohio to become nationally accredited. He also maintains a community faculty position with the Consortium of Eastern Ohio Master of Public Health program. Mr. Quade is a strong advocate for public health accreditation and professional certification efforts.
Medical Director Florida Department of Health in Duval County
Pauline Rolle, MD, MPH, CPH
Dr. Pauline Rolle is the Medical Director for the Florida Department of Health in Duval County (DOH-Duval). She is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Public Health. A native of Miami, she is a graduate of Fisk University and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and she completed her Pediatric residency training at the University of Florida Health Science Center at Jacksonville in Jacksonville, FL. She also completed her Master of Public Health at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.
Dr. Rolle has been with the health department since 2003. Before assuming her current role, she was a community pediatrician at West Jacksonville Family Health Center located in Northwest Jacksonville. Dr. Rolle was a National Health Service Corps physician who provided comprehensive pediatric care to children birth to age 21 in an area that lacked quality medical care for children. She also served as a University of Florida faculty member and clinical preceptor for medical students, nurse practitioner students, and physician assistant students from several colleges and universities in Florida and Georgia. In 2013, Dr. Rolle became the Medical Director for the Florida Department of Health in Duval County. As Medical Director, Dr. Rolle oversees the clinical, dental, pharmacy and behavioral health programs for DOH-Duval. She is also the DOH-Duval subject matter expert for pediatric and adolescent related topics, including immunizations, sexual health, obesity prevention, and general health and wellness. She enjoys traveling with her family, cooking and the occasional outdoor activity. She also loves a good bargain. She is married to Harold Rolle Jr. and they have 2 children (Marha and Harold III).
Assistant Professor in Health Services Research and Administration, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health
Nizar K. Wehbi, MD, MPH, MBA, CPH
Nizar Wehbi MD, MPH, MBA, CPH is an Assistant Professor at the College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Dr. Wehbi started his career in Clinical Medicine taking care of patients in inpatient and outpatient settings. With interest in Cancer Research, he tried to identify biomarkers (proteins) that would predict prostate and bladder cancer at very early stages of the disease. He then moved to hospital administration and worked for The Nebraska Medical Center in strategic planning and business development, providing support to hospital leadership in developing, implementing and monitoring the organizational strategic planning process.
In the College of Public Health, Dr. Wehbi serves as the academic advisor for many MPH students and he teaches graduate courses in Health Services Administration, Human Resources Management, US Health Care System, and Health Policy. Nizar also serves on the Faculty and Planning Committee of the Interprofessional Leadership for Excellence and Academic Development, known as iLEAD, a UNMC-wide faculty development program.
Dr. Wehbi’s research interests focus on healthcare quality, outcomes measures, efficiency of healthcare services, the use of six sigma and LEAN principles for process improvement, health and wellness programs, and strategic planning and governance in healthcare organizations.
Dr. Wehbi is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is board certified in health care management. He is Certified in Public Health (CPH) and served as an item writer for the National Board of Public Health Examiners CPH exam. He was appointed to the 2012 Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The award program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a US organization can receive. Dr. Wehbi serves as a trustee and is on the Board of Directors of the Omaha Home for Boys, and is a director of the Heartland Healthcare Executives Group, which is the Nebraska chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Mohammed Akhtar, MD, MPH - Honorary Member
Mohammed Akhtar, MD, MPH - Honorary Member
Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS - Honorary Member