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Williams Elected Chair of American Public Health Association

HP&M faculty member Dr. Jessica Williams was elected chair of the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) effective November 2018. As chair, Dr. Williams will seek connections between medical care and public health.  December 2018

MHSA Program Hosts 8th Annual HP&M Regional Case Competition

A total of 55 students representing four regional MHSA programs participated in the 2018 HP&M Regional Case Competition, hosted by the University of Kansas, School of Medicine's MHSA program. Joining our program students for this year's competition were the University of Missouri, the University of Iowa, the University of Oklahoma, and Saint Louis University. This year's winners were:
First Year Students Round: University of Iowa
Second Year Students Round: University of Kansas (Andrew Christenson, Malika Singh, John Luthi)

November 2018

2018 Alumni Lecture and Reception 

All alumni and current students are invited to attend our 2018 Alumni Weekend event on Friday, October 5th. Nicholas Tejeda, MHSA, FACHE, Class of 2007 will be our featured speaker during our Don. C. Black Future of Healthcare Lecture, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. followed immediately by a reception. Please RSVP by September 27th to

2017 KU Cancer Center Research Symposium Award Winners

HP&M faculty and students participated in the 2017 KUCC Research Symposium and Multi-Disciplinary Oncology Conference and came away with some impressive awards.

The HP&M award winners in the various categories were as follows:

Pilot Project Award Winner - $35,000 award
Joanna Brooks, ACS-IRG winner - "Palliative Care in Oncology: Patient Utilization and Awareness"

Student Poster Competition Award Winner:
1st place - Ariel Shifter - "Learn-Inform-Recruit: Increasing the offer of urological cancer trials in community practice" - $1,000 travel award

Junior Faculty/ Clinical Poster Competition Award Winner:
TIE - 3rd place - Shellie Ellis - "When an Intervention is Not Designed for Dissemination: Developing a Strategy to Improve System-Innovation Fit" - $300 travel award

The LEARN INFORM RECRUIT team was awarded an additional $83,000 to pilot test materials they developed to support the offer of clinical trials in community urology practices.


S. Ellis, PI, C. Mackay, Co-I, A. Shifter, project manager, and colleagues from School of Journalism and Mass Communications

 December 2017


MHSA Program Hosts 7th Annual HP&M Regional Case Competition

Three regional MHSA programs participated in this year's HP&M Regional Case Competition, hosted again by the University of Kansas program. Joining the University of Kansas MHSA program students for this year's competition were the University of Missouri and the University of Arkansas. This year's winners were:
First Year Students Round: University of Kansas
Second Year Students Round: University of Kansas

October 2017

MHSA Graduates Go On to Fellowships

The following MHSA graduates have received administrative fellowships for the following year:

Aman Dhillon - Saint Lukes Health System
Madeline Kemp - Lehigh Valley Health Network
TaShar Fluker - Advocate Sherman Hospital

June 2017

Doctoral Student Receives 2017 Summer Fellowship

PhD Student Gayle Brekke received a 2017 summer research fellowship at the Mises Institute at Auburn University. June 2017

JHAWK Annual Awards

The MHSA Student Organization, Jayhawk Healthcare Administrators Working for Kansas (JHAWK), announced their annual awards at the Graduation Reception:
Outstanding Faculty Member: Dr. Joanna Brooks
Outstanding Student: Iryna Yeromenko

May 2017

MHSA Program Graduates 22; Graduation Awards Announced

The MHSA Program celebrated 22 new 2016-2017 graduates at its May 13th Hooding Ceremony.  Among the graduates were one Joint MS Nursing/MHSA, one MD/MHSA, and 4 Joint BSHIM/MHSA students. This year's graduation speaker was Scott Hall, JD, MBA, Senior Vice President  for Civic and Community Initiatives at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Congratulations to the following new MHSA graduates receiving awards at this year's Graduation Reception:
Health Care Executive of the Future Award: Heather Saenz Smith
Professional Development Award: Iryna Yeromenko

May 2017

Alumnus John Hummer Presents Spring Future of Healthcare Lecture

On April 3, 2017 MHSA alumnus John Hummer, Co-founder and President of Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, New Mexico State University, presented the Spring 2017 Don C. Black Future of Healthcare Lecture, entitled "An Evening with MHSA Alum John Hummer." April 2017

JHAWK Announces New Officers

The following MHSA students have been elected as officers for the 2017 year:
President: Sarah McKittrick
Vice President: Joe Muiller
Treasurer: Jackie McCullough
Information Officer: Rebecca Sylvester
Outreach Officer: Jessica Conway
Liaison Officer: Maha Madi
Planning Officer: Madison Davis

November 2016

MHSA Program Hosts 6th Annual HP&M Regional Case Competition

A total of 35 students representing four regional MHSA programs participated in this year's HP&M Regional Case Competition, hosted by the University of Kansas program. Joining the University of Kansas MHSA program students for this year's competition were the University of Missouri, the University of Oklahoma and first-time attendee the University of Arkansas. This year's winners were:
First Year Students Round: University of Missouri
Second Year Students Round: University of Arkansas

November 2016

Faculty Member Elected Chair of American Public Health Association

HP&M faculty member Dr. Jessica Williams was elected as the new Chair-elect of the Medical Care Section of the American Health Association at their annual meeting. November 2016

New Executive-in-Residence

Gene Meyer, healthcare consultant and retired CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, has been announced as the new MHSA Program Executive-in-Residence. Meyer will teach the MHSA Capstone course. October 2016

Don C. Black Future of Healthcare Lecture

Tom Bell, President and CEO of the Kansas Hospital Association, was the invited presenter on October 24 for the Fall 2017 Don C. Black Future of Healthcare Lecture. Mr. Bell spoke on "Healthcare Challenges: 2016 and Beyond". October 2016

PhD Program Receives First Chancellor's Doctoral Fellowship

New PhD student Dorothy Hughes was selected as one of the recipients of the University of Kansas Chancellor's Doctoral Fellowship. Health Policy and Management is one of only two departments at the Medical Center campus to be awarded this prestigious fellowship. The fellowships were first announced in 2013 as a tool to help KU help recruit and support doctoral students, a key goal of KU's Bold Aspirations strategic plan. September 2015

October 2nd Alumni Weekend HP&M Panel Participants Announced

HP&M Chair Dr. Robert Lee has announced the panel topic and participants for this year's 4th annual Alumni Weekend event sponsored by the Department of Health Policy and Management. Bob Bonney, Senior Vice President, Saint Luke's Health System and HP&M faculty member, will once again moderate the panel that will address "Innovative Care Coordination: Views from the Front Lines." Panelists are: 
• Brian Burns, Senior Vice President of Integrated Health Services at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City
• Nathan Granger, MD, MBA, Clay Platte Family Medicine Clinic and Chief Medical Officer, KCMPA-ACO
• Rita Hyde, MD, Westwood Internal Medicine and Medical Director, Kansas Primary Care Alliance
• Joy Jacobson, MHSA, Ambulatory Quality Program Director, The University of Kansas Hospital

Following the panel the Department will host a reception for all HP&M alumni, faculty and students. Email invitations were recently sent to alumni.  September 2015

Alumni Hummer and Olm-Shipman Visit Classroom

Alumnus Chris Hummer (1995) recently paid a visit to the KUMC campus to spend time in the Designing Health Care Organizations class taught by Dr. Robert Lee. Chris, who is Senior Vice President for the Southern Division of Carolinas Healthcare System and President of CMC Pineville, shared his thoughts about the impact of healthcare reform from a system perspective, as well as his reflections on the value of his MHSA degree. Alum Bobby Olm-Shipman (2002), the newly named CEO of Saint Luke's South in Overland Park, KS, joined Dr. Lee, Chris, and  Barry Marshall, the Executive Director of Solid Organ Transplantation Services of KU Hospital, who is co-teaching the class. September 2015

HP&M Welcomes New Faculty

The Department welcomes new Assistant Professors Dr. Joanna Brooks and Dr. Jessica Williams. Dr. Brooks earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and most recently was a was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Harvard University. Dr. Williams was a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University and received her PhD in Health Policy and Management with a concentration in Health Economics from UCLA.

University of Kansas Physicians, INC. Chief Executive Officer, Jim Albertson III, has joined the Department as an instructor in the MHSA Program. Mr. Albertson will be teaching two of the MHSA finance courses. He has more than 40 years of experience in the healthcare field as CPA, hospital CFO, healthcare attorney, medical business consultant and financial dean of a school of medicine.

Research Assistant Professor Christina Pacheco from the Department of Family Medicine has joined HP&M to teach the MHSA Health Policy course. Ms. Pacheco has more than seven years of experience in policy and law and nearly five years of research experience in tobacco cessation and control, environmental health, health disparities, and community based participatory research. August 2015

Long-time Faculty Member Mike Grasso Retires

On August 5, Dr. Mike Grasso, one of our long-time faculty members, retired from the Health Policy & Management faculty. Dr. Grasso joined the HP&M program in 2002 as an Adjunct Professor teaching the Management Information Systems course. At that time the program was located on the Edwards campus. He joined the full-time faculty in 2004.

During his tenure at KUMC he taught a variety of courses in addition to the MIS course. These included Financial Concepts in Health Care Management, Applied Financial Concepts, Reimbursement, Health Care Statistics and Roles, Functions and Care Models. Dr. Grasso also started the Community Health Center Executive Fellowship Program which eventually grew to attract students from all over the country. He was also instrumental in the development of the Master's Program in Health Informatics. The students have recognized Dr. Grasso three times with the Faculty Excellence Award.

Dr. Grasso and his wife Kay have already relocated to Southern California. They now reside in the small town of Hemet in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains. They are located about 80 miles from both Los Angeles to the west and San Diego to the south where Mike and Kay both have family. Kay retired from her position as the Director of Clinical Informatics at the University of Kansas Hospital in 2013. Outside of work they have kept busy with Pickleball, Golf, Water Volleyball, teaching Bible Study classes at church and traveling around the region. They remain die-hard Royals and KU sports fans missing very few games on TV.

Looking back on his career at KUMC, Dr. Grasso had the following thoughts. "I have been doubly blessed to have had a successful career in healthcare management and then to have the opportunity to share those experiences with the students in the HP&M Program. My greatest experience in teaching is to start the first class in August and be met with mostly quizzical looks and blank stares and then see those same students make very sophisticated financial presentations in May that would rival the abilities of most administrative people I have known! And it is always a joy to have students come back and tell me how much they have been able to utilize what we have taught them in the program.

Over the past thirteen years I have had the opportunity to work with some great people in the department and to work for some great leaders including Dr. Fox, Dr. Cox and Dr. Lee. It has truly been a wonderful experience! Kay and I will also remember fondly the opportunities we had to get to know the students socially, particularly at our annual BBQ at the end of each academic year!
The world of health care management is more complex and challenging today than at any time since I first started working in health care some 45 years ago. Yet I feel confident that the people who we are sending out to solve these problems are well equipped and prepared to meet the challenges that we are now facing. I am very confident that the future lies in their hands."  August 2015

KC Blues Tap MHSA Alumnus

MHSA graduate Dr. Larry Watts (2013) has been named Medical Director at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of KC. Dr. Watts has served as the Chief Medical Officer at Hays Medical Center for the last 3 years. August 2015

Doctoral Program Graduates Two New Phds

Doctoral students Melissa Jaffee and Norbert Belz earned their PhD in Health Policy and Management this August. They are the 2nd and 3rd graduates of the program. Congratulations Dr. Jaffee and Dr. Belz!    August 2015

MHSA Program Welcomes New Students

Welcome to our 24 outstanding new MHSA students!  View their class profile here. August 2015

MHSA Alumnus Named CEO of Saint Luke's South Hospital

Alumnus Bobby Olm-Shipman (2002), has been named the new CEO of Saint Luke's South Hospital in Overland Park KS. He formerly served as the system's vice president of planning and project management. His predecessor, who is now the CEO of the System's Plaza hospital, said, "Bobby has a strong record of exceptional leadership within the health system. He possesses a wealth of experience in strategic planning and organizational efficiency. His successful management of Vision 2020 is a testament not only to his skills as a leader but also as a collaborator." Congratulations, Bobby. August 2015

Students Pereira and Popoola Present Posters at Academy Health

Doctoral students Phil Pereira and Taiye Popoolo made poster presentations at the June 26-28 Annual Research Meeting of Academy Health. Joining them at the conference were HP&M faculty members Mary Zimmerman and Tami Gurley-Calvez. Pereira's poster was entitled "Factors Leading to Cost Related Medication Nonadherence Among Older Americans and Its Effect on Hospitalizations and Long Term Health: A Longitudinal Examination." Popoola presented "Access to Extended Office Hours and Emergency Room Utilization."  June 2015

Doctoral Student to Present at National Cancer Meeting

HP&M PhD student Chris Mackay and her co-authors' abstract, "Cancer Center and Community Research Program Experience with Insurance Denials for Clinical Trial Participation after ACA Mandate" was selected as one of the top three abstracts to be presented at the seventh annual Cancer Research Institute meeting in Chicago this July.  Her co-authors are Kaitlyn Antonelli and Suanna Bruinooge from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, as well as Dr. Shellie Ellis, HP&M faculty member. Chris will make a presentation and prepare a poster for the event. Chris is the Phase I Project Director in Clinical Trials Shared Resource department at the KU Cancer Center, and is starting her 3rd year in the PhD program in Health Policy and Management.  June 2015

Faculty Research Featured in Healthy Living Magazine

HP&M Faculty member Dr. Shellie Ellis's research on factors associated with overuse of hormone therapy as treatment for low-risk prostate cancer was published in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseasesand  featured in Healthy Living Magazine In follow-up to this work, Ellis has received two grants--a Frontiers pilot grant and an American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant--to fund Eliciting Urologist Decision Making: Recruitment and Data Collection Feasibility. These pilot projects will demonstrate the feasibility of recruiting practicing urologists to participate in a study collecting sensitive information about potential non-clinical influences on medical treatment decisions and lead to a national survey of urologists to better understand how urologists make prostate cancer treatment decisions. June 2015

PhD Student Pothapragada Recognized by Profession

Tiffany Pothapragada, clinical assistant professor in clinical laboratory sciences and HP&M doctoral student, was named one of the American Society for Clinical Pathology's 40 under 40.

Graduation Celebration and Awards!

The MHSA Program graduated fourteen students in 2014-15 and celebrated their achievements at the May 16, 2015 Hooding and Awards Ceremony. Caitlin Smith and Jonas Varnum were co-recipients of the Healthcare Executive of the Future Award, and Joint JD/MHSA graduate Jaime Whitt received the Professional Development Award. June 2015

2014-15 MHSA Graduates
Johnathon Blake, Medical Internship, UMKC Joint MD/MHSA
Megan Butts, Accreditation Coordinator, University of Kansas Hospital
Lauren Davis relocated to CA          
Taylor Lahar, Operations Project Consultant, Saint Lukes Health System
Joel Lane, Practice Manager III, HCA - Physicians Services Group
Nathan Lindshield, Business Analyst and Project Manager, Hoglund Brain Imaging Center, KU Hospital
Krista Logan, Law School, University of Kansas Joint BSHIM/MHSA
John Rzeszut, Assistant Office Manager, Premier Pediatrics
Caitlin Smith, Planning Analyst, Business and Strategic Development, KU Hospital
Emily Snow, Vice President, Marillac
Emily Strusz, Program Support Assistant, Department of Veterans Affairs
Jonas Varnum, Consultant, PYA
Jaime Whitt, Associate, Simpson, Logback, Lynch, Norris, P.A. Joint JD/MHSA
Chelsea Williams, Clinic Support Specialist, Lawrence GI Consultants (Lawrence Memorial Hospital)

Networking made fun!

Ten area alumni and 14 MHSA students gathered in Westport April 15th for a networking/mentoring kick-off event. Joining the students were alumni Michelle Narayan (2001), Olathe Medical Center;  Heidi Waldschmidt (2011 ), Cerner Corporation; Molly Lack (2013), University of Kansas Hospital; Richelle Marting (2009), Forbes Law Group, LLC ; Mike Jensen ( 1999), Olathe Health System; Greg Mitchell (2005), Olathe Medical Center; Azure Guidry (2000), inVentiv Health Clinical; David Carnes (1993), Kurt Salmon, International Health Care Group; and Ryan Seager (2001), Aesynt. This model will be used by the program moving forward to facilitate student networking skill-building and encourage mentoring relationships. May 2015

Faculty Member attends KU-University of Costa Rica (UCR) Collaborative Faculty Seminar

Dr. Jarron Saint Onge participated in the KU-University of Costa Rica (UCR) Collaborative Faculty Seminar in San Jose, Costa Rica, sponsored by KU International Programs. KU and UCR share a long history of collaborative research, cultural, and academic exchange. He spent a week in May meeting with multiple research groups. Along with a small group of KU researchers, Saint Onge discussed and planned collaborative projects and identified future areas for potential collaboration, student exchange and intersecting research interests. Specifically, he spent time meeting with groups of public health and population scientists discussing research in key areas of aging, health care, and health disparities.

Alumnus Publishes Networking Books

Following the completion of his Fellowship, MHSA alumnus Jarom Schmidt, (2014) was hired as Associate Administrator and Ethics and Compliance Officer at Sunrise Hospital and Sunrise Children's Hospital in Las Vegas.  Jarom is also teaching as an Online Adjunct Instructor at his undergraduate alma mater, BYU-Idaho.  His most recent enterprise is the publication of two books: College Success: Networking From College to Career and the just released How to Network with Alumni. June 2015

Alumni Added to HP&M Advisory Board

Dr. Robert Lee, Chair, is pleased to announce that seven alumni have agreed to join the Department's Advisory Board. The new members are Lindsey Cox Bailey (2002), Jason Burritt (1997), Becky Boos (1995), Marshaun Butler (2003), Phil Buttell (2002), Neha Sharma Doshi (2009), and Barbara Sack (1991). Currently serving on the Board are alumni Jeremy Armstrong (2003), Troy DeDecker (2008), Erica Kloehn (2009), Jo Stueve (2002), and Nicholas Tejeda (2007). In addition to these alumni, the following healthcare leaders also serve on the Board: Melissa Hungerford of the Kansas Health Foundation, Lee Norman, Chief Medical Officer of KU Hospital, and Robert St. Peter of the Kansas Health Institute. See complete Advisory Board Membership list.  May 2015

HP&M Faculty in Cuba People-to-People Exchange

HP&M faculty members Drs. Ellen Averett and Mary Zimmerman recently returned from Cuba, where they participated in a People to People Exchange for state affiliate leaders of the American Public Health Association, to examine Cuba's public health and health care systems.  Joining them was Shirley Orr, President of SOCO Consulting and HP&M PhD student. They will present their findings at the fall 2015 Kansas Public Health Association meeting.  See more here. April 2014

MHSA Graduate Whitt's Community Work Featured

New graduate Jaime Whitt was featured in the Spring issue of KU Giving. Jaime's work with KU's Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic was recognized as an example of KU's on-going commitment to the community, as well as a unique interprofessional learning experience for Jaime. The Clinic is a collaboration between the KU School of Law and KU Medical Center. Jaime earned a Joint JD/MHSA in Spring 2015. March 2015

Grant to Study Pregnancy and Disabilities

Dr. Tracey LaPierre received a GRF Grant from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at KU-Lawrence to complete a pilot study on pregnancy in women with disabilities.  HP&M faculty members Dr. Jean Hall and Dr. Mary Zimmerman are also collaborators on the grant. March 2015

KUMC and MHSA Students Make Health & Human Services Website

On January 23, 2015 more than 1,000 University of Kansas Medical Center students-including 13 MHSA students-took part in interprofessional training, which is designed to promote collaboration and improve patient care. The curriculum is TeamSTEPPS (Team Strategies & Tools to Enhance Performance & Patient Safety), a system designed by Department of Defense's Patient Safety Program and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

One of the MHSA students who participated was Tashar Fluker, a first-year student from Holly Grove, Arkansas. She commented that "It was actually pretty awesome." This was echoed by first year MHSA student, Audrey Banach, who said "Friday was a great experience."

"To understand their experience and the way they see things and to see how that can differ from ours was so interesting," MHSA student Justin Moulin said. "And also to see how approachable all the students are compared to what I previously thought."  Other MHSA students participants were Misbah Aslam, John Barker, Kristy Gerard, Jamie Johnson, Lauren Liguore, Preet Kaur , Monica McCarthy, Tristan Pomerance, Nicole Sanders, Lauren Sawatzky, and Trenton Stringer.

More than 140 KU Medical Center faculty members helped facilitate the TeamSTEPPS training in Kansas City, Wichita and Salina. Stephen Jernigan, Ph.D., PT, an assistant professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation sciences, said the primary goal of the exercise was to help students become passionate about the importance of communication and teamwork in health care.  "Our students are so exceptional and are remarkably equipped to engage in a professional collaborative practice," Jernigan said. "For me personally, it makes me very hopeful for the future of health care."

The next round of the TeamSTEPPS training with the students will be held on October 16.
See the article on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website here.  January 2015

HP&M Faculty Receive Awards

Congratulations to Jean Hall, Glen Cox, and Ellen Averett! Dr. Jean Hall was awarded the Steven F. Warren Research Achievement Award this fall. The award is given annually to a full-time academic staff researcher working in a department or research center on KU's Lawrence campus. In addition to being a Research Professor in HP&M, Dr. Hall is Director of KU's Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies. In October HP&M faculty member Dr. Glen Cox received the KU School of Medicine's Distinguished Medical Alumnus of the Year Award. Dr. Cox, who earned his MHSA in 2005, stepped down as HP&M Chair in August of 2014. He still serves as an HP&M faculty member, as Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, and as Director of the Institute for Community and Public Health at KUMC. Dr. Ellen Averett was awarded the President's Award at the 2014 Kansas Public Health Association Conference in recognition of her efforts during the restructuring of the association. Dr. Averett earned her MHSA in 2000 and was President of the Association from 2013-2014. She now serves as Program Director of the MHSA program. December 2014

JHAWK Student Organization Names New Officers

The MHSA program's student organization, JHAWK (Jayhawk Administrators Working for Kansas) elected a new slate of officers this winter. Congratulations to:

President:  Trenton Stringer
Vice-President: Audrey Banach
Treasurer:  Tristan Pomerance
Information Officer:  Megan Morrissey
Outreach Officer:  Misbah Aslam
Liaison Officer:  John Barker
Planning Officer:  Kristy Gerard

Events this spring included a Playground Equipment Build Day community service project for New Stanley Elementary School in Kansas City, KS. December 2014

Kansas Wins!

On November 7th teams from the health administration programs at Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma met for the 3rd Annual University of Kansas HP&M Regional Case Competition. The case was "Positioning Midwest Physicians," which HP&M Chair Dr. Robert Lee developed in conjunction with Phil Buttell, a 2002 MHSA alumnus and COO of Centerpoint Medical Center, and Holly King,  Vice President of Planning and Analysis at HCA Midwest Health System.

The KU team of Lauren Davis and Taylor Laharwon, suggesting that HCA alter its marketing strategy and restructure its practices. The case competition was also an opportunity to spend some time with the following alumni, who served as judges: Barb Sack (1991), Chris Tilden (1992), Rebecca M. Boos (1995), Paul Walker (1999), Judy Lessenden (2000), Lindsey Cox-Bailey (2002), Bobby Olm-Shippman (2002), Phil Buttell (2002), Todd Hatton (2003), Greg Mitchell (2005), Troy DeDecker (2008), Christina Dinger (2009), Richelle Beckman (2009), Megan Turner (2010), Heidi Waldschmidt (2011), Patrick Altenhofen (2011), and Kory Barrett (2012). November 2014

MHSA Alumnus a "Rising Star"

Congratulations to alumnus Nicholas Tejeda, Chief Executive Officer, Doctors Hospital of Manteca for making Becker's Hospital Review's "Rising Stars: 25 Healthcare Leaders Under 40" list. November 2014

 Innovative Care Coordination: Views from the Front Lines

Last modified: Jul 01, 2019