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Board of Advocates

An important group of individuals known as the Board of Advocates provides guidance and direction to the School of Health Professions' leadership.

Group photo of board of advocates
The Board of Advocates provides guidance to the Dean of the University of Kansas School of Health Professions. The Board's presence serves to complement, advocate and strengthen the school's mission-based activities: "To serve the citizens of Kansas, the region, the nation, and to develop tomorrow's leaders through exemplary education, research and service."

Purpose, Bylaws, Roles and Meetings


The primary mission of the University of Kansas School of Health Professions Board of Advocates is to provide a means for active participation of friends and alumni of the School of Health Professions who are committed to the continuing development and recognition of the school. The experience, advocacy, counsel, and participation of the board, individually and collectively, will play a significant role in helping the school achieve its set goals.

The board serves the school through many activities:

  • Advocate for the school in fulfilling its mission to serve the citizens of Kansas, the region, and the nation, and to develop tomorrow's leaders through exemplary education, research and service.
  • Support the mission-based activities of the school.
  • Advocate and create opportunities for effective interaction between the school and the communities it serves.
  • Be ambassadors in the community to educate the public on the roles of other health care professionals, other than physicians and nurses, in the delivery of top-quality health care services.
  • Seek and inform the dean of the school of pertinent community interests related to health and health care.


Membership on the Board of Advocates is open to people who are in recognized leadership positions. Invitation to join the board is decided by the dean based upon the recommendations of the executive committee of the board and/or the school's administrative council. The principal criteria for recommendation for membership are stated/demonstrated interest and participation in support of the school. The maximum size of the board will be 25 members.

Membership on the board is for three years with a maximum of two consecutive terms. An appointment to a second term is made by the dean in consultation with the chair of the board. After the two terms of service, individuals may be reappointed to the board again after a one-year time period and at the invitation of the Dean in consultation with the chair of the board.

Emeritus status will be conferred upon board members having completed one or more terms of board membership. Emeritus members are encouraged to attend board meetings and will receive invitations to all School of Health Professions public events.


The Board of Advocates will be administered by an executive committee consisting of the dean of the School of Health Professions, a chair and a secretary.

Executive Committee

The dean, in discussion with board members, will designate a chair and a secretary of the Board of Advocates. The chair and secretary will serve two-year terms.

The executive committee will meet approximately two times a year to assist the dean in identifying ways the board can fulfill its mission and to assist in the identification of new board members.

The executive committee shall appoint ad-hoc committees as necessary or desirable to further the mission of the board.

The executive committee may recommend to the dean the removal of a board member for cause.


In addition to serving on the executive committee, the officers shall perform the following duties:

  • The chair will assist the dean in creating the agenda and conduct board meetings.
  • The secretary will be responsible for the implementation of any official correspondence of the board and will work with the Office of the Dean staff in maintaining the minutes of the board and executive committee meetings. The secretary will also maintain a roster of members’ names, addresses, and communication preferences, e.g. email, fax, and postal address.


The Board of Advocates will hold a one-day meeting in the fall semester of every year on the KU Medical Center campus located at 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas. Two short 45-minute teleconference meetings will also be held each year. The first teleconference will be early in the spring semester and the second will be early in the summer semester.

All members of the board shall have voting privileges.

Benefits Accruing to Members of the Board

Benefits and opportunities to members of the Board of Advocates include the following:

  • Advise and guide the school in areas of specific interest.
  • Interact with KU Medical Center and School of Health Professions administrators, students, faculty, and staff.
  • Interact and network with an outstanding group of business and professional leaders as colleagues in support of the school and medical center.
  • Participate in all of the school's special events, public events, lectureships, and student events.
  • Receive communications from the school and medical center, including KU Medical Center publications such as annual reports and magazines, KU Endowment Association publications, and School of Health Professions publications.
  • Receive School of Health Professions public relations information and participate in the school’s social media channels.
  1. Advocate for the School of Health Professions in fulfilling its mission to serve the citizens of Kansas, the region, the nation, and to develop tomorrow's leaders through exemplary education, research and service.
  2. Support the mission-based activities of the School of Health Professions.
  3. Advocate and create opportunities for effective interaction between the school and the communities it serves.
  4. Be ambassadors in the community to educate the public on the roles of other health care professionals, other than physicians and nurses, in the delivery of top-quality health care services.
  5. Seek and inform the dean of the school of pertinent community interests related to health and health care.

The board will hold a one-day meeting in the fall semester of every year on the KU Medical Center campus located at 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas.

Two short 45-minute teleconference meetings will also be held each year. The first teleconference will be early in the spring semester and the second will be early in the summer semester. Members of the board shall serve for a term of three years, and shall be eligible for reappointment to a second consecutive term.

Membership will consist of individuals who have demonstrated support for the school and/or expertise that would support the school’s missions of education, research, and service. While not members of the board, some executives of the KU Medical Center, including the executive vice chancellor, will be invited when necessary to attend and participate in some of the meetings.

An agenda for each meeting will be established by the dean of the school in collaboration with the chair of the board and circulated before the meeting.


Dan Conyers, MS, RRT, RCP
Director of Respiratory Therapy Services, The University of Kansas Health System, Kansas City, Kansas

A respiratory therapist since receiving his certificate from KU in 1977, Dan Conyers, MS, RRT currently serves as director of respiratory therapy services for The University of Kansas Health System. He has been heavily involved with the school, including serving as adjunct assistant professor since 1996 and on the board of directors for the Health Professions Alumni Association since 1993. Conyers received his bachelor's degree from KU in 1972 and a master's degree in management from Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas.

Conyers involvement in the profession outside KU is extensive. Since 2009 he has served as chair of the Respiratory Care Council of the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts. He's served as chair of the Respiratory Care Network of Vizient (a university health care consortium) since 2010 and as an advisory board member of five respiratory therapy academic programs across the country. He's been a long-time member of the Kansas Respiratory Care Society and the American Association for Respiratory Care and has served numerous positions with those groups.

Teresa Gerard, MBA
Chief Executive OfficerGuardian Group, LLCLawrence, Kansas

Teresa Gerard, MBA is CEO of Guardian Group, LLC and currently works as an independent health care consultant. She specializes in, among other areas, corporate strategy, product development, revenue cycle management, behavioral health, health information technology, health informatics and telehealth. Gerard earned her bachelor’s degrees in business administration and personnel administration (1979) and a master of business administration (1981), all from the University of Kansas, and CPA certification in Kansas and Missouri.

Gerard started her career in banking with now Bank of America in Dallas and later with the FDIC in Phoenix. She has experience leading program management offices for large technology projects in the banking and insurance industries and financial transactions for national health care organizations for Deloitte Consulting. Most recently she was a senior executive for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and a member of BCBS Association workgroups. Gerard has supported efforts in areas such as health policy, health information exchanges, and strategic organizational alignment at the local, regional, state, and national levels.

Gerard remains active at KU. She currently presents guest lectures for the school's bachelor's degree program in health information management. She also serves on the department's advisory board.

William Howard III, MSS, OTR/L
Senior Occupational Therapist, CHI Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska

A 1982 graduate of KU’s bachelor’s degree program in occupational therapy, William Howard III, MSS, OTR/L has enjoyed a long and successful career as a registered occupational therapist, health care team leader, and educator in both civilian and military health care settings.

Since 2015, Howard has served as senior occupational therapist at CHI Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. This regional health network of 15 hospitals, two behavioral health facilities, and numerous physician practice locations serves as the primary teaching partner of Creighton University’s educational programs in health professions.

Howard earned a master’s degree in computer resource and information management from Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. In 1993. He later received a master’s degree in strategic studies from U.S Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Penn. in 2002.

After entering the profession as an occupational therapist working with patients facing orthopedic and neurological conditions, Howard spent nearly three decades leading occupational therapy and rehabilitation services, plus education and training programs, at major military institutions including Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Madigan Army Medical Center, and Tripler Army Medical Center. He served in the U.S. Army on active duty for nearly 28 years before retiring as colonel in 2009.

Among his many awards, Col. Howard has been recognized for outstanding occupational therapy education as well as numerous military honors. He is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the World Federation of Therapists. He also is a lifetime member of the KU Medical Center Health Professions Alumni Association.

Since 2009, Howard has been involved in Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. Healing Waters is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings. He serves on the organization’s board of trustees including as secretary since 2016.

Kelly Hutton-Gordon
Owner and CEO, Dynamos Anesthesia Services, LLC, Leavenworth, Kansas

Kelly R. Gordon is chief executive officer of Dynamos Anesthesia Services, LLC and chief anesthesia executive officer of Ethos Anesthesia, LLC. These companies provide professional services to hospitals in the Kansas City metro area as well as the Midwest.

Hutton-Gordon graduated from Johnson County Community College in 1988 with an associate degree in nursing. She obtained a bachelor's degree in nursing from Webster University in 1995, and in 2000 completed a master's degree in biology/nurse anesthesia at the University of Missouri Kansas City and Truman Medical Center School of Nurse Anesthesia.

Upon completing her associate degree, Hutton-Gordon worked at Childrens Mercy in the neonatal intensive care unit followed by a position in the surgical intensive care unit/cardiothoracic intensive care until at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She entered U.S. military service in 1997 as a second lieutenant and served until an honorable separation in 2003 at the rank of captain.

Since 2009, Hutton-Gordon's companies have offered locum, PRN, and full-time professional services of nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and anesthesiologists to ambulatory surgery centers, physician offices, and hospitals in the Kansas City metro and Midwest.

Hutton-Gordon has been a full-time practitioner within her own practice, including service on staff as a PRN clinical instructor for the KU School of Health Professions nurse anesthesia program since 2009. She previously held clinical positions at the Truman Medical Center School of Nurse Anesthesia from 2000 until 2019.

Her interests include active participation within the Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Theresa Jackson
Director of Medical Records, The University of Kansas Health System, Overland Park, Kansas

For more than 35 years now, Theresa Jackson, RHIA has been closely involved with the University of Kansas. After earning a bachelor's degree in health information management from KU in 1983, she was hired as director of health information management for The University of Kansas Hospital – a position she continues to hold today.

Jackson's extensive experience and connections at KU Medical Center has greatly benefitted the School of Health Professions. Her hospital department and the school's academic program enjoy a strong partnership that benefits both institutions, and the hospital has hired many graduates of the school's health information management program over the years. She also serves as a member of the academic program's advisory board.

With both daughters employed by The University of Kansas Health System, Jackson's roots run strong here with a family of proud Jayhawks.

Sandra Keener, Au.D., CCC-A
Assistant Director of Audiology, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri

Sandra Keener, Au.D., CCC-A, held a faculty position in the KU Department of Hearing and Speech as clinical assistant professor of audiology and worked at the University of Kansas Medical Center for 28 years providing classroom and clinical instruction. Prior to joining the KU faculty in 1988, Keener was a clinical fellow in the department. She received master's and doctoral degrees in audiology from the University of Kansas.

Currently, Keener serves as assistant director of audiology at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. She is responsible for program development and overseeing clinical functions across six locations with a staff of 23 audiologists. She was instrumental in starting the cochlear implant program at Children's Mercy in the fall of 2017. Her primary clinical interests include cochlear implants and auditory brainstem response.

Keener has served on several committees and advisory boards including the Kansas Sound Beginnings Newborn Hearing Screening Program executive committee, the Hartley Family Center advisory board, and the KU HealthPartners board of directors. She was the state co-coordinator for the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Program for many years.

Keener was named 2006 Kansas Audiologist of the Year and received a Commitment to Excellence Award from the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City in 2014.

Talal Khan, M.D., MBA
Associate Professor and Chair, KU Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Overland Park, Kansas

Talal W. Khan M.D., MBA, is professor and chair of the KU Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at KU Medical Center. He also serves as director of the Chronic and Interventional Pain Clinic in The University of Kansas Health System where he practices interventional pain medicine focused on all acute and chronic pain conditions. Dr. Khan is also active in resident, fellow, and continuing professional education and administration of the Department of Anesthesiology, which is one of the largest clinical departments on campus.

Dr. Khan completed medical school at King Edward Medical College, Pakistan, followed by an internship at the University of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. He performed his residency in anesthesiology at Jackson Memorial, as well. He also earned a master's of business administration from Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Mo.

Research interests for Dr. Khan include pre-emptive analgesia, perioperative pain management, spinal diagnostics and treatment, management of neuropathic pain, cancer pain management, implantable therapies for intractable pain, and the role of gene therapy in pain management.

A Diplomate of the American Board of Pain Medicine and the American Board of Anesthesiology, Dr. Khan is very active within his profession at state and national levels. He is a member of such organizations as the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Society of Anesthesiology, and the International Neuromodulation Society, International Spinal Injection Society, and American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. Dr. Khan serves as chair of the Expert Panel of the Kansas Partnership for Pain Management; this group seeks to create educational materials and disseminate best practices across the state of Kansas for the management of chronic pain states.

Mani Mani, M.D.
Professor Emeritus, KU Medical Center, Lenexa, Kansas

Mani Mani, M.D. is professor emeritus in the KU Department of Plastic Surgery. Born in India, Dr. Mani graduated from Christian Medical College in Vellore in 1961 and completed general surgery training there in 1964. While training under the renowned Paul Wilson Brand, M.D., he crossed paths with David Robinson, M.D. That relationship led to an invitation to visit KU Medical Center in 1969 for plastic surgery training and decades of partnership and innovation.

Upon completing his residency, Dr. Mani returned to India. In 1972, Dr. Robinson visited Dr. Mani and asked him to join the faculty at KU. After moving his family to Kansas in 1974, Dr. Mani was selected the medical director for the Gene and Barbara Burnett Burn Center. The protocols for contemporary burn care he developed at the burn center was ultimately adopted as the standard of care by every city, hospital, ambulance, and fire department in the state of Kansas. It then became the standard of care in many parts of the U.S. and abroad including Malaysia, Australia, Kyrgyzstan, and India

Although Dr. Mani officially retired in 1999, he remains active on campus including as a regular lecturer and with his involvement in telemedicine initiatives for the Department of Plastic Surgery with residents around the world.

Scott Mattivi
President, Eurofins Viracor BioPharma Services, Lees Summit, Missouri

Scott Mattivi is president of Eurofins Viracor BioPharma Services. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in medical technology. He also earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

At BioPharma, Mattivi has full profit and loss responsibility for the BioPharma Services company that was previously a subunit of Viracor Eurofins' clinical business but was split off as a standalone entity in January 2020.

In 2009, Mattivi joined Viracor Eurofins where he has held positions as laboratory operations director and vice president of operations. During his successful tenure at Viracor, he moved the lab operations from a single day shift to a 24x7 operation and has led the company to multiple years of record growth in revenues and earnings.

Mattivi also led the successful implementation of a quality management system plan resulting in College of American Pathologists accreditation for Viracor Eurofins.

Prior to joining Viracor Eurofins, Mattivi served as a laboratory manager at Quest Diagnostics.

Ike Nwabuonwu
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alpha Energy and Electric, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri

Ike Nwabuonwu is chairman and chief executive officer of Alpha Energy and Electric, Inc., an engineering, procurement and construction company with more than a half century of experience.

Alpha Energy offers a broad range of services for commercial, institutional, government, and industrial construction. The company has been part of the region’s highest-profile construction projects including the Kansas City downtown streetcar, Iatan Power Plant, Kansas City Police Department East Patrol Campus/Crime Lab Project, Saint Luke’s Hospital, and Cerner Trails Campus Project, among many others.

Nwabuonwu has more than thirty years of broad professional experience in leadership positions. He is responsible for steering the company’s overall strategic goals and vision toward a culture of high ethics and profitability.

In August 2014, Nwabuonwu was among a select group of CEOs from United States and African countries invited by the President of the United States to join the U.S.–Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C.

Nwabuonwu was inducted into the Black Achievers Society of Kansas City in 1998. He was appointed to and currently serves on the District Export Council of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

In addition to serving on the board of several organizations, Nwabuonwu has received many citations and awards. His recognitions include a proclamation from the Governor of Missouri as an "Achiever in Business and Industry."

Learn more about Ike Nwabuonwu at Alpha Energy’s website.

Tammy Peterman, M.S., RN
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, The University of Kansas Health System, Kansas City, Kansas

Tammy Peterman, M.S., RN, is executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at The University of Kansas Hospital.

Since her graduation from the University of Kansas School of Nursing, Peterman has moved through the ranks, starting as a staff nurse and named chief nursing officer in 2001. She accepted executive vice president and chief operating officer responsibilities in May 2007.

A native of Stockton, Kansas, Peterman holds a master's degree in nursing, as well as a certification in advanced nursing administration.

As chief nursing officer, Peterman helped establish a patient-centered culture within the department of nursing, as evidenced by the highest patient satisfaction scores in the history of the hospital.

Peterman was named the 2006 Distinguished Nursing Alumna by the Kansas University Nurses Alumni Association.

See also: Hospital Leader Receives Prestigious National Nursing Honor

Kelly Rudolph
President, Hans Rudolph, inc., Shawnee, Kansas

Kelly Rudolph is president and owner of Hans Rudolph, inc. Located in Shawnee, Kansas, Hans Rudolph is a leading designer and manufacturer of respiratory testing and therapy devices in the world today. He manages the marketing, sales, and business development among other responsibilities necessary to keep day-to-day operations moving forward at the company.

Rudolph grew up working in the family-owned Medical Respiratory Devices Manufacturing firm. While earning an engineering degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla and after graduation, he held engineering and engineering sales jobs with large corporations before settling in at Hans Rudolph.

David S. Zamierowski, M.D., FACS
Plastic Surgeon (retired) and Philanthropist, Overland Park, Kansas

After graduating from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1968, David S. Zamierowski, M.D., FACS completed a surgery internship at the University of Pittsburgh. His academic career was interrupted by military service in Vietnam. After the war, he returned to KU to finish his residency in plastic surgery in 1976.

During his 25 years of medical practice in Kansas City, he founded the Wound Care Centers of Kansas City. It was work there that led him to invent surface dressings and surgical wound devices. He holds more than 50 patents is among the very few physician inventors having more than one commercially successful product. The V.A.C. external wound dressing has now been used to treat more than 6 million wounds including to stabilize traumatic wounds in the military.

Dr. Zamierowski retired from active practice in 2003 and has since devoted himself to health care education and philanthropic support of simulation. This culminated in the establishment of the Zamierowski Institute of Experiential Learning (ZIEL) at KU Medical Center in 2015. The institute is an innovative venture, in collaboration with The University of Kansas Health System, to optimize the education and training for health care professionals. The advanced simulation technology and dynamic facilities located in KU Medical Center's Health Education Building provide the resources necessary to create immersive training experiences for health care professionals and trainees from all disciplines.

For his dedication to advancing health professions education and supporting students' creative and scholarly endeavors, the KU Health Professions Alumni Association honored Dr. Zamierowski with the 2012 Honorary Health Professions Alumnus Award. The honor is presented to individuals demonstrating significant impact, through their professional or personal contributions, to the mission of the KU School of Health Professions.

Toni Shields
Director of Pharmacy, Queen's Price Choppers, Pleasant Hill, Missouri

Toni Shields currently is director of pharmacy for Queen's Price Choppers. She earned her pharmacy degree in 1988 from the KU School of Pharmacy.

Timothy Steele, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Associated Audiologists, Inc., Overland Park, Kansas

A KU alumnus, Timothy Steele, Ph.D., is president and chief executive officer of Associated Audiologists, Inc., a private audiology practice with clinics in the northeast region of Kansas and northwest region of Missouri, including the Kansas City metro area. His interests and passion are in the areas of hearing loss rehabilitation and hearing aids.

Steele has taught coursework in the KU Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders at the University of Kansas Medical Center and provides clinical supervision at KU and for other audiology programs in the area.

He earned his master's degree in audiology and his doctorate of philosophy in audiology degree from the University of Kansas.

Steele has been on the board of directors of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology and is president of the board of directors of the Overland Park Rotary Foundation.

He co-authored a book chapter with Jack Katz, Ph.D., titled "Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation" for the textbook Handbook for Clinical Audiology, third edition, by Raymond Hull.

Ingram's Magazine named Steele a 2017 Hero in Healthcare.

Lisa Stehno-Bittel
Founder and President, Likarda LLC, Basehor, Kansas

Lisa Stehno-Bittel, Ph.D., PT has a long history with the university and the School of Health Professions. She earned her bachelor's degree in physical therapy from the University of Kansas and started her career as a physical therapist. She later obtained a doctorate in physiology, and after post-doctoral work in pharmacology at the Mayo School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., Stehno-Bittel returned to the KU Medical Center to join the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science as a faculty member. She served as department chair from 2004 to 2015.

Research by Stehno-Bittel has focused on curing diabetes through islet transplants. Her team at KU discovered that smaller islets survived the transplant procedure better, and their research helped to improve transplant outcomes. That finding led to new innovative ways to make large islets smaller so that they could function better after transplant. She eventually patented three of the discoveries from her research laboratory and in 2012 founded the biotech company Likarda with her then-graduate student, Karthik Ramachandran. Since then, Likarda has grown to provide drug discovery and product testing services – as well as produce cell-based therapies – for companion animals. In 2015 she was named by Ingram’s Magazine as "One of the Top 50 Kansans You Should Know."

Today Stehno-Bittel serves as president of Likarda and teaches part-time at KU Medical Center.

Francie Stoner
Chair, Founder and President, The LAUGHH Foundation, Weston, Missouri

Francie Stoner received bachelor's degrees in microbiology and medical technology from the University of Kansas and remains an avid Jayhawks fan today. Currently she is president and founder of the LAUGHH Foundation and serves as a clinical assistant professor in the school's Department of Health Information Management. An acronym for "Live Abundantly Using Guided Helping Hands," LAUGHH was created by Stoner to help people obtain education that helps them master life skills and to improve physical and mental health. She also served as an executive at Cerner Corporation for 29 years.

For more than 50 years, Stoner has been deeply involved in a variety of charitable causes and served on the board of directors for many organizations including the Weston Chamber of Commerce, Weston Historical Museum, and Weston Christian Church. She has a passion for helping others. Among her numerous efforts: providing financial support for the KU Women for KU Women Fund to help KU college seniors and graduate students overcome an obstacle holding them back from reaching their goals.

In 2011 Stoner was awarded the Soul of First Hand Award – only the second recipient of this award – for her dedication to changing the lives of children. Also that year she received the University of Kansas School of Health Professions Distinguished Alumni Award for her work in changing health care around the world.

Col. Roy Swift, Ph.D. (Ret.)
Executive Director, Workcred, Washington, D.C.

Col. Roy A. Swift, Ph.D. (ret.) is currently the executive director of Workcred, an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute. Prior to his current position, he was the senior director of personnel credentialing accreditation programs at ANSI. From 1993-1998 he was executive director of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. This appointment followed a 28-year career in the United States Army Medical Department.

In his last position, he was Chief of the Army Medical Specialist Corps in the Army Surgeon General’s Office with policy responsibility for Army occupational therapists, physical therapists, dietitians, and physician assistants throughout the world. He has served on many national committees including recent work on a planning committee of the National Academy of Sciences to examine the elements constituting a quality undergraduate education.

Paula Woolworth
Secretary, Shady Shores, Texas

Paula Woolworth, OTR/L, ARM currently serves as mayor protem in the Dallas suburb of Shady Shores, Texas and is in her third term of elected office. She began her career as a proud graduate of KU’s occupational therapy program in 1979. In addition, she pursued her master’s degree in health services administration at KU.

Woolworth currently also serves on the board of directors for animal advocacy foundations and for a preschool in her Texas home area, and she serves on the Chancellor’s Club Advisory Board at KU.

Prior to serving in city government, Woolworth enjoyed a successful four-decade career in diverse settings managing health care from all three sides of the third-party payor system in the U.S.

Starting with positions at Bethany Rehabilitation and Medical Center, Woolworth has held many clinical positions in occupational therapy and physical rehabilitation including program manager and assistant director. She served on the start-up executive team to open Mid-America Rehabilitation Hospital and as assistant administrator lead the clinical programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech pathology, and recreational therapy. She also was involved with case management, social work, admissions, and marketing for the hospital.

Woolworth entered the payor side of health care at The St. Paul Insurance Co. and Intracorp with positions directing adjuster payments to support rehabilitation of patients with work-related catastrophic injuries for a six-state region.

For 15 years Woolworth served as risk manager for Levi Strauss & Co in San Francisco. In this buyer (or consumer) side of health care, she directed activities related to worker's compensation claims management and strategically managed such liabilities for Levi’s.

Among her many notable accomplishments, Woolworth helped establish occupational and physical therapy clinical services at Levi's production facilities. Her team developed the company's “terms of engagement” guidelines for health care clinics and health practices which established the basic quality criteria for any services provided at on-site production plants with whom Levi’s might contract around the world.

Woolworth joined GAB Robins at its New York City headquarters and was responsible for national accounts management and the company’s managed care subsidiary “MedInsights.” Here in another payor setting in health care, she oversaw successful delivery of PPO networks, bill review services, case management, risk analytics of provider/claim outcomes, and regulatory compliance reporting. She retired as senior vice president at GAB and Gallagher Bassett, the company's new owner.

KU School of Health Professions

KU School of Health Professions
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd
Mailstop 2007
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5235 • 711 TTY