Thomas Ferris, PhD
Center Director, NSF Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT)
Associate Professor, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Texas A&M University College of Engineering
Dr. Thomas Ferris’ research interests are in Human Factors and Cognitive Ergonomics, and can be described as the study of cognition in human-machine engineered systems. His primary focus involves human information processing and design to support attention and interruption management. In particular, he investigates novel interface design techniques, employing alternative display modalities such as the sense of touch. Other research interests include human error, decision making under time pressure, and human-automation interaction. He has interest and experience in applying his research to the domains of medicine (anesthesiology), military operations (command and control, UV control and operations), aviation (cockpit automation, air traffic control), and ground transportation.
- PhD, Industrial and Operations Engineering (Cognitive Ergonomics), University of Michigan
- MS, Industrial and Operations Engineering (Cognitive Ergonomics), University of Michigan
- BS, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering Minor, University of Iowa
Honors and Awards
- Distinguished Achievement Award, University of Michigan College of Engineering 2010
- World Haptics ’09 Award for Best Paper in Haptics Science 2009
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship 2005 – 2008
Centennial Chair in Quality & Outcomes Research, Occidental Petroleum Corporation
Director, Center for Outcomes Research (COR), Houston Methodist Research Institute
Center Co-Director, NSF Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT)
Interim Director, Center for Health & Nature, Houston Methodist Research Institute
Professor, Department of Health Policy & Management, Texas A&M University School of Public Health
Bita A. Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE, is a Professor at Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health. Dr. Bita Kash received her PhD in Health Services Research from Texas A&M University in 2007 and joined the Department of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health in September 2007. She currently teaches healthcare strategic planning in the Masters for Health Administration program, the Architecture for Health Lecture Series in the College of Architecture, and serves on multiple PhD student committees at the Health Science Center and College of Architecture.
Dr. Kash is the co-director of an eight-university National Science Foundation (NSF) industry/university cooperative research center – the Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) – anchored at Texas A&M University. As co-director and PI of the NSF Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT), Dr. Kash conducts research to support the implementation of evidence-based transformational strategies within healthcare organizations. Dr. Kash is also the Director of The Center for Outcomes Research at Houston Methodist is a partnership with Texas A&M University School of Public Health. The Center drives fundamental improvements in patient outcomes for patients treated in acute-care settings and throughout the cycle of their care in the ambulatory setting and their communities. Key areas of research include health services research, health economics, industrial and systems engineering, and health care management. The mission of the Center for Outcomes research is to conduct applied team research, develop researchers, and exert national leadership towards innovations in healthcare that improve health outcomes for diverse patient populations globally.
Dr. Kash’s time and effort has been funded through external research grants at 55 to 60 percent time and effort yearly. In terms of published research productivity, Dr. Kash authored over 65 research papers and editorials published in peer-reviewed journals since 2005, and involved students as co-authors on more than half of these publications. Furthermore, her papers are published in leading health policy and management journals, such as Milbank Quarterly, The Gerontologist, Healthcare Management Review, and The Journal of Applied Gerontology. The Milbank Quarterly, at 4.644 impact factor in 2014, was ranked #1 in the journal categories of Health Policy & Services and Health Care Sciences & Services, the same year her first paper was published in this journal. Kash’s research in the areas of perioperative care coordination and the effective use of health information exchanges has resulted in several publications in top-tier health services and policy journals, recently featured in the NSF’s “Industry-Nominated Technology Breakthroughs of NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC)” 2016 report, as well as Politico and other media. Finally, as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Healthcare Management (JHM), Kash lead a peer-reviewed journal in the field of healthcare management that incorporates a practitioner application for every research article published from 2014-2017. Total subscriptions for the JHM reach over 43,000 and include healthcare executives, practitioners, researchers, and students.
In 2013, Kash started conducting a first-of-its-kind large-scale study of the Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) concept. The major implication from this study is the potential for cost savings and quality improvement in surgical care. Results of this study were published in the Milbank Quarterlyin 2014. Since publication in 2014, the PSH paper has been featured in Becker’s Hospital Review, eMedEvents, American Journal of Managed Care, Science Daily, and other outlets. Implications for medical residency training were recently published in a top-tier medical specialty journal, Anesthesia & Analgesia. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the ASA’s efforts to help implement the PSH nationally were enhanced as a result of Kash’s research and publications.
- PhD, Health Services Research, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
- MBA, The Citadel
- BS, Environmental Design (Hospitals), University of Missouri Columbia
Honors and Awards
- American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Service Award, 2015
- AHRQ Dissertation Grant Award, 2006
- Laurence G. Branch Doctoral Student Research Award, 2004
- Dean’s Doctoral Student Award for Research Excellence
- Strategic planning, management, and decision making related to strategic change initiatives in hospitals, health systems, and nursing homes
- Absorptive capacity for transformation and change in healthcare organizations
- Application of Resource Based Theory (RBT) in healthcare strategic management and integration efforts
- Staff mix, turnover, and staff qualifications as a measure of structural quality
Lauren Irlinger, MHA
Managing Director, NSF Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT)
Lauren Irlinger is the Managing Director at the Center for Health Organization Transformation. Her primary responsibilities are to assist with industry member involvement and the center’s operational management. Lauren comes from a background in federal health policy analysis and implementation as well as operational management in the physician practice setting. She has worked closely with various sized physician practices, such as CHI St. Joseph Medical Group and the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Clinic of Brazos Valley, in the implementation of the MACRA policy along with its financial and operational implications. Additionally, Lauren has worked in pre-clinical research at the Texas A&M Institute for Pre-clincal Studies primarily focusing on medical device development, biomedical imaging, and professional surgical education.
- MHA, Health Administration, Texas A&M University
- BS, Biology, University of Central Florida
Karan Uppal, PhD
Chairperson, Industry Advisory Board (IAB)
Dr. Uppal received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from University of Iowa in 2007, MS in Bioinformatics from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009, and PhD. in Bioinformatics with a minor in Predictive Analytics from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2015. He joined Emory University as an Application Developer/Analyst in 2009. He was promoted to Sr. Application Developer/Analyst in 2012, and was subsequently promoted to Assistant Professor of Medicine in 2016. He is currently the Director of Computational Metabolomics and Integrative Omics in the Clinical Biomarkers Laboratory at Emory.
His primary research focus is computational metabolomics, integrative omics, biomarker discovery, machine learning, text mining, and application development. He has developed a series of algorithms and R packages for metabolomics data processing, annotation, biomarker discovery and data mining, and integrative network analysis. He has also developed feature selection techniques to identify robust biomarkers and natural language processing tools for automated summarization and knowledge discovery from clinical and biomedical text. He is involved in multiple NIH funded projects and is the Director of the Bioinformatics Element in the NIH funded Georgia Comprehensive Metabolomics and Proteomics Unit (CMP-GA) for Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC). These projects are focused on identification of biomarkers of environmental exposures and diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, age-related macular degeneration, ARDS, diabetic retinopathy, cardiovascular disease, malaria, and others), developing computational methods for integrating multi-scale data (clinical, omics, imaging, experimental, and laboratory) for precision medicine, and using data mining and natural language processing techniques for extracting and summarizing information from clinical and biomedical text.
- PhD, Bioinformatics, Georgia Institute of Technology
- MS, Bioinformatics, Georgia Institute of Technology
- BS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Iowa
Eva K. Lee, PhD
Site Director, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Lee is a Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Director of the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and HealthCare. She is also a Senior Research Professor at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Dr. Lee works in the area of mathematical programming and large-scale computational algorithms with a primary emphasis on medical/healthcare decision analysis and logistics operations management. She tackles challenging problems in health systems and biomedicine through systems modeling, algorithm and software design, and decision theory analysis.
Dr. Lee is currently the secretary and treasurer for the INFORMS Optimization Society, and a Subdivision Council member of the INFORMS Health Applications Section. She is Co-Editor for the Annals of Operations Research sub-series: Operations Research in Medicine — Computing and Optimization in Medicine and Life Sciences, and Issue Editor for Asia Pacific Journal of Operations Research on Medical and Biological Applications. She also serves on the Editorial Board for Cancer Informatics.
- PhD, Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University
- BS, Mathematics, Hong Kong Baptist University
Honors and Awards
- Franz Edelman Award, 2007
- INFORMS Pierskalla Award for Research Excellence in HealthCare and Management Science, 2005
- Extraordinary Women Engineers Award, 2004
- Whitaker Foundation Biomedical Grant for Young Investigators
- NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1996
- Postdoctoral Fellowship for Parallel Computation, Konroad-Zuse-Zentrum Informationstechnik Berlin, 1995
- Postdoctoral Fellowship on Scientific Computing, NSF/NATO
Conrad Tucker, PhD
Site Director, Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Tucker is the director of the Design Analysis Technology Advancement (D.A.T.A) Laboratory. His research focuses on the design and optimization of complex systems and intelligent assistive technologies through the acquisition, integration and mining of large scale, disparate data. Three characteristics of engineered systems and intelligent assistive technologies that Dr. Tucker’s research group explores are: i) the ability to sense an environment, ii) the ability to characterize relevant system attributes, and iii) the ability to learn and predict future states that aid decision makers. Dr. Tucker engages both undergraduate and graduate students in data mining/machine learning–related research projects, which have resulted in over 60 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Tucker is part of the inaugural class of the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program whose mission is to provide access to higher education to students from underrepresented groups. Dr. Tucker was invited to participate in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) in October 2013 and is currently serving a three year term as a member of the Advisory Committee for the NAE’s FOEE.
- PhD, Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois
- MBA, Business Administration, University of Illinois
- MS, Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois
- BS, Mechanical Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Honors and Awards
- ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers & Information in Engineering Conference Best Paper Award, 2016
- National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) Advisory Committee Member, 2016
- Summer Faculty Fellowship Program: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Summer, 2014 and 2015
- Innovative Early-Career Engineering Faculty Symposium hosted by National Academy of Engineering (NAE), 2013
- The Schreyer Honors College Distinguished Honors Faculty Program, 2012
- The Pennsylvania State University Hartz Family Career Development Professorship, 2011
- Machine Learning/Data Mining
- Text Mining/Natural Language Processing
- Virtual Design and Simulation
- Sensors and Sensing Systems
- Intelligent Assistive Technologies
Robert Weech-Maldonado, PhD
Site Director, University of Alabama Birmingham
Dr. Weech-Maldonado is a Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a national authority in health disparities, cultural competency tools for healthcare organizations, racial and ethnic differences in patient experiences with care, and long-term care. Imparting this expertise to students, researchers and healthcare leaders may improve management’s ability to fully understand and better address challenges faced by racial/ethnic minorities and the elderly, possibly improving access and quality of care outcomes for these populations.
Dr. Weech-Maldonado has influenced national organizations and health policy through various roles in such national and international healthcare organizations as Academy of Management, Health Services Research (editorial board), AcademyHealth, American College of Healthcare Executives, Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (study section member), and Office of Minority Health, DHHS.
- PhD, Business Administration, Temple University
- MBA, University of Puerto Rico
- BS, Biology, Trinity University
Honors and Awards
- Paul T. Bruder Best Paper Award, Third International Conference on Healthcare Systems, 2004
- Excellence in Research on Aging and Rural Health Award, Gerontological Health Section, American Public Health Association, 2002
- Best Theory-to-Practice Paper Award, Health Care Management Division, Academy of Management, 2002
- Distinguished Paper Award, Business & Health Administration Association, 2002
- Health Management Research Award, American College of Healthcare Executives, 1999
- Organizational and market factors on access, quality, and costs of care for vulnerable populations, particularly the elderly and racial/ethnic minorities
Nancy M. Borkowski, DBA
Site Co-Director, University of Alabama Birmingham
Dr. Borkowski is Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has over 20 years experience in the healthcare industry and is a two-time past recipient of the American College of Healthcare Executive’s (ACHE) Southern Florida Senior Career Healthcare Executive Award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of health management excellence.
Dr. Borkowski is a certified public accountant, board certified in health management, and a Fellow of both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. She is a nationally recognized author with the first edition of her book Organizational Behavior in Health Care being referred to as “one of the most significant advances in the field of health services administration,” which was awarded the AJN 2005 Book of the Year Award for nursing leadership and management. She is the author of three textbooks that are widely used both nationally and internationally in graduate and undergraduate health administration and nursing programs. Dr. Borkowski teaching interests are leadership, organizational behavior, and strategic management. She is a past recipient of the ACHE’s Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given to faculty who engage in furthering academic excellence and the professional development of health management students.
In addition, Dr. Borkowski holds a Visiting Professor appointment in the School of Humanities and Management at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China. Over the past decade, Dr. Borkowski has served in various leadership roles for the Academy of Management’s Health Care Management Division, American College of Healthcare Executive’s Southern Florida Regent’s Advisory Council, the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum, and various other health related organizations. In 2013, Dr. Borkowski was the recipient of the Jessie Trice Hero Award for her leadership and commitment to improving the lives of underserved and minority populations. She has also been honored with the Exemplary Service Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives (2012) and the Reeves Silver Merit Award from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (2014).
- DBA, Health Services Administration and Accounting, Nova Southeastern University
- MS/HSA, Nova Southeastern University
- BBA, Accounting, Florida Atlantic University
Honors and Awards
- Leader-to-Leader Award in the Academic Category, American College of Healthcare Executives, 2015
- Reeves Silver Merit Award from the Healthcare Financial Management Association, 2014
- Health Choice Network of Florida’s Jessie Trice Hero Award, 2013
- American College of Healthcare Executives’ (ACHE) Southern Florida Regent’s Senior Career Healthcare Executive Award, 2012
- Exemplary Service Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives, 2012
- Fellow in the Healthcare Financial Management Association, 2010
- Follmer Bronze Merit Award from the Healthcare Financial Management Association, 2009
- Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives, 2008
- American College of Healthcare Executives’ Faculty Advisor Regent’s Award, District 2, 2006
- 2005 AJN Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing in the nursing management and leadership category, 2006
- Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, 2004
- American College of Healthcare Executives’ (ACHE) Southern Florida Regent’s Senior Career Healthcare Executive Award, 2002
- Healthcare strategic planning and management
- Organizational behavior in healthcare
- Healthcare provider social network analysis
Ankur Agarwal, PhD
Site Director, Florida Atlantic University
- PhD, Florida Atlantic University
- MSCE, Florida Atlantic University
- BSEE, India
- Health & Medical Informatics System Design
- Embedded System Design
- Mobile Systems and Application Development
- MultiCore Architectures
- Real-Time System Design
Christina Mastrangelo, PhD
Site Director, University of Washington
Dr. Mastrangelo is an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Washington. Her primary research field is systems engineering, quality and risk engineering and empirical dynamic modeling applied to manufacturing, healthcare and decision making. She has published over 30 papers in the areas of empirical dynamic modeling, statistical process monitoring, healthcare and manufacturing. One of the papers received the Ellis R. Ott Award for significant contribution to the field of quality engineering. Her research interests include the areas of operational modeling and prediction for quality and manufacturing, system-level modeling for infectious disease transmission, lung-cancer screening centers and healthcare delivery operations, and hierarchical response modeling. Dr. Mastrangelo’s industrial research, sponsored by NSF and the Navy, seeks to understand the effects of lower-level processes on system-level outputs. This is applied to obsolescence management, additive manufacturing, and food chain production. She is a member of ASA, ASEE, ASQ, INCOSE, INFORMS, and a senior member of IIE.
- PhD, Industrial Engineering, Arizona State University
- MS, Industrial Engineering, Arizona State University
- BS, Industrial Engineering, Arizona State University
- Data Mining & Analytics
- Systems-Level Modeling & Decision Making Risk Modeling
- Quality Improvement
Cynthia LeRouge, PhD
Site Co-Director, University of Washington
Cynthia LeRouge, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics (Health Information Systems and Business Analytics Program), College of Business, Florida International University (FIU). She is Co-deputy Director of the Primary Care Innovation – Lab. Her experience includes serving as a visiting scholar at the Center of Disease Control with the Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program and over eight years of academic experience in the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University. She has over 100 peer reviewed publications including academic journal articles (49), edited chapters in research-based books, and conference proceedings. Her primary research interests relate to health information systems (particularly telemedicine, consumer health informatics, patient reported outcomes, and public health informatics). She has received various grant awards, often serving as principal investigator. Dr. LeRouge has been recognized with teaching, research, and service awards. She is currently co-editor in chief of Health Systems journal and have served in leadership roles in various health informatics special interest groups (American Telemedicine Association, Association of Information Systems SIG-Health). Dr. LeRouge has held various senior management roles in the accounting, software and healthcare industry prior to joining academe. Dr. LeRouge has served as a grant review panel member for health informatics for various organizations, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). She completed her Ph.D. at the University of South Florida.
- PhD, Information Systems/Decision Sciences, University of South Florida
- MS, Accounting, University of New Orleans
- BS, Accounting and Management, St. Mary Dominican College/Loyola University
- Health Information Systems
- Consumer Health Informatics
- Patient Reported Outcomes
- Public Health Informatics
Joseph Heim, PhD
Site Co-Director, University of Washington
- PhD, Industrial Engineering, Purdue University
- MSIE, Industrial Engineering, Purdue University
- MECS, Engineering & Computer Science, University of Louisville
- BSME, Mechanical Engineering, University of Louisville
Christopher E. Johnson, PhD
Site Director, University of Louisville
Christopher E. Johnson, PhD is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and received his PhD in Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration from the University of Minnesota Dr. Johnson is best known for work that seeks to understand how health care organizations impact health care outcomes for Veterans, undeserved populations, and the elderly. He was in the first group to be awarded a VA Health Services Research & Development Merit Review Entry-level Program Career Development Award.
His early work focused on the provision of care within medical groups within managed care environments, which resulted in two national best paper awards, including one from the AcademyHealth. He examined quality indicators and the impact of litigation on nursing homes in Florida and in the United States. He has led and participated in grants funded by the National Science Foundation, The Commonwealth fund, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, VA Health Services Research & Development, State of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, Novartis, and HealthGrades, Inc.
Dr. Johnson serves on multiple committees for the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).
- PhD, Health Services Research, University of Minnesota
- PhD Minor, Business Administration, University of Minnesota
- BS, History, United States Naval Academy
- Organization Theory
- Health Services Access
- Quality Improvement
- Long-term Care
J’Aime Jennings, PhD
Site Co-Director, University of Louisville
Dr. Jennings received her PhD in Health Services Administration with a concentration in Strategic Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also holds a BBA in Economics from the University of Georgia and her MPA from the University of West Georgia.
Her research interests include the integration of public health and health care through collaborative relationships, population health management in hospital settings, health delivery improvement in children’s healthcare settings, and several topics related to the broad theme of public health services and systems research (PHSR). Dr. Jennings’ most recent research focuses on the predictors and performance outcomes of hospital community orientation, which she is also linking to research surrounding the elimination of disparities in health outcomes.
Dr. Jennings is the Co-Site Director for the University of Louisville’s Center for Health Organization Transformation funded by the National Science Foundation. She is an active member of the Academy of Management Healthcare Management Division, as well as the AcademyHealth Membership Committee and PHSR Interest Group. She also serves as the Assistant Editor for the journal, Anesthesia & Anagelsia.
- PhD, Health Services Administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham
- MPA, Master of Public Administration, University of West Georgia
- BBA, Business Administration in Economics, University of Georgia
- Public health systems and services
- Inter-organizational relationships
- Health disparities
- Health care strategy and marketing
Stephen Timmons, PhD
Site Director, University of Nottingham
Dr. Timmons is a Professor of Health Services Management and Director of the Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning (CHILL), Nottingham University Business School, UK. His academic background is in sociology, particularly Science and Technology Studies, and the sociology of professions. His professional background is as a manager in the UK National Health Service. Stephen is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge, York, Glasgow and Nottingham. He did his PhD in the Science and Technology Studies Unit at Anglia Ruskin University, under the supervision of Prof. Andrew Webster. A current programme of research is on the implementation (or otherwise) of innovations in health care. It has been suggested that from publication to routine implementation can take 17 years. With CHILL colleagues, Stephen is using social science methods to understand this phenomenon, and working with NHS and other partners to improve the uptake of evidence-based innovations. He is also studying ethical, social and governance issues in the use of big data in healthcare, using the failed care data initiative as a case study.
Dr. Timmons is the Training Director of the Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. He is currently a member of the NHS Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards, and has served as Chair of the Lay Advisory Group for the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
- PhD, Anglia Ruskin University
- MSc, University of Glasglow
- MA, University of York
- BA & MA, University of Cambridge