CHOT Leadership Team

Dr. Bit Kash, CHOT director

Texas A&M Health Science Center
SPH Administration Building
212 Adriance Lab Road
College Station, TX 77843

tel (979) 436-9462 

CV: 2017 Printable CV (PDF)

Bita A. Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE

Center Director, NSF Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT)
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Healthcare Management (JHM)

Bita A. Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A., FACHE, is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health. Dr. Bita Kash received her Ph.D. 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 and marketing for MHA and MPH programs, the MHA Capstone course, and serves on multiple PhD student committees.

Dr. Kash is the Director of a six-university National Science Foundation (NSF) industry/university cooperative research center – the Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) – anchored at Texas A&M University. As 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 currently spearheading three important research projects: 1) evaluation of alternative team models of care in the surgical setting, 2) translating emerging models of cancer care into facilities design, and 3) development and classification of successful hospital readmission reduction strategies.

Dr. Kash’s research model relies on the knowledge and experience of healthcare leaders to guide academic research. Her cooperative and multi-disciplinary research model has resulted in over $5 million in external research funding from the NSF, industry and other sources. Dr. Kash also serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Healthcare Management, a peer-reviewed research journal of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). She has published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and received the ACHE Service Award in 2015.


  • 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

Research Interests

  • 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

Contact Information

Texas A&M Health Science Center
SPH Administration Building
212 Adriance Lab Road
College Station, TX 77843

tel (979) 436-9460

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
Norma Padron, CHOT Chairperson

Contact Information

Lankenau Institute of Medical Research
100 East Lancaster Avenue
Newtown Square, PA 19096

tel (484) 476-3912

CV: Printable CV

Norma Padrón, PhD

Chairperson, Industry Advisory Board (IAB)

Dr. Padrón, Associate Director Maine Line Health Center for Population Health Research at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, recently accepted the nomination for the IAB Vice Chair position in January 2017. Dr. Padrón’s main goal at Maine Line Health is to translate her work and research into actionable strategies that contribute to the improvement of care delivery models and outcomes for patients. Her research uses novel methodologies to design care delivery models and outcomes for patients. Her research uses novel methodologies to design care delivery and payment models to advance population health and has been funded by government agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and private foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, WT Grant Foundation, and NYS Health Foundation.



  • PhD, Health Policy and Management – Economics Track, Yale University, 2014
  • MPH, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 2009
  • MA, Economics, Duke University, 2008
  • BA, Economics, The University of Texas-Pan American, 2008
Dr. Eva K. Lee, site director

Contact Information

Georgia Institute of Technology
425 Groseclose Building
765 Ferst Drive
Atlanta, GA 30332

tel (404) 894-4962

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

Research Interests

  • Health risk prediction
  • Early disease prediction and diagnosis
  • Optimal treatment strategies and drug delivery
  • Healthcare outcome analysis and treatment prediction
  • Public health and medical preparedness
  • Large-scale healthcare/medical decision analysis and quality improvement
Conrad Tucker, Site director

Contact Information
Pennsylvania State University
213-N Hammond Building
University Park, PA 16802

tel (814) 865-7580

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 the 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

Research Interests

  • Machine Learning/Data Mining
  • Text Mining/Natural Language Processing
  • Virtual Design and Simulation
  • Sensors and Sensing Systems
  • Intelligent Assistive Technologies
Robert Weech-Maldonado, site director

Contact Information

University of Alabama
558 School of Health Professionals Building
1716 9th Ave South
Birmingham, AL 35294

tel (205) 996-5838

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

Research Interests

  • Organizational and market factors on access, quality, and costs of care for vulnerable populations, particularly the elderly and racial/ethnic minorities
Nancy Borkowski, site director

Contact Information

554 School of Health Professionals Building
University of Alabama
1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294

tel (205) 996-2336

Nancy M Borkowski, DBA

Co-Site 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

Research Interests

  • Healthcare strategic planning and management
  • Organizational behavior in healthcare
  • Healthcare provider social network analysis
Agarwal Ankur, site director

Contact Information

Department of Computer & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
777 Glades Road, EE 521
Boca Raton, FL 33431

tel (561) 297-3496

Ankur Agarwal, PhD

Site Director, Florida Atlantic University


  • PhD, Florida Atlantic University
  • MSCE, Florida Atlantic University
  • BSEE, India

Research Interests

  • Health & Medical Informatics System Design
  • Embedded System Design
  • Mobile Systems and Application Development
  • MultiCore Architectures
  • Real-Time System Design
Christina, Site director

Contact Information
Department Industrial & Systems Engineering
3900 E. Stevens Way NE
Seattle, WA 98195

tel (206) 543-5439

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

Research Interests

  • Data Mining & Analytics
  • Systems-Level Modeling & Decision Making Risk Modeling
  • Quality Improvement
Stephen Timmons, Site director

Contact Information
Nottingham University Business School
Junilee Campus, Burton Street
Nottingham NG1 4BU, UK

tel +44 (0) 115-8466635

Stephen Timmons, PhD

Site Director, Nottingham University

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