About Us

Sechel Ventures Partners LLC owns and operates HealthcareDegree.com, which publishes articles about healthcare education and career paths, as well as interviews with professionals in the medical community. The mission of Sechel is to provide authoritative, well-researched content that helps prospective students find degree programs, certification information, and first-hand accounts of the daily lives of healthcare workers—especially in growing careers.

Please contact us with any corrections or ideas for content you’d like to see. Thank you.

Experts Interviewed on HealthcareDegree.com

Andreea Bauknecht

Andreea Bauknecht

Andreea Bauknecht, originally from Romania and a US resident for 16 years, identifies strongly with Wisconsin. She enjoys hiking, exploring cheese shops, and visiting wineries, often spending her Fridays at supper clubs for a fish fry and brandy old-fashioned.

With over 13 years in visual sciences, Andreea started as a corneal tissue recovery technician at the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin (LEBW) in 2015 after graduating from Madison Area Technical College’s optometric technician program. She progressed to become a certified eye bank technician and medical director designee, leading the donor eligibility team, handling lab operations, and being appointed director of quality services in 2019 for regulatory and compliance.

Currently holding certifications as an optometric technician (CPOT), ophthalmology assistant (COA), and eye bank technician (CEBT), she teaches part-time at Madison Area Technical College and serves on the Eye Bank Association of America’s Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee and Accreditation Board Committee, inspecting eye banks for accreditation.

Anne Marie Kondic, PharmD

Anne Marie Kondic, PharmD

Dr. Anne Marie Kondic is the Executive Director of the Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF)—the founding partner of Flip the Pharmacy. CPF is an independent organization funded by a class-action pharmaceutical lawsuit settlement in Chicago in the late 90s. It operates on the guiding principle of “investing in the innovative edge” of community pharmacy practice.

In October 2020, Dr. Kondic and colleagues published the origins of the Flip the Pharmacy implementation model in the journal Innovations in Pharmacy. Citing escalating healthcare costs, an aging population with chronic illness, healthcare provider burnout, and a projected shortage of primary care physicians within the next 12 years, Dr. Kondic and her team highlight the need for scalable solutions to alleviate medical practice burdens.

Bert Little, PhD

Bert Little, PhD

Dr. Bert Little is a professor of health management and systems sciences, a professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, coordinator of the MS in AI in medicine program (in partnership with the Department of Biomedical Engineering), and interim chair at the University of Louisville’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences. His educational background is in analytics, mathematics, statistics, databases, and probability theory, and he has extensive experience working with populations outside the United States. He has been actively involved in database work since 1978 and has contributed significantly to constructing unique national data warehouses for research purposes.

Dr. Little’s research interests span various topics, including applied mathematics, clinical trial design, database design, statistical sampling design, multivariate analysis, and manuscript publication. Notably, his research has delved into risk factor analysis for various outcomes such as type 2 diabetes, interventional cardiology, hepatitis C, and different types of cancer. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (FAAAS), the Royal Anthropological Institute (FRAI), the Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM), and the Royal Society of Public Health (FRSPH). He also serves in editorial capacities for various scientific journals within the field of public health. Notably, he was also named among the 2024 Stanford University and Elsevier Press’s Top 2% of scientists cited worldwide.

He holds a master’s of arts from Ball State University in primatology/computer science and a PhD from the University of Texas-Austin, in physical anthropology (human genetics, growth, adaptability) and applied mathematics (statistics, probability theory).

Bill McGinley, MBA

Bill McGinley, MBA

Bill McGinley is a 40-year veteran of nursing home administration. He earned his BS in biology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and his MBA with a concentration in healthcare management from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.

McGinley now serves as the President and CEO of the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA). He is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Administrators (FACHCA), a Certified Nursing Home Administrator (CNHA), a Certified Administrator of Sub-Acute Care (CAS), and a Certified Assisted Living Administrator (CALA).

McGinley also holds the distinction of being just the third person in the country to achieve the Health Services Executive (HSE) credential from the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB). In 2010, he was named Outstanding Member of the ACHCA, and in 2017, ACHCA named him as the recipient of the Distinguished Assisted Living Administrator Award.

Brendan Houdek, MA

Brendan Houdek, MA

Brendan Houdek, CCC-SLP, TSSLD is the head of the New York Speech Pathology Clinic. He is a speech coach and certified speech-language pathologist, as well as a voice teacher at New York Vocal Coaching.

Houdek followed the path of becoming a licensed SLP in New York by completing a bachelor’s degree in speech communications and philosophy/religious studies before gaining a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Hofstra University. He has worked as an SLP in schools as well as clinics in New York, so he’s experienced the differences in terms of both settings of practice.

Brigid K. Groves, PharmD

Brigid K. Groves, PharmD

Dr. Brigid K Groves is the senior director of practice and professional affairs at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). She leads, coordinates, and contributes to efforts and initiatives related to the transformation of the role of the pharmacist and advancing pharmacists’ patient care services. She has led the creation of practice tools and resources and continually promoted the pharmacist’s role as a healthcare provider. Additionally, she administers and directs the APhA Community-based Pharmacy Residency Program initiative and the general advancement of postgraduate pharmacy residency education and training initiatives.

Previously, Dr. Groves was a population health pharmacist at a pediatric accountable care organization. Prior, she held roles as a clinical and pharmacy practice coordinator at a large grocery store-based community pharmacy chain. She has been heavily involved in professional pharmacy organizations for many years.

C. Leilani Valdes, MD, MBA

C. Leilani Valdes, MD, MBA

Dr. C. Leilani Valdes is board-certified in anatomic, clinical and dermatopathology and is the medical director at Regional Pathology Associates and chair of pathology and laboratory medicine at Citizens Medical Center in Victoria, TX. She is currently serving her first term as governor on the board of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and is chair of the Council on Membership and Professional Development.

Before her election to the Board, Dr. Valdes served on numerous CAP committees, including as chair of the Professional and Community Engagement Committee and a member of the Economic Affairs / Measure Development Committee. She is active in the Texas Society of Pathologists, currently serving as president, and represents Victoria-Goliad-Jackson Counties at the Texas Medical Association House of Delegates. She is a graduate of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and completed her anatomic and clinical pathology training at Los Angeles County – University of Southern CA Medical Center, followed by a dermatopathology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. She also completed an executive MBA at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business in May of 2022, graduating as a leadership fellow.

An active advocate for community and public health initiatives, Dr. Valdes works with local and national organizations to educate, inform, and collaborate on improving healthcare delivery.

Carlos Chapa, PhD

Carlos Chapa, PhD

Dr. Carlos Chapa is the founder and medical director of the Acupuncture and Integrative Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He is a triple board-certified doctor of naturopathic medicine and holds a PhD in Oriental medicine, in addition to being a board-certified herbalist and a licensed acupuncturist.

Dr. Chapa served as a Marine medic in the US Navy for close to a decade and as an ER nurse for six years. He has been invited to learn under the guidance of world-renowned doctors of Eastern medicine, including Dr. Joon-Shik Shin, Dr. Takeshi Kitagawa, and Dr. Jan Dommerholt (seen with Dr. Chapa above) at prestigious medical facilities in China, South Korea, and Japan.

He is bilingual (Spanish/English) and completed undergraduate studies in Chinese language, philosophy, and pre-med before going onto pursue graduate work at the Dongguk University of Oriental Medicine.

Dr. Chapa found his calling while studying abroad in China and witnessing the results of Chinese medicine first hand, at which time he thought to himself, “This will change our world.”

Carmela Rea, MA

Carmela Rea, MA

Carmela Rea is the CEO of Eggfund (@my_eggfund), a fintech company also based in New York, that helps women finance their fertility journeys.

Prior to founding EggFund, Rea was the president of a global media company and left her position to work on EggFund full-time. She envisions a world where having a family is attainable for all who wish for one.

CG Funk, LMT

CG Funk, LMT

CG Funk has over 30 years of experience as a certified massage therapist. Currently serving as the chief therapeutic experience officer of Massage Heights, she plays a pivotal role in shaping the therapeutic offerings of the renowned wellness brand. Her influence extends beyond the organization, as she holds membership in multiple industry boards, contributes as a judge for the World Spa Awards, represents as a delegate of the Global Wellness Summit, and shares her expertise as a speaker at numerous massage and spa industry conferences.

Before her tenure with Massage Heights, Funk operated a successful boutique spa consulting business, collaborating with wellness, spa, and beauty businesses. She also was vice president of industry relations and product development for a 1,200-unit international massage franchise.

Chloe Bird, PhD

Chloe Bird, PhD

Dr. Chloe E. Bird is the director of the Center for Health Equity Research at Tufts Medical Center, the Sara Murray Jordan Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, a senior sociologist at the RAND Corporation, and a professor of policy analysis at Pardee RAND Graduate School. She is a medical sociologist and a national expert in women’s health and health disparities, determinants of sex and gender differences in health and healthcare, and gaps in the evidence base on women’s health. Much of her current NIH-funded work focuses on improving maternal health outcomes with attention to the long-term impacts of health in and after pregnancy for women’s health over the life course.

Dr. Bird has served as a senior advisor in the National Institutes of Health’s Office for Research on Women’s Health and as editor of the journal Women’s Health Issues. She received the 2021 Distinguished Career Award in the Practice of Sociology from the American Sociological Association.

Dr. Bird is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Health Behavior, and a member of Women of Impact in Healthcare. She earned her PhD and MA in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her BA in sociology from Oberlin College.

David Mener, MD

David Mener, MD

Dr. David Mener is a pediatric otolaryngologist, ear, nose, and throat doctor in New York for ENT and Allergy Associates. He completed medical school at the University of Rochester and his residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Subsequently, he completed a fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology at John Hopkins Hospital.

He is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and holds board certification from the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

David Shafer, MD

David Shafer, MD

Dr. David Shafer is a double board-certified surgeon and plastic surgeon. He completed his surgical training at the Arizona Burn Center in Phoenix, Arizona, where he perfected his reconstructive techniques such as tissue engineering and tissue grafting. He then completed his plastic surgery training at the Mayo Clinic.

Upon completion of that program, he was accepted as an aesthetic surgery fellow at the Manhattan Ear, Eye & Throat Hospital in New York City, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious fellowships in the nation. He established the Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where he cares for patients from across the world.

Deborah Cragun, PhD

Deborah Cragun, PhD

Dr. Deborah Cragun is an assistant professor and director of the genetic counseling graduate program at the University of South Florida’s (USF’s) College of Public Health. After her undergraduate years, she earned her MS in medical genetics from the University of Cincinnati followed by a doctoral degree in the Department of Community and Family Health at the University of South Florida. Then, she completed her postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular and genetic epidemiology within the division of population sciences at Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida.

Dr. Cragun’s research interests fall within the dissemination, implementation, and effectiveness of genomic technologies, as well as genetic counseling service delivery methods, outcomes, and effects on families.

Diana Matthews, MSHI

Diana Matthews, MSHI

Diana Matthews is the director of medical imaging at Elgin Community College. Renowned for her dedication as a clinical informatics professional, Matthews is recognized for her agility, composure, and resilience in healthcare technology. Her unwavering commitment to lifelong learning, data analysis, and leveraging healthcare technology to enhance patient outcomes underscores her professional ethos, characterized by values of integrity, teamwork, consistency, operational excellence, and perseverance. She holds a master’s degree in health informatics with a concentration in data science from the University of Illinois.

Diane Hilal-Campo

Diane Hilal-Campo

Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo is a Columbia and Mount Sinai-trained, board-certified ophthalmologist in private practice in Oakland, NJ. She has been diagnosing and treating eye diseases for 25 years. After spending decades treating female patients struggling with dry eye and other painful conditions caused by makeup and beauty treatments, she developed her own brand of eye-friendly formulas: Twenty / Twenty.

Dr. Hilal-Campo created Twenty / Twenty to help promote and preserve the long-term eye health of makeup wearers worldwide. The line’s formulations were designed to enhance your eyes’ natural beauty without causing irritation, sensitivity, or damage to the eye glands or ocular surface. Each product, from the innovative hygiene spray to the effective, nutrient-rich (and hormone-free) lash and brow serum, has undergone rigorous clinical testing to ensure they don’t disrupt, but rather support, the delicate ecosystem of the eye.

Dorothée Caminiti, JD, LLM

Dorothée Caminiti, JD, LLM

Dorothée Caminiti is the director of the bioethics program with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. She works at the intersection of digital ethics in health care and law and focuses on the ethical problems associated with personalized medicine and the processing of health-related data.

Caminiti began her career in Europe, where she was a litigation attorney with leading global law firms for more than a decade. She then applied her legal expertise to the field of bioethics, serving in leadership roles with various firms in Switzerland. Most recently, she was a research fellow in global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Earlisha Killen

Earlisha Killen

Earlisha Killen is a breastfeeding peer counselor for the Riley County Health Department’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program in Kansas, where she works to support breastfeeding mothers, a position that she has held for three years. She holds a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) certification, which many nurses, childcare professionals, and doulas choose to obtain to widen their skillset.

Killen is also the treasurer of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition (KBC), where she has served for two years. She holds a bachelor’s of science in human nutrition from Kansas State University and is a mother of three children.

Killen has a passion for breaking down the barriers that Black mothers face in breastfeeding and spreading awareness about the benefits of breast milk. Before we get to breaking down why African American women breastfeed at a lower rate than white mothers, let’s establish why it’s so important that women have the option to breastfeed in the first place.

Edmund Murphy, MA

Edmund Murphy, MA

Edmund Murphy is editor-in-chief for Recovered.org. He has an extensive background in addiction research and medical writing, working collaboratively with doctors, substance use disorder specialists, and clinical experts across all content at Recovered.

In 2021, Edmund completed his MA in creative writing from Birkbeck University of London and pursues literary arts in his spare time.

Elana Clar, MD

Elana Clar, MD

Dr. Elana Clar is one of the most highly trained neurologists in the country for the treatment of movement disorders. After her residency at Georgetown University, she completed a two-year movement disorders fellowship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, where she obtained subspecialty training in deep brain stimulation. She treats all types of movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, atypical parkinsonism, ataxia, dystonia, spasmodic torticollis, essential tremor, hemifacial spasm, blepharospasm, and vocal/motor tics.

Dr. Clar views her relationship with patients as a partnership, and she is dedicated to serving as their advocate. From working with insurance companies to ensure her patients’ medications are covered to researching and monitoring the newest treatment options available, she ensures each patient receives the best care possible.

Ernest Grant, PhD

Ernest Grant, PhD

Dr. Ernest Grant is the president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the nation’s largest nurses organization. He also serves as adjunct faculty for the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill School of Nursing, where he works with undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the classroom and clinical settings.

A distinguished leader, Dr. Grant has more than 30 years of nursing experience, previously serving as the outreach coordinator for the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. He holds a BSN degree from North Carolina Central University, and MSN and PhD degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Grant is frequently sought out for his expertise as a clinician and educator. In addition to being a prolific speaker, he has conducted numerous burn-education courses with various branches of the US military in preparation for troop deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2002, President George W. Bush presented Dr. Grant with a Nurse of the Year Award for his work treating burn victims from the World Trade Center site. In 2013, Dr. Grant received the B.T. Fowler Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Council for making a difference in preventing the devastating effects of fire and burn injuries and deaths within the state. He is the first man to be elected to the office of president at ANA.

Fahimeh Sasan, MD

Fahimeh Sasan, MD

Dr. Fahimeh Sasan is the founding physician of Kindbody (@WeAreKindbody) and one of their practicing OB/GYNs in New York. Dr. Sasan did her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai Hospital and has been practicing for 12 years.

Dr. Sasan is passionate about breaking the stigma surrounding conversations about female fertility and helping women better understand their options for the future.

Gendai Echezona, MD

Gendai Echezona, MD

Dr. Gendai Echezona is a triple Board Certified Anesthesiologist, Pain Management Specialist, and Diplomat of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine with additional training in Aesthetics Medicine. She is the founder and medical director at Premier Pain Care and Wellness in Norwalk, Connecticut offering customized treatment plans for pain management, and aesthetics while keeping lifestyle medicine in mind. She earned her doctorate of medicine at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. Her residency was in anesthesiology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, and her fellowship was in pain medicine at Weill Cornell Tri-Institute.

Geoff Knapp

Geoff Knapp

Geoff Knapp is the executive director of the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association (OOPA). He serves as the key corporate officer responsible for implementing the vision of the board of directors through strategic planning.

Prior to entering his current role in January of 2020, Knapp served as the reputation manager for ReputationUs, a public relations firm in Portland, Oregon. His background in crisis communications has served him well since he took on the leadership role at the OOPA and has had to tackle various complications due to the coronavirus. Knapp has his bachelor of science in public relations and journalism from Utica College of Syracuse University.

Gerard Soffian

Gerard Soffian

Gerard Soffian, PE, is a transportation engineer and chair of the Vision Zero standing committee. He served as the deputy commissioner division of traffic operations for the New York City Department of Transportation for over 26 years.

Soffian is currently a senior engineer for the Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants. He also operates his own firm, GSoffian Engineering, PLLC and is an adjunct professor at the NYU Tandon Graduate School of Engineering.

Guy Palmer, DVM, PhD

Guy Palmer, DVM, PhD

Dr. Guy Palmer holds the Jan and Jack Creighton Endowed Chair at Washington State University where he is Regents Professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases.

The founding director of WSU’s Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, Dr. Palmer currently leads university-wide efforts as senior director of global health.

Heather Duncan, MPH

Heather Duncan, MPH

Heather Duncan, MPH, is the Senior Public Health Advisor for the Division of Workforce Development (DWD) in CDC’s National Center for STLT Public Health Infrastructure and Workforce. She provides executive coaching services and professional development consultation; develops, conducts, and procures training and professional development opportunities for staff; serves as an executive advisor for DWD’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging activities; and serves as the co-coordinator for CDC’s Workforce Governance Board. Duncan received her MPH degree from Tulane University and her BS in biology from Furman University.

Jacob Elberg, JD

Jacob Elberg, JD

Prior to joining Seton Hall Law School, Professor Jacob Elberg served for 11 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, one of the most impactful healthcare units in the country, where he directed all of the Office’s criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of healthcare fraud offenses.

While Elberg was at the Attorney’s Office, he witnessed some large-scale instances of compliance violations, including the biggest case of home healthcare fraud in the U.S. so far: when Maxim Healthcare Services submitted $61 million in fraudulent bills to the Medicaid and Veterans Affairs healthcare programs. Elberg was awarded the Department of Justice’s Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys Director’s Award for Superior Performance for his investigation and prosecution in this case.

Elberg holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his JD from Harvard Law School.

Jacqueline Hobbs, MD, PhD

Jacqueline Hobbs, MD, PhD

Dr. Jacqueline Hobbs graduated from the MD/PhD program at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed an internship at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and residency training at the Indiana University School of Medicine and University of Florida. She joined the University of Florida faculty in 2005, then became the residency program director in 2009. She was program director for 14 years, and then was recruited to the University of Washington in Seattle—the largest psychiatry residency training program in the country—to be their program director.

Dr. Hobbs also has significant experience in quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) leadership and teaching. She was a founding physician director of quality for the University of Florida Department of Psychiatry, a position she held for 16 years. She is currently the chair of APA’s Patient Safety Work Group and a member of APA’s Council on Quality Care.

Jaime Van Echo, MS

Jaime Van Echo, MS

Jaime Van Echo is the associate director of clinical issues in speech-language pathology for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and a practicing speech-language pathologist in pediatrics. She received her BA in speech pathology from the University of Kansas and her MS in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Van Echo has worked as a speech-language pathologist since 2003. She is a passionate advocate for people with unique circumstances in education, health, and vocation.

Jared Spackman, MPAS​

Jared Spackman, MPAS​

Jared Spackman, PA-C is the physician assistant program director at the University of Utah—the same institution where he earned his master’s in physician assistant studies. He has over 17 years of experience providing high-quality patient care in several disciplines, including orthopedics, pediatrics, urgent care, and internal medicine.

He joined the University of Utah faculty in 2018. In addition to his program director duties, he instructs in pediatrics, infectious diseases, and missions in practice. He also directs the pediatrics program.

Spackman is well-respected in the community at large, having held positions such as the president of the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants and Legislative chair for the Utah Academy. He is currently serving as the chair of the Utah Physician Assistant Licensing board.

Jennifer Fredette

Jennifer Fredette

Jennifer Fredette has been working in skin care for more than 22 years. She is a multi-state licensed esthetician, certified in esthetics, Reiki Level 1 & 2 practitioner, certified for medical esthetics chemical peels, and director of skin care services at Massage Heights In New York. She has extensive experience working with retail partners such as Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Dillard’s. She has a bachelor of arts from Adrian College and completed her esthetician training at Christine Valmy School of Esthetics, New York.

Joel Frank, PsyD

Joel Frank, PsyD

Dr. Joel Frank is a licensed clinical psychologist and owner of Duality Psychological Services from Los Angeles, California, with over a decade of experience in the mental health and neuropsychological fields.

Throughout his professional career, Dr. Frank has worked across many clinical and research settings, helping individuals better understand their current circumstances and psychological state. He has found profound success in and draws enjoyment from working with people to regain balance and power in their lives, both cognitively and psychologically.

Julia Franklin, PhD

Julia Franklin, PhD

Dr. Julia Franklin is professor (lecturer) of health and kinesiology at the University of Utah. She holds a doctoral degree in health promotion and education, a master of science in health promotion and education, and a bachelor of science in exercise and sport science—all from the University of Utah. In addition, Dr. Franklin is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused on community health education and serves as the coordinator for the Health Education Specialist and Wellness Coaching Program.

Justine Park, MD

Justine Park, MD

Dr. Justine Park is a board-certified dermatologist who has spent over 20 years practicing all aspects of dermatology. Dr. Park has a passion for beauty and medicine, and cosmetic dermatology is the quintessential expression of these two seemingly divergent ideas.

Dr. Park has also served in the public eye as a consultant for Ortho-Neutrogena, NBC Universal, and as a spokesperson for the AllWell Beauty Skincare line. Her expertise in skincare product formulations also allows her to serve on special advisory boards, including that for her current employer, the Skin and Beauty Center, and their skincare line, PielMD.

Dr. Park received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of California Berkeley and her medical degree from the University of Southern California (USC), and completed her residency at the King-Drew Medical Center and USC. She has served on faculty as an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at USC and has also served as director of pediatric dermatology at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Kailey Bedford, MS

Kailey Bedford, MS

Kailey Bedford is an occupational therapist who works in OrthoCarolina’s Brachial Plexus Clinic, Amputee Clinic, and Congenital Clinic. She often works with patients who have undergone intense trauma—many of whom will never return to their “normal” lives. She also serves as a Current Education Division member and Student Offerings Committee chair for the American Society of Hand Therapists, focusing on developing and leading students to ensure the profession’s growth.

Bedford graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Science with an MS in occupational therapy. She is passionate about doing her part to help these patients feel supported and encouraged despite mounting challenges.

Karen Stiffler, MA

Karen Stiffler, MA

Karen Stiffler is the histotechnology program director at Lakeland Community College. Prior to this role, she worked in a research lab, gaining valuable hands-on experience. She eventually transitioned to the healthcare sector by joining the Cleveland Clinic, where she further honed her skills in histology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s of arts in education from Western Governors University.

Kelly Thompson-Brazill, DNP

Kelly Thompson-Brazill, DNP

Dr. Kelly Thompson-Brazill is the director of the adult-gerontology acute care program and an associate professor in the Department of Advanced Nursing Practice at Georgetown University. She earned her DNP and MSN degrees at Duke University, and her BSN at the University of Scranton.

Dr. Thompson-Brazill is an active member and fellow of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), where she serves as a member of the Nursing Research and Scholarship Committee. She is also a panelist on the ICU Design Guidelines Panel, which is producing SCCM’s 2024 ICU Design Guidelines for use in creating evidenced-based critical care environments across the globe.

Dr. Thompson-Brazill serves as a journal reviewer for AACN Advanced Critical Care, Critical Care Nurse, and the Journal of Emergency Nursing. She is a national expert on both the Critical Care (CCRN) and Progressive Care Nursing (PCCN) certifications. She was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine (FCCM) in 2014.

Kevin Coker, JD, MPH

Kevin Coker, JD, MPH

Kevin Coker is the founder and chief executive officer at Proxima Clinical Research. Over his career, Coker has served in several executive roles. Previously, he was chief executive officer and director of MolecularMatch, a software company dedicated to helping laboratories interpret next-generation sequencing tests for clinical practice. He served as the vice president and oncology franchise lead for Worldwide Clinical Trials, a global CRO working in over 50 countries, and vice president of McKesson/US Oncology research.

Coker is currently a board director for Volumetric, a 3D bioprinting company focused on making the world’s first 3D printed liver and is an advisor for Bioverge, an investment platform focused on life science companies.

Kevin Sadati, MD

Kevin Sadati, MD

Dr. Kevin Sadati is a double board-certified plastic surgeon and ear, nose, and throat specialist. He is an actively practicing plastic surgeon who specializes in facelifts, rhinoplasty, and eyelid surgery. In fact, he has performed over 4,000 face and neck lifts in his career.

He completed otorhinolaryngology residency and facial plastic surgery training at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. After those two programs, he completed a general cosmetic surgery fellowship at the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery of Washington. He has been named one of the best cosmetic surgeons in Orange County by the Orange County Register six years in a row.

Ki Cheng, DPT

Ki Cheng, DPT

Dr. Ki Cheng is an experienced doctor of physical therapy serving the musculoskeletal needs of the Bay Area. A lifelong athlete, he knows firsthand the joy of performance and the challenges of preventing and rehabilitating injuries.

Dr. Cheng has treated patients with a wide range of experiences—from spinal cord injuries to professional athletics. He founded Opus Physio in 2023.

Kiva Harper, LCSW-S

Kiva Harper, LCSW-S

Kiva Harper, LCSW-S is an associate professor of practice of social work at the University of Texas at Arlington. In addition to being an educator, she is a thought leader, trauma expert, therapist, and supervisor in the field. Her areas of specialty include trauma, military social work, mental health, domestic violence, substance use, and grief. She is also the owner of Harper Counseling and Consulting Services in Arlington, where she provides therapy to survivors of trauma and traumatic grief.

Kristi Tonning, PhD

Kristi Tonning, PhD

Dr. Kristi Tonning is an assistant professor and director of the radiation therapy program at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). Prior to joining the OHSU staff in 2015, she worked as a radiation therapist and dosimetrist at Stavanger University Hospital in Norway for 14 years, where she also served as an interim department manager.

Dr. Tonning holds degrees in radiation therapy (BS, OHSU) and change management (MSc, University of Stavanger). She completed her PhD in education and leadership in 2021 at Pacific University. Her areas of professional interest include patient education, radiation therapy, interprofessional education (IPE), youth outreach, and virtual reality.

Laura Kummerle, DPT

Laura Kummerle, DPT

Dr. Laura Kummerle is a physical therapist, fitness enthusiast, and former gymnast. She received her doctor of physical therapy in 2018 from the University of Florida, completed a postdoctoral orthopedic residency program in 2019, and became an orthopedic clinical specialist in 2020. Her training consists of a mix of calisthenics, lifting, hand balancing, and running.

Lauren Ryan

Lauren Ryan

Lauren Ryan, a certified genetic counselor and head of clinical services at Color, found her calling after a genetic counselor gave a guest lecture to her undergraduate genetics class.

Ryan’s professional career began in a clinical setting, working as a genetic counselor and breast health specialist for Athena Breast Health Network in conjunction with the University of California San Francisco’s Cancer Risk Program. In this position, she conducted genetic testing and counseling and provided personalized breast cancer risk assessments and psychosocial support to women at high risk. She also assisted in the design and implementation of the program and participated in statewide continuous quality improvement of the risk assessment process.

Leticia Reynolds, MS

Leticia Reynolds, MS

Leticia Reynolds, CHTM, CBET, is the president of the Colorado Association of Biomedical Equipment Technicians (CABMET). She is currently a clinical engineering specialist at Memorial Hospital, part of the University of Colorado Health system in Colorado Springs.

Reynolds received her training as a military reservist and served as a biomedical equipment technician on deployments in Qatar and Afghanistan. She currently specializes in respiratory equipment repair and is the platoon sergeant for the 143rd Medical Company. She holds degrees in biomedical engineering (AAS), biomedical electronics (BSAT), and management (MS).

Lisa O’Connor, MS

Lisa O’Connor, MS

Lisa O’Connor is a senior managing director in the healthcare business transformation practice at FTI Consulting. She has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry.

O’Connor consults with healthcare clients on operational strategy, executive leadership and governance, clinical quality improvement, risk management, operations, disaster preparedness, physician relationships, and many other key executive leadership responsibilities.

Louis Saccoccio, JD

Louis Saccoccio, JD

Louis Saccoccio is the CEO of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA), the leading national organization focused exclusively on the fight against healthcare fraud. He earned his BS in mathematics from the US Naval Academy and his JD from Harvard Law School.

Prior to his role at the NHCAA, Saccoccio served as general counsel and then as senior vice president of professional services for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a political advocacy and trade association of health insurance companies.

Macie Smith, EdD

Macie Smith, EdD

Dr. Macie Smith is an award-winning educator and writer with over 22 years of experience working with aging and vulnerable populations. She is a licensed social worker, gerontologist, and a former assistant professor in the Social Work Department at Benedict College. She has appeared in several editions of Faculty Matters Magazine for her continued contributions in the academic areas of teaching, discovery, integration, and application. She conducts research, develops programs, conducts program evaluations, and facilitates professional development training in the areas of healthcare management, human services development, and program development. She has a doctor of education in higher education from Nova Southeastern University, and a master’s of art in rehabilitation counseling and a bachelor’s in social work from South Carolina State University.

Margaret Flinter, PhD

Margaret Flinter, PhD

Dr. Margaret Flinter is the Senior Vice President and Clinical Director of the Community Health Center, Inc (CHC). She received her BSN from the University of Connecticut, her MSN from Yale University, and her PhD at the University of Connecticut.

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) since 1980, Dr. Flinter has served as both clinician and an executive leader at CHC, helping to transform it from a storefront clinic into one of the nation’s largest FQHCs. In 2005, she founded the Weitzman Center (now Weitzman Institute) as the research and development arm of CHC. Dr. Flinter is the co-host of a weekly radio show, Conversations on Health Care, which connects people with issues of health policy, reform, and innovation.

Maria Thompson, MEd

Maria Thompson, MEd

Maria Thompson is a simulation therapist and has served as the clinical coordinator of the radiation therapy program at OHSU since 2016. Prior to occupying this role, Ms. Thompson worked as a radiation therapist for Legacy Health in Portland, Oregon and at Salem Health in the state’s capital city.

Thompson holds degrees in radiation therapy (BS, OHSU) and educational leadership and policy (MEd, Portland State University).

Mark Cameron, PhD

Mark Cameron, PhD

Dr. Mark Cameron is an associate professor in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, School of Medicine, at Case Western Reserve University. He is renowned for his expertise in leveraging genomic technologies and bioinformatic methods to identify biomarkers associated with infectious diseases and chronic inflammatory conditions. His pioneering research delves into computational analysis of gene sequences and protein function, aiming to advance the development of targeted immunotherapies and vaccines. He has a prolific publication record and editorial responsibilities in scientific journals. He holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology and a bachelor of science in biology from Western University, London, Ontario.

Merilynne Rush, MS

Merilynne Rush, MS

Merilynne Rush holds an MS in hospice and palliative studies from Madonna University and a BSN from the University of Michigan. As an end-of-life doula trainer, she offers training, mentoring, and certification for end-of-life doulas through The Dying Year. She is also a Respecting Choices® 1st Steps Facilitator Instructor.

Rush is President of the National End-of-life Doula Alliance (NEDA), sits on the End-of-life Doula Advisory Council of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), and is a former board member of the National Home Funeral Alliance and the Green Burial Council. Rush also founded (and continues to facilitate) the Ann Arbor Death Cafe—part of a global community that gathers to discuss death.

Nahale Freeland Kalfas, JD

Nahale Freeland Kalfas, JD

Nahale Freeland Kalfas is a solo practitioner specializing in administrative law. She received her JD from Duke University School of Law and has been practicing law for the past 14 years. Kalfas is currently the general counsel for the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists. In this role, she is responsible for prosecutorial, regulatory, and compliance matters related to the board’s activities. She also serves as a legal counsel with The Council of State Governments, where she provides legal advice on various topics, including administrative law, health care law, and public policy. She was the co-drafter for the Audiology Speech Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ASLP-IC).

Nathan Gonik, MD

Nathan Gonik, MD

Dr, Nathan Gonik is the chief of pediatric otolaryngology at Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan. He completed medical school at Wayne State University School and his residency in otolaryngology) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology at the University of Michigan/Mott Children’s Hospital.

While he is a specialist in all things ear, nose, and throat related for kids, Dr. Gonik’s clinical focus is on aerodigestive concerns. Presently, he is the co-director of the Aerodigestive Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where children receive specialized care in breathing, speaking, swallowing, and nutritional issues.

Nazgol Ghandnoosh, PhD

Nazgol Ghandnoosh, PhD

Dr. Nazgol Ghandnoosh is a senior research analyst at The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that engages in research and advocacy for criminal justice reform.

Dr. Ghandnoosh conducts and synthesizes research on criminal justice policies and writes about racial disparities in the justice system, public opinion about punishment, and the scope of reform efforts. She co-wrote “Treating an Illness, Ending a War,” a report detailing the US’s past drug crises and how the government has handled them.

Dr. Ghandnoosh holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Nuha Ali El Sayed, MD

Nuha Ali El Sayed, MD

Dr. Nuha Ali El Sayed is an endocrinologist at Joslin Diabetes Center, an instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and the vice president of healthcare improvement for the American Diabetes Association. She completed her clinical training in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism as a Friedman Fellow at Tufts Medical Center and the Jean Mayer USDA Center in 2009. She also earned a master of medical sciences in medical education at Harvard Medical School.

At Joslin, Dr. El Sayed sees patients at high risk to develop type 1 and type 2 diabetes, with a focus on lifestyle medicine, weight management, complications prevention, and the use of technology in diabetes care. She also oversees the clinical training program for medical students, residents, and visitors. Dr. El Sayed is the Chairwoman and Founder of Diabetes Education For All (DEFA).

Rhonda Collins, DNP

Rhonda Collins, DNP

Dr. Rhonda Collins is a nursing leader and advocate with 35 years of experience in the sector. At present, she is the chief nursing officer at Kontakt.io, a company that specializes in technology solutions for healthcare operations. Prior to joining Kontnakt.Io, she fulfilled various leadership roles in different Texas hospitals.

In 2019, Dr. Collins was named a fellow by the American Academy of Nursing. She earned her bachelor’s degree and doctorate in nursing from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and her master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Texas.

Richard Shields, PhD

Richard Shields, PhD

Dr. Richard Shields is the current chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science within the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. He earned his BS in biology from Catawba College, his certificate in physical therapy from the Mayo Clinic of Health Related Sciences, and both his MA and PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Shield’s central research theme is prescribed activity: exercise as medicine. He has published over 100 scientific papers, delivered over 200 scientific presentations, and had his research funded for the last 20 years by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and several private foundations.

Dr. Shields was the recipient of the Iowa Neurology Clinical Research Award, the APTA Neurology Section Research Excellence Award, the University of Iowa Outstanding Mentor and Teaching Award, the Mayo Clinic Outstanding Alumnus Award, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Williams Research Award, the research section’s Maley Research Award, and named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow from the APTA.

Rodney Rohde, PhD

Rodney Rohde, PhD

Dr. Rodney Rohde is a specialist of virology, microbiology, and molecular biology. He serves as the associate dean for research, department chair, and professor in the Clinical Laboratory Science Program within the College of Health Professions at Texas State University.

Dr. Rohde has experienced the fields of medical laboratory science and epidemiology firsthand. He spent the first decade of his life in a public health laboratory and zoonosis control division where he performed both laboratory testing and acted as a molecular epidemiologist for zoonotic agents, such as rabies, hantavirus, SARS, and the flu.

Ron Yee, MD, MBA

Ron Yee, MD, MBA

Dr. Ron Yee is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). He received his MD from Oral Roberts University School of Medicine and completed both his family practice residency and chief resident position through UC San Francisco in Fresno, California.

For over 20 years, Dr. Yee was employed by United Health Centers, an eight-site community-migrant health center in Parlier, California. A graduate of the NACHC EXCELL Leadership Program, Dr. Yee has developed a career-long passion for patient care and communicates a unique blend of clinical practice style efficiency, care team focus, practical financial applications, and organizational transformation.

Roy Bejarano

Roy Bejarano

Roy Bejarano is the co-founder and CEO of SCALE Healthcare, a healthcare management consulting firm. Since the firm was founded in 2019, Roy has interacted with several hundred multi-site provider-based organizations across most of the US and financial institutions that provide investment capital to these rapidly evolving healthcare management platforms. He is particularly focused on management service organization, practice-level operations, and broad strategic and competitive dynamics across the country’s healthcare services landscape.

Previously, Bajarano was co-founder and president of Frontier Healthcare—the largest ASC management company in New York at the time of its sale to Physicians Endoscopy.

Russell Teague

Russell Teague

Russell Teague is the vice president of advisory and threat operations at Fortified Health Security. He is a US Army veteran, entrepreneur, and cybersecurity executive with more than 20 years of experience in the IT sector.

Before joining Fortified Health Security, he held leadership roles such as chief technology officer, chief strategy officer, and executive vice president at various IT companies. He even founded his own, including NGenSec and SRS consulting. His career has revolved around helping large institutions in the finance and healthcare sectors with regulatory compliance, IT design and implementation, and risk management.

Saje Davis-Risen, MS, PA-C

Saje Davis-Risen, MS, PA-C

Saje Davis-Risen, PA-C, is the director of the Pacific University School of Physician Assistant Studies. She received her master’s of science in physician assistant studies at Pacific and joined the faculty in 2011.

Before joining Pacific, she worked as a clinician in pediatric medicine for the Puyallup Tribe and emergency medicine in a critical access hospital and neurosurgery in a Level 2 trauma center. During her tenure at Pacific, Davis-Risen has served in both clinical and didactic teaching positions, developed and led the Global Healthcare Track, and most recently served as associate dean of interprofessional education.

Davis-Risen has also served nationally on the House of Delegates for the American Association of Physician Assistants and on the board as president of the Oregon Society of Physician Assistants.

Salvatore Giorgianni, PharmD

Salvatore Giorgianni, PharmD

Dr. Salvatore Giorgianni is a senior science advisor and a spokesperson for the Men’s Health Network. He has authored, co-authored, or presented some 200 works in healthcare, industry regulation, and business. As a licensed pharmacist practitioner, he has over 30 years of advanced clinical pharmacy experience in community and institutional practice. He has served on the board of several medical, pharmacist, and voluntary health associations.

Dr. Giorgianni is a recognized expert in men’s health, and a Chair Emeritus of the American Public Health Association’s Men’s Health Caucus, where he has provided leadership in research strategies, communications, outreach, and public policy.

Samuel Dyer, PhD

Samuel Dyer, PhD

Dr. Samuel Dyer is the CEO of the Medical Science Liaison Society, which is the first and only global 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the MSL career. He has over 20 years of international MSL experience. During his career, he has managed MSL teams and operations in over 60 countries. He has written extensively on the MSL role, including numerous published articles, benchmark studies, and reports. He has also been a speaker at numerous global conferences.

Dr. Dyer has been sought out as a consultant for a number of pharmaceutical and management consulting companies on MSL projects. He holds a PhD in health sciences and did his medical training in Chicago. He also completed a certificate program in executive leadership and strategy in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Dyer is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break into Your First Role. The book is the first step-by-step guide on how to break into the MSL career.

Sanjay Juneja, MD

Sanjay Juneja, MD

Dr. Sanjay Juneja is a practicing triple board-certified hematologist and medical oncologist known nationally as “TheOncDoc,” where he boasts over half-a-million subscribers across his social media platforms. He is also the host of the innovative “Target: Cancer Podcast,” with distinguished guests, including experts, bestselling authors, and Pulitzer Prize winners, who discuss novel advancements and conceptual challenges of cancer.

Dr. Juneja has been featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, WebMD, The Washington Post, and more. He is also an active international keynote speaker and contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine.

In 2022, the White House invited him to participate in their Healthcare Leaders in Social Media Roundtable. His accomplishments include being named to the 2020 Baton Rouge Business Report’s Forty Under 40 and a 2023 nomination for the Disruptive Innovators in Oncology Award by Healio and HemOncToday.

Dr. Juneja currently practices alongside his wife, Lauren, at the Mary Bird Cancer Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They are grateful parents to three vivacious young boys. He applies his passion for righting community healthcare inequity and disparities there, partnering regularly with the Louisiana Department of Health and the Mayor’s office to optimize healthcare access and outreach.

Shane Paulson, MA

Shane Paulson, MA

Shane Paulson is a board-certified exercise physiologist and CEO of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise physiology.

In addition to his work with the ASEP, Paulson is the CEO of PhysioLogic Human Performance Systems, a consultancy and service provider that creates outcome-based exercise physiology programs for individuals, corporations, government agencies, and nonprofits. Across all his roles, Paulson is committed to the professionalization of exercise physiologists across the country.

Stanton Glantz, PhD

Stanton Glantz, PhD

Dr. Stanton Glantz is the Director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (CTCRE) and Program Director of the CTCRE Postdoctoral Training Program. His research covers a wide range of topics, including the health effects of e-cigarettes and secondhand smoke (particularly on the cardiovascular system) and the efficacy of different tobacco control policies.

Dr. Glantz is the author and co-author of numerous publications on tobacco control, including secondhand smoke, e-cigarettes, and heated tobacco products. In the 1990s, working with the UCSF Library, Dr. Glantz helped publicize over 90 million pages of previously secret documents from the tobacco industry.

Steeve Néron

Steeve Néron

Steeve Néron is the Chief Operating Officer of Tetra Bio-Pharma. He has more than three decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Challenging the reimbursement landscape has factored prominently in his roles, and he has demonstrated success in numerous therapeutic sectors such as cardiology, rheumatology, endocrinology, women’s health, asthma/COPD, OTC, and dermatology.

Prior to joining Tetra Bio-Pharma, Néron occupied a senior marketing position at Bausch Health Canada. He has held various marketing, sales, finance, material management, and business development positions, and has worked to launch or rejuvenate numerous market-leading pharmaceutical brands.

Sue Seegers, MT

Sue Seegers, MT

Sue Seegers is a professor emeritus at Shoreline Community College. She is an accomplished professional with a diverse background in psychology, biology, and medical technology. She holds a bachelor’s of science in psychology and biology from Albright College and an associate’s of arts from Shoreline Community College in the MLT Program.

With two decades of experience as a medical technologist at the NW Clinical Lab in Seattle, Washington, Seegers has demonstrated her expertise in the field. She had a 20-year tenure as an instructor and professor in the MLT Program at Shoreline Community College prior to her current role provisioning online advising.

Sue Swan

Sue Swan

Sue Swan has served in HR leadership positions at companies across industries for over a decade. She joined virtual specialty care platform Summus in 2022 and rose to SVP in 2024. There, she partners with the executive team on leadership and strategic initiatives for the organization.

Her specialties include talent acquisition, employee relations, HR software utilization, and performance management.

Susan Adams, Esq.

Susan Adams, Esq.

Susan Adams, Esq. is an experienced public policy professional with a distinguished career in both the legislative and regulatory environment and grassroots advocacy at the state level. She is currently the director of state legislative affairs for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). At ASHA, she has been instrumental in introducing the ASLP-IC and helping it pass in numerous state senates.

She graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has served for the American Chemistry Council and the Humane Society of the United States prior to her current role.

Thomas Kline, MD, PhD

Thomas Kline, MD, PhD

Dr. Thomas Kline is a physician and behaviorist who specializes in chronic, painful diseases. He is the former Chief of Hospital in Home Service at Harvard Medical School. He completed his PhD from the University of Oregon, his residency at Stanford University, and has his MD from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Kline is also an outspoken advocate on social media for people with addictions to have access to the medication and treatment that they need.

Trevor Turner

Trevor Turner

Trevor Turner is passionate about helping improve the quality of life for those who have suffered a brain injury. He is the founder of BrainTalk and host of the Bleeding Brain Podcast, which raise awareness about topics like the flaws in the healthcare system and features stories of his and other people’s brain injury survival experiences. Turner graduated from Central Michigan University in 2010 with a degree in journalism and now works in public relations.

He has spoken at the Brain Injury Association of Michigan Fall Conference and to a class of NYU students discussing brain injuries and mental health. He has also consulted with brain injury non-profits and therapy centers about marketing advice and treatments. He is now anticipating the publication of an eBook that will dive deep on how brain injury survivors can fight and overcome fatigue.

Valerie Lane, RN

Valerie Lane, RN

Valerie Lane is a highly experienced legal nurse consultant with over 28 years of dedicated service in the healthcare industry. She is the founder of Lane & Associates Legal Nurse Consultants. She has established herself as a trusted expert in various healthcare disciplines, including clinical care, surgical operations, personal injury, and corrections care. Her extensive background has equipped her with a deep understanding of defense strategy and the intricate processes involved in legal cases. She has personally handled over 450 cases, demonstrating her exceptional expertise and commitment to providing valuable insights in the legal and healthcare domains.

Venkatesh Balan, PhD

Venkatesh Balan, PhD

Dr. Venkatesh Balan is an associate professor of biotechnology in the Department of Engineering Technology at the University of Houston. With a wealth of research expertise, his focus spans diverse areas such as protein expression systems in microbes, elucidating protein structure-function relationships, and innovative approaches to deriving fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. His contributions encompass pioneering work in chemical pretreatment, enzyme hydrolysis, microbial fermentation, and the spectroscopic identification of small molecules.

Having dedicated over 12 years to Michigan State University, Dr. Balan spearheaded pivotal technologies, notably pioneering novel ammonia pretreatment processes for transforming agricultural residues into biofuels, biochemicals, and animal feed. His portfolio includes the development of cost-effective microbial fermentation techniques and the creation of nutritious products from fungal sources.

Internationally acclaimed for his research on enzyme interactions in biomass hydrolysis, he has engineered rapid hydrolysis and fermentation methods through efficient enzyme and microbe recycling and advancements in lignin separation for biomaterial precursor production. Additionally, his endeavors have led to breakthroughs in oligosaccharide separation and structural characterization.

Winnie Chan Wang, DAIM

Winnie Chan Wang, DAIM

Dr. Winnie Wang is a licensed acupuncturist with a focus on trauma-informed care and a former faculty member at Alhambra Medical University. She is dedicated to instructing individuals on how to alleviate trauma using traditional Chinese medicine and mindfulness practices.

With a firm belief that wellness should be accessible to all, regardless of financial means, Dr. Wang has been sharing free educational materials online since 2018. Additionally, she recently established The Compassionate Transformation Community, a non-profit organization committed to supporting the mental well-being of young people and their caregivers. Through weekly donation-supported sessions, she collaborates with participants to introduce holistic approaches into their daily lives, empowering them with the tools to navigate life’s challenges.

Meet the Team

Jocelyn Blore

Jocelyn Blore

Writer, Editor, Chief Content Strategist

Jocelyn is the chief content officer of Sechel Ventures. She graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley and traveled the world for five years as a teacher and freelance writer. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and has lived in England (six months), Japan (2.5 years), Brazil (six months), Argentina (ten months), and Southeast Asia (nine months). Paying thought to her international experience, she’s interested in how culture shapes the idea of human progress within societies—one of the many themes she writes about in her blog, Blore’s Razor (Instagram: @bloresrazor).

Seth Restaino

Seth Restaino

Co-Founder, Sechel Ventures

Seth Restaino has devoted the past 20 years of his professional career to software consulting and educational web publishing, and runs production and engineering for Sechel Ventures, which he co-owns with Barry.

Barry Franklin

Barry Franklin

Co-Founder, Sechel Ventures

Before co-founding Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, Barry Franklin was a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. He is currently an investor and advisor for Impellia. Barry believes that education and lifelong learning are paramount. Barry met his wife at Carnegie Mellon University and they have two beautiful daughters. He also volunteers for various committees at his kids’ high school.

Becca Brewer, MEd

Becca Brewer, MEd

Writer

Becca Brewer is building a better future on a thriving earth by healing herself into wholeness, divesting from separation, and walking the path of the loving heart. Previously to her journey as an adventurer for a just, meaningful, and regenerative world, Becca was a formally trained sexuality educator with a master of education.

Bree Nicolello

Bree Nicolello

Writer

Bree is an urban planner and freelance writer based in Seattle, WA. She has worked on land use and housing policy issues throughout the Pacific Northwest. She previously led Run Oregon Run, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Oregonians run for office and apply to boards and commissions. When not writing, she is lovingly tending to her cast iron pans.

Catherine Mosley

Catherine Mosley

Writer

Catherine Chapman Mosley is a writer living in central Virginia. She’s written extensively on healthcare topics for various outlets and also works full-time in communications, marketing and community engagement. She is the proud parent of a son who is focused on a healthcare career and often seeks his editing help.

Cecile B Evans, PhD

Cecile B Evans, PhD

Writer

Dr. Cecile Evans is a registered nurse who holds a BA in psychology, a BSN, an MS (family nurse practitioner), and a PhD in nursing. She has experience teaching both undergraduate and graduate-level nurses and has worked in both clinical and bench research. She serves on many boards and has been an associate editor of Pain Management Nursing. In long-term care, she has been a primary care nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse research scientist, and undergraduate nursing instructor.

Cevia Yellin

Cevia Yellin

Writer

Cevia Yellin is a freelance writer based in Eugene, Oregon. She studied English and French literature as an undergraduate. After serving two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, she earned her master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Cevia’s travels and experiences working with students of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds have contributed to her interest in the forces that shape identity. She grew up on the edge of Philadelphia, where her mom still lives in her childhood home.

Chelsea Toczauer

Chelsea Toczauer

Writer

Chelsea Toczauer is a journalist with experience managing publications at several global universities and companies related to higher education, logistics, and trade. She holds two BAs in international relations and asian languages and cultures from the University of Southern California, as well as a double accredited US-Chinese MA in international studies from the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University joint degree program. Toczauer speaks Mandarin and Russian.

Farheen Gani

Farheen Gani

Writer

Farheen Gani is a writer and research expert in healthcare degrees. She has written about healthcare career scholarships, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and reproductive health specialists, among other topics, since 2019. She writes about healthcare, technology, education, and marketing. Her work has appeared on websites such as Tech in Asia and Foundr, as well as top SaaS blogs such as Zapier and InVision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@FarheenGani).

Kenneth Parker

Kenneth Parker

Writer

Kenneth is a feature writer, poet, and musician living in the Pacific Northwest. His writing on remote work, education, and technology has been published by BustedCubicle.com, MedicalTechnologySchools.com, and other websites. His poetry, short fiction, and album reviews have appeared in Scifaikuest, Nanoism, and No Clean Singing. His background includes time spent as an associate editor, proofreader, private grammar instructor, freelance content editor, medical claims agent, and SEO consultant. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where he studied literature and worked as a composition tutor.

Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy Gustafson

Writer

At HealthcareDegree.com, Kimmy Gustafson has delivered in-depth and insightful articles since 2019, aiding prospective students to navigate the complexities of choosing the right healthcare degree. Her recent work includes topics such as the ethics of gene editing and physician assistant’s fight for autonomy.

Kimmy has been a freelance writer for more than a decade, writing hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics such as startups, nonprofits, healthcare, kiteboarding, the outdoors, and higher education. She is passionate about seeing the world and has traveled to over 27 countries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. When not working, she can be found outdoors, parenting, kiteboarding, or cooking.

Mackenzie Brown, DO

Mackenzie Brown, DO

Writer

Dr. Mackenzie Brown is an osteopathic physician, a branch of medical training that focuses on disease prevention, lifestyle, environment, and the interconnectedness of the body’s systems. She is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pediatric Rehabilitation.

Dr. Brown’s practice is focused on how exercise and physical activity can promote health and prevent disease.

Matt Zbrog

Matt Zbrog

Writer

Matt Zbrog is a writer and researcher from Southern California. Since 2018, he’s written extensively about trends within the healthcare workforce, with a particular focus on the power of interdisciplinary teams. He’s also covered the crises faced by healthcare professionals working at assisted living and long-term care facilities, both in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the demographic shift brought on by the aging of the Baby Boomers. His work has included detailed interviews and consultations with leaders and subject matter experts from the American Nurses Association (ASCA), the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA), and the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).

Nathan Stevens

Nathan Stevens

Writer

Nathan Stevens is a reporter, musician, and native Texan living in Austin. He received his degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and has worked in broadcast for over a decade. His website, the2010s.net, is a collection and retrospective of the best music of the 21st century.

Nina Chamlou

Nina Chamlou

Writer

Nina Chamlou is an avid writer and multimedia content creator from Portland, OR. She writes about aviation, travel, business, technology, healthcare, and education. You can find her floating around the Pacific Northwest in diners and coffee shops, studying the locale from behind her MacBook.

Rachel Becker

Rachel Becker

Writer

Rachel Becker is a freelance writer who enjoys life in the PNW. She holds a master’s degree in education and taught in elementary classrooms for twelve years. When she is not running around after two toddlers, she makes time for daily movement, running two blogs, and reading.

Rachel Drummond, MEd

Rachel Drummond, MEd

Writer

Rachel Drummond has written about integrating contemplative movement practices such as yoga into healthcare professions since 2019, promoting the idea that mental and physical well-being are critical components of effective patient care and self-care in the high-stress world of healthcare.

Rachel is a writer, educator, and coach from Oregon. She has a master’s degree in education (MEd) and has over 15 years of experience teaching English, public speaking, and mindfulness to international audiences in the United States, Japan, and Spain. She writes about the mind-body benefits of contemplative movement practices like yoga on her blog, inviting people to prioritize their unique version of well-being and empowering everyone to live healthier and more balanced lives.

Sara Navratil

Sara Navratil

Writer

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She owns Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about healthcare-related topics, including information about online NP programs. When not working, she likes to read, exercise, and spend time with her family and cats.

Vanessa Salvia

Vanessa Salvia

Writer

Vanessa Salvia is an Oregon-based freelance writer and editor with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. As fun as rigorous studies in math and science were, Vanessa took an independent path and developed a prolific career covering lifestyle topics for magazines and newspapers, important industries such as concrete construction and building waterproofing, and even hard science. You can get in touch at www.sagemediaandmarketing.com.