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.
Jocelyn BloreWriter, 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 RestainoCo-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 FranklinCo-Founder, Sechel Ventures
Before co-founding Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, Barry Franklin was a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. He is an investor and advisor for DataSimply and 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 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 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 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.
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.
Farheen is a freelance writer, marketer, and researcher. She writes about 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 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 is a freelance writer with extensive experience writing about healthcare careers and education. She has worked in public health, at health-focused nonprofits, and as a Spanish interpreter for doctor’s offices and hospitals. She has a passion for learning and that drives her to stay up to date on the latest trends in healthcare. When not writing or researching, she can be found pursuing her passions of nutrition and an active outdoors lifestyle.
Matt is a writer and researcher from Southern California. He’s been living abroad since 2016. Long spells in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and Latin America have made the global mindset a core tenet of his perspective. From conceptual art in Los Angeles, to NGO work on the front lines of Eastern Ukraine, to counterculture protests in the Southern Caucasus, Matt’s writing subjects are all over the map, and so is he.
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 Drummond is a freelance writer, educator, and yogini from Oregon. She’s taught English to international university students in the United States and Japan for more than a decade and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Oregon. A dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Rachel is interested in exploring the nuanced philosophical aspects of contemplative physical practices and how they apply in daily life. She writes about this topic among others on her blog (Instagram: @racheldrummondyoga).
Experts Interviewed on HealthcareDegree.com
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.
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, 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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).
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.