Katherine M. Adler, D.H.A., FACHE
Associate Dean of Academic Success and Assessment.
Katherine Adler is the Associate Dean for Assessment and Student Success at the School of Health Management (SHM). She began teaching for SHM in 2006, became the Program Chair for Health Administration in 2009, and became the Associate Dean in 2012.
Dr. Adler holds a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration and Leadership from the Medical University of South Carolina. She has more than 25 years of varied experience in the not-for-profit health care industry, spending the bulk of her career working at safety-net hospitals in urban Detroit.
During her tenure in administrative roles, Dr. Adler worked closely with physicians in medicine and surgery, having direct oversight of those departments and subspecialties, and gained extensive knowledge in public health, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health sciences. Through her formal training and work, Dr. Adler has a strong background in health services administration as well as public health. She is a patient advocate, understands the plight of the underserved and underinsured, and has worked to incorporate patient-centered care into the curriculum with the understanding that prevention and whole person care are the key to a healthy community and society.
Shanna Barnett, DrPH, MBA
Dr. Barnett holds a doctoral degree in Public Health from the University Of Texas School Of Public Health –Houston, a master’s degree in Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wyoming. She comes to ATSU with over 12 years of health care administration experience. She specializes in managing clinical trials and large prospective studies involving underserved populations. Dr. Barnett served as the Associate Director of Research Planning and Development for the Department of Health Disparities Research at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for over a decade. She is currently the manager and lead consultant of Wrangler Consulting LLC, a firm specializing in grant applications assistance and budgeting for both academics and community organizations. Dr. Barnett grew up in Wyoming and now lives in Texas. In addition to her work at Wrangler Consulting and ATSU, Shanna works in her local community and enjoys reading, international travel and helping animals find “forever homes”.
Kristin H. Darby, MBA, CPA, CFE, CHCIO
Kristin Darby serves as Chief Information Officer and Vice President for the Northeast Region for Tenet Healthcare Corporation, overseeing the region’s Information Technology and Informatics for the hospitals, population health services and outpatient centers. Dallas based Tenet is the third largest publicly traded healthcare organization in the U.S. operating 77 hospitals and over 173 outpatient centers in ten states.
Darby holds a Bachelor’s Degree with dual majors in Accounting and Management Information Systems at University of South Florida and an MBA from Henley Business School in Oxfordshire, England. Darby is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Healthcare CIO and Six Sigma Green Belt. She was recognized in 2013 as CIO of the Year by the Boston Business Journal (BBJ) and Mass High Tech, 2010 by the BBJ as Top 40 Under 40 and she is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.
Darby began her career in the healthcare industry in 1994 as an accountant focused on physician office management and financial services. She joined Fresenius Medical Care in 1996, as an accountant and auditor before transitioning into the field of Information Technology in 1998. Darby’s role as a national IT Director included responsibilities for the IT function at over 2,000 outpatient medical facilities and approximately 300 acute locations. In 2009, Darby joined Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions as the Chief Information Officer, VP of Information Solutions. In 2012, Darby joined Vanguard Health Systems which later merged with Tenet Healthcare Corporation.
Rita Dichele, M.A., M.H.A.
Rita Dichele is an adjunct instructor who facilitates classes in health administration and geriatric health. Dichele is in the dissertation phase of her doctoral studies and anticipates being conferred in 2011 from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minn. She is enrolled in the School of Public Service Leadership and has principally focused her research studies on the aging process. Her dissertation topic is on senior center leadership and aging successfully. Dichele also has a master’s in health administration from A.T. Still University and a master’s in counseling from St. Joseph College in West Hartford, Conn.
Dichele’s work history comprises more than 25 years in the field of human services where she served in many capacities working with diversified individuals in non-profit agencies, municipality and state governments, and the insurance and healthcare industries. Currently she works in the area of geriatric health where she serves on three boards of directors: Council on Aging, Elder Services, and the Cultural Council. She teaches several classes to older adults who attend senior centers on topics related to current events, women studies, and history. She is also a certified Medicare/Medicaid benefit counselor. Dichele writes professionally and is a featured blog writer for www.ecarediary.com, an educational website designed for the caregiver.
Dichele’s research interests include grief work, aging successfully, and geriatric mental health.
Lihua Dishman, M.B.A.
Lihua Dishman earned an M.B.A. in finance, business, and economics from Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., and a B.S. in statistics and economics from Shanghai University of Finance & Economics in Shanghai, China.
Dishman has nearly 27 years teaching experience with traditional and non-traditional graduate and undergraduate degree programs in managerial finance, statistics, research methodology, and more. She has delivered courses in 100% online, residential, and hybrid modalities. In addition, she has nearly two decades of global financial management experience. Her expertise includes global corporate treasury, global capital markets, and more.
Dishman led the structure and issuance of multi-billion dollar asset-backed securities within a global treasury group. As lead auditor for a multinational corporation, she successfully completed high profile and strategically critical international assignments. She was a consultant of global corporate finance with a Fortune 10 company for nearly five years following more than six years in private investment banking and institutional asset consulting.
As a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Detroit, her research interests include financial impact of healthcare reform on healthcare providers, healthcare cost effectiveness of promoting health well-beling at workplaces, and how to invest donor assets prudently in not-for-profit healthcare systems.
John W. Fick, Ed.D., FACHE
John Fick is an associate professor at ATSU’s School of Health Management. He received his Ed.D. in educational leadership with a focus on higher education administration from Argosy University, Sarasota, Fla., in 2007, and a M.S. degree with a specialization in community health services from the School of Medicine, Wayne State University (1983). Dr. Fick joined ATSU as an adjunct faculty member in 2007 and in 2009 became a full-time faculty member in the Health Administration program. At ATSU, has served on the curriculum committee and currently serves on the new faculty hiring committee.
Dr. Fick’s research interests include adult learners and online learning. He is board-certified in healthcare management and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has served as a fellow of ACEHSA (now CAHME) and was recently awarded the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Award by ACHE Regent in Mich., as well as nominated in 2010 for Faculty of the Year by students in the M.H.A. program at ATSU.
Steven J. Frank, M.P.P., A.C.C.
Steve is founder and Chief Motivational Officer of evolution360° personal & business coaching. Steve coaches his clients around goal setting, work-life balance, transition, leadership and team dynamics. Using his 22 years of combined marketing, branding and coaching experience working in both the public and private sectors, as well as lessons he learned from coaching athletes, and would be athletes, to complete 100+ mile bicycle rides for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Steve helps his clients to create personal and professional successes while enjoying the biggest endurance event there is - Life. Believing that truly sustainable change is change that evolves, Steve works with his clients not only to help them get greater clarity around their goals—big and small—but also to achieve them, one revolution of “their wheel” at a time. As a motivational speaker, Steve has presented on personal branding, goal setting career transition and being the leader, not the manager, of your life.
Steve holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University where, legend has it he was the first student to double major in Economics and Sociology. Steve completed his professional coach training at the International Coach Academy and has earned the designation of Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. Steve’s research interests are in the areas of goal setting, emotional intelligence, leadership and transition.
Randy Kearns, D.H.A.
Randy Kearns is the Program Director for the North Carolina Burn Surge Disaster Program and Coordinates the delivery of various medical disaster preparedness programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Kearns began his career as an EMT, Paramedic, Rescue Technician and Firefighter and later served in various leadership roles in Emergency Management, EMS and Hospital Administration. Dr. Kearns has 35+ years of experience in emergency services including response to 16 disasters where a Federal Disaster Declaration was in place.
Dr. Kearns continues active disaster roles with several of the more recent including serving as a FEMA Reservist in response to the 2004 Florida Hurricanes in the Mitigation Division, Field Hospital Incident Command for an EMAC Deployment to Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and later with FEMA Individual Assistance in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Most recently, Dr. Kearns served as a Reservist for FEMA Operations following the 2011 Georgia Tornadoes and with NC State Medical Response System Operations in support of the Democratic National Convention 2012.
Dr. Kearns’ research, presentations and publications include efforts related to medical disaster preparedness, burn care and burn injury management, EMS response and operations, and general disaster preparedness for healthcare systems.
Dr. Kearns holds a Bachelors of Science in Human Services with a concentration in Disaster Management from Thomas Edison State College, a Master of Science in Administration with a Certificate in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University and a Doctorate of Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Kearns is a Certified Emergency Manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers since the program began in 1993 and held a paramedic credential for 25+ years before retiring in 2006.
Larry E. Leaming, D.H.A., FACHE
Larry E. Leaming is an experienced rural hospital administrator, educator, and researcher with more than 35 years of healthcare experience. His experience extends from the front lines of patient care as a registered respiratory therapist and various management positions to chief executive officer for five small rural hospitals in Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico. He is recognized for his dedication to rural health and for contributions in strategic planning, marketing, leadership development, and performance improvement.
Dr. Leaming is a board certified healthcare executive and fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Central Michigan University and a doctor of health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina. His research interests include rural health leadership, hospital governance, and telemedicine.
Dan Leask, BSc, MBA, ACC
Dan Leask is an adjunct professor for ATSU’s School of Health Management. Dan coaches business professionals, to identify and develop their strengths, through alignment with their true purpose, passion and skills. His company, Emerald Compass, assists clients in transforming themselves, through enhancing their careers in strategic directions. Dan utilizes personality assessments and mind-mapping, to create a foundation for both individuals and groups, to assist in their professional development.
Dan’s career includes 26 years experience in Engineering, Purchasing and Employee Development, in both the United States and Canada. He holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and an MBA, with focus on Strategic Management, from Davenport University. Dan is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation and is certified in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. Dan serves on the Board for the Professional Coaches Association of Michigan and works as a career development coach with Wayne State University.
Don MacLean, M.B.A.
Don MacLean began his professional career in 1965 at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York working in respiratory therapy. In 1975 he completed his associates degree in respiratory therapy and also holds a bachelors in health administration and an M.B.A. MacLean has worked in the IT field since 1998. He began adjunct teaching in the late 1990s and taught his first online courses while working on a second master’s degree in 2002. He currently works in a community hospital IT department, teaches online undergrad economics and UOP, and the healthcare information systems course at ATSU.
Mary Mantei, B.S., M.A.
Mary’s 32 years of combined experience as a teacher leader, mentor, athletic coach and consultant provide a natural and sound foundation for her current work as an Executive Educational Leadership and Life Coach. Mary earned her BS in Education from Oakland University in Rochester MI, her MA in Education from Saginaw Valley State University in University Center MI, and her coach training from Breakthrough Enterprises, Rapid City, South Dakota. She earned her designation as Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. After teaching middle school students for 18 years, Mary consulted with school districts across the United States and with American International Schools to create developmentally responsive schools for young adolescents. She then worked with the Michigan Coalition of Essential Schools as the program director for Real Reading in the Middle, an integrated Language Arts/Social Studies literacy program for middle school students. She also served as a Leadership Coach for Michigan Schools in the Middle, guiding leadership teams and school leaders in their school improvement initiatives.
Mary’s research interests are in the area of communication; specifically regarding how we manage the polarities of face-to-face communication and digital communication and the impact it has on our personal and professional lives both locally and globally.
Nancy P. Mathias, M.S. ACC
Nancy P. Mathias founded Focus Leadership Developement LLC in 2006 and Community Catalyst Group in 2010, each dedicated to building human and community capacity through coaching and organizational development programs and serves, strategic visioning, and planning consultation. Nancy is also an adjunct professor with ATSU’s School of Health Management and a Wayne State University career coach for WSU Executive and Professional Development projects.
Nancy is an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF;, received the Leadership Development Certificate from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business; trained as a co-active coach through the Coaches Training Institute; received her M.S. in physiology from Eastern Michigan University; and her B.S. in microbiology from University of Michigan. Nancy is a member and director on the the Board for the Professional Coaches Association of Michigan; member of INFORUM, a professional women’s alliance in Michigan; leader of the INFORUM Birmingham Affinity Group; and member of Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce.
Susan Miedzianowski, M.S.A., B.S.N.
Susan Miedzianowski holds a B.S.N. from the University of Detroit, a M.S.A. in administration with a focus in healthcare from Central Michigan University, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in human services at Capella University with a specialization in gerontology. Miedzianowski has worked in healthcare for more than 40 years in various positions including hands on nursing, chemotherapy administration, reimbursement, receivables management, a consultant and business manager at Karmanos Cancer Institute. Miedzianowski has spent the last 10 years teaching the business of healthcare to those who will assume leadership positions in the future.
Keith Y. Shah, Ph.D., MBA, MHRD
As a team member and corporate executive for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina for the past twelve years, Dr. Shah leads a department dedicated to performance-related consulting and strategic planning with a focus on new business and executive development. Previously, he was a business analyst for Greenville Hospital Systems.
Dr. Shah has taught graduate courses in economics, accounting, finance, human resources and strategic planning for A.T. Still Health Sciences University, for the College of Health and Human Services at Clemson University, and for both the Moore School of Business and the School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Shah has a B.A. in Operations Management from Drexel University, an M.H.R.D. and an M.B.A. from Clemson University, and a Ph.D. in Health Services Policy and Management from the University of South Carolina. His research on international health care trends was influential in the development of a business model for successful global access of health care services.
JoNeil Smith, RN, BSN, MBA, DM
Along with being an adjunct faculty member at ATSU, Dr. Smith is a Senior Director and Faculty member with the Advisory Board Company Talent Development Division. She delivers workshops and research presentations at leading hospitals and health care organizations across the United States. In addition to teaching, she provides guidance to executive teams on curriculum planning, accountability for learning application, and leadership culture.
Dr. Smith works with a diverse range of audiences – large and small groups of every level from executives to frontline staff, across all disciplines from nursing to IT – to build leadership capacity and achieve measurable outcomes on critical performance objectives. She specializes in helping organizations unleash the potential of frontline staff, by empowering them to identify and lead improvement initiatives.
Dr. Smith brings over thirty years of clinical and leadership experience. Her areas of expertise include leadership, coaching, surgical and emergency services, recruitment and retention, union-management relations, and managing disruptive behavior, with her doctoral research focusing on horizontal violence in the workplace.
Prior to joining the Advisory Board Company in 2006, Dr. Smith served in a number of clinical and management positions in hospital settings, including McLaren Regional Medical Center in McLaren, MI.
Dr. Smith holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix, a Masters of Business Administration from Baker College, and a Bachelors of Science, Nursing from University of Michigan. She received her Diploma of Nursing from Hurley School of Nursing in Flint, MI.
Dr. Smith lives in a small town north of Detroit and is an avid gardener. As a 21-year survivor of Breast Cancer, Dr. Smith is active in the Relay for Life and speaks at cancer survivor celebrations. She works with young women in the International Order of Job’s Daughters and chairs a Long Range Planning Committee for Job’s Daughters International.
Cande Tschetter, Ph.D.
Cande Tschetter is an executive, educator, and veteran communicator experienced in business, academia, and client management. She is known for producing results-driven and award-winning campaigns utilizing a diverse background in market research, planning, and execution. As a highly-skilled project manager, she is an innovative problem-solver, motivational leader, and respected adjunct professor at A.T. Still University, Central Michigan University, and Baker College.
Change management and career transition are areas of additional expertise. Dr. Cande has conducted research into women's career development and transition among mid-life women to careers considered to hold more purpose by the individuals. She now coaches individuals who seek career transformation and business leaders challenged to transform organizations to meet the demands of the 21st century.
Accredited by the Public Relations Society of America, she earned a Ph.D. in business, concentrating on organization and management. She also holds a master of science degree in administration and a bachelor’s degree in community development and public administration from Central Michigan University.
Jay Wright, CPA, CFE
Jay E. Wright is a seasoned healthcare finance and accounting professional with over 15 years of experience in the field. He has worked as a senior level manager in both for-profit and not-for-profit facilities, in addition to providing strategic planning and financial oversight to home health agencies and physician practices. He entered the educational field full-time in 2005 and has extensive experience working with a diverse group of students in an on line environment. Wright is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant, and is nationally accredited as a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Over the last 10 years, Mr. Wright completed a Masters of Accountancy degree at Liberty University, as well as a Masters of Business Administration degree with Old Dominion University. He stays abreast of changes in the areas of healthcare accounting and finance, healthcare information systems, and healthcare economic policy. He is midterm in the completion of a PhD degree with a specialization in healthcare management and accounting. Research-wise, he has a strong interest in the relationships that exist between various types of entities and their propensity to engage in fraudulent billing activities. In addition, he has an interest in the relationships between financial performance and changing healthcare laws affecting existing hospital systems and physician practices.
Shannon Wills, Ph.D.
Shannon Wills earned her B.A. at St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, Mich., in the social sciences and continued to Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., for her Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics with a minor in community medicine. After graduating with her doctorate, she worked as a clinical research associate at William Beaumont Hospital, in Royal Oak, Mich., with the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program and the Cancer Clinical Trials Office.
Dr. Wills’ post-doctoral research began and continues with breast cancer survivorship in the clinical setting, and she is currently conducting a clinical trial for patients with stage IIIB and IV NSCLC and cancer or treatment related weight loss, as well as working on a project to elucidate the clinical factors that lead to malignant transformation in the esophagus in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. She has worked in a clinical research setting for more than 10 years, including her pre-doctoral work, and has instructed the Hematology/Oncology Fellows in their research for five years at William Beaumont Hospital.
Letha D. Williams, Ph.D.
Chair & Associate Professor
Letha Williams is an associate professor in the School of Health Management at A.T. Still University. She received her Ph.D. in organization and management with a specialization in leadership from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minn., in 2005. She joined ATSU in 2010 and serves on university, dissertation, and professional committees. Her primary research interest is in leadership ethics.
Susan Young, D.H.A., M.S.A., R.N.
Susan Young holds a doctorate in healthcare administration and leadership from the Medical University of South Carolina and a master’s in science, health administration from Central Michigan University. With more than 30 years in the healthcare industry, she has extensive experience in clinical nursing, hospital administration, disease management, healthcare IT system development, and quality management and regulatory guidance for the Hawaii Healthcare Association.
Dr. Young’s research interest is in cultural differences and the effect on delivering and perception of healthcare. In addition, she has incorporated the cultural perceptions of healthcare when delivering testimony on healthcare issues for the state of Hawaii.
Jackie Trepanier, MBA, ACC
Jackie Trepanier is an adjunct professor for ATSU’s School of Health Management and a leading coach and voice of today's accomplished professionals. As an executive coach, she works one on one with those ready to develop a plan for the next chapter of their businesses, careers, and lives. Jackie has honed the development of countless leaders and emerging professionals. She believes coaching to be a powerful tool that allows individuals to boost their existing talents, access untapped reservoirs of potential, and create breakthroughs for themselves and their organizations. Seeing others reach their full potential soon became a passion - and ultimately her life's mission - with Cultivated Coaching, founded in 2009.Jackie's career spans Project Management, Human Resources, and Business Operations. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA, with emphasis in Management from Wayne State University. Jackie trained as a Co-Active Coach through the Coaches Training Institute. She is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation. She is also a member of the Professional Coaches Association of Michigan (PCAM).
Jackie's research interests are in the areas of emotional intelligence and change.