The advisory board serves as a brain trust for leaders and key decision makers within the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Composed of leading health care strategists and influencers, the board provides insight into current and emerging trends, market needs, decision-making evidence, and workforce competencies.
The mission of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences is to educate health care and nursing leaders to address increasingly complex needs in their sector. To accomplish this, the school provides an educational platform of outcomes-based degree programs and certificates; expert national and international faculty; experienced, global learners; and advanced learning technologies, delivering an academic experience that ensures multidisciplinary connectivity and collaboration.
Capella faculty working with the advisory board
The advisory board provides industry and practice-relevant insight to school leaders and faculty to enact on the mission of the school to meet the needs found within the health care sector. Capella leaders and faculty, collaborate with board members to ensure curricula effectively build the competencies needed in today’s complex health care environment.
In addition, the interactions between the board and Capella leadership and faculty ensure Capella’s programs are professionally relevant and provide the flexibility needed for learners to succeed in their educational programs, and have a positive impact on both patient outcomes and the health of their communities at large.
Michael Becker, PhD, RN, serves as the chief nursing executive/vice president of nursing at Masimo, a publicly traded global medical technology company that develops and manufactures innovative noninvasive patient monitoring technologies, including medical devices and a wide array of sensors. The company focuses on improving patient safety, reducing the cost of care, and improving nursing workflow. In this role, Dr. Becker connects the Masimo Technology platform to the clinical indications, quality, regulatory requirements and nursing workflow.
Prior to joining Masimo, Dr. Becker held senior management positions, including chief nursing officer at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, where he led the medical center to its first Magnet designation. His experience also includes: director of in-patient clinical services for Temple Physicians Inc. and senior clinical consultant for CareScience, a quality and safety consulting firm. Dr. Becker has extensive clinical operating, patient quality, and safety experience. He has presented nationally and internationally on topics of patient safety and quality, as well as shared governance and service-line development. Dr. Becker is a member of the National Alarm Coalition, co-lead for the Pennsylvania Action Coalition, and a member of the Forum on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care sponsored by ACOG. Dr. Becker holds a BSN and MSN from LaSalle University, and a PhD in health administration from Capella University.
Kathy Chappell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, is the senior vice president of certification, measurement, accreditation and research at the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is responsible for certification of individual registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses; and development of certification examinations. She is responsible for the accreditation of organizations that provide continuing nursing education and interprofessional continuing education; and for accreditation of residency and fellowship programs for nurses. She also directs the Institute for Credentialing Research, analyzing outcomes related to credentialing. She holds a baccalaureate in nursing with distinction from the University of Virginia, a master’s of science in advanced clinical nursing and a doctorate in nursing from George Mason University. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a Distinguished Scholar & Fellow in the National Academies of Practice.
Jim D’Alfonso, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FNAP, is the executive director for professional practice, leadership, development, and research for Kaiser Permanente and the founding executive director for KP’s Nurse Scholars Academy in northern California. D’Alfonso has more than 20 years of progressive executive leadership within the health care industry.
As a former international director of clinical development for Coherent Medical, Jim lived and worked in Germany and Japan for more than four years establishing educational centers of excellence and directing clinical research programs across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Recent education and research have focused on advancing caring science and leadership transformation in an era of health care reform.
As an educator, D’Alfonso has served as faculty and advisory chair for several nursing and allied health programs, including a recent appointment as adjunct senior instructor at the University of Colorado - College of Nursing, University of Colorado. He was senior faculty/mentor, and advisory board member of the Watson Caring Science Institute from its inception in 2008 through 2014. On October 23, 2015, Dr. Jean Watson and The Watson Caring Science Institute awarded D’Alfonso an honorary doctorate in caring science, conferred to honor his devotion to transformative leadership in caring science through a lifetime career of scholarly teachings and practices of human caring.
D’Alfonso has published on an array of nursing and leadership topics and has written several nursing texts, including Designing Competencies that Count, Age Specific Care, Delivering Culturally Competent Care, and Care of the Bariatric Patient. In 2013, he was inducted into the Nursing Academies of Practice in Washington, D.C. Nursing and professional organizations have invited D’Alfonso to be their keynote and inspirational speaker at national and international meetings for nearly 25 years.
Beth Houlahan, DNP, RN, CENP, is senior vice president, chief nurse executive at UW Health in Madison, WI. Her nursing career has been focused on creating high quality, reliable systems of care and developing the next generation of nurses and health care professionals to lead in changing times.
Dr. Houlahan received her doctorate in nursing practice at Rush University, Chicago, IL, and completed the Johnson and Johnson Wharton Nurse Executive Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. She is certified in executive nursing practice.
She has received several honors throughout her nursing career, including the IONL, Outstanding Nurse Leader Award; Alumni Professional Achievement Award, Mt. Mercy College; and AAACN, Excellence in Administrative Ambulatory Nursing Practice Award, to name a few.
Susan Jeska, BAN, RN, MBA, EdD, with 40 years of experience in the health care industry, successfully blends a unique background in nursing, business administration, and educational leadership to promote talent development, expand workforce capability, and drive change across the enterprise.
She began her career at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and assumed progressive leadership roles and operational accountability for orthopedic surgery, rehabilitation, general surgery, recovery room, kidney and peritoneal dialysis, and organ and bone marrow transplant before moving into the field of leadership and organizational development.
Dr. Jeska’s career has evolved through three leading health care delivery systems in the Twin Cities to her current role as vice president, Center for Clinician Advancement at UnitedHealth Group. In this capacity, she leads initiatives in support of the company’s nearly 35,000 clinicians located in all 50 states and seven countries around the world.
Jeska holds a bachelor of arts in nursing from St. Catherine University, and a master’s in business administration and a doctorate in education from the University of St. Thomas. Her research and dissertation focused on a qualitative study of leadership in nursing.
Elisabeth A. Klar, CPLP, PhD, recognized a passion for workforce learning and development early in her career as a retail banking center manager. She has since performed numerous learning and development roles spanning financial services, higher education, and health care, including classroom/ online facilitator, adjunct faculty member, instructional designer, and training leader.
Dr. Klar joined the Office of Learning & Performance Development (presently the Global Leadership & Learning Institute) at Cleveland Clinic in September 2013 as director of employee development. Her primary area of responsibility was to foster competency development and career growth for a frontline health care audience. In June 2015, Klar accepted the role of director of onboarding and leadership transitions within the Global Leadership & Learning Institute. In this role, she oversaw the enterprisewide onboarding strategy for all new Cleveland Clinic caregivers and leaders ranging from front line to C-suite. Elisabeth assumed the role of Executive Director of Workforce Development with Allegheny Health Network in November of 2016 and is currently responsible for the strategic planning and execution of professional development across the multi-disciplinary network of 17,000 employees.
Klar enjoys collaborating with others to identify innovative methods and best practices for growing and developing today’s diverse workforce. She is a certified professional in learning and performance with the Association for Talent Development. She holds a PhD in organization and management from Capella University with an emphasis in management education. She conducted doctoral research on learning style differences among today’s multigenerational workforce.
Cynthia Latney, PHDc, MSN, RN, NE-BC, is the chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, a 522-bed Magnet Recognized community health system in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She also serves as the group CNO for Centura Health’s four southern Colorado hospitals.
Cynthia has 30 years of nursing leadership with Centura Health, Hospital Corporation of America and The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. A strong transformational leader, she influences the hospital’s strategic direction and ensures that nursing goals and initiatives are aligned to advance patient care and organizational success.
She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Colorado Organization of Nurse Leaders, American Nurses Association, and American College of Healthcare Executives. She serves as a board member for both the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Organization of Nurse Leaders for Southern Colorado.
Cynthia has a bachelor of science in nursing and a master of science in nursing, and is currently pursuing her PhD in health care administration. In addition, she is board certified in nursing executive practice.
Her nursing career has been dedicated to creating high quality, reliable systems of care and developing nurses and health care professionals to lead in the ever-changing health care dynamics.
Holly Lorenz, RN, MSN, is the chief nurse executive of UPMC with responsibility for establishing and leading the strategic vision for nearly 14,000 nurses. Ms. Lorenz has oversight for nursing practice for more than 20 academic, community, specialty and international hospitals, as well as the 500 outpatient sites, rehabilitation, and long-term care facilities. Ms. Lorenz has several leadership roles within the service line management at UPMC.
Ms. Lorenz shares her vast knowledge and expertise in nursing leadership as a member on several influential boards. Being an inaugural member of the Pennsylvania Action Coalition State Steering Committee and Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Action Coalition allows Ms. Lorenz to advance nursing education and practice in the state of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Ms. Lorenz is active on the Duquesne University School of Nursing, Robert Morris College School of Nursing, and Capella University Advisory boards, as well as numerous UPMC boards and Family House. Ms. Lorenz is also president of the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Executives.
Honor Martin, RN, MS, currently vice president of clinical services for Aspire of Western New York, has more than 25 years of experience as a nurse executive and educator. She has worked in a variety of health care settings, including managed care organizations (commercial and Medicaid), the medical practice industry, and hospital-based organizational and staff development before assuming her current position, providing oversight to Aspire’s healthcare operations serving the developmentally challenged and complex disabled.
Martin received her bachelor’s degree in English from Daemen College, Amherst, New York and her BSN and master’s degree in education from Niagara University. She is board certified as a nurse executive through the ANCC and is also board certified in quality health care and management with a sub-specialty in managed care through the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians (ABQAURP). In 2008 she was awarded the status of Fellow in ABQAURP. She is member of the Executive Board of the Safety Net Association of Primary Care-Affiliated Providers, an organization providing integrated health care delivery and services to over 163,000 patients in the Western New York area. She is also a member of the Workforce Development Committee and Training Sub Committee for Millennium Collaborative Care, a New York State Performing Provider System, charged with developing a workforce strategy to support the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program for the eight counties of Western New York.
Raymond E. Phillips, PhD, RN, FAAN, is currently a corporate chief nursing officer for Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group (HMG) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, globally distinguished as one of the leading healthcare providers in the Middle East due to their expertise in the Medical Projects Development Field and their escalated growth within the last few years. HMG currently operates 14 medical facilities across Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, including seven hospitals and six medical centers, and is developing one of the largest private medical cities in Saudi Arabia.
Formerly a chief nurse within the Veterans Health Administration, Dr. Phillips provided strategic leadership for nursing and other designated patient care functions and services with an integrated health-care delivery system that served more than 377,700 veterans across 17 counties in northern California. He sustained and transformed organizational values into daily operations, yielding an efficient, effective, and caring organization within the VA Northern California Health Care System in two fundamental ways: (1) convened and aligned all system-wide elements of nursing and the patient experience at the macro-system level; and (2) promoted standardization and assisted in the reduction of variation by the dissemination of evidence-based practice while maintaining innovative practices.
Dr. Phillips is a graduate of St. John’s University in Minnesota (BA in Nursing, 1986), University of California, San Francisco (MS, 1993), and University of California, San Francisco (PhD, 2009). As a pre-doctoral fellow, he was selected for the prestigious National Institutes of Health/Fogarty International Center scholarship, and completed a year of teaching and research at the Y. R. Gaitonde Center for AIDS Research and Education in Chennai, India.
Dr. Phillips has been recognized with several prestigious honors for his leadership and accomplishments. He was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Executive Nurse Fellow in 2013. In 2012, he was selected to participate in the International Council of Nurses-Burdett Foundation’s Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI), which is based in Geneva, Switzerland. He was the first nurse within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to receive such a global honor. Moreover, his leadership ability has been further demonstrated by outstanding performance in progressively responsible positions for over 20 years in the U.S. military, prior to commencing his career with the Veterans Administration.
Nancy J. Robert, PhD, MBA, BSN, is a recognized leader in healthcare product development and management, marketing, and information technology. She currently serves as chief product and marketing officer for the American Nurses Association (ANA) where she leads the design and implementation of business development, marketing, product management, product development, and technology initiatives required to deliver innovative education and credentialing products in a digital world. Working with interdisciplinary teams, she pilot tests initiatives to determine market sustainability and full-scale product launch requirements.
Before joining the ANA enterprise, Dr. Robert’s diverse background included leadership roles in executive management, consulting, telecommunications, strategic planning, and nursing administration. She has worked with a diverse clientele from Fortune 500 companies to NASA to the World Bank Global Development Learning Network and all sizes of health care providers. As a leading industry expert, Dr. Robert is a sought-after lecturer and participant at healthcare conferences nationwide. Her IT skills were instrumental in the design of ANCC’s patented System and Method for Assembling and Analyzing a Candidate Application for a Credential – an innovative software application that streamlines the credentialing approval process. She is a guest lecturer for the NYU International Masters program and is an active advisory board member for the International Breast Cancer Center Project, the UC Nursing Diversity Initiative, and SNHU nursing online and educational programs.
Dr. Robert holds a PhD in technology and assessment from George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, VA; an MBA in decision support systems from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester, NH; and a BS in nursing from the University of Cincinnati.
With almost 20 years of operational and HR management experience, senior director Sheila Stern, MSP/I-O, is passionate about developing people. As senior director for Ascension Health Care Excellence, she is responsible for optimizing workforce strategies and developing clinicians to meet the needs of our national healthcare ministry. Sheila is responsible for thought leadership in the design and delivery of executive clinical development, implementing the learning, technology, and communication strategies for clinical professional development, and fostering collaboration to build trustful relationships with healthcare teams to enable comprehensive learning and change management solutions.
Sheila is an U.S. Air Force First Sergeant and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm war veteran who holds a Southwest Asia Service Medal with Commendation for Valor. In addition, Sheila is a Capella University School of Nursing & Health Sciences Advisory Board member, mentors for the American Corporate Partners military veteran program, and remains active as the past Chair of the Tennessee Skills Panel for Healthcare, a gubernatorial appointment. Sheila often serves as a guest lecturer and speaker for various workforce development professional organizations as well as university graduate school programs focused on health care careers, workforce development and planning, military veteran recruitment, and military preparation for civilian careers.
Sheila holds an industrial/organizational master’s degree and is a current doctor of education - performance improvement leadership Capella University student. For joyful fun, Sheila spends time traveling with her husband, Adam and two daughters, Autrianna and Presley.
Cathleen A. Wheatley, MS, RN, CENP, currently serves as the system chief nurse executive and vice president of clinical operations at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston Salem, North Carolina. In this role, Ms. Wheatley is responsible for nursing practice and operations throughout the health system, for patient experience, and for clinical information systems training. Wake Forest Baptist Health (WFBH) is an academic health system which operates over 1,000 acute care, pediatric, rehabilitation and psychiatric care beds, outpatient services, and community health and information centers.
Prior to joining WFBH, Ms. Wheatley served as the corporate nurse executive of SEHA, Abu Dhabi Health Services, in the United Arab Emirates. During her tenure with SEHA, she was responsible for the professional practice and development of more than 9,000 Nursing and Allied Health professionals and for the coordination of care in the advancement of patient outcomes throughout SEHA’s 12 hospitals and 62 ambulatory care clinics. Ms. Wheatley previously held senior leadership positions at Dekalb Regional Health System in Atlanta, Georgia, serving in various roles including senior vice president, chief clinical operating officer, chief nurse executive, and chief quality officer.
Ms. Wheatley earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Georgia State University and is currently pursuing her doctorate in nursing practice at the University of Central Florida. She is board certified with the American Organization of Nurse Executives as a certified executive in nursing practice and has completed the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, nurse leader program. Ms. Wheatley has professional affiliations with the American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, and the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is a past member of the board of trustees of the Atlanta International School and a current sponsor of Women for Women International.
Christy Davidson, DNP, RN, has been a nursing professional for over 20 years, beginning as a staff nurse in labor and delivery, then growing in leadership as a women’s health clinical nurse specialist, nurse manager of a pediatric/medical surgical unit, and as nursing faculty. Christy received her BSN and MSN from the University of Mobile, in Mobile, Alabama. She received her DNP from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. After several years as a core nursing faculty member, Christy is currently the associate dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and director of nursing at Capella. Christy holds several scholarly presentations to her credit, is a member of STTI (Sigma Theta Tau International), was a 2012 DAISY Faculty Award winner, a 2016 LANP (Leadership for Academic Nursing Program) Fellow, and currently serves as a CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) site evaluator and team leader.
Jennifer Hoff, MS, currently serves as the vice president and general manager of the College of Nursing, Health, and Behavioral Sciences at Capella University where she provides executive direction over the execution and growth of a spectrum of academic programs spanning five professional disciplines. She joined Capella in 2011 as the market lead for the School of Public Service Leadership. In 2014, she led the development and launch of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and served as its vice president and general manager. In 2017, the Schools of Nursing and Health Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences were aligned into a single business unit forming the College of Nursing, Health, and Behavioral Sciences under Jennifer’s leadership. Jennifer’s prior work experience includes management positions at Target.com, Coach Leatherware and the department store division of Dayton Hudson Corporation. She holds a BA in business administration/financial management from the University of St. Thomas, and she graduated with distinction with an MS in leadership from Capella University’s School of Business.
Jennifer is passionate about developing a new generation of leaders. She is an active member of the Women’s Health Leadership Trust, an organization committed to supporting and advancing the careers of women in the healthcare industry. In 2016 she was selected by the Trust as one of 30 executives to coach and develop high potential women leaders within the Twin Cities healthcare community. In addition, she is a member of the board of Bloom Early Learning, and in 2017 was elected as the board’s vice-chair.
Becca Miller, MS, is currently the senior director of employer solutions at Capella University. In her current role, she leads strategic partnership development with leading healthcare organizations to improve talent and results through competency based learning solutions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from University of Minnesota Duluth and a master’s in education from Capella University. She is a certified change management professional through PROSCI. Since 2015, she has served as the co-chair for the Women in Leadership group at Capella University, which focuses on developing leadership capabilities of women to positively impact their organization and the communities they serve.
Becca has held senior leadership roles in enrollment services, advising, and operations throughout her tenure at Capella. As the director of enrollment and advising for the College of Professional Studies, she led a team to deliver high-quality, highly differentiated programs with a focus on learner satisfaction and a high quality academic experience. Prior to Capella, she worked in recruiting and consulting roles for Hibbing Community College and Sopheon.
F. Patrick Robinson, PhD, RN, FAAN, is currently dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Capella University. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s in nursing from Indiana University and holds a PhD in nursing science from Loyola University Chicago. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in biobehavioral nursing research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior, he served as senior vice president of academics for Orbis Education, dean of curriculum and instruction at Chamberlain College of Nursing, executive assistant dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, and chair of the department of health management and risk reduction at the Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University Chicago.
Prior to his academic career, Dr. Robinson held positions as an HIV/AIDS case manager, HIV/AIDS clinical nurse specialist, director of an HIV/AIDS specialty clinic and dedicated HIV/AIDS inpatient unit. Dr. Robinson has a distinguished record of service to the HIV/AIDS care community and served as president of the national Association of Nurses in AIDS Care and as an officer of the HIV/ AIDS Nursing Certification Board. He maintains certification as an AIDS nurse (ACRN) from the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board and is a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) through the National League for Nursing. In 2006, he was named distinguished alumnus of Indiana University School of Nursing and was awarded the Frank Lamendola Memorial Award for exemplary leadership in HIV/AIDS care. In 2010, he was awarded the Life Time Achievement Award from the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care for sustained contributions to the field of HIV nursing. DeVry, Inc. named Dr. Robinson the inaugural recipient of the Doing Well By Doing Good award in 2011 in recognition for his contributions to community service. Previously, he served as executive vice chair of the board of directors of Howard Brown Health Center, one of the nation’s premier LGBT health centers. Dr. Robinson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN).
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