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Collaboration for Success
Health Care Leaders & Faculty:

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 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 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.

Our mission

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.

Board Members

Michael Becker, PhD, RN

Chief Nursing Executive/Vice President of Nursing, Masimo

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 an array of sensors. The company focuses on improving patient safety, reducing the cost of care, and improving nursing work flow. In this role Becker connects the Masimo Technology platform to the clinical indications, quality, and regulatory requirements and the 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. Becker has extensive clinical operating and 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. 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. Becker holds a BSN and MSN from LaSalle University, and a PhD in Health Administration from Capella University.

Kathy Chappell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP

Director, Institute for Credentialing Research

Kathy Chappell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, has more than 25 years of nursing experience including clinical practice as a direct care nurse in critical care and emergency nursing; hospital administration; project management for programs such as the Magnet Recognition Program, NDNQI, quality improvement and shared governance; hospital-system strategic planning for support of professional nursing practice including nursing clinical education, nursing student recruitment and research; and director of an international credentialing program.

Dr. Chappell directs the Institute for Credentialing Research analyzing individual and system outcomes related to credentialing. She is also responsible for credentialing organizations that provide continuing nursing education and interprofessional continuing education; accreditation of courses validating nursing skills; and accreditation of residency and fellowship programs.

She received her baccalaureate in nursing with distinction from the University of Virginia, her Master of Science in Advanced Clinical Nursing from George Mason University, and her doctorate in nursing from George Mason University. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a distinguished scholar and fellow in the National Academies of Practice.

Jim D’Alfonso, RN, MSN, NEA-BC

Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente

Jim D’Alfonso, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, has served as the executive director for professional practice, leadership, development, and research, for Kaiser Permanente since 2011. D’Alfonso has more than 15 years of progressive executive leadership within the health care industry.

As a former international director of clinical development for Coherent Medical, he lived and worked in Germany and Japan 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, including an article in Nursing Administrative Quarterly out in January 2017.

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 will award him 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, DC, where he participates in a national network of nurse leaders who consult on public policy and give voice to issues that impact nursing practice.

Nursing and professional organizations have invited D’Alfonso to be their keynote and inspirational speaker at national and international meetings for nearly 20 years.

Beth Houlahan, DNP, RN, CENP

Senior Vice President Patient Care Services, CNO, University of Wisconsin Health

Beth Houlahan, DNP, RN, CENP, is senior vice president patient care services, chief nursing officer at University of Wisconsin Health. 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, and completed the Johnson and Johnson Wharton Nurse Executive Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. She is certified in executive nursing practice.

Beth has received several honors throughout her nursing career such as the IONL, Outstanding Nurse Leader Award; Alumni Professional Achievement Award, Mt. Mercy College; AAACN, and Excellence in Administrative Ambulatory Nursing Practice Award, to name a few.

Susan Jeska, BAN, RN, MBA, EdD

Vice President, Center for Clinician Advancement, UnitedHealth Group

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 of Business Administration and Doctorate of 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

Executive Director of Workforce Development, Allegheny Health Network

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 healthcare audience. In June 2015, Elisabeth accepted the role of Director of onboarding and leadership transitions within the Global Leadership & Learning Institute. In this role, she oversaw the enterprise-wide 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.  

Elisabeth 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

Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services

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, master of science in nursing, and currently pursuing her PhD in healthcare 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

Chief Nurse Executive, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

Holly Lorenz, RN, MSN, is the chief nurse executive of UPMC. She is charged with the development and implementation of a single strategic vision for almost 14,000 nurses, while maintaining consistent oversight of nursing standards for the more than 20 academic, community, specialty and international hospitals as well as the 400 outpatient sites, and rehabilitation, retirement, and long-term care facilities.

Lorenz has presented locally, regionally and internationally on financial management, patient safety, quality, and nursing leadership. She is a Wharton fellow for nurse executives and a certified facilitator for the Developmental Disabilities Institute. In 2006, Holly received the (HAP) Achievement Award for Patient Safety on Keeping our Patients Safe from Falls and Confusion and again in 2012 for Nurse Residency: A Sustainable Retention Strategy. Recent honors include being named a 2015 University of Pittsburgh Nursing Honorary Alumni and a nominee for the Nightingale Award of Pennsylvania for Nursing Administration–Executive/CNO category.

Lorenz is an inaugural member of the Pennsylvania Action Coalition State Steering Committee, and is active on numerous boards.

Honor Martin, RN, MS

Vice President Clinical Services, Aspire—Western New York

Honor Martin, RN, MS, 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 management industry, and hospital-based education before assuming her current position, providing oversight to health care for the complex disabled.

She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Daemen College; her BSN and master’s degree in education from Niagara University. Honor is board certified as a nurse executive through the ANCC and is also board certified in quality health care and management and managed care through American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review (ABQAUR) board. In 2008 she was designated a fellow of the ABQAUR physicians.

Raymond E. Phillips, PhD, RN, FAAN

CNO, Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group (HMG)

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 macrosystem 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

Chief Product and Marketing Officer, American Nurses Association

Nancy J. Robert, PhD, MBA, BSN, is a recognized leader in health care 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 to deliver innovative education and credentialing products in a digital world. Working with interdisciplinary teams she tests initiatives to determine market sustainability and full-scale product launch requirements.

Before joining ANA, Dr. Robert’s 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 an industry expert, Robert is a sought-after lecturer and participant at health care conferences nationwide. Her IT skills were instrumental in the design of the ANCC 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 New York University international master’s program, and is an active advisory board member for the International Breast Cancer Center Project, the University of Cincinnati Nursing Diversity Initiative, and Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) nursing online and educational programs.

Robert holds a PhD in technology and assessment from George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.; an MBA in decision support systems from SNHU in Manchester, N.H.; and a BSN from the University of Cincinnati.

Sheila S. Stern, MSP/I-O

Senior Director Clinical Excellence, Ascension Health

Sheila S. Stern, MSP/I-O, is a senior director with Ascension Health clinical excellence team that is focused on clinical leadership development initiatives. Some areas of expertise include thought leadership in the design and delivery of clinical learning programs; developing and implementing the learning, technology, and communication strategies for clinical development programs; and fostering collaboration to build trusting relationships with health care teams to enable comprehensive change management solutions.

Stern is a U.S. Air Force First Sergeant, Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm war veteran, mentor for The American Corporate Partners military veteran program, and by gubernatorial appointment chair of the Tennessee Skills Panel for Healthcare. She often serves as a guest lecturer and speaker for various economic development organizations, as well as university graduate school programs that focus on health care careers, workforce development and planning, and military veteran recruitment and preparation for civilian careers.

Cathleen A. Wheatley, MS, RN, CENP

Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President Clinical Operations, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Cathleen A. Wheatley, MS, RN, CENP, joined Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in September 2014 as chief nurse executive and vice president of clinical operations. Wheatley is responsible for nursing practice and operations throughout the health system and for the clinical operations of cancer and behavioral medicine services. She also has responsibility for patient experience and Epic training of clinical staff.

Wheatley has extensive experience as a health care executive and previously held senior leadership positions in the United Arab Emirates and at Dekalb Regional Health System in Atlanta, Ga., serving as senior vice president, chief clinical operating officer, chief nurse executive and chief quality officer. Wheatley has more than 25 years of health care experience, focusing on clinical operations, evidence-based practice, resource management, clinical informatics, and quality and integrated care delivery systems.

Capella School of Nursing and Health Sciences Leadership

Christy Davidson, DNP, RNC-OB

Associate Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences; Director of Nursing

Christy Davidson, DNP, RN, serves as associate dean and director of nursing for Capella University School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Davidson has been with Capella since 2010, and has been a registered nurse for almost 18 years, having previously served as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, legal nurse consultant, and nurse manager.

Her areas of specialty and interest include women’s and children’s health, leadership and management, and quality improvement. Davidson holds a DNP in leadership from the University of South Alabama and both an MSN in adult health and a BSN from the University of Mobile.

Jennifer Dixson Hoff, MS, BA

Vice President and General Manager, School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Jennifer joined Capella in August 2011 as the Market Lead for the School of Public Service Leadership, and in December of 2014 assumed responsibility as the Vice President/General Manager of Capella's School of Nursing and Health Sciences.  In her current role, Jennifer leads the Dean and associated academic teams, along with the Market Director, Enrollment and Advising teams, to deliver high quality and professionally aligned degree programs within the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.  Her role also includes focusing on learner success and an exceptional learner experience in order to deliver the academic outcomes aligned to the professions in which the school serves.  

Jennifer graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a BA in Business Administration/Financial Management and is a graduate of Capella's MS Leadership program. 

Jennifer is a member of the Bloom Early Learning Board of Directors and was recently selected as one of 30 women executives in the healthcare sector to coach and develop high potential women leaders within the Twin Cities Healthcare Community

Becca Miller, MS

Senior Director, Employer Solutions

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

Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences

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 degrees 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. Previously, he served as senior vice president of academics for Orbis Education, dean of curriculum and Instruction, Chamberlain College of Nursing; executive assistant dean, University of Illinois, Chicago College of Nursing; and chair of the department of health management and risk reduction, Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University, Chicago.

Also, Robinson has held positions as an HIV/AIDS case manager and clinical nurse specialist, director of an HIV/AIDS specialty clinic and dedicated inpatient unit. He maintains certification as an AIDS nurse from the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board and is a Certified Nurse Educator 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. Also in 2006, the American Association of Colleges of Nurses named him an Academic Nursing Leadership Fellow. In 2008, he was honored by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the University of Illinois Council on Excellence in Teaching and Learning for distinguished achievement in teaching. 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. In 2014, Indiana University School of Nursing honored him as part of its centennial anniversary as one of the top 100 Alumni Legacy Leaders. 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.

Learn More About Capella's Nursing Programs

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Find out how you can take part in shaping the future of health care. Call 866.933.5961 or email us. When you contact us, we’ll immediately put you in touch with an enrollment counselor who can answer your questions and give you further insight into your area of interest.