Welcome to the MHealthy Advisory Committee
MHealthy is a University-wide effort to support the health and well-being of the University community by providing resources designed to help achieve a safer, healthier and more satisfying way of life. The MHealthy mission is to establish the University as a model community of health where people thrive; develop more cost-effective delivery of health care as a model for other institutions; and advance public discussion and encourage social commitment to change by harnessing the intellectual capacity of the University to develop, test, and study efforts to improve the wellness of our employees, dependents, retirees, and students.
The MHealthy Advisory Committee, composed of members from each campus and the Health System, draws on the rich resources of the University to help address the national challenge in health care by developing innovative long-range solutions to improving health at the University and beyond.
The advisory committee has a contributing role in the University's major healthy living initiatives and health care benefit strategies.
Its guidance and support has helped to shape several key areas, including:
- MHealthy's evolution from a three-year initiative to an ongoing program that represents the University's continuing commitment to health and wellness.
- Health care benefit strategies related to cost design, sustainable behavior change, and communication of changes to the University community.
- Value-based insurance design for MHealthy: Focus on Diabetes and MHealthy: Focus on Medicine pilot programs.
- Mental and emotional health initiatives in the workplace and mental health parity.
- Health promotion and disease management through risk reduction.
The advisory committee will continue to focus on ways the University can integrate the promotion of healthy living with the provision of health care coverage and service delivery. The committee plays a vital role in the development of programs that stand to make the greatest difference in improving health and satisfaction and integrate wellness efforts with benefit programs for even greater efforts toward prevention.
The information in this booklet has been assembled to help foster engagement and partnership among the colleagues of the MHealthy Advisory Committee in this shared purpose.
Associate Professor of Architecture, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Robert Adams is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he teaches graduate courses in design and construction technology, including a new M.Sc. program in Design Health. Prior to joining the faculty of Architecture in 2003, Adams taught at the University of Minnesota, and Southern California Institute of Architecture [SCI-Arc] in Los Angeles and Switzerland. Adams received his M.Arch. from SCI-Arc in 1994. In 2006 Adams co-founded Beijing Architecture Studio Enterprise [B.A.S.E.], a design studio focused on contemporary research of urban and rural China. Through his research practice, Adams + Gilpin Design Studio investigates the relationships between design methodologies, civic infrastructure and disability culture. He is a designer who makes things that seek to transform how we engage the physical world, and his work has primarily taken the form of installations and exhibits in which artifacts, constructed apparatuses, and architectural spaces are used to reveal and interrogate the social, political, and experiential aspects of the public realm.
Executive Director, Occupational Safety & Environmental Health and Office of Campus Sustainability
As head of the Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health, Terry Alexander is responsible for health, safety and environmental issues facing both the academic and business operations of the university. As head of the Office of Campus Sustainability, he is responsible for implementing in the operations arena the sustainability initiative for the campus. Since 2002 he holds an appointment as adjunct lecturer at the U-M School of Public Health. Prior to joining the university, Terry was an environmental consultant in the Chicago area for seven years specializing in property investigation, environmental clean-up and restoration, and industrial hygiene. Terry is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan and Illinois, a certified industrial hygienist, and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from South Dakota State University and a Master of Science degree in environmental science from the University of Idaho.
Patient Representative, UMH Environmental Services
Nikki Benschoter is a Patient Representative in Environmental Services. In this role, she interviews patients to ensure that all cleaning needs are being met, inquires about noise levels and informs patients of ways to help make their stay as quiet and comfortable as possible. She also works with the staff to ensure patient rooms remain clean at all times and acts as the relief dispatcher for Environmental Services. Prior to taking on her new position, Nikki was a housekeeper in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation unit for nearly 12 years. She currently serves on the Environmental Services Safety Committee, the Career Development Passport Pilot Committee and is an acting Ambassador for the 2013 Employee Engagement Survey. She also serves as an MHealthy Champions for her department.
Medical Director, Occupational Health Service
Dr. Blitz received her M.D. from the University of Michigan (1978) and her M.P.H from the University of Michigan (1991). She is the medical director for the University of Michigan Occupational Health Services and physician advisor for MHealthy Health and Well-Being Services Wellness and Risk Reduction Services. She is responsible for a team of 17 people who handle prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of occupational illnesses and injuries and provide information and support for positive health behaviors to the 40,000 employees of the University of Michigan. She is also medical director of the Taubman General Medicine Clinic, the employee health physician at the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a primary care physician. Dr. Blitz is a frequent lecturer on topics related to occupational health and has written or contributed to occupational health-related papers in scientific journals.
Waldo O. Hildebrand Professor of Risk Management and Insurance and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, Ross School of Business and School of Public Health, Department of Health Management and Policy
Tom Buchmueller is a health economist whose main area of research focuses is the economics of health insurance and related public policy issues. His recent work has examined the relationship between employer-sponsored insurance and labor market outcomes, interactions between the public sector and private insurance markets and consumer demand for health insurance. Professor Buchmueller received his B.A. in Economics from Carleton College and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to joining the Ross School faculty, he taught in the business school at the University of California, Irvine. He recently spent nine months in Australia as a Packer Policy Fellow. He has also been a visiting scholar at the University of York (UK), INSEAD and CREDES in France and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a co-editor of the Journal of Economics and Management Strategy and is on the editorial board of Inquiry, a health policy journal.
Associate Hospital Director for Operations & Clinical Services and Chief Administrative Officer for Surgical Services
Shon Dwyer is the Associate Hospital Director for Operations & Clinical Services and Chief Administrative Officer for Surgical Services at the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS). Her areas of responsibility include Surgical Services, Anesthesiology, Operating Rooms, Neurosciences, Pathology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry and Transplant. She has been with UMHS for over 23 years, holding progressively responsible positions in the areas of clinical nursing, education, quality, compliance, information technology, management and administration. Most recently, prior to her current position, she led the successful implementation of computerized provider order entry across the 865 bed system. Shon received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan School of Nursing and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Administration. She is also a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow alumna.
Associate Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and Senior Director, Academic Human Resources
Jeffery Frumkin is the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and Senior Director for Academic Human Resources. He has been at the University of Michigan since January 1998. Previously, he worked at the University of California, Michigan State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System and Eastern Michigan University. He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Higher Education Administration.
Dean, School of Health Professions and Studies, University of Michigan-Flint
Dr. David Gordon is the Dean of the University of Michigan-Flint School of Health Professions and Studies. Dr. Gordon joined the university in 1991 as an associate professor of pathology at the U-M Medical School with research and clinical interests in the areas of human atherosclerosis biology and gene therapy for vascular diseases. He also served as Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs. Briefly leaving the university in 1997, Dr. Gordon joined Pfizer Inc.'s Cardiovascular Therapeutics' pre-clinician division. Returning to the U-M Medical School in 2001, he created and led the school’s Diversity and Career Development Program, emphasizing both student and faculty development through pipeline and mentorship programs towards the goal of addressing health disparities. In addition, he served as Associate Dean and a tenured professor of pathology. Dr. Gordon received his B.A. in chemistry from Amherst College and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
Senior Director for Benefits, University Human Resources
Rich Holcomb is Senior Director for Benefits for University Human Resources. He brings over 20 years of experience in HR and benefits, including work as Compensation and Benefits Manager at Foote Hospital in Jackson and, most recently, Director of Total Rewards and HR Services for UMHS Human Resources. One of Rich’s professional areas of interest is in developing strategies to create value for both employee and employer in benefit plan design. In his 12 years with UMHS, Rich was a valuable leader and a member of several university benefit committees including the Committee on Retirement Savings Plan & Retirement Health Benefits, Committee on Sustainable Health Benefits, Committee on Retiree Health Benefits, and the Member Engagement Health Plan Committee. Rich has attended the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, The University of Michigan Ross Business School Health Care Leadership Institute and Advanced Human Resources Executive Program. He holds a Master’s Degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources and a Bachelor’s Degree in Employment Relations, both from Michigan State University, and is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) as designated by World at Work.
Senior Project Manager, Strategy and Planning, University Human Resources
Dyan Jenkins-Ali is a Senior Project Manager for University HR Strategy and Planning, managing administrative and operational projects that impact the development of goals and initiatives designed to enhance multiple student, staff, patient and faculty health benefits and experiences. Her health care career spans more than 20 years, in which time she has worked in an executive capacity with M-CARE, Dental Dental, Providence Hospital and Health Alliance Plan. Dyan holds a State of Michigan Agent//Producer License in Life, Health and Disability, and is a certified phlebotomist. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Executives and National Association of Health Service Executives, treasurer of U-M’s Letterwinners M Club Board, and a diplomat with the U-M Credit Union. Dyan received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master's degree in Health Services Administration, both from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Special Counsel to the President, University of Michigan
Gary Krenz is Special Counsel to the President at the University of Michigan, a position he has held since 1996, serving two permanent and two interim presidents. He acts as a senior advisor to the president and is responsible for a variety of presidential operations and initiatives. He received his B.A. from Northwestern University in 1980 and his Ph.D. from SUNY-Stony Brook in 1987, both in philosophy, and currently teaches in the Department of Philosophy at U-M.
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Medical School, Research Scientist, VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System
Dr. Jeff Kullgren is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a Research Scientist in the Center for Clinical Management Research at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Dr. Kullgren holds undergraduate and medical degrees from Michigan State University and a master of public health degree from the University of Michigan. He completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. The main focus of Dr. Kullgren’s research is identifying innovative and scalable approaches to improve patient engagement in preventive behaviors. Most recently this work has involved randomized controlled trials of behavioral economic interventions, like financial and social incentives, to promote weight loss, physical activity, and cancer screening. A secondary focus of his research is understanding the impact of consumer-directed health care on patient decisions.
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Behavioral Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences and Letters, U-M Dearborn
Michelle Leonard received both her Master’s (2004) and Ph.D. (2008) in Clinical Psychology from Wayne State University. Since 2008 she has been with the University of Michigan – Dearborn and is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. She teaches several undergraduate and graduate-level classes and coordinates the clinical psychology practicum placements for master’s students. In addition to teaching, she is actively involved in research focused on several areas of clinical health psychology, including intimate relationships and relationship dynamics in the context of chronic health problems, the etiology and maintenance of chronic health problems and how psychosocial processes impact and/or are impacted by physical health, and the role ethnicity/race plays in these areas. Professor Leonard currently sits on the department’s graduate and assessment committees, as well as on U-M Dearborn’s faculty senate. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies and is fully licensed to practice psychology in the state of Michigan
U-M Retirees Association Representative
Margaret Nesbit, retired, formerly served as a Public Information Officer for U-M’s News and Information Services. She now serves as a board member of the U-M Retirees Association (UMRA) and is passionate about the health benefits available to U-M retirees. A graduate of Indiana University, Margaret has extensive experience as a consumer and employee with health systems and agencies in both Indiana and Michigan, where she has resided for the past 20 years. She has been the director of public and professional education programs in an urban area for the American Heart Association and as a trainer of CPR instructors for the AHA and the Red Cross. She also worked closely with consumers as a licensed and employed EMT in Indiana for 10 years.
Senior Director of University Health & Well-Being Services
LaVaughn Palma-Davis is currently the Senior Director for University Health and Well-Being Services at the University of Michigan. In this role, she provides leadership for the implementation of the MHealthy strategic plan, an ambitious collaborative effort to leverage the University's resources to promote the health and well-being of faculty, staff, dependents and retirees and contain health care costs. LaVaughn provides direction to over 80 employees in numerous programs and services including: wellness and risk reduction services (tobacco cessation, nutrition and weight management, alcohol management, physical activity, stress management, etc.), employee assistance programs, occupational health clinical services, ergonomics, and community health promotion outreach. LaVaughn has over 25 years of experience in health promotion and health care administration, having served in a variety of capacities for the UM Health System as well as for Blodgett Memorial Medical Center. She also was the project director for leadership development strategy for the Health System. LaVaughn received her B.S. in Health Education from the University of Dayton and her Master's Degree in Public Health Education from Central Michigan University.
Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Community-Based Dental Education, School of Dentistry
Dr. Bill Piskorowski is Assistant Dean for Community-Based Dental Education and a Clinical Associate Professor for the School of Dentistry. Prior to taking on these roles, he owned a successful dental practice from 1979 to 2006. In 2000, he began teaching at the School of Dentistry as an Adjunct Lecturer, then became a Clinical Assistant Professor in 2005 and a Clinical Associate Professor in 2012. Since assuming his position with Community-Based Dental Education, he has grown the program from a three-week experience for dental students at four external sites to a 12-week experience with over 30 sites. This growth led to the creation of a one-of-a-kind nationally recognized program that was financially self-sustaining. For his achievements in this area, Dr. Piskorowski is the recent recipient of the prestigious Gies Award for Outstanding Innovation by a Dental Educator. He holds a DDS from Loyola University, Chicago, IL.
Director, Graduate Student Affairs, Rackham School of Graduate Studies
Darlene Ray-Johnson is Director of Graduate Student Affairs for Rackham School of Graduate Studies, managing administrative and operational activities and leading the development of goals and initiatives designed to enhance the graduate student experience. Her U-M career spans more than 20 years, in which time she has also served as Assistant Director of Residence Education and Director of Special Programs for University Housing. Darlene is involved with a number of committees, including the Domestic Violence Initiative, Child Care Initiative, Student Health Insurance Committee and the Academic Services Board. Her professional affiliations include the Commission on Graduate and Professional Student Affairs and the Association of College Personnel Administrators. She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University and her Master's degree from Western Michigan University, College Student Counseling/Personnel Administration.
Clinical Professor and Associate Chair, Integrated Medical and Psychiatric Services, Department of Psychiatry; Associate Director, U-M Comprehensive Depression Center; Director, Psychoncology Program, U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center; Associate Director, Michigan
Institute for Clinical and Health Research.
Dr. Michelle Riba is Clinical Professor and Associate Chair for Integrated Medical and Psychiatric Services in the Department of Psychiatry, Associate Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, Director of the PsychOncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Associate Director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research. She has served on numerous editorial boards and is the author or editor of over 100 scientific articles, books, chapters and scientific abstracts. She is past president of the American Psychiatric Association, Association for Academic Psychiatry, and American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training. Currently, she is zonal representative from the American Psychiatric Association to the World Psychiatric Association. As a psychosomatic medicine psychiatrist, Dr. Riba's clinical and research interests include primary care psychiatry, depression and cardiovascular disease, psychoncology, and the role of screening for distress in patients with medical illness.
Professor of Health Management and Policy; Senior Associate Dean for Administration, School of Public Health
Dean Smith is a professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy and Senior Associate Dean for Administration at the School of Public Health. He is committed to a line of research that helps to provide a better understanding of the financial aspects of working with and working in health care delivery and financing organizations. He is currently Vice-President of the Board of the Michigan Public Health Institute, a member of the Board of Visitors at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and a member of the Planning Board of Molina Healthcare of Michigan. He chairs the Audit Committee of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration and is a member of the Board of the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. Dean is also Director of the University of Michigan Center for Value-Based Insurance Design (V-BID), a member of the Medical Benefits Advisory Committee and chairs the University's Pharmacy Benefit Oversight Committee. He serves as the Chair of the MHealthy Advisory Committee (MH-AC).
Associate Vice President, University Human Resources
Laurita Thomas is the Associate Vice President for Human Resources at the University of Michigan. She gained a deep understanding of human resources as the former Administrator of Human Resources and Director of Allied Health Education in the Health System. Her human resources career spans roles in the financial industry, higher education and healthcare. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan in political science and economics. Her graduate work is in guidance and counseling and business administration. Her leadership roles have included officer positions in the University Health System Consortium's Human Resources Officers Council, Medical Center Employee Relations Association, the Society for Human Resources Management, the Human Resources Planning Society, American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration and in many community service organizations.
Professor, Non Profit Management and Social Policy, School of Social Work
John Tropman has spent his career at U-M teaching non-profit management at the School of Social Work, organizational behavior and human resources management at the Ross School of Business, and effective decision-making and creativity in the Ross Executive Education Program. He has also worked on executive education programs for a number of organizations, including Lutheran Social Services of Michigan and the United Way of America, the Alliance for Children and Families, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Professor Tropman has been Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the School of Social Work and currently serves as Special Counsel to the Dean. He has written and edited numerous books and is currently researching executive calamity; the relationships between the role of leadership and the position of management; and issues of recruitment, retention and motivation in the workplace. He received his Master's degree from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology from U-M.
Director, Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation
Marianne Udow-Phillips is Director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation, a non-profit partnership of the UMHS and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan designed to promote evidence-based care delivery, improve population health, and expand access to care. From 2004 through 2007, Marianne was Director of the Michigan Department of Human Services, appointed by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. Prior to that, she was Senior Vice President of Health Care Products and Provider Services at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Marianne has served on numerous boards and commissions and is currently on the boards of the Early Childhood Investment Corporation, the Highscope Foundation, the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority, the U-M School of Public Health Dean's Advisory Committee, NOVO 1, Inc., and Freedom from Hunger. She received a Master's degree in Health Services Administration from the U-M School of Public Health.
Director of Recreation Sports
As Director of U-M Recreation Sports, Mike Widen provides leadership of the Recreational Sports program, facilities, services, and staff, as well as develops strategic program vision for the department. Previously, Mike worked at the University of Iowa in a variety of capacities as both a professional and student. Mike started in campus recreation as a student official and then as a Graduate Assistant in Intramural Sports. He was then hired full-time by the University of Iowa to oversee Campus Recreation programs, facility operations and special events. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Sport Management with a minor in Business Administration, and a Master of Arts in Sport and Leisure Management, both from the University of Iowa.
Chief Health Officer and Director, University Health Service
Dr. Robert A. Winfield is the Director of the University of Michigan University Health Service (UHS) and the Chief Health Officer for the University of Michigan. Dr. Winfield has been a leader in the development of university policy on a variety of health-related concerns. From 2001-2003, he headed the university's Mental Health Work Group, which created recommendations for far-reaching changes to improve mental health support for students. He co-chaired both the SARS and Pandemic Influenza Campus Planning Groups and he currently co-chairs the All Hazards Planning Group that is focused on campus-wide preparations for a variety of disasters. In this capacity, he works closely with many units of the university, the University of Michigan Health System, and the Washtenaw County Health Department. He has led the work of Integrated Disabilities Management Advisory Committee in developing recommendations that will serve staff and faculty to promote health and return to productivity following an injury or illness. He has also co-chaired the MHealthy Five-Year Strategic Planning Group that developed a comprehensive plan to encourage the health and well-being of all university employees, dependents, and retirees and to contain the escalation of health care costs for the University. Dr. Winfield is a member for the Medical Benefits Advisory Committee (MBAC). He also serves as one of the leaders of the MHealthy program charged to improve the health, well-being and productivity of university faculty and staff. He is the co-chair of the MHealthy Advisory Committee (MH-AC). He currently co-chairs the Smoke Free University Steering Committee, which is developing recommendations for the implementation of the policy that goes into effect on July 1, 2011.
Director, Finance and Planning, Law School
As Director of Finance and Planning, Michele Frasier Wing oversees finance, facilities, IT, human resources, and major construction at the Law School. She previously served as Senior Assistant Dean of Administration at the University of California Berkeley Law School. She also served as a Senior Analyst for UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and the Chair of the Academic Senate, and as Assistant Director for New Student Programs. As a practicing attorney, Michele served as a corporate associate specializing in venture financing, complex mergers and acquisitions, and formation of private companies. She earned both her B.A. in Kinesiology and her J.D. from U-M, where she was awarded the Irving Stenn Jr. Award for Outstanding Service.
Professor, Department of Family Medicine; Chair of the Medical Benefits Advisory Committee
Philip Zazove received his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and his M.D. from Washington University. He has been a faculty member in Family Medicine at U-M for the past 19 years, involved in clinical, educational, research and administrative activities. He has served as principal investigator on several grants in his areas of expertise, health services for people with hearing loss and primary care genetics, and has published over 30 peer reviewed articles as well as chapters, books, and non-peer reviewed articles. Dr. Zazove is currently Chair of the Medical Benefits Advisory Committee and serves as a member of the Pharmacy Benefit Advisory Committee and the MHealthy Scientific Advisory Committee. He is active as a board member of numerous community and national organizations, including SafeHouse Center, Governor's Advisory Board on Screening for Newborn Hearing Loss, Center for Independent Living and the Louise Tumarkin Zazove Foundation.
Dean, University of Michigan School of Kinesiology
Ron Zernicke is the Dean of the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology and a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Department of Biomedical Engineering. Previously, he was the Director of the U-M Bone & Joint Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation Center. Prior to joining the university, Ron served as the Executive Director of the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute. At the University of Calgary, he was a Wood Professor in Joint Injury Research in the Faculty of Medicine, professor and dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology, and professor in the Schulich School of Engineering. He was also professor and Chair of the UCLA Department of Kinesiology. Ron served as president of the Canadian, American, and International Societies of Biomechanics and has received numerous teaching and research awards. He was the 1992 Concordia University Chicago Alumnus of the Year. Ron earned a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University Chicago and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Mott Children's Hospital Operating Room Staff Nurse
Susan Zill is a registered nurse currently serving as an Operating Room Staff Nurse at Mott Children's Hospital. She has been with the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) since 1979. She received her education from Mack School of Nursing Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology and Eastern Michigan University. Susan has been a member of numerous UMHS committees and currently serves on the Mott Perioperative Patient and Family Centered Care Committee and the U-M Long Term Disability Review Committee. She is also a member of the Voices of the Staff Alumni Team and the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN).