Advisory Committee

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.


Robert Adams Robert Adams

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.

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Nikki Benschoter Nikki Benschoter

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.

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Tom Buchmueller Tom Buchmueller, Ph.D.

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.

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Shon Dwyer, M.B.A. Shon Dwyer, M.B.A.

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.

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Jeffery R. Frumkin, Ph.D.

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.

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David GordonDavid Gordon, M.D.

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.

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Gary Krenz, Ph.D. Gary Krenz, Ph.D.

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.

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Jeffrey Kullgren Jeffrey T. Kullgren, M.D., M.S., M.P.H.

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.

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Etta MacDonagh-Dumler Etta MacDonagh-Dumler, M.P.A., C.C.P., C.B.P.

Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy & Planning, University Human Resources

Etta MacDonagh-Dumler, Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives for University HR Strategy & Planning provides planning support for the MHealthy Advisory Committee. Her work for the Office of the AVP/UHR includes planning and facilitating the integration of the MHealthy and Benefits programs. Etta is currently the project manager for the newly formed Member Engagement Health Plan Committee. Her recent work includes the 2010 Committee on Retiree Health Benefits (CORHB); the 2009 Committee on Sustainable Health Benefits (COSHB); and the project management responsibilities for Integrated Disability Management (IDM) serving as the campus lead for the new Return-to-Work pilot program. She also has a lead role in the VOICES of the Staff Engagement Program. Prior to joining the university, she was Director of Compensation and Benefits at Central Michigan University. While at CMU, she served as a founding board member of the Michigan Universities Coalition on Health (MUCH), a university health coalition serving a group of higher education institutions in Michigan dedicated to the quality and cost of health care for their employees throughout Michigan.

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Ted Makowiec, M.B.A., C.P.H.Q. Ted Makowiec, M.B.A., C.P.H.Q.

Benefits Strategist, University Human Resources

Ted Makowiec has over 18 years of health care experience. Before becoming the Benefits Strategist at U-M, he was the Director of Clinical Performance Management at M-CARE. Prior to that, he was the National Manager of Reimbursement for General Motors. He has also worked for the Oakwood Healthcare System, Medstat and Care Choices HMO. He has a Bachelor of Science from Central Michigan University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Wayne State University. He is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, The National Association for Healthcare Quality and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.

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LaVaughn Palma-Davis, M.A. LaVaughn Palma-Davis, M.A.

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.

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Wilhelm Piskorowski Wilhelm (Bill) Piskorowski, DDS

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.

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Darlene Ray-Johnson Darlene Ray-Johnson

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.

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Michelle Riba Michelle B. Riba, M.D., M.S.

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.

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Dean G. Smith, Ph.D. Dean G. Smith, Ph.D.

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).

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Laurita Thomas Laurita Thomas

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.

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John Tropman John E. Tropman

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.

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Marianne Udow-Phillips Marianne Udow-Phillips

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.

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Robert Winfield, M.D. Robert Winfield, M.D.

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.

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Michele Frasier Wing, J.D.

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.

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Philip Zazove Philip Zazove, M.D.

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.

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Ron Zernicke, Ph.D. Ron Zernicke, Ph.D.

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.

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Susan Zill, R.N. Susan Zill, R.N.

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).

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