Shira Shafir is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and the Director of Field Studies. Dr. Shafir is also the director of the Master of Public Health for Health Professionals in the Department of Community Health Sciences and former assistant vice chancellor of research at UCLA. She is an epidemiologist with expertise in neglected tropical diseases and infectious diseases of poverty. Dr. Shafir received her PhD in Epidemiology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in global health from CHS at UCLA and her MPH in Infectious Diseases from UC Berkeley.
Dr. Shafir brings a unique perspective to her work in strategy and impact from her time in the private sector. She is the former vice president of giving, social innovation and impact at TOMS Shoes, an industry leader in social business, where she designed, implemented and evaluated their global impact strategy. She also consults with nonprofits on impact generation and evaluation.
Burt Cowgill is an assistant professor who resides in the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity and Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research in the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also an active member of the UCLA Semel Healthy Campus Initiative. He has extensive experience working with community-based organizations in the design, implementation and evaluation of a wide variety of research projects. Dr. Cowgill’s areas of interest include nutrition and physical activity policies and practices in schools and worksites, e-cigarette and tobacco prevention and control, HPV vaccination uptake, and health insurance trends. Dr. Cowgill received his PhD from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management in Health Care Outcomes Research (2007).
Prior to returning to academic research, Dr. Cowgill served as a fellow for Senator Edward Kennedy’s Health Committee staff and as an analyst for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). During his time with CMS, Dr. Cowgill worked with state Medicaid agencies on child and adolescent immunization performance measurement and quality improvement projects and funding for immunization registries. He is experienced in both quantitative and qualitative research and analytical techniques.
Martin Lee is a professor of biostatistics. Dr. Lee’s research covers such areas as the development of statistical test procedures for bioequivalency studies, particularly those that involve matched paired designs. His interests are in the areas of clinical trials and clinical trial design, particularly as they pertain to biologic and biotechnologically produced proteins. Dr. Lee has worked extensively on the development of robust estimation and semi-parametric models for the analysis of pharmacokinetic data. Dr. Lee received his PhD and MS in Biostatistics from UCLA.
Dr. Lee also has worked in pharmacoeconomic modeling and has worked on Markov models for the assessment of cost-effectiveness of new diagnostic procedures for cervical cancer. The studies he has been involved in have given him the opportunity to work extensively with researchers in the fields of immunology, hematology and oncology. In the recent past, he has been involved in nutritional research with premature infants and has designed and managed key studies in this significant scientific area.
Dr. Lee is the author or co-author of almost 250 scientific papers and has published books in biostatistics and applied immunology.
Leah Vriesman is professor and founding executive director of Executive Programs in Health Policy & Management in UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. Dr. Vriesman teaches Strategic Management of Health Service Organizations and International Comparative Health Systems, and speaks often on health technology and innovation and strategic thinking. Dr. Vriesman is active in corporate education at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and specializes in innovative leadership development for provider organizations and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. She is also the co-director of the UCLA Center for Healthcare Management. Dr. Vriesman received her PhD in Medical Sociology from UCLA (2001) and her MHA and MBA in Strategy and Finance from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis (1991).
Dr. Vriesman was chosen as the inaugural 2018 National Faculty of the Year from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA.org). As a 2010-2011 U.S. Fulbright grant recipient and German Scholar Exchange award winner, Dr. Vriesman spent a year in Neu Ulm, Bavaria, Germany. She was at the University of Applied Sciences teaching International Healthcare Management and Strategic Marketing to German physicians studying for their Healthcare MBA. She travels frequently to give keynotes for international audiences (East Africa, Asia, Europe) on healthcare innovation and transforming healthcare delivery systems.
Laura Erskine is professor of health policy and management, director of the MHA program and director of the UCLA Center for Healthcare Management. Prior to taking a leadership role in the MHA program, Dr. Erskine spent nine years as the director of the MPH in Health Policy and Management. Dr. Erskine is committed to professional education and professional development. In addition to teaching in all three HPM professional programs (MHA, MPH, EMPH), she encourages student participation in case competitions and provides many professional development opportunities to students. In May of 2019 she became a founding co-director of the UCLA Center for Healthcare Management. The Center’s goal is to provide a home for practitioners and scholars interested in a wide variety of issues that touch on management in the healthcare context.
She has expanded the global health footprint of the department by introducing a course that gives students the opportunity to attend the World Health Assembly in Geneva and she has made changes to the MPH curriculum that will enable students to deepen their expertise in an area of interest to them. Her scholarly writing has also had an impact on the educational program by increasing the use of case-based instruction in the classroom and developing new case studies.
Her research interests include the meaning of relational distance in leader-follower relationships, leadership in virtual settings, classroom pedagogy and emergent leadership in the context of collective action. She has published her research in a variety of academic and practitioner journals and presented her research at several national and regional conferences. In addition, she is actively involved with the Organizational Behavior Division and the Network of Leadership Scholars within the Academy of Management.
Dr. Erskine’s teaching interests are in the area of healthcare, organizational behavior, leadership and decision-making. She uses real world examples and situations, experiential activities, field-based cases and simulations to help students develop their decision-making and problem solving skills, hone their communication and interpersonal skills, apply theories and the concepts, and further their critical thinking skills. She can highlight theories and concepts with personal examples from her background in strategic consulting, entrepreneurial activities, field-based research and case writing activities.
Following her MBA studies, she worked as a management consultant for A.T. Kearney and in a variety of marketing and strategy roles at Disney Online and FirstLook.com. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Erskine participated in the creation of Eureka Review, a Los Angeles-based SAT tutoring company. Before joining UCLA in 2013, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Quantitative Methods in the College of Business at Illinois State University.
Dr. Erskine received her PhD in Business Administration from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and her MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
Julie Elginer is an assistant professor with dual appointments in both the Department of Health Policy and Management and Community Health Science within the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Dr. Elginer teaches Healthcare Marketing, Healthcare Financial Management and Reproductive Health Advocacy. She has been recognized by the Public Health Student Association for excellence in teaching several times. In addition, she serves in an advisory capacity to the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) – Los Angeles chapter. In 2012, NAPNAP-LA presented her with their highest award for a non-clinician given annually to the person who most advanced the practice of nursing in the Los Angeles area. Dr. Elginer received her DrPH from UCLA.
Dr. Elginer has over a decade of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience in various marketing, strategic planning, finance and managed market roles for Abbott Laboratories and Amgen. During a sabbatical from Amgen, she served as an adjunct faculty in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, teaching at various academic medical centers throughout the country. Her myriad consulting engagements include advising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to incorporate technology into the logistical chain to address food safety and transport issues.
Dr. Elginer is a recognized leader in advocacy and health policy issues. She has led volunteer non-profit advocacy throughout California and in Washington D.C. She has drafted legislation, conducted policy analysis, testified before the legislature and successfully advocated for several issues including perinatal mental health, human trafficking, categorical eligibility of food stamps, microbicides funding and more. In 2010, the California Assembly bestowed upon her an Individual Member Resolution for her “lifetime of achievements and meritorious service.” In 2011, Dr. Elginer was recognized by the United Nations Association of New York for her work addressing the perils of human trafficking, along with colleagues from the Association of Junior League International. In 2012, she was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to a four-year term as a member of the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners and spent five years as an Environmental Commissioner for the City of Calabasas.
Ninez Ponce is a professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management and was associate director of UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center (2011-2013). She also devised the rationale and implementation of Asian ethnic oversamples and the cultural and linguistic adaptation of the survey. She teaches courses in applied research methods, health policy and health economics. Her research contributes to the elimination of racial/ethnic and social disparities in health and health care in three areas: multicultural survey research, social penalties in health and health access, and population-based cancer prevention and control studies. Dr. Ponce received her PhD from UCLA and her MPP from Harvard University.
Dr. Ponce is the principal investigator of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the largest state health survey in the United States, where she led the first CHIS efforts on the measurement of race/ethnicity, acculturation, physician-patient communication and discrimination. She has received major support from the National Cancer Institute, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the California Endowment, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other organizations. Dr. Ponce started and co-chaired Academy Health’s Disparities Interest Group. In 2004, National Cancer Institute’s Special Populations Health Network recognized Dr. Ponce as a rising star in cancer disparities. In 2008, she received a National Institutes of Health merit award for her work in multicultural survey research. In 2009 she was an Institute of Medicine subcommittee member on race/ethnicity/language data. Dr. Ponce has long consulted with community-based organizations such as Community Voices-Oakland/La Clinica de la Raza and Asian Health Services and served as deputy director of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum in San Francisco. In 2009, she received the Royal Morales Community Service award from the UCLA Pilipino Alumni Association. She was board chair of New Heights Charter School in South Los Angeles from 2006 to 2012 and currently serves as vice-chair on the board of the National Health Law Program.
Paul Fu, Jr., MD, MPH, FAMIA, FAAP, is chief medical information officer (CMIO) at City of Hope, clinical professor of pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and adjunct professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Most recently, he was CMIO, division chief and fellowship director, Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. He was also previously CMIO and CIO at the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, one of the largest public health service delivery systems in the country.
Dr. Fu completed his undergraduate studies and medical school at Boston University, pediatric residency, chief residency and general academic pediatrics fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and HRSA Maternal and Child Health fellowship at the UCLA FSPH Child and Family Health Leadership Training program.
His current research focuses upon the systems and processes necessary to leverage EHR data for translational research and evaluating the impact of health IT and eHealth innovation on health outcomes and health disparities in vulnerable populations.
He lives in south Orange County and is married to a pediatrician and has three children.
Mr. Galper is a retired partner from the Health Care Consulting Practice of PwC. He has held a variety of leadership positions over the years with the firm, including global advisory tools and methods leader, West Coast health practice leader and national health insurance practice leader. Mr. Galper assisted his clients in financial and operational performance along with regulatory compliance. His clients included integrated health systems, managed care companies, hospitals, physician groups and academic medical centers.
Michael Galper is a CPA and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and leads the steering committee for the Paul Torrens Health Forum and is the faculty liaison to the Health Policy and Management Alumni Association. He also serves on the board for Hathaway Sycamores, a Child and Family Service Agency. Mr. Galper received his MPH in Health Management from UCLA.
Hannah Reischl, MPH is a public health business strategy consultant with 10+ years’ experience catalyzing complex business priorities into action to transform the role and capabilities of health systems. She recently took on a new role as senior strategic advisor to the chief quality officer at the University of Michigan Health.
Previous experience includes driving the development of investment strategies as a senior business process consultant within Kaiser Permanente’s National Office of Transformation, managing Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHCs) operations, Community Mental Health, Medicaid health plans, and strategy design and implementation efforts for care delivery systems. She received her MPH in Health Policy and Management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Hannah serves as a business design mentor at national and international hackathons – most recently with MIT’s COVID-19 global challenges.
Moira Inkelas is a professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management. She has a background in public health and public policy, with specific training and expertise in designing and implementing improvement science research. Her research focuses on improvement in primary care and human service organizations, and she has led learning networks of national and local health care providers and systems.
Dr. Inkelas teaches core courses in the Master of Science in Implementation and Improvement Research in the Fielding School of Public Health. As co-program leader for population health in the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), she supports education and career development in Implementation, Improvement and Dissemination (DII) and learning health system methods; develops program strategy and liaises with leaders and faculty; integrates implementation science theory and methods into Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and partnered health systems; and develops partnerships with community organizations and health systems to increase the use of DII methods. She co-leads the CTSI TL1 program.
Jeff Helton is a former health system chief financial officer and a fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (“HFMA”). His financial management experience ranges from urban community health centers to small rural health systems to tertiary medical centers to operating health insurance plans in California and across the United States. He is also a certified management accountant and a certified fraud examiner. Dr. Helton writes a column on “Disruptive Innovation in Health Care” for the journal Healthcare Financial Management and is a certification “boot camp” instructor for HFMA. He also consults on health care financing matters with several health care startup companies around the U.S.
Dr. Helton earned his PhD in Health Care Management from the University of Texas and his Master of Science in Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. When not at work with his students, he is usually out skiing, surfing or kiteboarding, and he is an avid bass guitar player.
Dr. Sandra Potthoff spent the majority of her nearly 30-year academic career at the University of Minnesota, where she served as the director of the Master of Healthcare Administration Program for 8 years. She retired in 2019 from the University of South Florida, Tampa, where she served as the chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the College of Public Health.
Her teaching expertise includes analytics, operations management, quality improvement, problem-solving, healthcare information technology, health policy, program evaluation, patient flow and long-term care. Dr. Potthoff was the recipient of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) 2019 Gary L. Filerman award for Educational Leadership.
With a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Potthoff’s research spans the interfaces of systems analysis and quality management, operations research and management science, and data analytics, applied to evaluating and improving healthcare delivery, long-term care, tele-health homecare services and community programs.
Dr. Potthoff currently serves as a mentor and faculty member for Communities of Excellence 2026, a national collaborative of communities applying the Baldrige Framework of Performance Excellence to their community collaborative work.
Dylan H. Roby is faculty associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. He is also an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and an assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park. Dr. Roby collaborates with colleagues at UCLA on the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) microsimulation model (www.calsim.org) and is a member of UCLA’s cost analysis team for the California Health Benefit Review Program (www.chbrp.org). His primary academic appointment is in the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, where he conducts research on Medicaid, the health care safety net and the Affordable Care Act’s implications for insurance markets, system redesign and access to care. He teaches courses on health politics and policy in the MHA and PhD programs in health services administration. Dr. Roby received his PhD in Public Policy from the George Washington University.
Dr. Roby was the former director (2012-2014) of the Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program at the Center, where he helped develop the Center’s capacity for analysis of Medicaid claims data, Medicaid waiver evaluation and conducting confidential data analyses and surveys. He served as the associate director of the MPH Program from 2010-2012. Prior to becoming the director of health economics and evaluation research, he was a senior researcher at the Center from 2003 to 2011. Before returning to UCLA, Dr. Roby worked for four years as a senior research associate at the George Washington University Center for Health Services Research and Policy. He worked on safety net issues, including data analysis and research on community health centers and public hospitals. During his time in Washington, D.C., he also worked for the National Association of Community Health Centers, the National Governors’ Association’s Center for Best Practices and the Progressive Policy Institute.
Hector P. Rodriguez is the Kaiser Permanente Endowed Professor of Health Policy and Management, director of the California Initiative for Health Equity & Action and director of the Center for Healthcare Organizational and Innovation Research at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an expert in organizational analysis and performance management in health care organizations and public health systems. Prior to his academic career, he was a management consultant for The Permanente Medical Group where he worked with leaders and clinicians in Northern California to implement primary care practice redesign and evaluate their impact on patient care. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, including key articles focused on measuring and improving patients’ experiences of care, health care disparities, teamwork and multilevel organizational analyses. Dr. Rodriguez is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a recipient of the John D. Thompson Investigator Award from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. Dr. Rodriguez received his PhD in Health Policy/Medical Sociology from Harvard University and his MPH in Health Policy and Administration from UC-Berkeley.
Kevin Baldwin is an adjunct professor of Health Policy and Management in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and informatics portfolio manager at UCLA Health Sciences. Kevin completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at UCLA and went on to complete additional post-graduate training at UC Berkeley and Columbia University.
Kevin’s research interests center around the impact of health information technology on clinical and financial outcomes and his work has resulted in more than 50 publications, book chapters and national presentations. He has been widely recognized for his accomplishments in his area of expertise, most notably as a fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association, project management professional and certified professional in healthcare information and management systems. His work has also been awarded grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cardinal Health Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Kevin serves on the board of directors of the University Credit Union and teaches graduate courses in the Loyola Marymount University Seaver College of Science and Engineering. He remains active in professional organizations including the American Medical Informatics Association, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Healthcare Information and Management System Society. He also stays engaged with the UCLA community in his role as past president of the UCLA Staff Assembly.
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