Faculty

Ph.D., Health Policy and Administration, Penn State
MPA, California State University, East Bay
B.S., Health Planning and Administration, Penn State

Dr. Chris Calkins leads the MHA programs and teaches the leadership ethics course that sets the foundation for all new students. He serves as faculty associate to the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health and is a board member of the Quell Foundation. Research interests include mental health access and treatment, decision-making and informed consent, and palliative and end-of-life care. Dr. Calkins has broad experience in health care organizations and leverages that experience on behalf of all MHA students and alumni.

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Ph.D., Economics, Washington University in St. Louis
M.A., Economics, Washington University in St. Louis
B.A., Economics, Brigham University

Dr. Christopher S. Hollenbeak is a professor and department head of Health Policy and Administration. Prior to HPA, he was professor of surgery and public health sciences, chief of the division of outcomes research and quality, and associate director of the Center for Applied Studies in Health Economics at Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Hollenbeak has extensive research expertise in health services and outcomes research with an emphasis on economic evaluation in surgery. His research is directed at public health and clinical audiences to inform clinical decision-making and public policy.

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Ph.D., Organization Development/Human Resource Management, Penn State
M.S., Nursing, Penn State
B.S., Nursing, Penn State

Dr. Maureen Connelly Jones brings 20 years of online and residential teaching experience in higher education and certificate and course development to her role as associate teaching professor in the Master of Health Administration and Organization Development/Human Resource Management programs. She has 20 years of health care administration and clinical experience. Her research seeks to identify characteristics of health care executives by exploring their behaviors in crisis events. She teaches organizational behavior, project management, HR, change leadership, and capstone. She coordinates case competitions and serves as a Schreyer honor thesis advisor.

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Fellow (FACHE), American College of Healthcare Executives
Graduate Certificate, Financial Management, Gannon University
MBA, Finance, Gannon University
B.S., Resort Management/Business, Penn State

Ronald J. McConnell is an assistant teaching professor for the Master of Healthcare Administration program. Ron has broad, industry-based health care experience, having served in numerous roles over his nearly 25-year health care professional career — including as the chief operating officer for a major tertiary care hospital/health care system for more than a decade. Ron’s practical industry knowledge and passion for student learning greatly enrich the classroom learning experience.

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D.Ed., Educational Leadership, University of New England
M.A., Procurement & Acquisitions Management, Webster University
MPA, Webster University
B.A., Communications Studies, University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Dr. Mark A. McKinney is an assistant teaching professor for the Master of Health Administration programs. He has more than 20 years of higher education, health care, administrative, and teaching experience. Dr. McKinney teaches online and in residence, including courses in information systems in health services administration, health services human resources, strategic management of health care organizations, and health services marketing.

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MHA, Penn State
B.S., Accounting, Elizabethtown College

Troy A. Phillips is an adjunct instructor for the online health care finance courses. He has spent more than 25 years in health care, currently working as an executive at a health care IT company. Previously, he served in executive roles in hospital finance, revenue cycle and managed care, and he has clinical experience as a paramedic. He’s previously taught health law, health care information technology, health care marketing, and strategic management at other institutions. Troy is a Ph.D. student at Penn State researching how structured on-the-job training improves the development of the patient-teaching competency in clinicians.

Ph.D., Public Policy and Information Systems, Carnegie Mellon University
M.S., Economics, Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Yunfeng Shi has been an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Administration since 2015. His research focuses on how consumers (patients) react to important changes in health care markets, such as information, insurance, technological advancement, and government policies. His studies have been published by many journals in the field, including Health Affairs, Health Care Management Review, Health Services Research, Medical Care, Journal of Health Organization and Management, and American Journal of Managed Care.

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MSW, University of Maryland, Baltimore City
B.S., Psychology, Morgan State University

Richard E. Smith Jr. is an instructor for the Master of Health Administration program and teaches a course on change management in health care organizations. For more than 28 years, he has been instrumental in helping health care organizations enhance their quality of care with an emphasis on increasing overall satisfaction for patients, staff, and physicians alike. He has been particularly interested in ensuring care is delivered with great passion and sensitivity to the needs of patients and family members as they journey through the care continuum.

J.D., University of Maryland School of Law
MHA, Duke University
B.S., Health Planning and Administration, Penn State

Vicki L. Wertz teaches HPA 836: Health Law for World Campus as part of the Master of Health Administration program. Vicki worked in-house in a hospital setting for 20 years and has served as compliance officer, privacy officer, and patient safety officer during her health care career.