School of Nursing & Health Sciences Advisory Board

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.

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 competency-based educational offerings delivered by expert faculty using advanced learning technologies. Our goal is to enable our graduates to collaborate interprofessionally to improve patient, system, and population outcomes.

Capella University is also a founding strategic partner of the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC), which is committed to building healthier communities through the service of nurses on boards throughout the country.

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

Jeanne Gibson

Senior Director
UnitedHealth Group Center for Clinician Advancement

Jeanne Gibson is a clinician leader whose goal is to inspire others to develop and apply their interests and knowledge as she has serving in various roles during her 23-year tenure at UnitedHealth Group. She is currently a Senior Director at the UnitedHealth Group Center for Clinician Advancement, creating strategies and promoting initiatives to help clinicians realize their career goals while collaborating and leading efforts to improve health care through the Quadruple Aim. 

Jeanne obtained her Masters in Nursing degree from Capella in 2019 and has a background in six sigma and experience in leading quality improvement efforts as well as community building, recognition and learning and development programs for clinicians. She believes expert critical thinking, interprofessional teaming, innovative thinking and evidence-based practice are the unique qualities of clinicians that enable them to improve the health care system for consumers, providers, payers and their colleagues.

Jeanne lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband and pets who keep her physically active and entertained.

Kimberly Harper MS, RN, FAAN

Chief Executive Officer
Indiana Center for Nursing

With nearly 40 years of healthcare experience, Kimberly Harper currently serves as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Indiana Center for Nursing, an organization that unites state-wide nursing education and practice leaders to effect change through one voice to ensure a high-quality nursing workforce that meets the needs of Indiana's healthcare consumers. In her CEO role, she also serves as the Nursing Co-Lead for the Indiana Action Coalition, which serves to implement the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing Report. In addition, Kimberly now serves as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the national Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC), which unites over 25 national nursing organizations toward the goal of improving the healthcare of our nation through the service of 10,000 nurses on boards by 2020.

Kimberly's background includes serving as executive director for Nursing 2000; vice president for Public Affairs and the Foundation for Wishard Health Services (now Eskenazi Health) in Indianapolis, Ind.; holding senior leadership positions in nursing, marketing, and human resources, and executive vice president roles in academic medicine at Indiana University; and holding nursing practice and faculty positions at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind.

She has been active in many professional organizations, assuming leadership roles with the NOBC, the National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers, and the National Association for Health Care Recruitment. She is a National Association of Public Hospitals fellow and has served on the boards of numerous nursing-related foundations, organizations, and committees, including the Governor's Task Force for Healthcare Education, Pipeline, and Training for Indiana. Kimberly also serves on the advisory boards of numerous schools of nursing across Indiana, is a guest lecturer, and holds an adjunct faculty role with Case Western University.

A regular speaker at the state, national and international level, Kimberly has received numerous awards, including the 2017 Distinguished Alum of the University of Southern Indiana, the Nursing Professionalism and Practice Award for her "Outstanding Professional Contributions and Excellence in the Practice, Science and Art of Nursing" by the Indiana State Nurses Association. the President's Achievement Award Commencement Address at the University of Southern Indiana, and has been inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Christopher Scott Holliday, PhD, MPH

Director, Population Health and Clinical-Community Linkages
American Medical Association (AMA)

As the director of Population Health and Clinical-Community Linkages at the AMA, Dr. Holliday leads a multidisciplinary team in efforts to develop and implement national, clinical, and public health strategies for improving health outcomes and reducing costs for high-impact chronic medical conditions, such as CVD and type 2 diabetes. He works with physicians and care teams, practices, health systems, and the communities they serve to devise multilevel, evidence-based interventions that promote clinical-community linkages to improve health outcomes. He is a passionate advocate for health equity, policy, systems, and environmental change strategies that impact the social determinants of health.

A community psychologist by training, Dr. Holliday served as the executive director of the National Center of Excellence on the Social Determinants of Mental Health at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, where he led research on the influence of social conditions on population-level mental health. Previously, he served as the CEO of Communities Joined in Action, a national organization of more than 200 health care access and care-coordination coalitions in 44 states, and CEO and founder of a private consulting firm, Community Speaks, LLC. In addition, he has served in various leadership roles in local, state, and national public health, including director of the Center for Community Health Transformation and Director of Community Health and Preventive Services within the Georgia Department of Public Health in metro Atlanta.

Dr. Holliday received his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and PhD degrees in social and community psychology from Northwestern and Georgia State Universities, and his Master of Public Health degree in health policy and management from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

He resides in Chicago, IL with his wife British, a banking attorney, and two children, Sheridan (14) and Scottie (11).

Elisabeth A. Klar, CPLP, PhD

Vice President, Perform & Grow Journey Lead
Highmark Health

Elisabeth Klar currently serves as the vice president and lead of the Perform & Grow journey at Highmark Health. In her role, Elisabeth is responsible for adopting leading practices to deliver exceptional experiences for enterprise employees at every human resources touchpoint, including performance acceleration, succession planning, career development, engagement, and development/delivery of learning programs.

Previously, Elisabeth served as the director of onboarding and leader transitions at Cleveland Clinic, where she led the enterprise-wide onboarding strategy and deployment for all new Cleveland Clinic caregivers and leaders ranging from front line to C-suite. She has over 20 years of extensive cross-industry experience in health care, retail, financial services, and higher education, serving in various leadership roles in operations, learning, and HR functions.  

Elisabeth possesses a love of learning and is relentlessly passionate about developing herself and others. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State University, a Master of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University, and a PhD in Organization & Management with an emphasis in management education from Capella University. Elisabeth is a certified professional in learning and performance (CPLP) with the Association for Talent Development with expertise in designing, developing, implementing, and measuring the effectiveness of value-add talent programs.  

In her free time, Elisabeth enjoys quality time with her husband and two children and loves to cook, read, and vacation at the beach.

Cynthia Latney, DHA (c), MSN, RN, NE-BC

Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive

Cynthia Latney is an experienced, recognized nurse leader. She joined OhioHealth in June 2021 as the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive. In her role, Cynthia is responsible for organizing, planning, directing, and evaluating all nursing functions and patient care services for OhioHealth. She works with nursing leaders and other clinical partners to drive consistency in care and ensure an exceptional patient experience. Her diverse experience as a seasoned healthcare executive serves her well as an advocate on behalf of nurses and patients. Also, it provides a unique perspective in leading change, expanding programming, improving clinical outcomes, building diverse and highly functioning teams.

Prior to joining OhioHealth, Cynthia served as Senior Vice President of Nursing Business Operations for Jefferson Health, an academic health system with ambulatory sites serving southern New Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area. Cynthia previously held multiple leadership roles at Centura Health in Denver, including regional chief nursing officer, chief nursing executive and chief transformation officer, as well as various leadership positions at Hospital Corporation of America in Aurora, Colorado.

Cynthia spent much of her early career in cardiovascular surgery critical care nursing. She is a certified nurse executive. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Science in Nursing Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix, where she is currently a candidate for a Doctor of Health Administration.

She has presented locally and regionally on financial management in healthcare, patient care models and interprofessional care, evidenced-based approaches to patient safety, quality, and nursing leadership. Cynthia was named one of the 60+ hospital and health system CNO to know by Becker’s Hospital Review in 2017.

Holly Lorenz, DNP, MSN, RN

Chief Nurse Executive
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

Holly Lorenz is the chief nurse executive of UPMC with responsibility for establishing and leading the strategic vision for over 18,000 nurses. Lorenz oversees nursing practice for more than 42 academic, community, specialty, and international hospitals as well as the 600 outpatient sites, rehabilitation, and long-term care facilities. Lorenz has several leadership roles within the service line management at UPMC.

She has presented locally, regionally, and internationally on financial management in health care, and models of interprofessional care, evidenced-based approaches to patient safety, quality, and nursing leadership. Lorenz is the associate dean for clinical relations in the School of Nursing, office of the dean at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a Wharton Fellow for nurse executives and a certified facilitator and educator for Development Dimensions International. Additional honors include being named to the 2015 University of Pittsburgh Nursing Honorary Alumni and a nominee for the Nightingale Award of Pennsylvania for Nursing Administration. Lorenz was named One of the 60+ Hospital and Health System CNOs to Know by Becker’s Hospital Review in 2017.

Lorenz shares her vast knowledge and expertise in nursing leadership as a member on several influential boards. Being an inaugural member of the Pennsylvania Action Coalition State Steering Committee and Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Action Coalition allows her to advance nursing education and practice in the state of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Lorenz is active on the Duquesne University School of Nursing and Capella University School of Nursing and Health Sciences advisory boards, Family House Executive Board, Carlow University Trustee, as well as numerous UPMC boards. Lorenz is past president of the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Executives.

Rachel McCrickard 

Motivo Health

Rachel McCrickard is the Founder and CEO of Motivo Health, a virtual platform for clinical supervision. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist herself, Rachel withstood a weekly two-hour commute to complete her required clinical supervision hours over the course of two years. That experience gave her a front seat view into the geographic boundaries that preclude behavioral health professionals from serving rural areas.

Rachel was galvanized to take action. Motivo Health is the first HIPAA-compliant video platform connecting behavioral health professionals to clinical supervisors to complete the licensure process. Motivo Health is now creating an easier and more efficient path to licensure for thousands of aspiring therapists, counselors, social workers, and behavior analysts. 


Vice President

Fred Neis is a Vice President for Lumeris. He leads efforts to assess and design large-scale transformational solutions for health systems, payers, and physicians to move from a volume-based business to one based on value, including taking downside risk, improving quality measures, and optimizing health system and medical group margin.

With nearly 30 years of experience in healthcare, Neis has held clinical and leadership roles within health systems before moving to consulting and advisory positions focused on both strategy and operations. Additionally, he is active at local and national levels as an author, journal peer reviewer, advisory committee member, and conference speaker to help shape policy and practice.

Neis is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives as well as the Academy of Emergency Nursing, recognizing his contributions to the industry at large. He is also actively involved as a volunteer for several professional and philanthropic organizations.

Ruth Fisher Pollard, MS, MBA

Pinnacle Network Solutions, LLC

Ruth Pollard serves as a consultant with Pinnacle Network Solutions, LLC, a cybertechnology and healthcare firm. In this role, Ruth consults on strategic planning, partnership building and sustainability, and community engagement and advocacy for health care and human services organizations.

With more than 20 years of leadership experience, Ruth recently completed a five-year tenure with Ascension—one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the United States—serving as vice president and chief strategy officer of Providence Health System in Washington, D.C., and an executive-in-residence to the District of Columbia Hospital Association (DCHA). In this role, Ruth led the development of a long-term strategic plan to transform healthcare workforce through a targeted workforce development program. The program’s aim is to close the skills gap for District of Columbia residents pursuing careers in health and provide rewarding opportunities in the industry while being both transformative and sustainable. As the former vice president and chief strategy officer of Providence Health System, Ruth’s work focused on transformation of the local market through collaborative and strategic relationships and partnerships. Ruth, as part of the executive team, led the conceptual planning for the health village concept in Washington, D.C., in response to community need. 

Extending her impact, Ruth has a faculty appointment in the department of health systems administration at the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Sciences as an adjunct instructor. Ruth is on the forefront of conversations about systems thinking and planning, health and policy alignment, and community engagement and impact. 

Prior to her tenure with Ascension, Ruth worked in government relations and advocacy with Children’s National Health System for 10 years. During her tenure, Ruth served as the inaugural chair of the DC Healthy Communities Collaborative—an alliance of hospitals/health systems and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to improve community health through collective accountability—leading the first comprehensive and collective community health needs assessment (CHNA) and corresponding community health improvement plan (CHIP). Ruth is the co-vice chair of Volunteers of America Chesapeake and Carolinas Board of Directors, a faith-based ministry serving vulnerable populations through housing and other social services. 

Pamela Rudisill, DNP, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
Community Health Systems

Pamela Rudisill is Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Community Health Systems (CHS). In her role, she supports nurses with quality and safety resources as they deliver patient care across more than 80 affiliated hospitals in 16 states.

Pam is responsible for developing and sharing clinical best practices across the organization, providing leadership to nursing executives and supporting nurses at affiliated hospitals as they provide quality, compassionate care. She also directs the Survey Management/Survey Readiness team which assists affiliates with regulatory, accreditation and certification surveys. She also leads Patient Experience at CHS. 

In addition, Pam is the elected chair for the Nurses on Board Coalition (NOBC), of which she has served as AONL’s representative for the past 4 years.  NOBC is comprised of 26 National Nursing Organizations supporting board placement and leadership on various boards and councils.

Her other memberships include the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL), where she served a term as president in 2010; American Nurses Association (ANA); American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). Pam also is past president of NCONL. She has published extensively in nursing literature and has spoken at numerous health care related seminars throughout the United States. Pam has earned certification as a Board Certified Nursing Administrator Advanced (NEA-BC) through ANCC. She is also a 2011 Fellow inductee into the prestigious American Academy of Nursing (FAAN). In May 2012, Pam received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Duke University. In 2019, she was an inductee as a Fellow in the inaugural class of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (FAONL). 

Jennifer Shepherd, DNP, MHA, RN-BC, NEA-BC, CHPN, CCRN-K

Director, Nurse Content Development and Continuing Education  
American Nurses Association

Dr. Jennifer Shepherd is a Registered Nurse leader with an extensive and progressive background across diverse settings including community-based and acute care health systems as well as not-for-profit and for-profit healthcare organizations. Jennifer has served as a member of clinical leadership in roles dedicated to professional development and analytics; leading teams to cultivate and implement innovative strategies, ensuring achievement of organizational goals.

She currently serves as Director, Nurse Content and Continuing Education for the American Nurses Association. She previously served in clinical education roles for MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Capital Caring Health, Community Health Accreditation Partner,, HealthStream, CEBroker/EverCheck.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer went back to the bedside as a staff nurse, providing support and delivering high level acute care to hospice patients and families in the inpatient setting. Her experience in academia includes a role as adjunct faculty for George Mason University in the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, where she teaches pediatrics and maternal child health.

Jennifer is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in nursing professional development and as a nurse executive, advanced, in hospice and palliative care by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), and in pediatric critical care by the American Association of Critical Care Nursing (AACN). She previously served on the Virginia Nurses Association Board as Commissioner of Workforce Issues and currently holds a position on Capella’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences Advisory Board. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Master’s in Healthcare Administration, and recently completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice with Capella University. Her DNP capstone work, COVID-19 and Hospice Care: Self Care and the Effect on Compassion fatigue and Patient Outcomes, focused on the link and challenges between compassion fatigue, self-care, and quality outcomes among hospice clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Debra A. Toney, PhD, RN, FAAN

Vice President, Quality Management
Nevada Health Centers

Dr. Debra A. Toney is the Vice President of Quality Management, at Nevada Health Centers in Las Vegas, Nevada, the State’s largest federally qualified health center with 18 locations.  She is responsible for ensuring high quality and cost-effective care throughout Nevada Health Centers medical, dental, behavioral health service lines. 

In addition, Dr. Toney works diligently on behalf of the nursing and health professions and has a long history of public and community service. She has held board and officer positions for several national organizations. Dr. Toney is the president of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations and a former president of the National Black Nurses Association.  She is a co-lead for ANA’s National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing.  In both her professional and volunteer roles, she has been devoted to delivering and improving health care in under-served communities.   

Cathleen A. Wheatley, DNP, RN, CENP

President, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Sr. Vice President, Clinical Operations

Cathleen joined Wake Forest Baptist Health (WFBH) in September 2014 as chief nurse executive and was named president of the flagship 885-bed academic medical center in April 2019. She also serves as senior vice president of clinical operations for WFBH. She is responsible for the overall performance of health system operations at WFBMC, Brenner Children’s Hospital, and oversight of nursing practice throughout the health system. She brings disciplined leadership to bear on complex issues where clinical expertise, strategic thinking, and organizational savvy are essential. As a leader, Cathleen uses experience and insight to provide structure, order, and clarity to enable teams to make rapid and lasting progress on critical issues.

Cathleen’s naturally holistic and global perspective was enhanced when she served as the first corporate nurse executive of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), in the United Arab Emirates. She was responsible for the professional practice and development of more than 9,000 nursing and allied health professionals for which she generated formalized and benchmarked international competency and practice standards with an ongoing structured competency validation program. She led the improvement of patient outcomes throughout SEHA’s 12 hospitals and 62 ambulatory care clinics resulting in a reduction of adverse events, mortality, nursing-sensitive preventable conditions, and length-of-stay. 

Earlier in her career, she held senior leadership positions at Dekalb Regional Health System in Atlanta, Georgia, including senior vice president, chief clinical operating officer, chief nurse executive, and chief quality officer. 

Cathleen earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Georgia State University and her doctorate in nursing practice at the University of Central Florida. She is board certified with the American Organization of Nurse Leaders as a certified executive in nursing practice and completed the nurse leader program at the Wharton School of Business. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, North Carolina Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, American Organization of Nurse Leaders, North Carolina Organization of Nurse Leaders, and the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

Active in professional organizations, she is on the board of Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) and is a CNO council member for the Beryl Institute and the HealthLeaders CNO Exchange. She serves on the advisory boards of schools of nursing for Capella University, the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, North Carolina A&T University, and Winston-Salem State University. Her philanthropic interests include the economic independence of women in developing countries and educational preparatory programs with a global focus. She is a current sponsor of Women for Women International and a past member of the board of trustees of the Atlanta International School.

Wesley D. Willis, Psy.D, MSW, LCSW-R, BSN, RN-BC, CCM

RHIO Wellnes

Wesley began his career with an Associates in Applied Science (AAS) with major in Nursing obtained from Central Alabama Community College in 2000.  He went on to earn a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) from Alabama State University (ASU) in 2002 and a Masters of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Alabama in 2003.  Upon completion of his MSW, he moved to NYC to create a career bridging his Nursing & Social Work education.

The first part of his career was focused on administration and case management.  He obtained his Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D) in 2009 from Argosy University at Arlington and Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Herbert H. Lehman College in 2011.  

Wesley is Board Certified in Medical-Surgical Nursing by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses; Case Management by The Commission for Case Manager Certification; Critical Care Nursing by American Association of Critical-Care Nurses; and is a Board Certified Diplomat (BCD) in Clinical Psychotherapy by the American Board of Examiners (ABE).  He is licensed as a Registered Nurse, Clinical Social Work and Psychology in multiple jurisdictions.  

Wesley was the 2013 recipient of the New York Black Nurses (NYBNA), Nurse of the Year Award; and New York City Assemblywoman Inez Dickens – Community Service Award.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for American Association of Men in Nursing (AAMN).  He has served on the Board of Trustees for over 7 years at Harriet Tubman Charter Schools in Bronx, New York and the Board of Directors for the New York State Society for Clinical Social Workers (NYSSCSW).  

In 2010, Wesley founded RHIO Wellness…Reflective Healing & Inspiring Outcomes that he currently manages.  He is the Co-Founder of “Safe Hands,” an NGO in Nairobi, Kenya, working to address the mental health and wellness of children and adults throughout Africa.

Capella School of Nursing and Health Sciences Leadership

Lisa Kreeger, PhD, RN

Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Dr. Lisa Kreeger held a number of positions at Capella before assuming the role of dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. She began in School of Business and Technology as a member of the Institutional Review Board before joining the School of Nursing and Health Science as a faculty member, program chair, and dean. 

Kreeger brings a combination of academic and health care industry experience building from her roots as a clinical nurse. Her career includes consulting and management positions with large international corporations where she focused on change, strategy, innovation, and leadership excellence and faculty and academic leadership positions at a large private university and an online university.  Kreeger holds a BSN from DePaul university, an MSN from Drexel University, an MBA from Seattle University, and a PhD with a focus on leadership and change in organizations from Antioch University.

Adele Webb, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP

Over the last 25 years, Dr. Webb has worked worldwide to build nurse capacity for treatment of communicable and noncommunicable diseases. She has received extensive funding for her international work and has published her findings in several refereed journals. She’s also contributed to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, testified to the Institute of Medicine and given testimony to the White House on nursing workforce issues. A much-sought-after speaker on international nursing care, Dr. Webb continues to collaborate with the WHO, as well as the World NCD Congress.

For her work, Dr. Webb has received the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Lifetime Achievement Award, the Nicholas Andrew Cummings Award for Excellence in Interprofessional Practice from the National Academies of Practice and fellowships from the International Council of Nurses, the Global Health National Academies of Practice, and the American Academy of Nursing.

After waiting until she was 29 to pursue her undergraduate degree, Dr. Webb went on to earn a BSN from the University of Akron, an MSN from Ohio State University, and a PhD in nursing from Wayne State University.

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