Board of Directors

Judy Chang, MD, MPH; President

Judy Chang, MD, MPH

Judy Chang, MD, MPH
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

Judy Chang, MD, MPH is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences with a secondary appointment in the Division of General Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also an investigator at the Magee-Women’s Research Institute and core faculty member in the Center for Research in Health Care and Center for Women’s Health Research and Innovation. She also serves as an Assistant Dean of Medical Student Research. After completing her undergraduate studies in the Plan II Honors Liberal Arts program at the University of Texas in Austin, Judy obtained her medical training at Baylor College of Medicine and completed residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. She then went on to obtain training in health services research and public health leadership in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Her early research focused primarily on understanding intimate partner violence (IPV) and how health care providers can help women experiencing IPV. Through this qualitative work, she found that women described the potential power of patient-provider communication as a source of support, motivation, empowerment and validation. Judy then expanded her research expertise to focus on patient-provider communication in women’s health, particularly in obstetric care. Her more recent research has examined a variety of topics within obstetric care communication including screening and counseling regarding substance use, addressing mental health concerns, breastfeeding counseling, and examining the impact of electronic medical records on patient-provider communication.

Judy is also a dedicated educator. She co-facilitates communication workshops for obstetrics and gynecology residents that teach skills such as Ask-Tell-Ask, delivering bad news, and dealing with patient emotions; co-facilitates Balint groups for obstetrics and gynecology residents; and leads workshops for medical students focusing on communication strategies to address and respond to intimate partner violence among female patients. Her contributions have been recognized with numerous teaching and mentoring awards.

Daniella Cordero, MD, Resident Physician, PGY-1; Student/Professional Trainee Member at Large

Daniella Cordero, MD
Resident Physician, PGY-1
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Daniella Cordero, MD is a resident physician in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery program at the University of Washington. She completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University and her M.D. at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

During medical school, she was very active as a leader in campus organizations devoted to supporting students of color and marginalized patients. She also organized intra- and extra-curricular education on gun violence prevention using relationship-centered principles. She views communication as an invaluable tool for promoting health equity and improving patient outcomes. Dr. Cordero plans to continue to advocate for relationship-centered communication as she begins her training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Washington. 

Yuriko de la Cruz, MPH; Member at Large

Yuriko de la Cruz, MPH
National Association of Community Health Centers
Alexandria, VA

Yuriko de la Cruz (she/her/ella) is a public health professional and social justice rebel with extensive experience creating equitable health programs and services. She is currently the Social Determinants of Health Manager at the National Association of Community Health Centers. In her role, she supports community health centers with identifying and addressing the social determinants of health. Her dedication to advocate for the health and well-being of vulnerable individuals, families, and communities is tied to her personal journey. As the daughter of South American immigrant parents, she experienced the challenges related to immigration and grew up in poverty with no health insurance, substandard housing and education, and food insecurity. As a professional and community leader, Yuriko has leaned into the strengths and challenges of her personal story and leads with empathy, perseverance, curiosity, and joy. She is most passionate about sharing her gifts and talents in and with the community and serves on the Board of Directors of two community-based nonprofit organizations in Allentown, PA: Resurrected Community Development Corporation and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley. 

Yuriko completed the Bachelor of Science in Public Health from West Chester University and the Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. She started her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic where she led capacity building efforts with the provincial Ministry of Health, local community health clinics, and international non-governmental organizations to improve nutrition and hygiene, prevent HIV/AIDS transmission, and train community health workers and youth peer educators. After the Peace Corps, she worked in Newark, NJ and led community health programs at La Casa de Don Pedro and asthma education programs at University Hospital. She then joined PROCEED, Inc. to provide training and technical assistance on a national basis to HIV/AIDS prevention providers funded by CDC and addiction prevention providers throughout the state of New Jersey. Pivoting into health care, Yuriko joined the Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley, a federally qualified health center in Allentown, PA to address the social determinants of health for patients with high utilization of health care services. Yuriko later joined Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and facilitated patient-centered medical home transformation and continuous quality improvement efforts in ambulatory primary care and specialty care practices. Efforts focused on population health, patient experience and engagement, cultural competency, and operational improvements. Yuriko served as co-chair of the Patient Education Committee from 2017 - 2018. During her time at LVHN, she was introduced to relationship-centered communication tools from the ACH and attended 2016 ENRICH on a scholarship. Yuriko joined the ACH in 2020 and is a member of the DEI Consultation Committee. 

Denise Davis, MD, FACH; VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Denise Davis

Denise Davis, MD, FACH
University of California, San Francisco
General Internist and Clinical Professor of Medicine
San Francisco, CA

Denise L. Davis is a general internist, Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California San Francisco and she serves as Associate Director for Faculty Development for the San Francisco VA Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education. Dr. Davis teaches faculty development workshops locally and nationally on communication skills, including ground breaking workshops for the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare on opening discussions about race in clinical settings and facilitating small groups with cultural humility. She has conducted focus groups with African American patients about health and doctor-patient communication, the results of which inform her teaching. Dr. Davis consults and teaches for medical groups including Florida Hospital Orlando, Colon Rectal Surgery Associates Limited in Minneapolis, Fairview Medical Group of Minneapolis, San Mateo Medical Center, San Mateo California and Franciscan Medical Group in Tacoma Washington on topics including improving doctor-patient communication, obtaining informed consent, negotiating cultural differences in clinical relationships, disclosing medical errors and giving effective feedback. Dr. Davis is a past recipient of the prestigious Kaiser Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching for her work with students at UCSF School of Medicine and was recognized by the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators as an outstanding teacher in 2013. Dr. Davis was elected to the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators in 2015.

Dr. Davis piloted “Mentoring Across Differences,” a 3 hour faculty development training designed to improve the skills and confidence of faculty mentors in building relationships with minority learners at the for San Francisco VA. She also co-facilitated and helped design a well-received longitudinal “Faculty Peer Consultation Group on Race, Ethnicity and Power” for UCSF faculty. Dr. Davis is also lead faculty for the “Differences Matter Orientation” a 3 day intensive on communication skills for diversity and inclusion designed to help incoming first year UCSF medical students understand and participate fully in the school of medicine’s culture of equity. Dr. Davis also serves as specialist for minority medical students through the UCSF Student Experience Team.

Pamela Duke, MD, FACH; Member at Large

Pamela Duke

Pamela Duke, MD, FACH
Drexel University College of Medicine
Associate Professor of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA

Pam Duke, MD, FACH is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine, and a practicing internist at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia with an interest in geriatrics and urban medicine. She is currently the course director for the first-year integrated yearlong medical student doctoring course teaching: communication skills, bioethics, behavioral health and physical exam skills.  In addition, she is course director for a third-year medical student professionalism course at Drexel University College of Medicine where third year students explore issues of the hidden curriculum in faculty led small groups. She has been involved in teaching medical students and residents since graduating from University Connecticut School of Medicine. She contributed a chapter in the Academy of Communication in Healthcare book, Communication Rx, on the “Communication Skill Set and the Electronic Medical Record” and has co-authored a pathophysiology textbook entitled Med-Maps for Pathophysiology.  She worked with the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Choosing Wisely Campaign creating communication videos to help health providers talk about cost of care issues.  She is an active faculty member of the Academy of Communication in Healthcare, doing workshops on use of the electronic medical record in patient-physician communication and improving physician patient engagement. Pam’s research interest has been in integrating the EHR into medical practice and professional formation of medical students. She is presently working on a ACH co-sponsored project creating on line education modules supporting professional growth in healthcare learners.


Timothy Gilligan, MD, MS, FACH; Member at Large

Timothy Gilligan

Timothy Gilligan, MD, MS, FACH
Cleveland Clinic
Taussig Cancer Institute
Cleveland, OH

Dr. Timothy Gilligan is a medical oncologist, Vice-Chair for Education, and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. Previously, he served as the hematology/oncology fellowship program director for ten years. Dr. Gilligan served on the leadership team that developed and launched the Cleveland Clinic Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication, which has trained over 7000 clinicians in a one-day small-group experiential communication skills course. Together with Dr. Adrienne Boissy, he co-edited the book Communication the Cleveland Clinic Way. He has published numerous essays on healthcare communication in the New York Times, the Journal of Clinical Oncology and on the healthcare blog https://Cura.Space.

At Cleveland Clinic and other hospitals and at national and international conferences, he teaches communication skills, team-building, and coaching, and trains others to teach communication skills. Dr. Gilligan works on quality of care and clinical practice guidelines with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the National Cancer Institute. He helped develop and serves on the faculty and steering committee of the ASCO Quality Training Program, and co-chaired the ASCO panel that wrote the society’s guideline on patient-clinician communication. Dr. Gilligan is an internationally recognized expert in testis cancer. He has contributed to a range of national and international guidelines on the disease and currently chairs the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Testis Cancer panel. He has co-authored numerous review articles, textbook chapters and Up-To-Date sections on testis cancer.

Dr. Gilligan graduated from Swarthmore College, Stanford University School of Medicine and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He trained in internal medicine and medical oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He completed the Academy on Communication in Healthcare three-year faculty training program and is a member of their faculty.


Kirsten Isgro, PhD; Patient/Community Member Representative Member at Large

Kirsten Isgro, PhD
State University of New York
Associate Professor
Department of Communication Studies
University of Vermont, Core Faculty
Department of Biomedical and Health Sciences
Plattsburgh, NY/Burlington, VT

Kirsten Isgro, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in Communication Studies at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh and core faculty in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences,  Department of Biomedical and Health Sciences at the University of Vermont. She also teaches health communication for Champlain College’s Continuing Professional Studies Healthcare Management program.  She is committed to improving communication between providers and patients and their families, with a specific focus on disabilities and sexual minorities. 

Kirsten serves on the Vermont Pediatric Palliative Care Program Steering Committee and was on the Patient and Parent Advisory Council (PFAC) for the Vermont Children's Hospital at the University of Vermont Medical Center for seven years. She has worked for sexual justice with the Columbus (Ohio) Urban League, the National Assault Prevention Center, the Ohio Coalition on Sexual Assault and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. She was education coordinator for the AIDS Services for the Monadnock Region (ASMR) in rural New Hampshire and later coordinated professional workshops on gender and sexual health issues across New England for educators and health providers. In summer 2001, she worked with the International Women’s Tribune Centre (IWTC) in New York City as a research fellow, where she monitored and researched United Nations and non-governmental organization activity, particularly those focusing on HIV/AIDS and women and disarmament issues. She is a family faculty member for the University of Vermont medical and nursing students, which include teaching collaborative communication skills with families with medically complicated needs.

Her academic interests include gender/sexuality studies, sexual justice and health communication.  Her current research focuses on the communicative role of (end-of-life and birth) doulas and the impact on health outcomes for those who access doula services.  Much of her patient advocacy focuses on interprofessional collaboration with the explicit purpose of improving organizational systems for individuals seeking health and social services. 

Laura Kirk, MSPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA; VP of External Education

UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX

Laura Kirk, MSPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, is the Assistant Director of Advanced Practice Providers- Ambulatory Services at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She received her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in 2000 from Arcadia University in Philadelphia, PA. She has worked clinically as a PA since that time in several surgical fields: orthopaedic surgery, interventional radiology, and otolaryngology. In addition to her administrative roles, PA Kirk also has an ambulatory otology and general otolaryngology practice at UT Southwestern. Her clinical and academic interests include vestibular migraine and tinnitus.

While in clinical practice at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), PA Kirk participated in the Relationship-Centered Communication full-day course in 2015 and soon after was recruited to join the UCSF communication facilitation team. She completed the Relationship-centered Communication Facilitation program in 2016 and then enrolled in the Faculty-in-Training program, graduating in 2019. PA Kirk was a funded scholar for the RCC for Equity and Inclusion facilitator training program in 2020. She has previously served ACH on the RCF committee and the Education committee, and currently serves on the ENRICH planning committee and the DEI Consultation Committee. 

PA Kirk initiated a communication pilot program at UTSW, co-facilitating virtual workshops for “Communication Skills for Telehealth.” She serves on the UTSW Patient Experience and Provider Training workgroups, the cross-disciplinary workgroup for Creating a Coaching Culture, and the Interprofessional Practice and Education steering committee. PA Kirk is the executive champion for the Advanced Practice Providers’ Wellness committee and Recognition committee. She is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within her leadership capacity in her health system, and to leveraging skilled communication to reduce health disparities in her own clinical practice.  

Christopher Koenig, PhD, FACH; VP of Research

Christopher Koenig, PhD, FACH
Associate Professor, Communication Studies
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA

Christopher J. Koenig, PhD, FACH completed his doctoral work in Applied Linguistics at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) with a focus on research on health and medical communication. After earning his PhD, he completed a two-year joint post-doctoral fellowship at the Phillip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) Research Institute. Later, he worked as the lead qualitative methodologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine for the San Francisco VA Health Care System and UCSF conducting studies of provider, patient, and system-level communication focused on studies of veteran access to mental health, provider-to-provider communication, and evaluation research on mental health. Currently, he is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of San Francisco (SFSU). He also serves as the Associate Chair of the SFSU Institutional Review Board (IRB). He is a member of the UCSF Medical Cultures Lab (MCL), an interdisciplinary space for practical research of the culture of medicine. MCL members use qualitative social science methods to examine: patient decision-making and clinician reasoning; experiences with novel and experimental technologies; and strategies to provoke and support health systems change.

Trained at the intersection of linguistics, communication studies, health policy & services, the goal of his research is to improve health literacy and therapeutic alliance through empirical documentation of health communication. His teaching and research is focused on the relationship between communication and the social dimensions of health and illness. He uses diverse and multiple research methods, including focus groups, interviews, and participant observation and specializes in the analysis of audiovisual recordings. Theoretically, he integrates diverse conceptual models and frameworks to demonstrate how communication is a socially constructed and interactive discursive process. Overall, his work shows how communication can encourage interactionally sensitive care, to facilitate holistic well-being, and to foster thoughtful reflection about the roles of health and illness in contemporary society through the lens of communication.

Chris has been involved in ACH since 2008 when he attended his first Research Forum in Madison, WI. Since then, he has been an active member of the Research Committee, Co-Scientific Chair for Research Forum (2018) and International Conference on Communication in Healthcare (2019), and now as Vice President, Research for the ACH Board of Directors.

Barbara Lewis, MBA; Member at Large

Barbara Lewis

Barbara Lewis, MBA
Joan's Family Bill of Rights

Barbara Lewis, MBA, launched her career as a journalist writing for many national publications from the Wall Street Journal to Ladies Home Journal and more recently for BMJ and Modern Healthcare. She is the author of two books – Get a Black Belt in Business and Get a Black Belt in Marketing based on her black belt in karate. Barbara built a marketing consulting company while getting her MBA from UCLA where she taught business communication. Barbara’s life took an unexpected turn after spending two weeks in the ICU watching her sister die in 2012. She decided to devote her life to improving the patient experience. For five and a half years she was the Managing Editor of DocCom, an on-line communication skills learning program for clinicians and students. She currently serves as the Program Director for, an on-line professionalism learning platform and the Managing Director of the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care. Barbara’s volunteer work has included organizations such as the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital IRB (lay representative), Kaiser Permanente Southern California Regional Patient Advisory Council (co-chair emerita), the Beryl Institute Global Patient and Family Advisory Board (co-chair emerita), National Quality Forum, CMS, SIDM and UCLA Health No One Dies Alone, as well as other organizations. Barbara is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences.

Kara Myers, CNM, MS, FACH; Immediate Past President

Kara Myers

Kara Myers, CNM, MS, FACH
University of California San Francisco;Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
San Francisco, CA

Kara Myers, CNM, MS, FACH, has been practicing nurse-midwifery since 2000, when she completed graduate training at UCSF.  She is currently Clinical Professor in the UCSF Department of OB, Gyn, and Reproductive Sciences. Her clinical practice sites are Zuckerberg San Francisco General (ZSFG) and Mission Neighborhood Health Center.  Additionally, she serves as a member of the leadership council for the nurse-midwifery faculty practice at ZSFG.

Kara co-directs the Relationship Centered Communication program at ZSFG and was a founding co-director of the Relationship Centered Communication Facilitators program for the Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH). Within the UCSF community and nationally, as faculty of ACH, she regularly facilitates workshops in relationship centered communication, conflict, and feedback. In collaboration with colleagues, she has designed and implemented workshops focusing on the application of relationship centered communication to the promotion of equity in health care and health professions education.

Lynn O'Neill, MD, MS; VP of Internal Education



Lynn O'Neill, MD, MS
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 

Lynn O'Neill, MD, MS, is Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Family & Preventive Medicine, Program Director of the Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship, and Associate Director of the Palliative Care Center at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  After undergraduate work at Emory, she entered medical school at Vanderbilt and continued her training in internal medicine residency at University of Alabama, Birmingham. She then completed fellowships in palliative care and geriatric medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.  She held faculty positions at Mount Sinai and Duke University prior to joining the faculty at Emory in 2014.  Her clinical work is focused at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, and she is proud to be able to provide veterans and their families with the symptom management and support they need while living with serious illness.  In addition to a love for clinical palliative care, she gains great joy from teaching communication skills both on the wards and in formal communication courses.   She developed the communication course, GeriTalk, designed to provide fellows in geriatrics and palliative care with the essential skills necessary to discuss serious news and goals of care.  She facilitates communication skills courses nationally as a faculty member of both the Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH) and VitalTalk and serves as the Vice President for Internal Education of the ACH.

Nynikka Palmer, DrPH, MPH; Expert in Communication Research to Promote Health Equity

Nynikka Palmer

Nynikka Palmer, DrPH, MPH
University of California, San Francisco
Assistant Professor
San Francisco, CA

Nynikka Palmer, DrPH, MPH is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Urology and Radiation Oncology. Her research program focuses on unraveling multilevel mechanisms of cancer disparities – particularly inequities in quality of care among African American men with prostate cancer, cultural influence, patient-centered communication, and strategies to enhance delivery of high-quality cancer care. She currently has a National Cancer Institute K01 career development award to bridge the divide between low-income African American men and equal prostate cancer treatment by anchoring the evidence-based intervention of peer navigation in the relational concept of African American brotherhood as a means to foster trust and empowerment, and optimize patient-centered communication and quality of care. She is also quantitatively examining the communication patterns between newly diagnosed African American prostate cancer patients and their providers in the context of treatment decision-making and patient-centered communication, using the Roter Interaction Analysis System. Additionally, she has established a support group for African American men facing prostate cancer to promote survivorship and empowerment, which has been thriving since September 2014. She is also co-leader of the Prostate Cancer Task Force of the San Francisco Cancer Initiative (SF CAN) – a city-wide initiative to eliminate prostate cancer disparities through community outreach and education, targeted early detection and appropriate follow-up of aggressive disease, navigation and support services, and institutional partnerships that ensure high-quality care across healthcare institutions.

Jhoanna Santos, MD; Member at Large

Jhoanna Santos, MD
Skagit Regional Health
Arlington, WA 

Jhoanna Santos, MD FACP is a practicing general internist and geriatrician for over 10 years at Skagit Regional Health in Mount Vernon, WA. She is the Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Skagit Regional Health and an adjunct clinical faculty at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, an osteopathic medical school in Yakima, WA. She is also the Division Chief for Ambulatory Medicine of the medical executive committee at Skagit Valley Hospital.

Dr. Santos completed her medical school training at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and finished her internal medicine residency training at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital (now Mt. Sinai West) in New York. She then completed her fellowship in Geriatrics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.

Dr. Santos participated in the RCC course at the 2019 ACH course in Pittsburgh which she found to be innovative and life-changing. Being in active outpatient practice in a community-based setting, she brings the perspective of being in the forefront of looking into ways of improving communication, patient care and physician satisfaction in their practice as well as reducing healthcare disparities. As the residency program director, she ensures diversity and inclusion in residents and faculty. She started incorporating relationship-centered communication into the residency curriculum. She hopes to spread the value of ACH to a community setting which requires resourcefulness to provide high-value care including diversity, equity and inclusion.

Noelle Elizabeth Spencer, MS; Member at Large

Noelle Elizabeth Spencer, MS
Magee-Womens research Institute
Clinical Research Assistant
Pittsburgh, PA

Noelle Elizabeth Spencer is a mixed-methods researcher pursuing her PhD in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. She earned her MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Noelle’s research has centered around such topics as health equity, sexual and reproductive health, and substance use. 

Noelle’s interests in sexual and reproductive health and health equity began in undergraduate school, where she co-founded a comprehensive sexual health education program to provide reproductive health information to students at a local middle school. This experience led her to her first academic research project which aimed to create a sexual health education smartphone application to increase ease of access to comprehensive sexual health education information for 12-17-year-old girls. 

Prior to beginning her Doctoral work, Noelle worked as a Clinical Research Assistant conducting mixed methods research centered around such topics as substance use in pregnancy and the opioid epidemic. In this role, Noelle became involved in health equity work through her research with the Community Opioid Study, which focused on the Opioid Overdose Epidemic in Allegheny County and the opinions, and concerns of key stakeholders about what has been done, and what can be done moving forward. Noelle’s analysis of this dataset focused on the stories that participants shared about their own experiences with starting to use opioids, and the different ways in which participants discussed stigma and its’ impacts upon people struggling with addiction and recovery. 

Noelle’s current research interests include barriers and facilitators to menstrual product access, and diverse experiences of menstruation. She is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the health sciences and believes that effective, culturally competent, and accessible communication is an incredibly important part of this pursuit. She hopes to utilize effective healthcare communication methods and tools to promote equitable health outcomes throughout her future career. 

Bronwyn Wilson, MD, MPH, MS Education; Member at Large

Bronwyn Wilson

University of New Mexico
Senior Associate Dean Professor, Internal Medicine
Albuquerque, NM

Bronwyn Wilson, MD, MS Ed, MPH, is the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Career Development at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine (UNM SOM). She is Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine. The year after finishing her undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania (U Penn), she got her Master’s degree in Educational Linguistics there, and then taught English as a Second Language for five years before entering U Penn Medical School. She also has a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington. Her academic interests have been in teaching and assessing communication skills, health literacy, and faculty career development and mentorship. She joined the SOM Office of Faculty Affairs and Career Development in 2008 and has been the Senior Associate Dean of that office since July 2012. In this role she oversees all aspects of faculty life from recruitment through promotion to retirement. She also sees primary care patients at one of the University Family Health clinics and has special interest and expertise in Health Literacy, Cross-Cultural Communication and Inter-professional Education and Practice. She is fluent in Spanish. Nationally, she has been a faculty member of the Academy on Communication in Healthcare (ACH) since 2006. She facilitates workshops, participates in train-the–trainer programs, and is an active mentor for the ACH facilitator-in-training program. She lives in New Mexico with her husband Dr. Kurt Nolte, UNM SOM faculty member in Pathology, and has two grown daughters. She is a founding member of the UNM Health Sciences Center Orchestra, composed of students, staff, faculty and community members who perform 4 concerts a year.

Laura Singler, CAE; Executive Director

Laura Singler

Academy of Communication in Healthcare
AMR Management Services
201 E. Main St., Suite 1405
Lexington, KY 40507
Phone: 859.514.9214
Fax: 859.514.9166

Laura Singler, CAE, joined ACH as Executive Director in August 2014.  Laura has worked with a wide variety of associations in her career including the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, Inc. (COSLA), the Bluegrass Hospitality Association (BHA) and the Nursing Organizations Alliance (The Alliance).  She began her career in the non-profit sector as a community director with the March of Dimes.  Prior to her work with the March of Dimes, she worked in the public relations department at the University of Kentucky main campus and Medical Center. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Integrated Strategic Communication.  In 2012 Laura achieved the foremost certification of the association management industry, earning the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential.

Carli Zegers, PhD, FNP-BC; Treasurer

Carli Zegers

University of Missouri Kansas City

Carli Zegers has recently joined the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Sciences as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Zegers graduated with both her Ph.D. and Family Nurse Practitioner degrees at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her Ph.D. is in nursing with an emphasis on health literacy, self-management strategies, and underserved populations. She is currently the Principle Investigator of the KC HealthTracks grant through the Office of Minority Health focused on developing a pipeline program for high school students from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds into healthcare professions. In efforts to increase diversity in the nursing field, Dr. Zegers founded the Nebraska Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and the Diverse Nurse Federation in Nebraska. She now serves on the National Board of Directors for NAHN. Dr. Zegers is committed to improving health communication. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Communication in Healthcare. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Zegers was named an American Academy of Colleges of Nursing and Johnson & Johnson Minority Faculty Training Scholar. Most recently, she was named an American Academy of Nursing and Jonas Foundation Policy Scholar. Dr. Zegers is committed to improving the health of underserved and diverse populations and communities through practice, research, health policy, and leadership.

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