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About the Institute for Population Health

For the Greater Good

The Institute for Population Health serves as a collaborative hub for public health research, data and Creighton’s care-based initiatives, which range from financial education to healthcare clinics. Those initiatives extend to the classroom, too. Educating health sciences professionals to embrace population health prepares them to be innovative, culturally competent leaders.

Leadership & Team


April Dixon, MPH, serves as interim director of Creighton at The Highlander. She joined Creighton 20 years ago as a health educator and also serves as project manager for the Creighton Community Collaborative. The Highlander is part of a purpose-built community in North Omaha, where, because of the city’s history of racism and structural racism, residents experience disparate health outcomes. North Omaha is the historic heart of African American arts and activism, and Creighton’s IPH aims to become a more respectful and engaged neighbor. The Highlander will also serve as a resource for community engagement capacity-building among Creighton students, faculty and staff, and the team will develop a strategy for power-sharing/power-building with North Omaha changemakers. The University's efforts in The Highland are guided by Jesuit values, a passion for place-based justice, an appreciation for the principles of community well-being, and our adaptations of the Community Action Model. Creighton will continue to adapt our offerings to support the ongoing desires and needs of our North Omaha neighbors.

Kevin Fuji, PharmD, faculty research lead for Creighton's Institute for Population Health

Kevin Fuji, PharmD, MA, serves as the faculty research lead for the institute. In this role, he uses his formal training in qualitative and mixed methods to advance various initiatives within the IPH, including providing support to IPH grantees and working with external partners to help them evaluate and enhance various programs/initiatives that impact population health. Fuji sees population health as perfectly aligned with the University’s mission and Ignatian values. “Not only do we have comprehensive health sciences education that is already engaging with population health from an education, service and research perspective, but having the IPH in place allows us to leverage the already important work that is being done and expand it even further. Population health is for everyone, and the IPH has a unique opportunity to bridge the health sciences at Creighton with other areas across the University, including areas that may not always think of themselves as having a role with population health – for example the Heider College of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Law, etc.” Fuji, in his 17th year at Creighton, also serves as an associate professor of pharmacy sciences in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.

Sarah King

Sarah King joined Creighton University in 2022 as a program manager for population health efforts at the University. At Creighton, she collaborates with partners from across the University to establish early efforts for the Institute and help guide the Institute’s overall strategic planning and programming. Prior to joining Creighton, Ms. King spent eight years at the Association of American Medical Colleges on the Clinical Innovations team where she helped to establish the AAMC’s telehealth strategic plan that included developing telehealth competencies, launching the Telehealth Equity Catalyst Award and Grant Program, and forming a telehealth learning collaborative. She has worked closely with over 50 health systems across the nation. Ms. King’s previous experiences include quality and education at a nonprofit hospice, serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, and as a health volunteer in Uganda with Peace Corps.  


Danielle Okezie, program manager for CHAIRS Diversity Scholars Program-Phoenix, Institute for Population Health

Danielle Okezie, MEd, joined Creighton in fall 2023 as program manager to develop and implement the CHAIRS Diversity Scholars Program-Phoenix. The program is a strategic tool for population health intervention that includes a leadership training component for diverse healthcare workers at the University’s partner hospital in Phoenix. Okezie views the IPH as an important University initiative because of the nationwide shortage of healthcare workers and the even greater shortage of diverse healthcare workers. “With Creighton's Ignatian values and excellent academics, the students learn to provide quality care and treat everyone with dignity despite their circumstances, all while striving to achieve equity in access and service.” Danielle also serves as a member of Creighton’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team.

Alejandra Rebolledo-Gomez, community engagement coordinator for Creighton's Institute for Population Health

Alejandra Rebolledo-Gomez joined Creighton in early 2024 as community engagement specialist for the IPH at the Highlander. She supports Creighton's commitment to elevate and raise awareness of the University’s activities at the Highlander by: cultivating and sustaining relationships with community partners; collaborating with stakeholders to assess needs and provide feedback for future opportunities and to strategically plan community engagement activities for improving population health; and working as an advocate and partner in community endeavors to expand impact and champion efforts leading to positive change and better outcomes. She sees her role fitting into Creighton’s mission to promote justice – building bridges within the community to understand needs and priorities and to facilitate the improvement of health equity.

Scott Shipman

Scott Shipman, MD, MPH, is the inaugural CyncHealth Endowed Chair of Population Health at Creighton University, and the executive director of the Institute for Population Health at Creighton. This university-level institute, launched in fall of 2023, partners with each of Creighton’s undergraduate and graduate schools and its clinical partners in the Midwest and in Arizona, and with the many key stakeholders that influence health and well-being in our communities.

Shipman spent the previous decade as director of Clinical Innovations and director of Primary Care Initiatives at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), where he worked with health system leaders to promote effective innovations in ambulatory care delivery and training. He led AAMC activities focused on telehealth innovations within teaching health systems. Shipman established Project CORE (Coordinating Optimal Referral Experiences), a leading model of care that measurably improved quality, efficiency and access at the interface of primary care and specialty care. He oversaw the scaling of this model to more than 50 large health systems in more than 20 states across the U.S.

A pediatrician and health services researcher by training, Shipman has studied the healthcare workforce and workforce policy extensively. He completed medical school at the University of Nebraska, residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and a fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Johns Hopkins, where he also received his MPH. 

Read the Creighton Magazine feature about Shipman and the IPH.

Cathy Tibbels, senior communications strategist, Creighton's Institute for Population Health

Cathy Tibbels, BA’88, joined Creighton in fall 2023 as senior communications strategist for the IPH. She brings 30 years of marketing and public relations experience to the role, creating and executing a communication plan for the institute to increase awareness and keep the institute, its key initiatives and its partners in front of both external and internal stakeholders. She holds the same position within the University’s communications and marketing department as a member of the internal communications team, where she writes stories, edits the monthly Provost Digest and creates and executes strategic communications plans for internal initiatives as needed.

Advisory Committee Members  

The committee’s mission is to support the development and launch of Creighton’s Institute for Population Health by advising on the vision/mission of the IPH and its early work to ensure strong partnerships and relevance for the whole of Creighton University, affiliated health systems and the broader community.  


Committee Members

Jason Beste, MD, MPH
Executive Director, Arrupe Global Scholars and Partnerships Program; Associate Professor, School of Medicine-Phoenix, Creighton University

Lizzy Curran, MS
Director, Office of Global and Community-Engaged Learning, Creighton University

Sindy De La Torre Pacheco, PhD
Director of Operations and Analytics, St. Vincent de Paul

Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, PhD, PhD
Chair, Department of Medical Humanities; Associate Professor, Creighton University

Kevin Fuji, PharmD
Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Creighton University

Victoria Haneman, JD
Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, School of Law, Creighton University

Jed Hansen, PhD, APRN, FNP-C
Executive Director, Nebraska Rural Health Association

Christian Janousek, JD, PhD
Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Creighton University

Jennifer Jessen, EdD, RN, CNOR
Executive Director, CIPER; Assistant Professor, Creighton University

Andy Kammerer
Senior Director of Frontline Programs, University Relations, Creighton University

Tracy Leavelle, PhD
Director, Kingfisher Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professions; Professor, Creighton University

Tom Lenz, PharmD
Chair, Bachelor of Arts in Healthy Lifestyle Management; Professor, Creighton University

Jason Marshall, PhD
Assistant Professor, Heider College of Business, Creighton University

Margo Jean Minnich, DNP
Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Creighton University

Ken Reed-Bouley
Director, Schlegel Center for Service and Justice, Creighton University

Sonia Rocha-Sanchez, PhD
Associate Dean for Research and Professor, School of Dentistry, Creighton University

Chris Rodgers, MBA, MPA
Director, Government and Community Relations, Creighton University

Holly Sak, EDD
Instructor, College of Nursing, Creighton University

John Stone, MD, PhD
Co-Executive Director, Center for Promoting Health and Health Equity; Professor, School of Medicine, Creighton University

Maureen Tierney, MD
Associate Dean of Clinical Research and Public Health and Professor, College of Medicine, Creighton University

Sarah Walker, PhD 
Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Creighton University

Jillian Wallen, BDS, MS
Dean and Professor, School of Dentistry, Creighton University

Nicholas Weber, DPT
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Creighton University

Monica White, MSW, LCSW
Assistant Professor of Cultural and Social Studies and Director, Social Work Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Creighton University

Kylie Widhelm, OTD
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Creighton University