Program Faculty

Globally Recognized Industry Leaders

The program faculty at USF Health’s nationally renowned Morsani College of Medicine is comprised of dedicated educators, physicians and other real-world, practicing professionals who are experts in their fields. Selected for their scholarship and professional experience, as well as their ability to work effectively with students, many of the faculty members who teach on campus also bring their knowledge and acumen to USF Health’s online programs. USF Health faculty includes:

Robert Deschenes

Robert J. Deschenes, PhD

Health Informatics Independent Study

Role(s): Professor and Chair, Dept. of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida; Sr. Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education

Education: Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University; PhD, Biochemistry, Purdue University, 1984; MS, Biochemistry, Tufts University, 1980; BA, Biology, St. Michael’s College, 1977

Research: Dr. Deschenes’ research combines computational biology, bioinformatics and genetics in an interdisciplinary effort to understand cancer and neurological disorders. He oversees the graduate and postdoctoral programs of the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida.

Athanasios Tsalatsanis, PHD

Healthcare Project Management, Foundation MIS, Introduction of Healthcare Analytics

Role(s): Associate Professor, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida; Director Health Informatics MS Program

Education: PhD, Industrial Engineering, University of South Florida, 2008; MS, Production Engineering, Technical University, Crete, Greece, 2003; BS, Production Engineering and Management, Technical University, Crete, Greece, 2001

Research: Dr. Tsalatsanis is an active researcher and teacher in the Morsani College of Medicine and contributes both in service and administration. His research interests are in the areas of medical decision making, decision support systems, and health informatics where he has published several articles and abstracts.

Michael Barber

Michael Barber, PhD

e-Healthcare Ethics

Role(s): Distinguished Professor & Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida; Associate Dean of Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs.

Education: PhD, Biochemistry, University of Sussex, 1976; MSc, Enzyme Chemistry, University of Kent, U.K., 1973; BSc Hons., Chemistry, University of Kent, U.K., 1972

Research: Following a successful career in biomedical research, Dr. Barber was appointed Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and in that role he has developed many successful graduate programs, including the online MS in Health Informatics. His leadership led to its approval by the Florida Universities Board of Governors in 2013. It is one of the only health informatics programs delivered at a top tier medical school.

Donald Berndt, PhD

Health Data Management

Role(s): Professor, Dept. of Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Muma College of Business, University of South Florida.

Education: PhD, Business Administration: Information Systems/Management, Stern School of Business, New York University, 1997; MPhil, Business Administration: Information Systems, Stern School of Business, New York University, 1993; MS, Computer Science, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1983; BS, Zoology, University of Rhode Island, 1979

Research: Dr. Berndt’s research is through the Center for Health Outcomes Research, specialized in health informatics and application of data warehousing technologies, and the National Institute for Systems Test and Productivity where he pursued work in software testing including use of genetic algorithms for automated test case generation. In addition, he is interested in rehabilitation outcomes, working in medical informatics and data mining the electronic health record.

Dennis Dansby

Dennis Dansby, PharmD

Case Studies

Role(s): Adjunct Instructor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida; Director of Clinical Applications at Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL

Education: Doctor of Pharmacy (2005), Nova Southeastern University; BS (1995), Pharmacy, The Ohio State University

Research: Dr. Dansby’s research interests vary widely around healthcare, technology, and process improvement. He is currently looking at using provider level data to improve provider efficiency in the electronic medical record. Another area of interest is the use of clinical alerting to drive clinical workflows and practice changes, which lead to improvements in patient care.

Christina Eldredge

Christina Eldredge, PhD

Introduction to Health Informatics

Role(s): Instructor, School of Information, University of South Florida.

Education: PhD, Biomedical and Health Informatics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2020; NSF iCorp Fellow, University of South Florida, 2018; MS, Medical Informatics, Milwaukee School of Engineering; Family Medicine Residency, Medical College of Wisconsin; MD, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, 1996

Research: Dr. Eldredge has an interest in clinical research informatics and health informatics curriculum development. She serves as a member of the AMIA Accreditation Committee which aids in the development of accreditation standards for master’s degree programs in health informatics. Her research projects involve the use of standard terminologies to report adverse drug reactions and the use of health information technology to aid in the management of chronic allergic conditions. She also has served in the US Navy as a family physician.

Pat Highland

Patrick J. Highland, PhD

Managerial Communications

Role(s): Adjunct Instructor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida; Director of Clinical Applications at Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL

Education: Doctor of Pharmacy (2005), Nova Southeastern University; BS (1995), Pharmacy, The Ohio State University

Research: Dr. Dansby’s research interests vary widely around healthcare, technology, and process improvement. He is currently looking at using provider level data to improve provider efficiency in the electronic medical record. Another area of interest is the use of clinical alerting to drive clinical workflows and practice changes, which lead to improvements in patient care.

James McCart, PhD: Health Data Management

James McCart, PhD

Health Data Management

Role(s): Adjunct Instructor, Dept. of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida; Health Science Specialist, Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Tampa.

Education: PhD, Business Administration: Management Information Systems, University of South Florida, 2009; MS, Management Information Systems, University of South Florida, 2006; BS, Healthcare Informatics, Purdue University, 2002, AMIA 10×10 Certificate, Healthcare Informatics, Oregon Health and Science University, 2011

Research: Dr. McCart’s research includes finding falls in ambulatory care through clinical documents using statistical text mining, goal attainment on long tail websites, using ensemble models to classify the sentiment expressed in suicide notes, cross-bidding and cross-listing in simultaneous online auctions, and a technological tool to detect plagiarized projects in Microsoft Access.

Rahul Mhaskar, MPH, PhD

Medical Terminology

Role(s): Associate Professor, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida; Director, Research, Innovation & Scholarly Endeavors.

Education: PhD, Public Health, University of South Florida, 2010; MPH, Public Health, University of Arizona, 2005, Medicine, Physician, University of Pune, 1999

Research: Dr. Mhaskar’s research focuses on comparative effectiveness and global health.

Megan Monroe

Megan Monroe, JD, MA

Legal Aspects of Health Information Management

Role(s): Adjunct Instructor, Dept. of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida.

Education: JD, Wake Forest University School of Law, 2008; MA, Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2005; BS, Davidson College, 2001

Highlights: Professor Monroe is licensed to practice law in the State of Florida, and her specialty is Health Law. Before relocating to focus on health policy work, Prof. Monroe was also an Adjunct Professor (2013-2015) at Stetson University College of Law where she taught courses focused on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the 2008 ADA Amendments, Rehabilitation Act (1973), Fair Housing Act (1968), and Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (2004), and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (2008). Prof. Monroe’s current practice is focused on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1996), HITECH Act (2009), the Civil Rights Act of 1974 (e.g., Title VII, Title IX) and associated amendments, GINA, FERPA, and many other federal and state laws and regulations applicable to biomedical and health sciences education, training, and research programs.

ETIENNE PRACHT, PHD

Statistics for Healthcare Analytics

Role(s): Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, University of South Florida

Education: Ph.D, Economics, minor in Computer Science (1998), MS, Economics (1995), Louisiana State University; BA, Economics, New College of The University of South Florida, 1989

Research: Dr. Pracht’s research interests focus on two main areas: the economics of Medicaid policies with particular emphasis on provider reimbursement mechanisms and cost containment efforts; and the Florida trauma system with an emphasis on health outcomes. Relevant publications in these areas include “Interest Groups and Medicaid Pharmaceutical Drug Programs” and “System Wide Effects of Medicaid Retrospective Drug Utilization Review Programs” in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, and “Survival Advantage Associated with Treatment of Injury at Designated Trauma Centers: a Bivariate Probit Model with Instrumental Variables,” and “An Analysis of Trends in the Florida Trauma System (1991-2003): Changes in Mortality Following Establishment of New Centers,” in Medical Care Research and Review and Surgery.

TEA RELJIC, MPH

Health Outcomes Research

Role(s): Instructor and Statistical Data Analyst, Office of Research, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida.

Education: MPH, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of South Florida, 2013; BS, Microbiology, University of Texas, Austin, 2008

Research: Ms. Reljic’s research interests are on health outcomes research, evidence-based medicine, systematic reviews and decision analyses, where she has published more than 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Kelsey M. Schwei, PhD

Integrated EMR, e-Medicine Business Models

Role(s): Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida.

Education: PhD, Biomedical and Health Informatics, University of Wisconsin, 2015; MS, Healthcare Informatics, University of Wisconsin, 2012; BS, Health Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2010

Research: Dr. Schwei’s research focuses on design and usability of electronic health records with focus on electronic dental records, specifically the hard and soft tissue charts, integration of medical and dental data and clinical systems, dental informatics standards development, and human-computer interactions.

Ali Yalcin

Ali Yalcin, PhD

Healthcare Data Mining, Predictive Analytics

Role(s): Associate Professor, Dept. of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, College of Engineering, University of South Florida

Education: PhD, 2000; MS, 1997; BS, 1995, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rutgers University

Research: Dr. Yalcin’s research interests include health care systems, modeling, analysis, and control of discrete event systems, information systems, data analysis and knowledge discovery, and engineering education. He has taught courses in the areas of systems modeling and analysis, information systems design, and development, systems dynamics and systems simulation. He also co-authored a seminal text, Design of Industrial Information Systems, by Elsevier named the Joint Publishers textbook of the year. His research has been funded by federal agencies and private industry.