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USF Faculty and Administration

Globally Recognized Faculty

The 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:

Dr. Robert J. Deschenes, Ph.D.

  • University of South Florida, Sr. Associate Dean, Morsani College of Medicine, Molecular Medicine
  • Professor and Chair, Health Informatics, Independent Study
  • Education:  Ph.D., Biochemistry, Purdue University, 1984, M.S., Biochemistry, Tufts University, 1980, B.A., Biology, St. Michael’s College, 1977
  • 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 College of Medicine at the University of South Florida.

Dr. Michael Barber, Ph.D.

  • University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, Graduate Affairs
  • Co-Director, Health Informatics, Professor, e-Healthcare Ethics and Case Studies
  • Education:  Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Sussex, 1976, M.Sc., Enzyme Chemistry, University of Kent, U.K., 1973, B. Sc. Hons., Chemistry, University of Kent, U.K., 1972
  • 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 Master of Science in Health Informatics.  His leadership led to its approval by the Florida Universities Board of Governors in 2013.  It is the only Health Informatics program delivered at a top tier medical school.

Dr. Athanasios Tsalatsanis, Ph.D.

  • University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, Internal Medicine
  • Co-Director, Health Informatics, Professor, Foundation MIS and Healthcare Project Management
  • Education:  Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, University of South Florida, 2008, M.S., Production Engineering, Technical University, Crete, Greece, 2003, B.S., Production Engineering and Management, Technical University, Crete, Greece, 2001
  • 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 and health informatics where he has published more than forty research articles and abstracts. In addition, Dr. Tsalatsanis has developed and delivered several courses for the MCOM Health Informatics Master’s Program and the Undergraduate Medical Education.

Dr. Kelsey M. Schwei, Ph.D.

  • University of Wisconsin, College of Health Sciences
  • Professor, Integrated EMR
  • Education:  Ph.D., Biomedical and Health Informatics, University of Wisconsin, 2015, M.S., Health Care Informatics, University of Wisconsin, 2012, B.S., Health Science, Texas A & M University, 2010
  • 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.

Dr. Donald Berndt, Ph.D.

  • University of South Florida, Muma College of Business, Information Systems and Decision Sciences
  • Professor, Health Data Management
  • Education:  Ph.D., Business Administration: Information Systems/Management, Stern School of Business, New York University, 1997, M.Phil., Business Administration: Information Systems, Stern School of Business, New York University, 1993, M.S., Computer Science, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1983, B.S., Zoology, University of Rhode Island, 1979
  • Berndt’s research is through both the Center for Health Outcomes Research, specialized in health informatics and the application of data warehousing technologies and the National Institute for Systems Test and Productivity (NISTP) where he pursued work in software testing, including the use of genetic algorithms for automated test case generation.  Berndt is also collaborating investigator in the Research Center of Excellence, maximizing rehabilitation outcomes, working in medical informatics and data mining the electronic health record.

Dr. James McCart, Ph.D.

  • James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Research Health Science Specialist
  • Professor, Health Data Management
  • Education:  Ph.D., Business Administration: Management Information Systems, University of South Florida, 2009, M.S., Management Information Systems, University of South Florida, 2006, B.S., Healthcare Informatics, Purdue University, 2002, AMIA 10×10 Certificate, Healthcare Informatics, Oregon Health and Science University, 2011
  • 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.

Dr. Patrick J. Highland, Ph.D.

  • University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business
  • Professor, Managerial Communications
  • Education:  Ph.D., Education: Policy, Planning, and Leadership Studies, 1993, M.S., Business Education, Illinois State University, 1986, M.S., Finance, Illinois State University, 1980
  • Highland’s research focuses on employability and policy-capturing techniques.

Dr. Rahul Mhaskar, Ph.D.

  • University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, Internal Medicine
  • Professor, Medical Terminology
  • Education:  Ph.D., Public Health, University of South Florida, 2010, MPH, Public Health, University of Arizona, 2005, Medicine, Physician, University of Pune, 1999
  • Mhaskar’s research focuses on comparative effectiveness and global health.

Megan Monroe, J.D., M.A.

  • University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, Internal Medicine
  • Adjunct Professor, Legal Aspects of Health Information Management
  • Education: J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, 2008; M.A., Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2005; B.S., Davidson College, 2001
  • 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.

Dr. Steven Weissman MD 

  • Adjunct Professor, Introduction to Health Informatics
  • Managing partner Unicom Anesthesia Associates, a division of Envision Healthcare, Tampa FL. Director of Anesthesiology, Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare, USF, Tampa FL
  • Education: Residency Anesthesiology Emory University, Atlanta, GA; MS Health Informatics, University of South Florida; MD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY; BA University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Weissman specializes in cardiac anesthesiology, serves as a director at the USF Morsani Ambulatory Surgery Center on the campus of USF, and is a managing partner of his single specialty medical practice. His interests include new legal issues created by electronic medical records and human-computer interfaces.

Dr. Etienne Pracht 

  • Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, USF
  • Education:  Ph.D., Economics, minor in Computer Science (1998); M.S., Economics (1995); Louisiana State University; B.A., Economics, New College of The University of South Florida, 1989
  • 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.

Dr. Ali Yalcin 

  • Associate Professor, Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Department, College of Engineering, USF
  • Education:  Ph.D. (2000), M.S. (1997); B.S. (1995), Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rutgers University
  • 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.

Nationally-Recognized Physicians

More than 400 physicians see more than 500,000 patients each year in dozens of medical facilities along the Florida Gulf Coast. In 2011, 81 USF Health physicians were among the top 10% of physicians in the country according the Top Doctors list published by U.S. News & World Report and Castle Connolly.

Experienced Educators
Experienced health and biomedical sciences professionals have real-world experience that enables them to prepare students for the challenges of contemporary healthcare.

Devoted Mentors

They build relationships with their students, motivating them to reach their full academic and professional potential.

“Our community of scholars includes award-winning researchers and physicians recognized as some of the best in their fields. They are dedicated mentors who care very deeply about inspiring students to achieve their full academic and professional potential.”

– Dr. Michael Barber, Director, Health Informatics

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