Holding Ourselves to a Higher Standard

College of Health Professions

Roland Lankah ’18

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Roland Lankah was hired as assistant health director at the Brookline (Massachusetts) Department of Public Health and began his new role in March 2021. Lankah is continuing his education at Walden as he pursues a PhD in Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology. He is applying cross-sectional study design in his research, which focuses on the association between gestational weight gain, pre-pregnancy BMI, maternal birth country, and infant mortality outcome within the U.S. Sub-Saharan African immigrant population.

Alexis Travis ’12
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

In recognition of her work at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Alexis Travis was selected as one of the “40 Under 40 in Public Health” by the de Beaumont Foundation. The foundation created the program to recognize rising leaders in the field who are making a difference in their communities.

Travis joined MDHHS in 2018 and most recently served as senior deputy director of the Aging & Adult Services Agency (AASA), working to advance health equity for older adults. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she and the AASA team collaborated across the state’s network of services for the aging to launch programs to address food insecurity and social isolation as well as to support risk mitigation in high-risk populations of older adults in Michigan.

Julie Tomaska ’11, ’06
DrPH and MPH

Veteran advocate Julie Tomaska appeared as part of a panel of military veterans in the inaugural episode of The Problem With Jon Stewart in September 2021. The episode focused on raising awareness about health problems experienced by veterans that they believe resulted from exposure to toxins released when garbage and waste were burned at or near military bases where they served overseas. Tomaska pursues her advocacy work through her roles as chair of the scientific advisory committee of Burn Pits 360 and as board member of the Amie Muller Foundation.

College of Management and Technology

Kim Collins ’14
Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA)

Kim Collins was named one of CHG Healthcare’s 2021 Top Women in Healthcare Staffing, which recognizes women who have demonstrated excellence in their career, quality in recruitment and retention, and a commitment to the growth and improvement of the healthcare staffing industry. Collins is the lead physician recruiter for Luminis Health Medical Group in Annapolis, Maryland.

Brent Lessing ’09

Brent Lessing was appointed chief information and digital officer at Omni Hotels and Resorts in Dallas in October 2021. Lessing, who has been with the organization since 2019 as chief information officer, will have expanded responsibilities in his new role, including developing the brand’s digital strategy to improve the guest experience.

Michael Scalea ’14
Master of Business Administration (MBA)

In September 2021, Michael Scalea was hired as executive vice president of Framework Solutions, a professional services company serving the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries. Scalea, who has more than 20 years of senior management experience, will lead the company in the areas of new service and technology offerings.

College of Nursing

Shiloh Williams ’20
PhD in Nursing

Shiloh Williams, nursing community liaison at San Diego State University (SDSU)–Imperial Valley and director of research at El Centro Regional Medical Center, received a $50,000 grant for a health literacy pilot project from San Diego State University via funding from the National Institutes of Health.

The project, led by Williams, will focus on examining and assessing patient education materials and the health literacy levels of a rural California border population.

Through this study, Williams will build on the research she conducted as part of her doctoral dissertation while at Walden, with the goal of learning how healthcare providers recognize a patient’s lower level of health literacy. “We don’t do a good job detecting that,” Williams says. “We tend to overestimate our patients’ ability.”

Low health literacy is associated poorer health outcomes and increased hospitalizations, and Williams says future studies will help determine what work is needed to raise health literacy and identify resources and tools to ensure materials are culturally competent and meet the needs of the community.

John Voight ’17, ’13
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

John Voight was named chief nursing officer for Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) in May 2021. He has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare leadership, and in his new role, he oversees clinical nursing operations throughout EIRMC.