GHCM 2018 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Geetha Jayaram, MD, MBA: Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Departments of Psychiatry, Health
Policy and Management, Global Health, and the Armstrong Institute for
Patient Safety

Keynote Title: Global Mental Health: Problems and Proposed Solutions for Low and Middle Income Countries

Dr. Geetha Jayaram is a senior faculty member in the Departments of Psychiatry, Public
Health, Health Policy and Management, Nursing, and the Armstrong Institute for Patient
Safety at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Jayaram has developed and enhanced numerous clinical systems, including an innovative Global Mental health program in Southern India that has existed for close to 2 decades, serves 206 villages with a population reach of over several million households. She has managed a multidisciplinary team that has made an enormous impact in several areas of community psychiatric care. She has published 3 books, on women psychiatrists and patient safety, and is the author of over 100 peer reviewed articles, abstracts, book chapters and invited lectures. She is a member of the Global Council for Psychiatry, serves as the Chair of the Patient Safety Committee for the American Psychiatric Association, is widely published in the
area of patient safety and quality. She has lectured in the US and abroad on administrative psychiatry, Global mental health, and a low cost model for low and middle income countries, as well as patient safety.  She is the current President of the Association of Women Psychiatrists, past Chair of the International Medical Graduate Council for the American Medical Association, Scientific Program Chair for several years for the American Psychiatric Association, and Past President of the American Association of Psychiatric Administrators. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her leadership and quality of her work to advance psychiatric care.


JEAN GARDY MARIUS, MD, MGHOganizasyon Sante Popilè (OSAPO)

Keynote Title: The Challenge of Implementing Global Health in Developing Countries

Dr. Jean Gardy Marius is a Haitian Doctor who was born in Haiti in 1969, and obtained his Medical Degree in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Marius traveled to Germany where he had a medical practice for many years and obtained a degree in International Health.  After seventeen years away from Haiti, he returned in 2006 to work in his country and has developed one of the most innovative concepts of global health based on the social determinants of health. His concept aims to not only alleviate the suffering of people in Haiti, but also to tackle the chronic poverty they face. In 2013, he obtained a Master Degree in Global Health from Manchester University in England. His experience has proved that the socials determinants of health can be used as an engine of development to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable people living in the rural areas of Haiti.  He has published many articles on the inequality of health and challenges of implementing global health in the developing countries.  One of his most recent articles is titled "Helping Haiti Help Itself Leads to Independence from Agencies and Humanitarian Aid Organizations." OSAPO Haiti (web log), June 4 , 2017. agencies-and-humanitarian-aid-organizations/. In 2015, Dr. Marius was invited to talk at the "Global Health & Innovation Conference" at Yale University and in 2016, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.  He created his own organization called OSAPO and developed one of the most attractive programs of global health and global social medicine where hundreds of American students visit every year. His organization is now working with multiple universities in the United States in order to facilitate American students experiencing another side of global health in the developing countries.


Steve James, CRNA: President/Founder of

Keynote Title: Giving Back, Exporting your Talent Abroad

Steve James is a veteran anesthesia provider who turned tragedy into triumph by founding after a tragic personal event in 2001. He has mastered short term medical and surgical missions and created a safe, sustainable program involving health, education and care of orphans and vulnerable children.  

He organizes over 22 teams of missionaries each year who provide affordable medical/surgical services including, pediatrics, ophthalmology, ENT, general surgery and gynecology.  Steve’s goal is to leave a legacy of hope for the people of western Kenya.

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Breakout Speakers

Dr. Barbara J. Engebretsen, PhD

Engebretsen received her BA in Liberal Studies from the University of California, Riverside, her PhD in Physiology from Colorado State University, and is a teaching physiologist at Wayne State College. Serving as chair of several academic committees, and Past-President of the Nebraska Physiological Society, she received the WSC Teaching Excellence Award in 2015. Born of a growing interest in health disparities and the paradoxical prevalence of non-communicable diseases in developing countries, she has led the development of an interdisciplinary minor in Public and Global Health. As a Rotarian, Engebretsen coordinated a Rotary International Humanitarian Global Grant to build water wells and plant seeds of micro-democracy in South Sudan. Rotary friendships and other connections opened doors and partnerships leading to a Fulbright Global Scholar Award (2018-2019) for the HEARTS Initiative to address hypertension in Nepal,                                                                 Ethiopia, and Nebraska.

Janice Springer, DNP, RN, PHN


Dr. Springer is a disaster consultant. Her doctoral study was in Public Health Nursing: Meeting Access and Functional needs in Congregate Care Shelters in Disasters. Her nursing model Cot-to-Cot© paired with shelter intake 2 + 2 and CMIST job guide have been endorsed by FEMA ESF #6 and HHS partners and adopted into practice by the American Red Cross.  Her practice background ranges from Disease Prevention work in Public Health to management of an Emergency Trauma Center; from rural Honduras health care delivery, to language immersion camp health care delivery management.  She has deployed to multiple national level disasters in the USA including support of Hurricane Sandy relief in the role of liaison between Red Cross, FEMA personnel from the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, local community partners and the shelters in the NYC and Long Island area. She is the co-author of a curriculum to prepare nursing students to supplement staffing in shelters.  Her research on disaster shelters and at-risk populations has been presented at national and international conferences.  As a volunteer, she is the Volunteer Partner to the Vice President of International Services, a Divisional Disability Integration Advisor and Disaster Health Services SME for special projects.   She is the Disaster Preparedness SME to the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services section of the American Public Health Association and member of Sigma Theta Tau and the Association of Public Health Nurses.


Dr. Jamie Van Leeuwen, PHD, MA, MPH

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Jamie Van Leeuwen currently serves as the Senior Advisor to Governor Hickenlooper after working as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Community Partnerships during the first term. Leading up to the Hickenlooper administration, he worked as the Policy Director and served on the transition team for the Hickenlooper for Colorado gubernatorial campaign. Through his work in local and State politics, he has engaged collectively across sectors to leverage over $250 million in new resources for the public good. He is also the CEO & Founder of the Global Livingston Institute (GLI), a non-governmental organization in East Africa designed to engage students and community leaders to develop innovative solutions to poverty and is a Senior Research Fellow with the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs. He became a Fulbright Scholar in 2013 and a Woodrow Wilson International Fellow in 2017. He is active as a national and international researcher and presenter. Over 50 publications, poster presentations, lectures and keynotes include recent articles on mental health services in rural Uganda and a needs assessment of an urban slum in East Africa. In 2017 he was named by CoBiz magazine as one of the 25 Most Powerful People in Colorado. He is the recipient of the 2017 Urban Peak Maverick Thinker Award, the 2014 Creighton University Alumnae Merit Award, the 2009 “Judy Kaufman Civic Entrepreneurship Award” from the Denver Foundation, the 2010 Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Alumnus of the Year, and named in the 2011 Power Issue of the Out Front magazine as a leader in Lesbian & Gay community. Jamie has extensive international experience with travel to over 110 countries. He is an avid runner and has participated in over a dozen competitive races including a two-time finisher of the New York City Marathon.

Dr. Rebecca Davis, DNP, APHN-BC


Dr. Davis is a faculty member at Creighton University College of Nursing, teaching community, population, and public health nursing. She has several years of nursing practice experience in community-based settings and local public health. Her scholarship interest is in the area of health disparities research, using community-based participatory approaches. She has a long-time interest in refugee health – and in the development and delivery of culturally relevant health education. She recently completed a pilot project, “The influence of food acculturation on refugee parent choices of first foods for their infants” funded through an internal Creighton University grant from the Dr. George F. Haddix President's Faculty Research Fund. She and Dr. Pamela Runestad are currently engaged in a new project, cooking workshops with the local Karen community, supported by a Creighton Global Initiative grant. The workshops provide an opportunity to cook alongside and learn from each other about culture, food, and health.


Alana Schriver, MPH


Alana Schriver received her MPH with an emphasis in Global Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  Alana served as a community health promoter in Central and South America before returning to her home state of Nebraska to work in refugee resettlement.  Many of her duties as the Refugee Specialist of Omaha Public Schools focus on addressing the healthcare needs of newly arrived students and their families.  Alana currently serves as co-chair of the Omaha Refugee Health Collaborative, a multi-disciplined effort to promote health literacy and access to equitable care for our refugee community.

John A. Maisch, JD


John A. Maisch has served as an Assistant Professor teaching Business Law at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma, since 2012. Maisch previously served as the General Counsel for the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission from 2008-2012, and as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma from 1996-2001. He graduated from the University of Tulsa Law School in 1995 and Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska, in 1992. Maisch has published several articles in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, including his 2010 article, “Oklahoma’s Modern Liquor Statutes,” and his 2016 article, “Alcohol Modernization on November Ballot.” He has been asked to provide webcast continuing legal education courses on Oklahoma’s liquor statutes for the Oklahoma Bar Association in 2011 and 2016. Since 2013, Maisch has focused on the impact of alcohol policy on high-risk populations. His documentary, Sober Indian | Dangerous Indian, chronicles the lives of four men from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation struggling with addiction while on the streets of Whiteclay, Nebraska. The film has been screened at film festivals in New York City, San Francisco, and Cape Town, South Africa, as well as on college campuses across the country. The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission voted not to renew the licenses of all four Whiteclay beer stores on April 19, 2017, nearly three years to the day that Maisch’s documentary premiered at the REEL Recovery Film Festival in San Francisco. The Nebraska Supreme Court unanimously upheld the four beer license denials on September 29, 2017.


Nora Boesem, MSW

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Nora Boesem is a clinical social worker who has worked with clients diagnosed with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) for the last 14 years.  She has worked in Rapid City, SD and on the Pine Ridge Reservation with the Oglala Lakota Nation.  Bringing to her work the personal experience of parenting over 150 foster children and her 12 adopted children, who are all affected by FASD.  She developed the Facing FASD program for parents and people dealing with FASD in 2012.  Nora has won multiple awards for her work and is a nationally recognized speaker on FASD.  Nora gave the first ever TEDx talk on FASD in 2016.  In 2017 she was recognized for her work on helping to close the stores in Whiteclay, NE by Project Extra Mile.

Jacque Andrew, MS

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A native Iowan, Jacque earned her bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from Iowa State University and her master of science degree in personnel services from Drake University.  Her career in communications spanned 35 years principally in the field of healthcare directing marketing efforts for hospitals, public health information management, and leading physician recruitment teams.  In addition, she served as a healthcare human resources team director. In her volunteer roles as a Rotarian since 1990, she had found the partnership of the organization to meet health needs very rewarding.  As a member of the Iowa Miles of Smiles Team (MOST), which performs cleft lip and palate surgeries in Guatemala, and as a participant in a national Polio immunization team in India, she has seen first hand the difference volunteers can make. In 2013-14, she served as Rotary District 6000 Governor for the southern half of Iowa, comprised of 65 clubs and nearly 4,000 members.  Now as a member of the Rotarian Action Group for Clubfoot board she continues her interest in healthcare and organizational collaboration. Jefferson, Iowa is her home where she and her husband raised three daughters two of whom are in healthcare as a nurse and clinical practice manager.  They enjoy frequent visits from their six grandchildren.


Jill Olsen, MA, EdS, EdD

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Jill Olsen holds degrees from Rutgers, Winthrop and Drake Universities.  A life-long educator, she served as Iowa Teacher of the Year, Christa McAuliffe Fellow for Iowa, Fulbright Memorial Scholar to Japan, Teacher of Excellence delegate to Russia, and a Scottish Rite Doctoral Fellow. She retired from the Marion (IA) School District, as Executive Director of Instruction and was an instructor at the Graceland University Graduate School of Education.  She served 2 terms as Chair of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women and as the first Board Chair for the Iowa Department of Human Rights. A Rotarian, Jill served as District Governor for the northern half of Iowa, led a study team to S. Korea, participated in National Polio Immunization Days in India and Nigeria, and has done Rotary service in S. Africa and the Philippines.Her greatest joy has been her work, as co-chair of the Rotarian Action Group for Clubfoot where the Board has forged a partnership with the Ponseti International Association to train doctors in countries of need across the world.   This work has entailed establishing a Memorandum of Understanding, a 501(c)3 and NFP legal and business partnerships. On another front, Jill serves as the President of the Iowa Women’s Foundation, focused on partnering with businesses and agencies to build opportunities for affordable, safe child care, identified as one of the barriers to women’s economic self-sufficiency.  Jill lives on her farm near Martelle and recently embarked on the adventure of being a first-time grandmother.    

M. Theresa Schaefer, MA, RN

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M. Theresa Schaefer was a nurse for 42 years.  She grew up in Des Moines, IA and received her undergraduate BSN and graduate degree, MA in Nursing Administration, from the University of Iowa.  She has lived and worked in Chicago, Houston, Boston and most recently Atlanta with husband Kirby and children Katie and Aaron.  She is now back home in the Amana Colonies for 18 years, enjoying 2 granddaughters, Yael and Noa,& a grandson August who reside in Iowa City. Theresa has been a Rotarian for 2 years in the Iowa City Noon Club, sharing this membership with her son Aaron. Theresa currently works for DNV GL as a Healthcare Surveyor - conducting safety and quality accreditation evaluations for hospitals and healthcare systems.  She is also a Lead Auditor for ISO 9001 for healthcare certification.Theresa serves on the Rotary Action Group for Clubfoot Board, (RAG4Clubfoot).


Patricia Roberts, MSN

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Patricia Roberts’ nursing career spanned 55 years.  A Philadelphian, she received her undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.  She held clinical positions in pediatric nursing in Pennsylvania, California, New York, Iowa, and Kentucky and taught in the nursing programs at The University of Iowa and the University of Louisville. Following completion of her masters in nursing at The University of Louisville, she managed a craniofacial surgery practice for 25 years.  She held certification in plastic surgery nursing and authored a chapter in a core curriculum for plastic and reconstructive surgical nursing. In 2014, as a nurse on the Healing The Children surgery team in Ecuador, she collaborated with Rotarians on a mission to operate on needy babies and children.  Retiring in 2015, Patricia resides in Iowa City, Iowa where she is a Rotarian.  She serves on the Rotarian Action Group for Clubfoot board and holds a volunteer position in The Ponseti Clubfoot Clinic at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Dr. William R. Nordstrom, DDS, FADG

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Dr. Randy Nordstrom is currently a Staff Dentist at the Omaha Veterans Administration Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.  He also holds an Adjunct Faculty appointment with the UNMC Adult Dentistry General Practice Residency since October 2002. Dr. Nordstrom graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry in 1982.  He served a rural community in Colby, Kansas until 2002.  He was very active in his community and Church.  He was also instrumental in the establishment of a Dental Hygiene Program at their local Community College.  He was involved in providing  General Family/Hospital Dentistry and served on the Active Medical Staff /Board of Directors.  He has been active in Organized Dentistry with the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry and the Christian Medical/Dental Society. He left Private Practice in 2002 to move to Omaha to be closer to Family and to participate in teaching /mentorship activities.  He has held local and national offices in Organized Dentistry.  He was commissioned by a Presidential Appointment into the Air Force Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel from 2004 through 2007; while his son was deployed to Iraq as a Marine.  He served as the Assistant Flight Chief for the 710th MDS flight Wing at Offutt Air Force Base. He received his Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2005 and was inducted into the Pierre Fauchard Academy in 2009. Dr. Nordstrom joined the Medical Reserve Corps and served on the DMORT (Nebraska Forensics Dental Identification) Team from 2009 to 2017.


Dr. Anastasia Kyvelidou, PhD

Anastasia Kyvelidou, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Physical Therapy Department.  Dr. Kyvelidou graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center with her doctorate from the Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area (MSIA). She has completed two post-doctoral fellowships at Northeastern University in Boston and in the Biomechanics Department at the University of Nebraska Omaha, where she was also an assistant professor.  Dr. Kyvelidou‘s research focuses on neuro-developmental disabilities during infancy.  Her most recently funded projects aim to discover motor and perceptual signatures of autism in the first year of life. She recently received a $150,000 grant to investigate early signs of autism in infants born prematurely and with low birth                                                                   weight.

Dr. Pamela Runestad, PhD


Dr. Runestad is a medical anthropologist and Japanologist specialising in infectious disease and nutrition with Creighton University's Department of Cultural and Social Studies. She is currently writing a book on HIV in Japan, researching Karen refugee food and nutrition practices, and researching hospital meals as prescription and care in Japanese maternity clinics.


Dr. Martha H. Goedert, PhD, MSN

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Martha Hoffman Goedert earned a MSN in Family Nursing at the U of Kentucky (1979) while completing certificates in family nursing and nurse midwifery at Frontier School. Her PhD is in Health Education from the University of Utah. Goedert’s work targets vulnerable populations, with an emphasis on health systems strengthening through competency-based education for interdisciplinary health care teams. Goedert has been active with global work, in Togo, Haiti, Uganda, Kenya, Mali and Tanzania. Her recent work combined Seed Global Health and the Peace Corps responsibilities as a visiting professor for the University of Dodoma, Tanzania. Life-saving skills have been a major focus of her work nationally and globally, as the national trainer for vacuum extraction, for early childhood development, for Kangaroo Mother Care and as a Master trainer HBB, ECEB, ECSB, with the American Academy of Pediatrics teams and leaders from the global health community. She specializes in curriculum development across disciplines of midwifery, nursing, population health and medicine.

Kevin Kennedy, MPH, CIEC


Mr. Kennedy is the Director of the Environmental Health Program at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City. Mr. Kennedy has been involved in environmental health science, training and research for over 25 years. The program provides environmental assessment services to pediatric patients referred to CMH. These activities support indoor environmental health research to study the health impacts of home environmental exposure and intervention strategies to reduce exposure.


Dr. Athena K. Ramos, PhD, MBA, MS, CPM


Athena Ramos is currently the Community Health Program Manager/Instructor for the Center for Reducing Health Disparities in the Department of Health Promotion at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, Nebraska. She leads a Latino outreach and engagement team and serves as principal investigator for a number of community-based health research and education initiatives in areas such as tobacco control, agricultural health and safety, immigrant integration, and community well-being. She is an experienced administrator, program manager, and junior researcher with proven ability to develop and implement social, health, and human service programs with culturally diverse populations. She has over 15 years of experience in health promotion, strategic thinking, community development, and public relations. Athena has a PhD in International Family & Community Studies from Clemson University and two Master’s degrees – one in Business Administration (MBA) and one in Urban Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Athena serves on the Board of Directors for Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim and Fontenelle Forest. Ms. Ramos is member of the International Society for Agricultural Safety & Health, Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice, and the National Hispanic Network to Reduce Tobacco-Related and Cancer Health Disparities. Athena has been honored numerous times for her commitment and dedication to making Omaha and Nebraska a better place to live, work, and play. She was recognized as one of the “40 Under 40” by the Midlands Business Journal, one of the Ten Outstanding Young Omahans, and the American Heart Association’s Advocacy Volunteer of the Year Award

Dr. Syed Faiz Qadri, MD

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Dr. Syed Faiz Qadri is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Creighton University School of Medicine, teaching medical, pharmacy and physician assistant students as well as residents. He serves leadership positions as a Co-chairman in the Department of Psychiatry at Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy Medical Center ( CUMC-BMMC), Lead Physician for Schwartz Center Rounds, Creighton School of Medicine Tenure and Promotion Committee, Executive member of Friendship Day Program, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and the Nebraska Psychiatric Society Assembly Representative. He provides inpatient adult psychiatric service at Lasting Hope Recovery Center, a 64-bed nationally-renowned psychiatric hospital and treatment center in Omaha. He is certified in Vagus Nerve Stimulation therapy for treatment-resistant depression, provides care in a Creighton outpatient clinic, and volunteers regularly as a psychiatric provider at Magis Clinic, which offers free medical and psychiatric treatment to underserved. Dr. Qadri is a graduate of Dow Medical College in Karachi, received a Research Fellowship at New York University School of Medicine in Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and completed his Residency training from Creighton-Nebraska Universities in 2006. He’s been actively involved in several clinical research and published articles. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Qadri’s passion is to “help patients who are suffering medical and psychiatric disorders and share knowledge with students, residents and community.”


Dr. Nicholas Guenzel, APRN, PhD

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Nick Guenzel is an assistant professor of psychiatric nursing at UNMC. He has also worked as a psychiatric nurse practitioner for the past 7 years. His research has focused on minority mental health disparities including challenges among Native Americans and people experiencing homelessness. More recently, he has started to focus on technological interventions that can help individuals struggling with addiction avoid relapsing on alcohol and drugs.


Dr. Terrence M. Wilwerding, DDS, MS


Terrence M. Wilwerding is a professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the Creighton University School of Dentistry.  Dr. Wilwerding attended the Dental School from 1973 to 1977, attaining the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. He attained a Masters Degree in Education from Creighton University in December of 2000, and finished a Masters Degree in Counseling from Creighton in 2008.  Dr. Wilwerding began teaching part time in the Department of Operative Dentistry in 1980, and began full time teaching in the department of Fixed Prosthodontics in 1984, attaining the rank of Associate Professor in 1990 and Full Professor in 2006. Dr. Wilwerding was Acting Chair of Fixed Prosthodontics in 1990-91, and Chairman from 1991-2001. Dr. Wilwerding has been active in both Community and University Service. He has also been active in research, publishing and presenting. He has collaborated on numerous research projects, and has developed instrumentation and setup for many other projects. Other interests include Dental History, which he teaches.  Dr. Wilwerding has been an ILAC participant and is now the director of the ILAC dental program, and has been instrumental in attaining advanced instrumentation and supplies for the program. In addition he is the director of the evening dental clinics for low income patients, held in collaboration with One World Community Health Center.  He also has been on the Nebraska Board of  Dentistry for ten years.  Dr. Wilwerding was honored with the Oscar Belzer endowed chair in 2012.


Don Doll, S.J.

Don Doll, S.J., joined the Jesuits in September 1955, after graduation from Marquette High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Don was ordained a priest in 1968, [and was assigned to Creighton University the following year when he began teaching photography in the art and Journalism departments]. Doll has become well-known as a photographer whose work has been featured in National Geographic and a number of the Day in the Life of... books, including America, California, Italy, Ireland, Passage to Vietnam, and Christmas in America.  Doll has published two books and a CD-ROM on Native Americans.  His last book, in 2012, is entitled: A Call to Vision: A Jesuit’s Perspective on the World. He was introduced to both photography and to the Lakota people when he was assigned to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota as a young Jesuit. Since 1992 Doll has worked around the world for the Jesuit Refugee Service. Since 1969 Doll has lived and worked at Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska, where he is a professor emeritus of Journalism holding the Charles and Mary Heider Jesuit Chair. In May of 1997, Doll was presented with the Kodak Crystal Eagle Award for his over thirty years of photography among Native Americans.  In 2006, Doll received the Nebraska Artist of the Year Award from the Governor, and in 2015, was inducted into the Omaha Press Club’s Hall of Fame.

Dr. Michael Miller, EdD, RN, NRP


Mike is an assistant professor and director of Creighton's Emergency Medical Services Education Program. He has over thirty years of experience in EMS, joining the Creighton University EMS Program in 2002. He has practiced as a paramedic and registered nurse, worked as a field paramedic, paramedic shift supervisor, quality improvement coordinator, EMS system program director, emergency department RN, and trauma program coordinator.Other professional activities include Site Visitor for the Committee on Accreditation for EMS Programs, member of the Nebraska Board of EMS and former member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of EMS Educators and the Committee on Accreditation of EMS Programs.  Mike has served as a contributing author and as a reviewer for numerous EMS publications. Mike has worked on several projects with the National Registry of EMTs, including as an item writer for NREMT examinations, development of the NCCP, paramedic portfolio project, and development of the Integrated Out-of-Hospital Scenario Psychomotor Examination station.  Numerous conference presentations and workshops have been facilitated by Mike, focusing on clinical, leadership, and educational topics.  Most recently, Mike was appointed to the National EMS Scope of Practice Model, Subject Matter Expert Panel.  Educational accomplishments include Doctor of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership, Bachelor of Science in EMS, and a Master of Science Degree in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, all from Creighton University.


Dr. Sara E. Banzhaf DNP, APRN-NP, PMHNP-BC

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Dr. Sara Banzhaf is an Assistant Professor at Creighton University College of Nursing and a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at the Porto Urgent Care Clinic. These combined roles offer the opportunity to integrate practice and research facilitating the provision of quality, evidence-based interventions both in the specialty of psychiatric mental health and nursing education. The opportunity to work as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at the Porto Clinic offers the opportunity to practice with an interprofessional health care team, using nursing experience in the specialty of psychiatric-mental health nursing, community health, and various nursing leadership positions to directly partner with, and serve a vulnerable, ethnically diverse population. Dr. Banzhaf graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2012 with a Master’s of Science in Nursing and Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and achieved a Doctorate in Nursing Practice in May of 2017 from Creighton College of Nursing. Current research interests include promotion of quality mental health services, and the manuscript: “A Qualitative Inquiry Addressing the Experience of Depression in Impoverished Ethnically Diverse Women: Implications for Developing a Community Based Model was accepted for publication. Additional research interests include the integration of spirituality and reflective practice in nursing and health care professional practice, and this work was recently presented in a panel presentation with colleagues from Creighton University College of Nursing at the & Through the Eye of the Needle: The Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education Conference at Seattle University in August 2017.

Fr. Arsène Brice Bado, S.J., PhD


Fr. Arsène Brice Bado, SJ, Ph.D., is a Jesuit from Burkina Faso, West Africa Jesuit Province. He is the Deputy Director of the Institute of Dignity and Human Rights at the Centre de Recherche et d’Action pour la Paix (CERAP) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Prior to his time at CERAP, Bado was a Southern Voices Network Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, from September to November 2015. He was also a visiting researcher at Yale University during the 2014-2015 academic year. His research interests include democracy, ethnic pluralism, conflict analysis, forcibly displaced persons, electoral processes in conflict ridden societies, and foreign aid in Africa. His publications have appeared in the Journal of International Migration and Integration, Revue Études, Revue Relations, Débats-Courrier d’Afrique de l’Ouest, and La Civiltà Cattolica. In addition, he has contributed chapters to several books; he has also edited in 2015 a book on Dynamiques des guerres civiles en Afrique. Une approche holiste. He holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Philosophy, Socio-Anthropology, and Theology, and Master’s Degrees in Social Ethics, International Human Rights Law, and Sociology and Anthropology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Political Science from Laval University in Canada. He is currently the 2017-2018 holder of the Anna and Donald Waite Endowed Chair at Creighton University.


Caroline Brennan, CRS


Caroline Brennan has worked across 22 countries responding to humanitarian crises, including the Syrian refugee crisis and Iraq conflict. She recently returned from Bangladesh, where she was supporting the Rohingya refugee crisis. She was based in India for 3 years and Ethiopia for 2 years.

Dr. Sandra Howell, MD


Sandra Howell is an Associate Professor & Assistant Dean for Medical Education at Creighton University. She is a surgeon specializing in breast surgery, and volunteers on mission teams with the organization Kenya Relief. 


Frank LaMere


Frank LaMere is a noted social and political activist from South Sioux City, Nebraska who has long been involved with civil and human rights issues and advocacy  for Native people regionally and nationally. He is a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Frank was instrumental in the passage of the IA Indian Child Welfare Act in 2003 and continues to work for native families in the Sioux City area. He works to develop the Four Directions Community Center and Chairs the Community Initiative for Native Children and Families (CINCF) there. He is a  founder of the Memorial March To Honor Lost Children which holds its 15th annual gathering on November 22nd. He was named the 2016 member of the year by the National Indian Child Welfare Association. Mr. LaMere has won numerous awards and has sat on many boards and commissions in his 40 years of serving his people.  Recently he was awarded the Floyd Taylor Award from the Lincoln Indian Center for service to Native people, the FDR Award from the NE Democratic Party for his accomplishments politically, and the Award of Excellence from Project Extra Mile for his work at Whiteclay helping to stop the illegal flow of alcohol from NE onto the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He has appeared in two documentaries, The Battle for Whiteclay and Sober Indian Dangerous Indian which chronicles his involvement in the twenty year Whiteclay struggle. He was arrested with Russell Means there in 1999 and again in 2005.  In recent years he was given the War Eagle Award from the Sioux City Human Rights Commission and the Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award from the NE Appleseed Center. He was named Peacemaker of the year in 2001 by the Nebraskans for Peace. Frank LaMere currently serves as Associate Chair of theNE Democratic Party and member of the Native Caucus of the Democratic National Committee. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission helping the state with their 150th birthday celebration. Frank is the father of four and grandfather of eleven. He has been married  for 37 years to Cynthia, a Nakota woman. Mr. LaMere, a stroke survivor, has been quoted as saying that "Nothing changes unless someone is made to feel uncomfortable . Nothing changes unless you make yourself uncomfortable.” That is how he has lived his life!  



The documentary "Sober Indian Dangerous Indian: A Story of Empowerment Through Sobriety" was shown in the evening on February 2, 2018 

Sober Indian/Dangerous Indian (SIDI) chronicles the lives of four alcoholic Lakota men from the Pine Ridge Indian reservation as they worked towards recovery.  These men put a face on the suffering resulting from alcohol sales in the Nebraska border town of Whiteclay, an unincorporated town of 11 that sold over 3.5 million cans of beer annually to Pine Ridge citizens, with a truly devastating impact. 

The creators of the documentary were at the conference immediately after the showing to participate in a Q & A Session