Stakeholder Advisory Board

The Stakeholder Advisory Board meets quarterly and has representation from individuals and organizations throughout the state of Iowa. Our members bring a variety of perspectives and experiences to contribute and improve clinical and translational research at the University of Iowa.

Jim AttyJim Atty, FAHCE

Chief Executive Officer, Administration, Waverly Health Center

Jim Atty is the Chief Executive Officer at Waverly Health Center, in Waverly, Iowa. Mr. Atty has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, and a master's degree in Business Administration and Health Administration from the University of Iowa. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and serves on many local state boards and committees. Before moving to Waverly, Mr. Atty was the CEO of Humboldt County Memorial Hospital, in Humboldt, Iowa. Mr. Atty is married and has two young daughters.

Deann CookDeann Cook, BA, MA

Executive Director, United Way of Iowa

Deann Cook is in her sixth year as executive director of United Way of Iowa where she leads training, public policy and statewide programming. She has over 20 years of experience serving nonprofits as both a staff and board member at the local, state, national, and international levels. Deann currently serves on the board of the Junior League of Des Moines, the Advisory Board of the University of Iowa's Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, and on the executive committee of the Iowa Literacy Council and United Way Council of States. Deann is currently completing a Master's degree in Public Policy at the University of Northern Iowa.

Lisa CushattLisa Cushatt, LMSW

Program Manager, Central Iowa ACEs 360

Lisa Cushatt, LMSW, serves as the Program Manager for Central Iowa ACEs 360 Coalition. ACEs 360 seeks to improve the health and well-being of all by empowering communities, organizations, and people to take informed actions to prevent and mitigate the lifelong effects of childhood adversity.

Lisa is also an adjunct instructor in the human services field, and previously served as the Executive Director for United Way of Iowa. She has her master’s in social work with an emphasis in policy, planning and administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and her bachelor’s in sociology from Truman State University.

LaTasha DeLoachLaTasha DeLoach, BSW, LMSW

Senior Center Coordinator, Department Head, City of Iowa City, Senior Center - Older Adults

LaTasha DeLoach holds bachelors and master’s degrees from the University of Iowa School of Social Work. In her new position as the Director of the City of Iowa City Senior Center she is working to help keep older adults active, connected, and curious to maintain successful aging. She was previously a community projects specialist at Johnson County Social Services and the Johnson County Disproportionate Minority Contact coordinator and the Community Partnerships for Protecting Children coordinator for 10 years.​

She is a 2018-2019 National Juvenile Justice Network Fellow in the Youth Leadership Institute. She is the Vice Chair of the State of Iowa Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee and was recently appointed by the Governor to be a member of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council. DeLoach advocates for families and is a fierce advocate for women and young women of color in Iowa.

 She has been a member of many local and statewide boards and committees including the University of Iowa School of Social Work Professional Advisory Committee, State Disproportionate Minority Contact Subcommittee, Iowa Girls Justice Initiative Taskforce, Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, SMART on Juvenile Justice Leadership Team, City of Iowa City Council’s Ad Hoc Diversity Committee, and City of Iowa City Roundtable Discussions.

DeLoach is the co-founder of several organizations and programs for women and girls of color, including G! World, Sisters in Power, and Sankofa Outreach Connection, an emerging local organization with over 600 women of color members.

DeLoach was vice president of the Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors. She is also a committed community volunteer and coordinator of conferences, seminars, workshops, and events.

Kelsey FellerKelsey Feller, MPH

Data Governance Coordinator, Iowa Department of Public Health

Kelsey Feller is the Data Governance Coordinator for the Iowa Department of Public Health in Des Moines, Iowa. In this role she facilitates the Department’s Research and Ethics Review Committee, oversees the Department’s data sharing and confidentiality policies, and serves as a Department-wide and state-wide resource for the use and protection of confidential public health data. Kelsey’s professional passions include the ethics surrounding data collection and sharing, informed consent within research, and maintaining balance between using data to advance the field of public health and protecting the confidentiality of those who provide that data.  She has bachelor’s degrees in biomedical biology and religious studies from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Iowa. Kelsey spends her time away from work maintaining a horse acreage with her husband Adam. 

Jennifer GroosJennifer Groos, MD

Pediatrician, Primary Health Care

Dr. Groos earned her medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine and completed a pediatrics residency at University of Wisconsin Children’s Hospital in Madison, WI. She is a board-certified pediatrician with 16 years of experience.  She founded the Healthy Kids Program at Blank Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Groos practices general pediatrics at Primary Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center,  in Des Moines, Iowa.   She is active in community and legislative advocacy and health eating and active living promotion with many partners within the state. Dr. Groos currently serves as Lead Faculty for the National Childhood Obesity in Primary Care (COPC) Quality Improvement project led by the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute on Healthy Childhood Weight (IHCW). Dr. Groos leads the 5-2-1-0 Health Care Program in Iowa.  She serves as the co-chair for the COACH network (childhood obesity advisor) for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Obesity.  She is a past-president of the Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, chair of the chapter committee on legislation, and founder and chair of the chapter committee on obesity.  She received the 2018 Iowa Medical Society Physician Community Service Award for her statewide child health promotion work. 


Sharon GuthrieSharon Guthrie, PhD, ARNP, CRNP, NCSN, RN-BC

Executive Director, Iowa School Nurse Organization

Director of Graduate Nursing Programs and Associate Professor, Mt. Mercy University




Bruce HansonPastor Bruce Hanson

Lutheran Pastor

Chaplain (certified: police, prison & inland marine)


Rev. Bruce L. Hanson is a retired rural parish pastor who served five rural parishes in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa. He was a caregiver for his late wife (Connie) for more than 47 years. Along with caring for his wife, a diabetic who experienced a kidney transplant, a stroke, breast cancer, and seizures, Pastor Bruce has participated in numerous volunteer opportunities such as being an Emergency Medical Technician for almost thirty years as well as a Hospital, Police and Prison Chaplain.

Pastor Bruce has volunteered and been a representative for various patient-centered organizations, such as the National Patient Advocacy Foundation (NPAF), which provides a patient voice in improving access to and reimbursement for high quality health care through regulatory and legislative reform at the state and federal levels. He has served on the Advisory Panel for Patient Engagement at the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), addressing disparities, patient engagement, improving health care systems, and assessment of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. Because of his special interest in rural health care issues, Pastor Bruce was a presenter for “The Power of Partnership in Research: Improving Healthcare Outcomes in Rural Settings” for PCORI.

Regionally, Pastor Hanson has been a member of the board at Chicago Partners Patient Engagement Cluster, and is also the Director of the Great River Patient Engagement Cluster (GRPEC), which he founded, and works to develop patient engagement in and through the various clinics and care facilities that are a part of the rural northeast Iowa, rural southwest Minnesota, and rural southwest Wisconsin areas. 

On a national level, Pastor Bruce has served as a member with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Committee on Critical Care sub-group, the Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), a technical Expert for the 2018 Impact Assessment of CMS Quality and Efficiency Measures on the Technical Expert Panel (TEP), the Federal Assessment Steering Committee (FASC), among other projects. He has also actively participated in several national conferences such as the CareAlign Project for Hartford Medical School, as well as a conference on “Models of Care for High-Need Patients” at the National Academy of Medicine in Washington DC.

At the University of Iowa, Pastor Bruce serves as a member of the University of Iowa Institute for Clinical and Translational Science stakeholder advisory board and the HIT-PFCA that is working on the development of Open Notes and the Patient Portal.

Rose HedgesRose Hedges, DNP, RN

Nursing Research and Innovation Adjunct Nursing Faculty, Mt. Mercy University

Coordinator, UnityPoint Health, St. Luke’s Hospital

Rose Hedges DNP, RN, began her nursing career on an inpatient surgical unit before transitioning to a cardiac intensive care unit where she discovered her determination to find solutions to optimize patient outcomes. Her passion led her to spend the last seven years in nursing informatics where she utilized her clinical expertise, computer technology, and information science to support innovation and change throughout the hospital.

Rose recently transitioned into a role in nursing research and innovation. In this role she strives to empower nurses to share solutions they have created for identified problems in health care. Rose’s passion for health making and prototyping at the point-of-care continues to influence her daily work.

Nancy HumblesNancy Humbles, BA, MA

President, Cedar Rapids School Board

Nancy Humbles resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She has devoted her life to and career to the education of students as well as her community. She began her career as an instructor at the Marion Learning Center. She worked with high school students that had dropped out of school. She assisting them in completing their GED or returned backed to their home school. After leaving the Marion Center, she worked at the Jane Boyd Community House as the Activity Director. This community house served over a thousand children and provided educational and athletic activities.

Nancy joined the UI in 1990 as an academic planning counselor in Special Support Services and then as an advisor in the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business. As the Assistant Director of advising at Tippie, she developed the Student Incentive Program, a summer program for minority and first-generation students. She also served as multicultural affairs coordinator and interim program coordinator for Opportunity at Iowa.

In 2007, Humbles became the director of the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment. In this role, she coordinated outreach opportunities and resources for underserved students from diverse backgrounds, including students of color, first-generation college students, and students from low-income families.

As the founding creator and retired director of the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment, Nancy was instrumental in establishing programs that provide a welcoming climate for students, faculty, and staff from marginalized communities. She also fostered meaningful personal connections with students who were navigating the ins and outs of college for the first time. She helped them succeed, and she took many of them under her wing, without fanfare, to help them maximize their personal potential and keep moving forward each day. Such guidance came naturally to Nancy, who earned a master’s degree in student development in postsecondary education from the UI College of Education while working at Iowa.

Since retiring from the UI in 2015, Humbles has widened her reach as a community volunteer. She was elected as the first African American to serve on the Cedar Rapids Community School District Board of Education in 2009 and was re-elected in 2013 and 2017. Currently, she is the President of the Cedar Rapids Community School Board of Education. She is the Past President of the Area Substance Abuse Council, volunteers on the United Way Healthy Solutions committee, co-chairs the African American Museum of Iowa’s History Makers Gala and just recently joined the board, and serves as the finance chair at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids. She also previously co-chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Freedom Fund Banquet.

She is currently sitting on the “Not Without Me” committee.  These forums were held over a seven-month period and focused on closing the achievement gaps of African American students in the Cedar Rapids district. Community members have been encouraged to become part of the solution by volunteering in the schools. This initiative is a collaboration of various organizations in the Cedar Rapids area that include: Cedar Rapids NAACP, African American Museum of Iowa, Linn Board of Supervisors, Cedar Rapids Education Association, and the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Through her steady guidance and unwavering belief in personal potential, Nancy has impacted many people in the Cedar Rapids community.​

Alisha LoyAlisha Loy, BS, CRCST

Founder, Chief Executive Officer, TRIPP Foundation

In May 2004, Alisha Loy was hospitalized for close to two months for complications resulting from a ruptured appendix. After multiple surgeries, procedures, and fighting for her life she became an advocate for those who survive against all odds. In July 2009 she became a mother to twin boys. Tripp was born with a spontaneous sporadic genetic mutation. He was followed by more than 20 consulting medical specialty teams and had more than 19 surgeries and over 34 hospital admissions. Alisha became a gladiator for her son, family, and others in the throes of battle against chronic illness.

A champion for patient and family centered care, coordination of services, and patient safety, she has spoken on behalf of blood donation, organ donation, family centered care, quality systems, and patient safety in many forums and across multiple platforms. With more than nine years of experience in quality improvement, Alisha made the decision to take her battle to health care. For more than four years now, she has been working in the health care industry, starting her career in the sterile processing department at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics as a quality and operations improvement engineer.

She has been actively involved with national healthcare standards committees; representing users in industry wide cross functional teams. Author/presenter of more than fifteen abstracts, posters, and presentations for quality initiatives with national and international recognition, she is a board member for the Institute of Clinical and Translational Science Stakeholder Advisory Board, at the University of Iowa. She has previously been the Quad City National Kidney Foundation Walk Chair. Alisha is the Founder & Chief Operating Officer of TRIPP Foundation, a non-profit supporting children and families managing chronic and acute kidney disease.  

Beth Plautz, BS

Family Navigator, Child Health Specialty Clinics

Beth Plautz is a Family Navigator with Child Health Specialty Clinics located in Fort Dodge. Beth assists families with children with special health care needs navigate the system for resources and provide family to family support. Beth and her husband, Dennis, have a child with Angelman Syndrome who was diagnosed through the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics genetics clinic. Beth presently serves on the Autism Society of Iowa Board of Directors and the Fort Dodge Housing Agency Board of Directors. In her free time, she enjoys meditation, yoga and reading.

Jimmy ReyesJimmy S. Reyes, PhD, DNP, AGNP, RN

Associate Director of Practice and Education, Iowa Board of Nursing

Dr. Jimmy A. Reyes is the Associate Director of Practice and Education at the Iowa Board of Nursing. In addition, he has served in the deanship and professorship capacity at Kirkwood Community College and the University of Iowa College of Nursing. His research interests include the development and evaluation of community-based, family-centered, and collaborative diabetes self-management programs to treat diabetes in community dwelling Latino elders. Furthermore, he has worked on testing the efficacy of innovative training models to promote and foster the use of best practices/evidence-based diabetes practices, knowledge transfer, and sustainability.

He has received a Doctor of Nursing Practice in organizational leadership from the University of Iowa, a Master’s of Science in nursing and adult/gerontological nurse practitioner degrees from the University of Iowa as well as the Bachelor of Science in nursing. Currently, he is completing a PhD in Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago.

Ann RickettsAnn Ricketts

Ex-officio Member

Senior Assistant Vice President for Research, University of Iowa

Ann Ricketts is senior assistant vice president in the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Iowa. In addition to overseeing budget, human resource, and communications operations, she is active in research development for the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

She is an ex-officio member of advisory boards for a number of publicly engaged UI centers including the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, Public Policy Center, and the Office of the State Archaeologist. She is also the administrative contact for the Pentacrest Museums.

Joe SampleJoe Sample

Director, i4A​

Joe Sample, MPH, MA, is the director of i4A, the association of Iowa’s area agencies on aging. He holds a master's of public administration emphasizing health resource management and a master's of arts in bioethics and health policy. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in human development and family studies with specific interest in gerontology from Iowa State University.


SlessorSteve Slessor, MHA

Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare Leadership - Buchanan County Health Center

Steve Slessor currently serves as the CEO for Buchanan County Health Center in Independence, Iowa. He has served in this capacity since 2013. Prior to coming to BCHC, Steve served in senior leadership for UnityPoint Health Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa. Outside of the hospital environment, Steve is active in the community with prior service on the Independence Chamber of Commerce, Independence Rotary Club, Cedar Valley Humane Society and Western Home Communities. Steve resides in Independence with his wife Megan and three children, Harper (5), Kain (1), and Merrick (not yet 1).