HECOR Faculty

Students enrolled in Xavier’s online master’s degree program in health economics and clinical outcomes research take classes with the same world-class faculty that our traditional students learn from.

We are learning from top professionals in the field and we have confidence that we are learning the skills required of us when we move into the HECOR profession. The small class size makes learning more interactive and stimulating. The professors are very personable and make it clear that they are available to help in any way they can. I am excited by the fact that by the time we graduate we will have a publication with our name on it. The research experience is essential and builds confidence to be able to do it on our own in the future.

Amanda C., student

Our exceptional faculty members include:

Peter Mallow, Ph.D.

Director of Health Economics & Clinical Outcomes Research (HECOR) Program
Peter Mallow, Ph.D. the director of the HECOR Program and Assistant Professor at Xavier University. His research interests include understanding complex healthcare systems, and how decisions are made with respect to uncertainty, value, efficiency, and equity. His methodological expertise is in conducting economic evaluations and outcomes research to make explicit the tradeoffs involved in these complex decisions. He has earned several awards for his research and has been published in several leading health services journals. Prior to joining Xavier, Mallow served as the Program Director, Health Economics, Market Access, & Outcomes Research for Cardinal Health and Associate Director of Health Economics at CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting. Mallow earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati where he served as an adjunct faculty member from 2015 to 2017.

Eileen Alexander, Ph.D. MS, BSN, RN

Eileen Alexander, Ph.D. MS, BSN, RN is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University. She also serves as a Woodside Fellow in the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Prior to these roles, she worked in the Department of Quality and Risk Management at Deaconess Hospital in Cincinnati. Alexander is licensed as an RN in the State of Ohio and has worked in nursing at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN, and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Cincinnati. Alexander completed her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Her research interests include human gene/microbiota/chemical interfaces; study design and analysis of epigenetically mediated disorders that differentially affect males/females and adults/children; education, retention and leadership development for minorities in STEM disciplines; and public health promotion.

Eric Bell, MBA

Eric Bell, MBA is a Principal of One Tall Tree Consulting. He has worked in the pharmaceutical and medical devices field for over fifteen years, developing numerous decision-support tools such as budget impact and cost-effectiveness models, using a variety of techniques including decision trees, Markov modeling, and Monte Carlo simulations. Fluent in numerous programming languages, he has more than thirty years of experience writing software in a variety of contexts, including avionics, text editing, device drivers, stock market trading, workflow management, databases, and database-driven web applications. Eric has an undergraduate degree in mathematics, graduate study in computer science, and an MBA.

Jessica Curran, MSc.

Jessica Curran, MSc is a Clinical Performance Analyst at Banner Health. She is responsible for proposing, study design, analysis, and dissemination of clinical process and outcomes measure for a variety of clinical practice areas across a large integrated delivery network. Prior to joining Banner Health, Curran worked at Cerner Corporation and WebMD. She earned her Master of Science in statistics from the University of Virginia where she also served as a biostatistics lecturer from 2014 to 2016.

Stephanie Donauer, Ph.D.

Stephanie Donauer, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University. From 2013-2016, she held a National Research Service Award General Pediatric Research Fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Prior to that, she served as a Biostatistician and Epidemiologist at Cincinnati Children’s, where she designed, conducted, analyzed and published medical research studies. Donauer earned her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Cincinnati. In 2014, she was awarded a University of Cincinnati Center for Environmental Genetics Career Development Award to study environmental toxicants during pregnancy and the subsequent vaccine response in offspring. Her research focuses on the effects of prenatal exposure to environmental toxins and the effectiveness of the Rotavirus vaccine.

Diane Francis, MPH

Diane Francis, MPH is Senior Director, Health Economics & Market Access for Ethicon US, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson Company. She has worked in various roles related to health economics and reimbursement for Johnson & Johnson since 2000. Prior to 2000, Francis served in administrative roles with hospital systems, including as Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer for Health Care Network of New Jersey, LLC, and as Primary Care Network Coordinator for The Brooklyn Hospital Center. Francis received her Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University’s School of Public Health. Francis has been recognized through several awards, including a Johnson & Johnson Innovation Award in 2014; Johnson & Johnson Standards of Leadership Award in 2008, 2010 and 2015; and Trinitas Regional Hospital Center Humanitarian Award in 2010. Her recent publications and presentations focus on analyzing data associated with bariatric surgery outcomes.

Candace Gunnarsson, Ed.D.

Candace Gunnarsson, Ed.D. is Vice President of Health Economics and Outcomes Research at CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services. In addition to leading the HECOR team and consultants, Gunnarsson actively participates as a Principal Investigator and works closely with the Executive Director of Consulting Management to staff HECOR projects in the areas of scientific and regulatory affairs, project management, and biometrics. Gunnarsson played an essential role in developing and launching the new Master of Science program in Health Economic and Clinical Outcomes Research (HECOR) at Xavier University. She has considerable expertise with large scale databases, such as electronic medical records, commercial payer, hospital, pharmacy, government, and physician databases. Gunnarsson received her Doctorate with Data Sciences Certification from the University of Cincinnati. Her research has appeared in leading health services and medical journals. She has authored a vast portfolio of publications and presentations and has received numerous industry and teaching awards throughout her career.

William Irish, Ph.D.

William Irish, Ph.D., Vice President of Health Outcomes and Biostatistics at CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services (CTI) and adjunct assistant consulting professor in transplantation surgery for Duke University in Durham, NC, is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of study design and analysis. He has been a resource in transplantation for more than twenty years, beginning as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh and continuing throughout his career in various biotechnology and pharmaceutical areas. Dr. Irish specializes in outcomes research, statistical modeling and prediction, risk assessment, risk analysis, clinical trial methodology, and large-scale database and claims analysis.

Paul Niklewski, Ph.D.

Paul Niklewski, Ph.D. is Principal Clinical Research Scientist for Ethicon Inc., a Johnson and Johnson Company. In addition to teaching in the HECOR program at Xavier, he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Cell Biophysics at University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine. Niklewski has approximately 20 years of industry experience, both in medical devices and pharmaceuticals. During his career, he has worked on both the design of medical products and outcomes in the health industry. He has developed a comprehensive understanding of both the clinical and economic needs over his career for companies, hospitals, and payers. This includes understanding the current changes in health care driven by the affordable care act and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Niklewski completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. Recent publications focus on patient safety during procedural sedation. He has been recognized with the Johnson and Johnson Standard of Leadership Award in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2013.

Stephen Roller, DHA, APRN, FNP-C, CENP

Stephen Roller, DHA, APRN, FNP-C, CENP is Chief Clinical Officer for Primary Health Solutions, a Federally Qualified Health Center providing care to medically underserved populations in Southwest Ohio. Prior to joining Primary Health Solutions, Roller served in nurse, nurse practitioner, and nursing management positions for eight years. He is Certified in Executive Nursing Practice, as well as certified an Advanced Practiced Registered Nurse, as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and as a Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider. Roller earned his Doctorate in Healthcare Administration and Leadership from the Medical University of South Carolina and his MSN-FNP and BSN from The Ohio State University.

Michael Topmiller, Ph.D.

Michael Topmiller, Ph.D. is a Health GIS Research Specialist at HealthLandscape, a division of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He serves a variety of roles at HealthLandscape, including leading multiple geospatial and population health research projects, developing prototypes and configuring web-based mapping tools, and providing support and webinar training for HealthLandscape’s suite of online data visualization tools. In addition, Michael is a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program, where he is working on a community-based participatory research project focused on early childhood wellness in two Cincinnati neighborhoods. Michael’s educational background includes undergraduate degrees in mathematics and secondary education from the University of Kentucky, an MA in Latin American Studies from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Cincinnati.