Bios of Health SMEs
Dale Tidaback, MD, MPH
Dr. Tidaback is a versatile physician with national and international experience in occupational, environmental, and aerospace medicine, and public health and wellness. He is accomplished in the acute care of individuals and preventive care of groups of individuals, in building, evaluating, directing, and executing complex health care programs, and in leading and managing people in policy development and implementation, clinical delivery, and process-based best practice development and integration. Dr. Tidaback possesses an MD with specialty areas which include Preventive Medicine, Aerospace Medicine, and Family Practice, an MPH in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and a BS in Biology. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in Aerospace Medicine and is Board eligible in Occupational Medicine and Public Health, and was previously Board Certified by the American Academy of Family Practice. Additionally, he is a certified Medical Review Officer and FAA Medical Examiner.
Dr. Tidaback presently supports Clinical and Program Policy (C&PP) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) (OASD(HA)) as a Principal Management Consultant, lending subject matter expertise to the business process reengineering of the Department of Defense Disability Evaluation System (DES). Prior to joining CCSi, Dr. Tidaback served for 23 years as a physician in the United States Air Force, enjoying a decorated career that culminated with positions which include Chief of Flight Medicine, Elmendorf AFB, AK; Aerospace Medicine Squadron Commander, Kadena AB, Japan; Hospital Commander, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea; Director, Air Combat Command Aerospace Medicine Operations; and Director, Air Force Aerospace Medicine Operations.
Kathi E. Hanna, MS, PhD
Dr. Kathi Hanna is a seasoned health care professional with over 30 years' experience in science and health policy research, analysis, program evaluation, and paper and report development. During her extensive career, she has served in senior-level research / analysis positions within organizations such as the DoD Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care, the National Cancer Institute, the President's Task Force to Improve Health Care Delivery to Our Nation's Veterans, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, the National Health Council, the President's Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses, the DHHS Office of Women's Health, and the Office of Technology Assessment (U.S. Congress). She has developed research papers and reports in subject areas which include the use of electronic medical records for research; assessment of genetic risks; federal policies for organ procurement and transplantation; biological counter terrorism; stem cell research guidelines; use of human growth hormone; NIH-FDA policy on consent issues in emergency medicine research; avian influenza preparedness; and many others. She possesses a PhD in Public Administration (Major) and Health Services Administration (Minor), an MS in Human Genetics, and a BA in Biology.
Dr. Hanna presently serves as a member of CCSi's Defense Health Board (DHB) program support team, leading and supporting research / analysis efforts so that the Board and its many Subcommittees can offer independent, authoritative advice to the Secretary of Defense on a wide variety of issues relevant to military healthcare. The goal of such guidance is to maximize the health, safety, and effectiveness of all DoD beneficiaries through health promotion and the delivery of efficient, high-quality, efficacious health care services. In addition to her role with CCSi, Dr. Hanna serves as a Senior Researcher with FasterCures (Washington, DC) and the HHS Office for Human Research Protections.
Robert R. Ireland, MD, PhD, MA
Dr. Robert Ireland is a Board Certified Physician and Diplomate of the American College of Psychiatry and Neurology with over 24 years of experience within the health care field. During his 24 years of service to the United States Air Force, Dr. Ireland served in such distinguished positions as Chief of Neuropsychiatry Function (Consultant to the Surgeon General for Military Psychiatry), School of Aerospace Medicine, Aeromedical Consultation Service, and Program Director for Mental Health Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs). As Program Director for Mental Health Policy, Dr. Ireland chaired multiple committees and work groups tasked with the development of mental health policy and associated protocols for the treatment of DoD Service Members and beneficiaries; these committees included: Department of Defense Suicide Prevention and Risk Reduction Committee; Department of Defense Suicide Rate Standardization Work Group; Department of Defense Suicide Nomenclature Work Group; and VA-DoD Mental Health Work Group. In addition to leading these organizations, Dr. Ireland provided expert-level support to the VA/DoD Health Executive Council, VA/DoD Joint Executive Council, Presidential Commission on VA Disability Benefits, SAMHSA's National Conference on Returning Veterans' and Their Families' Behavioral Health, and served as the DoD media spokesperson regarding behavioral health issues. Additionally, he regularly testified to various House Committees on issues related to behavioral health.
Dr. Ireland is presently supporting the Department of Defense Center of Excellence (DCoE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury as a Subject Matter Expert in mental health.
Merrily McGowan, PhD, FACHE
Dr. Merrily McGowan is a professional health care administrator with 29 years of experience in the management of all facets of health care administration. Her experience includes health care policy development and evaluation, health care delivery, education, budgeting, supply management, personnel management, billing and coding management, customer service strategies, marketing, survey research, and data analysis. She has a comprehensive background in budget management, cost containment and savings innovations, utilization review, admissions and registration, billing, coding management, data quality, internal audits, insurance audits, systems implementation processes, medical records administration, compliance guidelines, customer service, measuring customer satisfaction, information desk operations, privacy regulations, quality improvement techniques, Joint Commission guidelines, labor relations, statistical analyses, survey research, project management, and public speaking. Dr. McGowan possesses a PhD in Health Administration, an MS in Applied Statistics, an MS in Health Administration, and a BA in Economics, is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (Credentials Committee member 2000-2003), and is an active member in the Academy Health for Advancing Research Policy and Practice and the American Health Information Management Association.
Dr. McGowan presently serves as a Principal Analyst to OASD(HA) Clinical and Program Policy (C&PP) and the MHS Defense Health Board (DHB), lending her substantial experience and expertise to the business process reengineering of the DoD DES and the restructuring and reengineering of the DHB. Prior to joining CCSi, Dr. McGowan spent 25 years as a United States Army Officer, serving in complex and highly visible positions such as Director, Patient Administration Systems and Biostatistical Activity, U.S. Army Medical Command; Director, Biostatistical Programs and Analyses, Health Program Analysis and Evaluation, TRICARE Management Activity; and Director, Patient Access, Medical Billing and Disability Processing, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Gaurav Mathur, MBA, PMP
Mr. Gaurav Mathur is a PMI-certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with a proven, successful, and results-oriented record of developing and implementing Project Management processes for information technology IT) projects, with special emphasis on health care IT. He has over 15 years of experience in providing IT solutions to the Federal Government, lending his expertise to Federal organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA and VBA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). His expertise and experience includes extensive leadership and support to the development and implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs) and personal health records (PHRs), as well as the interoperability of health care records and data. Additionally, he is a system development life cycle (SLDC) subject matter expert, with particular emphasis on requirements development / management, change management, release management, and risk management. Finally, he is well-versed in the principles of Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 (Quality Management) and 20000-1 (Information Technology Service Management). Mr. Mathur possesses a Master of Business Administration, a Diploma in Systems Management, and a B.S. in Physics, and holds PMP, ITIL, and Six Sigma Green Belt certifications.
Presently, Mr. Mathur serves as Project Manager and subject matter expert for the VHA Continuity of Care Document Workgroup, which is tasked to review the Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) specifications for interoperability and continuity of care summary documents, and to identify the corresponding source of information in VHA's Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA). Previously at CCSi, he served as Change Manager for the VHA My HealtheVet Program, Requirements Manager for the VBA's VA Loans Electronic Reporting Interface (VALERI), and Technical Lead for the USDA's Integrated Item Tracking System (IITS) Project.
Olivera Jovanovic, MPH
Ms. Olivera Jovanovic, an M.P.H. graduate in health policy from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, brings years of experience in various projects within the realm of public health and scientific research. Public health topics which she has conducted literature reviews, research, and data analysis include: issues regarding the control of infectious disease spread and establishment of effective quarantine measures in influenza pandemic preparedness, issues in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) treatment, reducing Hepatitis C infection incidence among prison inmates, and the controversy surrounding chronic Lyme disease and treatment. Ms. Jovanovic has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in Medical Anthropology with a minor in Social Studies of Medicine from McGill University.
Professionally, she brings analytic experience regarding Military health issues, and has provided research and analytic support to the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Health Board in drafting recommendations on various topics including emergency blood transfusions, evidence-based medical accession, retention, and deployment standards, off-label vaccine use for military recruits, and review of environmental and health risk assessments of possible adverse chemical exposures among service members stationed at two bases in Iraq. Her previous work at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) contributes to her analytic, research, and writing experience. She has published her research findings in a peer-reviewed journal and has given presentations at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, the Department of Cell Biology at NHLBI, and for the Infectious Disease Control Subcommittee of the Defense Health Board.
Sheila Bowman, RN, MBA, MPH
Ms. Sheila Bowman has 39 years of experience in a health care career that has focused on strategic planning and management, policy and training program development, and health care administration and clinical operations. She is a results-oriented professional with a reputation for delivery, and offers specific expertise in policy development, operations analysis, crisis management, and the use of quantitative analysis for effective management decision-making. Ms. Bowman's health care experience is an ideal blend of public and private sector, as she served for 16 years as an officer in the United States Army and for 23 years in the private sector in a variety of health care administration, clinical delivery, and policy development roles. During her distinguished U.S. Army career, she held such highly visible positions as Health Services Personnel Manager for the Office of the Surgeon General, Director of Medical Programs for OASD(Reserve Affairs), and Director for Medical Readiness Training for OASD(HA). She possesses a Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Health, a BA in Psychology, and an RN Diploma and is an active member of the American Nurses Association and the American Public Health Association.
She presently serves as a Principal Management Consultant to OASD(HA) Clinical and Program Policy (C&PP) where she analyzes operational requirements and health care best practices, leverages her analysis to develop policy documents, and prepares correspondence and reports for Congress, Government Agencies, and beneficiaries. Previously, she supported the Defense Health Board by serving as Principal Management Consultant to the DHB BRAC Subcommittee, conducting literature reviews, coordinating with the Joint Task Force CapMed, and ensuring Subcommittee members received the necessary guidance and logistical support necessary to perform their mission.