Executive Director

Bob Karch

Robert Karch

Professor, School of Education, Teaching & Health, American University; Executive Director, National Center for Health & Fitness, International Institute for Health Promotion

Robert Karch, Ed.D. is a member of American University faculty where he is a Professor in the Department of Health Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences. He is the Founder of both the Masters of Science program in Health Promotion Management (1980), and the Bachelors of Science in Health Promotion (1996). He currently teaches courses in Strategic Planning, Health Promotion Management, Global Health, Global Health Policy, and Critical Issues in Health Promotion Management.  Bob also serves as the American University’s Faculty Representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Faculty Advisor for American University’s Wrestling Program.

Bob is also the Founder and the Executive Director of the University’s National Center for Health Fitness (1980) and the International Institute for Health Promotion (1996) and has been the Principal Investigator on more than $30 million of research and management activities specifically related to the development of operational policies and practices that lead to cost effective health outcomes. While Bob has many publications, his most recent is Global Perspectives in Workplace Health Promotion, a text he edited with his colleague and former student, Wolf Kirsten, published by Jones and Bartlett Learning, which provides extensive details about the development and current status of Worksite Health Promotion programming in the U.S. and 20 other countries. He is currently researching and writing two additional works that are focused on specific aspects of health promotion management and human performance.

Aside from his University activities, Bob has provided lectures, workshops, and strategic advice on numerous aspects of health promotion for many of the U.S. defense and security agencies as well as an array of U.S. national and multinational corporate and governmental organizations. He currently serves on several boards related to Health Promotion and is a frequent advisor to national and multinational corporate and governmental organizations in various parts of the world.

With respect to the Healthcare Performance Management Institute, Bob joined the Institute’s Advisory Board in 2014 and, with the passing of George Pantos, one the Institute’s Founders and its Executive Director, was asked to provide current leadership for the Institute’s continued research and publication works.

Associate Board Members

Henry Cha

Henry Cha

President, Healthcare Interactive

Henry Cha is a healthcare technologist who specializes in delivering software as a service (SaaS) offerings that help companies better manage employee healthcare programs and related costs. His SaaS technologies provide a simplified and consolidated environment for employee members. He is also an expert in using computational and statistical techniques to present and analyze health data. Cha has employed predictive modeling and latent class modeling to identify risk parameters. When these insights on risk are combined with web technologies, employers can avoid increases in health plan costs and more effectively engage with members to encourage healthy lifestyles and stick with proven medical treatments. As a leader in the development of Healthcare Performance Management (HPMI) software, Healthcare Interactive uses HealthSpace, a platform technology developed by Cha that allows plan sponsors, members and providers to manage healthcare risks and costs in a collaborative environment.

Keith Lemer

Keith Lemer

President, WellNet Healthcare

As president of privately-held WellNet Healthcare, a healthcare management company, Lemer and his firm enable businesses and their executive management team to measure, manage and reduce  healthcare costs by using real-time healthcare information to make better business decisions. He has lobbied extensively on Capitol Hill for health reform and has been featured in Business Week, Drug Benefit News, Managed Healthcare Executive, Portfolio.com, The Washington Post, The Washington Business Journal and C-SPAN. Lemer is also a founding partner of Healthcare Interactive, a software development firm that develops healthcare applications. Philanthropically, Lemer serves on the board of Sheridan School, a K-8 independent school located in Washington, DC.  He is also  on the board of Face in the Mirror, a national non-profit that promotes cancer patients’ well-being by helping patients apply facial cosmetics to encourage and promote the psychological and outer well-being of cancer patients. Their credo: “When we look better, we feel better; when we feel better, the healing process begins.”

Wolf Kirsten

Wolf Kirsten

Founder, International Health Consulting

Wolf Kirsten is a social entrepreneur and Founder of International Health Consulting based in Tucson, Arizona and Hamburg, Germany. His consulting portfolio is truly global, advising companies on health and well-being strategies such as Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Siemens and SAP in many regions of the world. In addition, he has been consulting the World Health Organization (WHO) on developing global guidelines for Healthy Workplaces. He also advised the governments of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Mongolia on the development of a national strategy and infrastructure for health promotion.

Mr. Kirsten is co-founder of the Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces, which hosts the Global Healthy Workplace Awards each year. He also is the Immediate Past President of the International Association of Worksite Health Promotion (IAWHP) and serves on the board of the International Institute for Health Promotion (IIHP). He has published extensively on the global aspects of health promotion and wellness including the book “Global Perspectives in Workplace Health Promotion” and benchmarking study “Winning Strategies in Global Workplace Health Promotion.”

Mr. Kirsten received his Master of Science in Health Promotion Management from American University in Washington, DC. He is a German native and lived many years abroad (United States, England, Brazil and China).

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson, M.S.

Principal, MJX Global Health Works

Melissa Johnson is a nationally recognized leader in health promotion, wellness, and disease prevention, with over 20 years of experience across various industry sectors. She is currently Principal of MJX Global Health Works and consults with companies on strategy development, marketing and PR. She previously served as Executive Director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under President George W. Bush. She managed the activities and operations of the Washington, D.C. based Council, an advisory committee that reports to the President and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In that role, she managed and coordinated numerous health promotion programs and public education campaigns as part of the Healthier U.S. initiative. She served as a key leader in the development of the evidence-based Physical Activity Guidelines and spearheaded a coalition of over 3,000 supporting organizations and individuals. Previous positions include Executive Director of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Director of Operations of National Fitness Leaders Association, and Marketing Projects Manager for Index Fund Advisors, Inc.

Ms. Johnson has a Masters of Science degree in Health/Fitness Management from American University in Washington, D.C., where she taught as an adjunct professor, and a B.S. degree in Kinesiology from UCLA.

Scott Haas

Scott Haas

Vice President, Wells Fargo

Scott Haas is Vice President of Integrated Healthcare Metrics at Wells Fargo Insurance Services. He has over 27 years of employee benefits experience and extensive background in the development and management of medical and disease management, prescription drug programs as well as provider network evaluation, valuation and underwriting. Haas started and operationalized a Third Party-Administrator (TPA) and a Prescription Benefit Management (PBM) platform from scratch. Scott has worked in the arena of alternative funding for the majority of his career. Haas is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney with Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration and Economics.  He earned the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designations in 1985 and 1986 respectively. Haas has held officer level positions within commercial health insurers as well as Blues plans and a Third-Party-Administrator’s as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Vice President of Underwriting and President. Haas has also served as a Trustee of both defined benefit and 401(k) plans for both union and non-union employees.

Dennis Hansen

Dennis Hansen

President and Founder, Health Synergy Solutions, LLC

Dennis founded Health Synergy Solutions, LLC to provide clients with strategic advisory support and professional services. The services focus on identifying and integrating innovations into healthcare delivery design; exploring cross-industry collaborations, and other business development opportunities to improve clients’ operational performance and to strengthen their market position as they navigate value-based care and personalized medicine solutions.

Dennis’ career in healthcare started with his B.S., Magna Cum Laude, in Physical Therapy and led to his recent position of President & COO of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, MD.  His pursuit of excellence for both the organization and the people it served, in partnership with his teams and medical staff, produced significant improvements across a number of key quality, financial, patient, employee and growth targets. Dennis has diverse healthcare expertise, from his early career as a practicing clinician, operations consultant, and a leader of large, diverse, multi-facility strategic, process improvement and project management initiatives.

Prior to his role as president, Dennis served at Centura Health, as Vice President & COO of Littleton Adventist Hospital in Denver, CO, and earlier he held the position of Administrative Director Business Support, Rehabilitation and Occupational Health Services. Dennis started his career as a physical therapist and then became Director of Physical and Occupational Therapy at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and an Account Manager/Director of Operations for Annette Levy & Associates, of Marina Del Rey, CA.

Dennis earned his MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and his Bachelor of Science, Physical Therapy Magna Cum Laude from Loma Linda University in California.  He serves on multiple health care and education boards, and is currently an adjunct professor at Washington Adventist University.