Cyril F. Chang, Director
Dr. Cyril Chang, the Director of Methodist Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics,
is a Suzanne Downs Palmer Professor in Economic at the Fogelman College of Business
and Economics, The University of Memphis. Dr. Chang received his Ph.D. in economics
from The University of Virginia and has been with the University of Memphis since
1981. He teaches Health Care Economics and Executive MBA Economics, and regularly
conducts executive training seminars and workshops for health care professionals and
Dr. Chang has written extensively in three areas of health care research: (1) The
evaluation of TennCare as a state-level health care reform program, (2) The prevalence
of potentially avoidable hospitalizations and its variations among racial and insurance
groups, and (3) Cost effectiveness analysis of clinical interventions. He has published
in such prestigious peer-reviewed journals as the Journal of American Medical Association,
Health Economics, Health Services Research, Journal of Health Policy, Politics and
Law, Health Care Management Science, and Medical Care Research and Review.
Senior Research Fellows
Dr. John E. Gnuschke, Senior Research Fellow
Dr. John E. Gnuschke is Director of the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research (SBBER) and the Center for Manpower Studies (CMS) and Professor of Economics at the
University of Memphis. The SBBER and CMS are the applied business, economic, and labor
market research divisions of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics. Dr. Gnuschke
also serves as the Director of the Applied Information Technology Center and is Co-Director
of the Center for Real Estate Research. The divisions support the research and publication
efforts of faculty members and interact with other research organizations, government
agencies, and the business community.
The SBBER and CMS rank among the top economic research divisions in the nation. Dr.
Gnuschke has conducted over $40 million in research projects including gaming research,
economic impact studies, labor market assessments, economic development strategic
plans, community resource inventories, welfare reform evaluations, gaming research,
education and training studies, economic impact studies, labor market analyses, revenue
forecasting, and survey research. Dr. Gnuschke has a national reputation for the quality
of his research and public service activities.
Dr. Gnuschke received his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of Missouri at
Columbia and his B.S. degree from Utah State University. He has served as president
of the national Association for University Business and Economic Research (AUBER).
Dr. Gnuschke has extensive experience as a private consultant to major business, legal,
financial, and government organizations.
Dr. David M. Mirvis, Senior Research Fellow
Dr. David M. Mirvis received his MD degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine
of Yeshiva University in 1970, and subsequently trained in internal medicine and cardiology
at the National Institutes of Health and at the University of Tennessee. He joined
the faculty of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1975 and was the
founder and the Director of the University’s Center for Health Services Research.
In addition, he served as Chief of Cardiology and Chief of Staff of the Memphis VA
Medical Center and as an Associate Dean of the University of Tennessee College of
His other academic positions include appointments as Professor Emeritus in the Departments
of Preventive Medicine and Internal Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health
Science Center in Memphis, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Health
at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard
University School of Public Health, and Research Consultant at the Social Science
Research Center of Mississippi State University. Dr. Mirvis’ research interests include
health care delivery processes, health care quality and health policy, as well as
experimental and clinical cardiology. He has served on numerous national professional
committees and has been elected to prestigious professional honor societies. Dr.
Mirvis has published over 200 manuscripts, two texts, and frequent newspaper articles,
has received grants and contracts from numerous federal, state and private agencies,
and has served on many national professional committees and task groups.
Dr. Albert A. Okunade, Senior Research Fellow
Albert A. Okunade, Ph.D., is Economics Professor and faculty affiliate at the Center
for Community Health (School of Public Health), and the African & African American
Studies Program (Interdisciplinary Studies) at the University of Memphis. He Coordinates
the Ph.D. Economics program, teaches Graduate healthcare and pharmaceutical economics
courses, and supervises Ph. D. Dissertations in Applied Microeconomics including Health
care. His research honors include Suzanne Downs-Palmer Professorship, First Tennessee
Professorship, Superior Performance in University Research (SPUR) and the University’s
Distinguished Research awards. The Review of Black Political Economy recently ranked
him the 3rd leading U.S. Black economist (measured by the number of published peer-refereed
articles indexed in The Journal of Economic Literature). He has authored more than
100 articles on health care and allied specialization areas (e.g., labor) in economics
and finance, including in Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Economics Letters, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Productivity Analysis, Health Policy, Managed Care Quarterly, Health Care Management Science, Journal of Health Care Finance, and Social science & Medicine. Dr. Okunade served on the inaugural (2004-2008) Board of Trustees of The American
Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) and on the organization’s annual Scientific
Committee. He is an active member of the international Health Economics Association
(iHEA) and has served on its annual Scientific and Strategic Planning committees.
His research is widely cited, including in The New England Journal of Medicine, Health Economics and Journal of Health Economics, among others. Professor Okunade earned Ph.D. Economics degree (1986) with a minor
in Mathematical Statistics at The University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR) and has
served a faculty research sabbatical at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH),
Longwood Medical Campus, Boston (MA).
Dr. Marla Royne Stafford, Senior Research Fellow
Dr. Marla Royne Stafford is Great Oaks Foundation Professor of Marketing and chair
of the Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management in the Fogelman College of
Business and Economics, The University of Memphis. Dr. Stafford received her Ph.D.
in marketing from The University of Georgia and has been with the University of Memphis
since 2001. Dr. Stafford’s research interests focus primarily on social marketing
or the utilization of effective marketing strategies to develop and implement programs
to promote socially beneficial behavior change. Her emphasis is on health-related
issues, the environment and children. She has published in prestigious peer-reviewed
journals such as the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and numerous other publications. Dr. Stafford is past editor of the Journal of Advertising, and past associate editor of the Journal of Consumer Affairs. In 2009, Dr. Stafford received the University of Memphis Alumni Association Distinguished
Research Award in Business, Social Sciences and Law. She has previously held the
Suzanne Downs Palmer Professorship and the University of Memphis First Tennessee Professorship.
M. Paige Powell, PhD, Research Fellow
Dr. Paige Powell is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Health Systems Management
and Policy at the University of Memphis School of Public Health. Dr. Powell received
her PhD in Health Policy and Administration from Penn State University and her Master
of Health Administration from the University of Memphis. Her research interests focus
on the impact of various health policies on the use of healthcare services. Dr. Powell
is particularly interested in analyzing the impact of provisions of the Affordable
Care Act on service use both in Memphis and across the nation. Dr. Powell has been
published in the Journal of Health Administration Education, The Diabetes Educator,
the American Journal of Medical Quality, and has co-authored papers in Health Affairs,
Inquiry, and the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law. Dr. Powell returned
to the University of Memphis in 2013 as a faculty member in the School of Public Health.
She teaches Applied Health Policy Analysis, Health Policy Theory and Methods, and
Health Services Research.
Bill Cecil, M.B.A.
Mr. Bill Cecil is an independent health care consultant. He was formerly the Director
of Health Policy Research for BlueCross and BlueShield of Tennessee and brings over
30 years of experience as a former hospital and insurance executive to the Methodist
Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics. He contributes to the work of the Center
with his intimate knowledge about how hospitals and health plans work his ability
to bridge theory and practice in health care.