The Methodist Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics Fogelman College of Business & Economics The Methodist
Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics
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Staff and Associates


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 executives.

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 Medicine.

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. 

Affiliated Researchers

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.

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Last Updated: 2/10/15