Staff and Associates

Dr. William T. Smith, Interim Director
Dr. William T. Smith is a Professor in, and Chair of, the Department of Economics at the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, The University of Memphis. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Virginia in 1987. His research has focused upon economic growth, consumption behavior and investment behavior, choice under uncertainty, and asset pricing. He now serves as Interim Director of the Methodist Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics.

Cyril F. Chang, Founder and Retired Director
Dr. Cyril Chang, the Director of Methodist Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics, was 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 was with the University of Memphis from 1981 until 2019. He taught Health Care Economics and Executive MBA Economics, and regularly conducted executive training seminars and workshops for health care professionals and executives. After retiring in 2019 Dr. Chang became a Professor Emeritus at the University of Memphis.  Read more >>

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.  Read more >>

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.  Read more >>

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 Horizon Professorship, Superior Performance in University Research (SPUR) and the University’s Distinguished Research awards.

Dr. Charlene P. Spiceland, Research Fellow
Charlene P. Spiceland, PhD, CMA, CPA, is Assistant Professor in the School of Accountancy at the University of Memphis where she has developed and taught graduate courses in healthcare accounting and financial accounting for the MBA for Nurses Program. She received her PhD at the University of Memphis in 2013 for which her dissertation examines the effects the Affordable Care Act on the healthcare industry, particularly as it applies to both nonprofit and for-profit hospitals. One paper from her dissertation has been published in the International Journal of Management Accounting Research. She is part of a research team consisting of a group of physicians from Johns Hopkins University and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Read more >>

Soumitra Bhuyan, PhD, MPH, Research Fellow
Soumitra Bhuyan, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Health Systems Management and Policy at the School of Public Health, The University of Memphis. Dr. Bhuyan received his PhD in health services research, administration and policy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2014. His primary research interests include Health Information Systems Management, Health Disparity, and Health Care Workforce. Some of Dr. Bhuyan’s papers have appeared in journals such as Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Journal of Medical Systems, International Journal of Medical Informatics, Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research, Obesity Research and Clinical Practice etc. Prior to joining the University of Memphis, Dr. Bhuyan worked as a research assistant for the Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he published several policy briefings related to primary care workforce. These policy briefings were cited in local and national media outlets including the Associated Press. Dr. Bhuyan was the recipient of the “Rising Star” award from the American Public Health Association’s Health Administration Section in 2013. The award recognizes outstanding potential in the field of health administration and public health practice. Dr. Bhuyan is currently serving as a Section Councilor for the APHA Health Administration Section (2014-2017) and sits on the AcademyHealth's Health Workforce Interest Group advisory committee.

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.