About Us


Chad Sutliffe, MHA, MED, NHA

Department Chair, Allied Health Sciences

Office Address: 106-F RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5526
Email: sutlifch@gvsu.edu


Chad’s professional background is in educational leadership, clinical research, and healthcare administration.  Before joining GVSU’s faculty, he began his career as an elementary teacher followed by seven years in school administration.  Chad transitioned into a healthcare career starting at Spectrum Health where he worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator facilitating all Emergency Medicine studies in coordination as an appointed faculty with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.  This experience resulted in numerous research publications with a number of current studies underway for an upcoming publication.  Chad also served as an appointed member of the Spectrum Health Institutional Review Board (IRB).

He earned his Nursing Home Administrator’s license and spent his final years before joining GVSU in administration, consulting, and researching long-term care both in non-profit and for-profit environments.  Chad has also served on numerous local and state professional associations focused on long-term care leadership along with access and quality of care to seniors.

Chad earned a Bachelor of Arts (Elementary Education) at Cornerstone University, and both a Masters of Educational Leadership and Masters of Healthcare Administration from Grand Valley State University.  He is currently working on a Doctorate at Indiana Wesleyan University in Organizational Leadership.

Chad’s research interests are geriatric access and quality of care, clinical process improvement, and emergency management systems and education.

Advising appointment: https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=371


Alisha Davis, Ph.D., M.A.

Office Address: 420-P RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5990
Email: davalish@gvsu.edu

Alisha's professional background is in health care management and community health education.  She has worked at both Spectrum Health and Priority Health and has been in health care for over a decade.  Her experiences have been in safety education, quality improvement, life skills management, and marketing.  Alisha has had a considerable amount of experience in healthcare diversity, health literacy, population health and disease management, and health care disparities.  Along with her health care background, Alisha has worked with the Grand Rapids Public School system's after-school programming and service learning projects in collaboration with various community organizations. She has also worked with transitional housing programs for homeless individuals and families through Dwelling Place, Inc.

Alisha earned a Bachelor's Degree in Community Health Education, a Master’s Degree in Family and Consumers Sciences (Family Life Education), and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Higher Education), all from Western Michigan University. Go Broncos!

She has taught several of the courses in Allied Health and regularly teaches Legal and Ethical Issues for Health Professionals, Global Health Care, Holistic Health Care, and Health Care Management. She also coordinates the internships for the AHS program. Currently, Alisha is working in collaboration with GRAAHI (Grand Rapids African American Health Institute), on a mentoring program for underrepresented minority students in health professions programs.  Along with her teaching responsibilities, Alisha is the Inclusion Officer for the College of Health Professions and an Inclusion Advocate for the University.

Alisha’s research interests center on diversity in health care, health care disparities, health professions pipeline programs, microaggressions, global health, and recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students.

Advising appointments: https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=379


Claudia Leiras, Ph.D.

Office Address: 420-Q RFH
Phone: (616) 331-3687
Email: leirasc@gvsu.edu

Dr. Leiras is an Associate Professor in the Allied Health Sciences department within the College of Health Professions at Grand Valley State University.  Dr. Leiras received her master’s degree in Natural Sciences (interdisciplinary program with a focus in oncology and epidemiology) from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a graduate division of the State University of New York at Buffalo.  Her Ph.D. in Epidemiology (emphasis in oncology and women’s health) is from the Graduate School of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh.

Over the past seventeen years, Dr. Leiras has worked on all aspects of research studies, including proposal development, grant writing, multi-study site coordination, recruitment strategies (specifically focusing on underrepresented populations), creation and management of study databases, data analysis (SAS, Stata, R, and SPSS), and development of data collection forms and questionnaires in both English and Spanish.  She is an expert in research methodology, quantitative data analysis, research focused on underrepresented/underserved populations, community-based participatory research, and outcomes research.

In addition to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in research projects, Dr. Leiras teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in research methodology as well as ethics and legal issues in healthcare. Dr. Leiras has received funding for her research from the National Cancer Institute and has been the recipient of several Minority Scholar Awards from the American Association for Cancer Research.  In addition, Dr. Leiras received the American Society of Hand Therapists 2015 First Time Researcher Award. Dr. Leiras’ research interests include health literacy, women’s health, health disparities, and outcomes-based research.

Advising appointments: https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=373


Julie Alles-Grice, DHA

Office Address: 420-K RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5607

Julie's professional background is in Health Information Management. Before teaching, she worked for Spectrum Health Reed City & the Downtown Grand Rapids Campus wearing many hats from coding, release of information, working with physicians to complete their medical records on time and educating physicians on proper documentation and coding updates. Julie also did remote coding from home where she worked for hospitals such as John Hopkins Hospital and a variety of other facilities. For the last five years, she has taught at Ferris State University for the Health Information Management Programs.

Julie earned her associate's degree from Ferris State University in Health Information Technology. She also has two bachelor degrees from Ferris State University in Health Information Management and Health Care Systems Administration.  Julie obtained her Master's degree in one year also from Ferris State in Career and Technical Education with a concentration in Instructor all while teaching 17 credits.  She is currently working on her Doctorate from Capella University in Health Administration with a concentration in Health Care Leadership.

Julie's research interests are cancer registry, telehealth monitoring and rehospitalizations and cancer screening.

Advising appointments: https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=375


Janna Pacey, MSCTE, RHIA

Office Address: 420-L RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5574
Email: paceyj@gvsu.edu

Janna’s professional background is in the field of Health Information Management (HIM).  Prior to teaching, she worked for Spectrum Health United Memorial as both the HIM Supervisor and Coding Supervisor for seven years.  As a HIM Supervisor, she was responsible for multiple HIM technical areas such as the release of information, ICD, and CPT Coding, and record assembly and analysis.  Janna also has experience with human resource functions along with developing, implementing, and working with an electronic record platform and also with working with and educating physicians about chart documentation standards and coding updates. 

After working and managing in a healthcare setting, Janna transitioned into education as an Instructor at Ferris State University (FSU).  While at FSU she advised and instructed in the Health Information Management Program along with the Health Care Systems Administration Program.  She also has extensive experience developing HIM curriculums.  Janna also assisted with the development of the GVSU Scribe Academy where she continues to teach lessons in Medical Terminology along with Billing and Coding.  Along with Janna’s teaching responsibilities, she is also the Clinical Coordinator for the HIM program.             

Janna earned an Associates Degree from Ferris State University in Health Information Technology, two Bachelor Degrees from Ferris State University in Health Information Management and Health Care Systems Administration.  Janna obtained her Masters of Science in Career and Technical Education with a concentration in Instruction.  She is currently pursuing her Doctorate from Capella University in Health Administration with a concentration in Health Care Leadership. 

Janna’s research interests are revenue cycle management in healthcare, organizational culture, and online learning. 

Advising appointments: https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=374



Misti Ryefield, MS; RID:CT, K-12 4.8 SEC

Office Address: 420-M RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5554

Misti’s professional background is in American Sign Language interpreting. She started her career as an interpreter in public schools, spending 10 years interpreting in high schools. She then transitioned to private practice community interpreting and has multiple areas of experience, including medical, mental health, legal, business, and performing arts settings.

Prior to establishing the American Sign Language course offerings at Grand Valley, she created a similar program at Muskegon Community College.

Misti earned an Associate’s degree in American Sign Language Interpreting from Lansing Community College, and a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis of American Sign Language Interpreting from Sienna Heights University. Her Master’s degree in Psychology is from Capella University. She has been a nationally certified American Sign Language Interpreter since 2001.

Advising Appointments:https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=378



Kerry Mohney, M.A., R.T. (R) (M)

Office Address:420-N RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5554

Kerry Mohney is an Assistant Professor in the Allied Health Sciences Department at Grand Valley State University. Her professional background is in medical imaging sciences. Her career began through radiography program completion and national certification in radiologic technology through the American Registry of Radiologic. She also earned additional ARRT certification in mammography. She worked as a medical imaging technologist for 21 years with experience gained at Bronson Hospital and Kalamazoo Radiology (now Bronson Advanced Radiology Services).

Kerry earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences at Western Michigan University and continued in completing a Master of Arts in Education and Professional Development, also at WMU. She has earned recognition in online instruction through Quality Matters and the Education Technology Organization of Michigan. In addition, she earned instructional design certification through the American Society for Training and Development (TD). She was awarded the Educator Award for the Michigan Occupational Dean’s Administrative Council for the development, implementation, and management of the Michigan Radiologic Imaging Sciences Consortium.

Her work as a Radiography Program Director expanded to developing 3 additional educational programs in medical imaging at the same institution. During that time, she also supervised the building of a 1.05 million-dollar medical imaging laboratory for the new programs. At GVSU Kerry is the Coordinator for the MiRIS (Michigan Radiologic Imaging Sciences) MRI Consortium. She is also gaining experience in Invasive Cardiovascular Sciences for additional ARRT certification in cardiac interventional (CI) and to research educational program development in this area.

Kerry’s interests include adult learning theory, educational access for students, and educating the community about career pathways in health sciences. She currently serves on the Van Buren County Intermediate School District’s Advisory Team for Allied Health Education.

Advising appointments:https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=380


Nicole Hajduk Wright, CGC, MS

Office Address: 420-O RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5572

Nicole ‘Nikki’ Wright is a certified genetic counselor. She received her Masters of Genetic Counseling from Wayne State University in 2012. Prior to graduate school, she was a Laker and received her Bachelors in Biopsychology from Grand Valley State University. She worked at Bronson Maternal-Fetal Medicine as a prenatal genetic counselor for five years. During that time, she was involved with not just patient care and education, but she also assisted in WMed lectures and local OB grand round presentations emphasizing the advances and limitations of cell-free DNA screening. More recently, she returned to the GVSU family as an assistant professor for Allied Health Science. She is part of the GVSU genetic counseling task force working to create the third genetic counseling graduate program in Michigan at Grand Valley State University.

Advising appointments:https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=431



Erika Bailey, MBA, RHIA

Office Address: 420-H RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5625

Erika’s professional background is in the field of Health Information Management (HIM).  Prior to teaching, she worked for Pennock Hospital as the HIM Manager.  During her 12 years of service in the hospital, Erika worked her way up from release of information, chart abstracting, cancer registry, all service lines of coding, physician education, and clinical documentation before becoming the department manager.  While in management, Erika focused heavily on performance improvement and quality within her department and played integral roles on both the Compliance Committee and the Electronic Medical Record Implementation Committee.  Erika has been in higher education for eight years, having begun her career as an adjunct for Davenport University in 2010 until becoming full-time in 2014. 

Erika earned her associate's degree from Davenport University in Health Information Technology as well as her bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management.  Erika obtained her Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care in a year and a half through an accelerated program while working full-time in the hospital and part-time in higher education.  She is currently working on her Doctorate from Concordia University in Higher Education with a focus on Leadership. 

Erika’s research interests are in online and hybrid education, cancer registry, quality and performance improvement.

Advising appointments: https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=372



Susan Wallsteadt, MM, LRT, RRT

Office Address: 420-F RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5569

Susan’s professional background is in healthcare management, respiratory care, and psychology.  Before teaching, she worked at Forest View Psychiatric Hospital and then Butterworth Hospital (now Spectrum Health).  During her time at Butterworth Hospital she held a variety of positions, first as a respiratory therapist and shift supervisor, then moved into a manager’s position, and eventually assumed the role of Director of Shared Services which she managed for more than a decade.  As Director of Shared Services, she coordinated and directed outreach patient care services for respiratory care and rehabilitation services in many areas including acute care, subacute care, long-term care, home health care, outpatient facilities, and foster care homes. 

Susan earned her  Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Florida State University, Master of Management Degree from Aquinas College, and her respiratory care education through the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics AMA accredited Education Program of Respiratory Therapy, along with her clinical training at Butterworth Hospital.  She has additional graduate credit in counseling and social work. 

Susan has 18 years teaching experience in the areas of psychology, respiratory care, and allied health sciences.  She has taught for Muskegon Community College, Grand Rapids Community College, Ferris State University, and GVSU.  Susan is a licensed respiratory therapist and a member of the Michigan Society for Respiratory Care, American Society for Respiratory Care, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Advising appointments: https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=377


Jenny Baweja, MS, CTRS, CIFT

Office Address: 420-B RFH
Phone: (616) 331-5555

Jenny's professional experience lies extensively in patient care settings. In the beginning of her career, she served in an assisted living center, functioning as a dementia care and life enrichment specialist to residents, families, and the community, as well as part of the operations management team. She then became a recreation therapist at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, where she focused on quality improvement and patient outcomes, the development of standardized assessment processes for recreation therapy services, and wellness for both patients and employees.

Jenny received her Bachelor's of Science in Therapeutic Recreation at Grand Valley State University. During her recent pursuit and interest in wellness, she obtained her Master's Degree from California University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she is a Certified Health Coach, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer. These educational tools have allowed her to operate in Mary Free Bed's John Butzer Center for Research & Innovation as a Research Recreation Therapist developing study protocols, and implementing a grant-funded research project identifying both physical and socioeconomic outcomes as they relate to exercise strategies.

Professionally, Jenny has served on the Board of Directors for Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association for over 7 years in various positions. She was also Member-at-Large for the Recreation Therapy Foundation, a national organization that supports research in the field of recreation therapy. Her interests include research, health care leadership, ethics, and mentoring students.

Advising appointments: https://am.gvsu.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=478


Page last modified May 23, 2018