Masters in Public Health Faculty

Sherry Fontaine, Ph.D., MRP
Director and Associate Professor, Master of Public Health Program
  • B.A., 1976 Lehigh University
  • MRP, 1980 Cornell University
  • Ph.D., 1985 Cornell University
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, London Business School, 1985-1986

Dr. Sherry Fontaine has a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning with an area concentration in health planning. Her academic focus in both her master’s and doctoral degrees was the planning, organization, and delivery of health care services, as well as health policy from a national and comparative perspective. Dr. Fontaine’s dissertation was a comparative analysis of the planning and allocation of health care resources in England and the United States. Following her doctoral studies, Dr. Fontaine was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the London Business School where she conducted research on the provision of community health services for disabled and chronically ill populations.

Dr. Fontaine has served as the Director of the Master of Healthcare Leadership program at Park University, Director of Doctoral Programs in Health Policy, Health Education, and Educational Leadership at D’Youville College, and as Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Northern Virginia Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, National Capital Region. In her teaching and academic leadership positions for graduate health care programs, she directed programs, taught, and developed graduate courses for adult learners in online and traditional classroom formats.

Dr. Fontaine’s research encompasses a broad range of health care planning, policy, and management topics. Her recent publications examined initiatives to support aging in place and innovative pedagogies to support health care leadership education. She maintains a continuing interest in exploring the role of public health and the social determinants of health in community and regional development.

Dr. LaShaune P. Johnson
Assistant Professor, Master of Public Health Program
  • B.A., Sociology and Medieval/Renaissance Studies, 1999, Wellesley College
  • M.A., Sociology, 2004, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Ph.D., Sociology, 2009, University of California, Santa Barbara (with doctoral emphases in Feminist Studies and Human Development)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, University of Connecticut Health Center, 2009-2011
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Missouri, School of Health Professions, 2011-2013

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of the Head Start program for low-income children, a two-time cancer survivor, and a former poet. These personal experiences help to drive her interest in studying health disparities and in telling the stories of community members (through research methods such as Photovoice). Before coming to Omaha, she was involved in the Mid-Missouri Komen-funded project, “Walking in the Spirit”, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project, “Playgrounds without Borders”, and an American Academy of Pediatrics-supported CATCH planning grant. Her areas of interest are: childhood obesity prevention, qualitative research methods, cancer survivorship and “previvor”-ship in the African American/Black community, online learning for health professional students, and health practices among Muslim-identified women. In Omaha, she is a member of the African American Women and Breast Cancer Task Force and the Connection Project at UNMC.

Dr. Bill Raynovich, EdD, MPH, NREMTP
Adjunct Associate Professor, Master of Public Health Program

Dr. Raynovich is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Creighton's Master of Public Health Program. His research and scholarship interests include emergency medical services clinical care, leadership, management and education. He also has interests in public health and disaster management. Dr. Raynovich has conducted research using surveys, naturalistic inquiries, and action research methods, as well as participating in several experimental clinical research projects.

He is currently working on research projects involving the expansion of the scope of practice of rural and critical care paramedics and he has recently completed a nationwide survey regarding the education and practices in critical care transport.

Dr. Marlene Wilken
Associate Professor, Master of Public Health Program
  • B.S.N., 1970, University of Nebraska School of Nursing
  • M.N., 1974, Montana State University-Bozeman
  • Ph.D., 1993, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Wilken’s professional life has been as a registered nurse, with a master's degree in nursing and a Ph.D. in political science. She has been at Creighton for 17 years in both the School of Nursing and in the Health Administration and Policy programs. Population-based health care and essentials of public health are her primary teaching areas. Her passion is environmental health, and she has done numerous presentations on this topic to nurses and other health professionals. She served on the board of the Public Health Association of Nebraska (PHAN) and helped to establish the state association of local boards of health (SALBOH), serving as co-chair for several years. Since 1998, Dr. Wilken has served on the Douglas County Board of Health and was elected to serve two-three year terms as the Midwest Regional Director for the National Association of Local Boards of Health as a board member. In June 2011, she received a $207,000, two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to address the growing problem of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adult American Indians.

Dr. Wei Vivian Zhuang
Assistant Professor, Master of Public Health Program
  • B.B.A. in Management Information Systems, 2001, Nanjing University
  • M.S. in Management Information Systems, 2003, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • M.S. in Biostatistics, 2007, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Ph.D. in Biostatistics, 2012, Boston University

Dr. Zhuang was motivated to make a lasting contribution to public health by the outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003. She had 1 year of training in Bioinformatics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and 6 years of education in Biostatistics at Boston University and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was a grader, a teaching assistant, and an instructor of Master of Public Health students in 2010 and 2011 at Boston University. Her study and teaching experiences have shaped her commitment to excellent teaching.

Her research interest is to develop advanced statistical methods and innovatively apply existing approaches for biomedical research and public health. She has performed research on statistical genetics, epidemiological studies, missing data, pathway analysis, brain imaging, microarray analysis, and data mining. Her research experience has allowed her to connect statistical methods with specific research problems in genetics, human ageing process, Parkinson’s diseases, and HIV-associated disease. She is also interested in working on other biostatistical and epidemiological areas. She finds teaching and research rewarding on both a personal and professional level.