IHH Board Members and Staff

Board of Directors

Christopher Comer, PhD

Christopher ComerChristopher Comer is a Professor of Biology & Neuroscience and Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences at The University of Montana, as well as Dean of College of Humanities & Sciences. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and was a Postdoctoral Associate at Cornell University.  Before Montana, he was at the University of Illinois at Chicago and also served for 2 years at The National Science Foundation as Program Director for Behavioral Neuroscience.  His research concerns the design and evolution of brain circuits for processing visual and touch sensory information.   Chris has taught in the areas of neurophysiology, immunology and behavioral biology.  During the summers he leads an interdisciplinary program in Dublin, Ireland: “Brain, Mind and the literary Imagination.”  His interests in the community include integrating brain science into teacher training and he is active in speaking before community groups on the interactions of brain science with the arts and humanities.

Kevin Dohr, PhD, BA

Kevin Dohr

Kevin Dohr, Ph.D., is a psychologist, teacher, and consultant. He received his BA from the University of Texas, Austin and has a Ph.D.. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. For over 25 years he has provided workshops and professional consultation to businesses, nonprofits, and community agencies. He has a private practice in Missoula, MT and provides psychotherapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families. He is also an affiliate professor at the University of Montana and teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses. For the past several years he has been passionate about offering classes and training on positive psychology or the scientific study of happiness, mindfulness, compassion, and living a meaningful life. In his free time he enjoys exploring the rivers and mountains of Montana and being with his friends and family.

Chris Fiore, PhD

Chris FioreChris Fiore teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in family violence, clinical interviewing, clinical practice, family psychology, and personality theory and conducts research in women’s issues, violence against women, family and child treatment, Motivational Interviewing, interest in social justice, and betterment of human condition. Her Leadership Fellowship is a half-time position with the President of the University where she trains by shadowing administrators and also contributes by assisting in a project of need for the University. Her project is to assist with addressing the sexual assault issues on campus. Chris received her Bachelors of Arts from California State University, Fullerton in 1983. She then went on to her Master's of Arts at the University of Rhode Island in 1988 and also received her PhD. from the University of Rhode Island in 1990.

Beth Hubble, PhD, MA, BA, IHH Co-chair

Beth Hubble

Elizabeth Hubble directs the University of Montana Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, which offers a major, minor, and graduate certificate.  She received undergraduate degrees in French and history from the University of Montana, and her MA and Ph.D. in Medieval French Literature from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where her dissertation analyzed representations of masculinity and male friendship in medieval French romance.  Her most recent articles focus on integrating violence prevention in the humanities classroom.  She regularly teaches classes and gives lectures on the impact of media representations of gender, race, and sexuality and the history and theory of gender and sexuality.  Her latest articles are "Bringing the Bystander into the Humanities Classroom: Reading Ancient, Patristic, and Medieval Texts on the Continuum of Violence" appearing in Teaching Rape in the Medieval Literature Classroom: Approaches to Difficult Texts, and "Medieval Trolls, Mansplainers, and Bullies: Reading Gontier Col’s Letters to Christine de Pizan through the Lens of 21st-Century Online Feminist Activism" appearing in the Medieval Feminist Forum.  In her free time she enjoys traveling with her family, hanging out with her cats, hiking, and reading.

Ashby Kinch, PhD, MA

Ashby Kinch

Ashby Kinch is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the University of Montana Press. He is the past Associate Chair of English, Director of Graduate Studies for English. He received his AB in English and Comparative Literary Studies from Occidental College, and his MA and Ph.D. in Medieval Literature from the University of Michigan. He was a Luce Scholar, living in Malaysia in 1995-96. He taught for three years at Christopher Newport University, before coming to the University of Montana. Ashby has published a book on late medieval art and literature, Imago Mortis: Mediating Image of Death in Late Medieval Culture (Brill, 2013), and has published numerous articles on medieval literature and art, as well as having co-edited an anthology of essays on the 14th century poet, Alain Chartier. He is the editor of the forthcoming Bloomsbury Cultural History of Death volume on the Middle Ages (2018).  In his spare time, he loves to play soccer, ski, hike and float with his family and friends, and travel.

Nerissa Koehn, MD

Nerissa KoehnNerissa Koehn was born and raised in Missoula. After graduating from Hellgate High School, she received a B.S. in Natural Sciences at Lewis & Clark College. She graduated from Harvard Medical School and did her residency training at Tacoma Family Medicine. After residency, she and her husband lived and worked on the Zuni Indian Reservation in New Mexico for 8 years, where she was the Director of the Women’s Health Program. They returned to Missoula in 2011 to help start up the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana. She is currently a practicing physician at Partnership Health Center and the Associate Program Director for the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana.

Kathy Mangan, MS, AdvCBP, CBI

Kathy Mangan

Kathy Mangan serves as the Executive Director of the Red Willow Learning Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing body/mind based services for those who have experienced trauma regardless of ability to pay. In addition, she is an Advanced Certified BodyTalk Practioner who maintains a private practice in Missoula, Montana. She received her MS in Health and Physical Education from the University of Montana. BodyTalk is a healthcare system based in the understanding that interruption in the communication within the body-mind as a result of traumatic events, injury and other stresses manifest as symptoms of disease. Kathy began her journey to understand more about the health of the body/mind complex in the mid-1980s. Personal health concerns led her to discover the healing properties of movement and good nutrition. During her many years of working in the fitness industry, Kathy began to study many related topics such as bio-mechanics and movement re-education. She works with subtle energies and the effects of beliefs and accumulated stress on the health of the body/mind. In her spare time Kathy gardens, cooks and reads, voraciously.

Madeline Mussman, DO, BA

Madeline Mussman

Madeline Mussman is a Family Medicine Resident at the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana, hosted by the University of Montana, and located at Partnership Health Center in Missoula, Montana. She graduated from Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, Washington with a Doctor of Osteopathy degree. She attended Montana state University where she completed her medical school requirements. She also has a BA in Sociology from the University of Montana. Working at the Montana Office of Rural Health, Madeline came to understand where the underserved and the rural intersect in terms of Montana’s health needs. Family Medicine doctors are in a unique position to address both challenges while providing healthcare in Montana. She spends her free time in the winter plotting how best to ski all 15 of Montana’s ski areas, and summers chasing her nephews in the Bitterroot.

Beth Schenck, Ph.D., MHI, BSN, IHH Co-Chair

Beth Schenk

Beth Schenk is the nurse scientist and sustainability coordinator for Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana. In addition, she is assistant research professor at the Washington State University College of Nursing. Beth co-leads the Nursing Research Council across Providence St. Joseph Health, a large system of 50 hospitals in seven western states. Beth co-leads Action Collaborative for Environmental Stewardship (ACES) across the health system, working toward reducing environmental harm in practices, processes and policies. Beth has a BA in Botany from the University of Montana, a BS in Nursing from Montana State University, a Masters in Healthcare Innovation from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in Nursing from Washington State University.  Her research interest is in the environmental impacts of nursing practice. Additional research experience is in the areas of reduction of harm in hospitalized patients and the impacts of electronic medical records and technology on health outcomes and clinician work. In her free time, Beth enjoys hiking, hockey, gardening, family, friends, pets, and music.

David Schuldberg, PhD, MA, BA

David Schuldberg David Schuldberg is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Montana and serves as Director of Evaluation for the UM National Native Children’s Trauma Center. He received his BA in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University and his MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. David joined the faculty of UM in 1984. He had a post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Research, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine and was a visiting Professor in the Professore di Chiara Fama (“clear fame”) Program, University of Florence (Italy). At UM he teaches undergraduate and graduate Psychology courses, supervises graduate students in both their clinical work and research, pursues several lines of research, and engages in academic service. His research interests include: Integration of Behavioral Health in Primary Care; suicide prevention and intervention; momentary assessment of symptoms in PTSD and other disorders; definition and measurement of health and quality of life; nonlinear dynamical systems techniques for modeling psychological processes in time series data; creativity and serious mental disorders; psychopathology and assessment. He enjoys hiking, kayaking, gardening, cooking, and travel.

Janet Stone, ex officio

Janet StoneJanet Stone lived in Missoula from 1976 to 1992.  A graduate of Emory University, she earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Montana.  She taught school in both the Missoula and Frenchtown school districts as well in other states where she taught twenty years in K-8 classes and also served in school administration.

John Stone,Ph.D., MD, MA, BA, ex officio

John Stone

John Stone is co-founder of the Institute of Medicine and Humanities (now IHH); a physician and philosopher/bioethicist; Professor, Creighton University Center for Health Policy and Ethics, Dept. of Interdisciplinary Studies; Dept. of Medicine, School of Medicine; Graduate Faculty, the Master's Degree in Health Care Ethics of the Center for Health Policy and Ethics; and Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Creighton's Center for Promoting Health and Health Equality(CPHHE). He has a BA from Emory University, an MA in Philosophy from the University of Montana, an MD from Johns Hopkins, and a Ph.D., from Brown University in Philosophy (social justice/bioethics).

The CPHHE is a community-academic partnership working to eliminate health inequalities through community outreach, community-based participatory research, and health disparities research training. John's focus is on unjust inequalities in health and healthcare. His work includes teaching, scholarship/writing, grants, and programs.

John's post-graduate training included residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in internal medicine and at the University of Missouri Medical Center-Columbia, a cardiology fellowship and a year as chief resident in medicine. He served two years in the U.S. Public Health Service. John then practiced cardiology primarily in Missoula, Montana. He is a former Associate Professor with the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care, Tuskegee University, Alabama. At Tuskegee, John taught, conducted research and scholarship, and collaborated in NIH-funded programs to address health inequalities (cancer, cardiovascular disease) with colleagues at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta.

In his spare time, John enjoys being with his family, studying Spanish (conversation, literature, film), woodworking, exercise, diverse reading, and health-focused collaboration with the Maya (Guatemalan) Community in Omaha, Nebraska.

Jan VanRiper, JD, Ph.D., IHH Executive Director

Jan VanRiper

Jan VanRiper serves as the Executive Director of IHH. She is also Assistant Clinical Professor in the Masters Degree Program in Health Care Ethics, Center for Health Policy and Ethics at Creighton University, where she teaches Health Care Law and Ethics.  She is the Executive Director of the Montana Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. She holds a JD from the University of Montana and doctorate in Philosophy with an emphasis on applied ethics from the University of Utah.

Prior to her current position, Jan served several years on the Board of IHH. She brings a background in health policy, law and bioethics to her work. She recently returned to Montana after serving as the founding CEO and Executive Director of the National Alliance for State Health CO-OPs in Washington DC, and as Assistant Professor and Director of Health Care Reform Initiatives in the Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Jan serves on the Board of Directors of the Montana State Compensation Insurance Fund, and is a member of the Western Montana AHEC CME Advisory Council.

Jan has held positions as the Director for the Montana State Workers' Compensation Fund, General Counsel and Vice President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, and Chief Deputy Montana Insurance Commissioner. Her law firm, which she led for 12 years, focused on workers compensation, employment and health insurance law and governmental relations.  In her spare time, Jan enjoys hiking mountains and kayaking the lakes and streams of Montana and North Carolina.