Representative Francis Gibson, MSW, MBA, Board Chair

Mr. Gibson is the CEO of Intermountain Healthcare’s Orem Community Hospital in Orem, Utah. Mr. Gibson was also recently named the CEO of Intermountain Healthcare’s Spanish Fork Hospital, which opened in April 2021. Mr. Gibson received his Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from Brigham Young University, an MBA in Business and Health Care from Utah State University, and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Houston. He currently serves in the Utah House of Representatives.

In his capacity as a Utah State Representative, Mr. Gibson has chaired the Education Standing Committee and served on the Education Appropriations Committee. He has been a member of the Health Care Task Force, House Special Investigative Committee, and the Legislative Redistricting Committee.  He serves on the board of Children’s Justice Center of Utah County, as a Board member of the Utah Sports Commission, as well as on the Executive Board for Boy Scouts of America National Parks Council.

Morris D. Linton, J.D., Board Vice Chair

Mr. Linton served as Senior Counsel at Intermountain Healthcare from 1982 until 2016. His career at Intermountain Healthcare focused on corporate law, computer law, bioethics, and HIPAA regulation. Mr. Linton completed his undergraduate studies at Yale and Brigham Young University and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1978. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Frank Q. Nebeker, a judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and then for the Honorable Ralph R. Mabey, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Utah.

Mr. Linton was a member of the Utah Constitutional Revision Commission from 1994 to 2006. He also served on the Health Information and Technology Committee of the American Health Lawyers Association. For the past two years, Mr. Linton has advised and been appointed to be the chief legal officer of a biotech company based in Provo. Mr. Linton has been an adjunct professor at BYU’s law school, teaching legal drafting since 2008. He also serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the law school and on the Religious Freedom Committee of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. He is a member of Scribes, the American Society of Legal Writers.

Sean R. Curzon, D.O., Board Secretary

Dr. Curzon specializes in Internal Medicine and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Curzon received his D.O. degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1999. He completed his internship and residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Curzon is affiliated with Utah Valley Hospital, Timpanogos Regional Hospital, and American Fork Hospital as a physician with Revere Health. He functions also as a medical director of both a Skilled Nursing Facility and Hospice and Palliative Care team. Dr. Curzon is a member of the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons. He supports MAP International, a nonprofit organization providing life-changing medicines and health supplies to people in need around the world.

Trevor Smith, PhD, Board Treasurer

Dr. Smith is the System Executive Director of Health Promotion and Wellness for Intermountain Healthcare. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from Southern Utah University and a PhD in Health Promotion and Wellness from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Dr. Smith has done consulting work for Nike and Duke University, and they have used study data from Dr. Smith’s research in their programs.

Dr. Smith has published his research in the International Journal of Exercise Science, titled “Stroboscopic Training Improves Anticipatory Response,” and is currently conducting research regarding “Examining Self-reported Adult Physical Activity Levels in an Integrated Health Care System.” Prior to joining the Wellness team, Dr. Smith spent three years in cardiac rehab working with patients recovering from various heart procedures. Dr. Smith also did an extensive internship with Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Utah creating and implementing wellness programs that cater to specialty populations.

Kimball Anderson, Board Member

Mr. Anderson has served as the CEO of Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, Utah since July 2015. Prior to that, he spent six years as the CEO of Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas. Mr. Anderson has over 30 years of experience in healthcare management, including as Chief Operating Officer at Timpanogos Regional and Mountain View Hospitals in Utah. Mr. Anderson graduated from Utah Valley University with an associate’s degree in Hospitality and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Colorado. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served as a Regent for Nevada.

Mr. Anderson is on the Utah Healthcare Executives board and has been a member of the Nevada Hospital Association Board of Directors and the Community Advisory Board of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Health Administration program.

Representative John R. Curtis, Board Member

Congressman Curtis represents Utah’ s 3rd Congressional District in the United States Congress, a district that includes Salt Lake, Utah, Emery, Carbon, San Juan, Grand, and Wasatch Counties. Prior to being elected on November 13, 2017, Congressman Curtis was the 45th mayor of Provo City, serving two terms. He was named the #1 Top Elected Official on Social Media 2015 by the Government Social Media group and has been recognized by Forbes for his commitment to citizen engagement. Representative Curtis graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Business Management.

Before becoming mayor of Provo in 2010, Representative Curtis was the Chief Executive Officer and partner at Action Target Company, which manufactures shooting range equipment. He has also served on a number of community and advisory boards, including the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce (now Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce), the Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Utah National Parks Council of the Boys Scouts of America, and the Utah Valley Healthcare Foundation.

Vanessa Halvorsen, D.O., Board Member

Dr. Halvorsen was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Halvorsen graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Exercise Physiology. She then continued her education at the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine as the salutatorian, earning her D.O. degree in 2018 and serving as Student Body President of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Halvorsen also served as the only third-year student representative on the American Osteopathic Association’s Bureau of Emerging Leaders.

Dr. Halvorsen was elected to serve on the executive board of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP), a student division of AACOM.  Dr. Halvorsen was then elected to be the American Osteopathic Association’s sole student member on its Board of Trustees. She received the American Osteopathic Foundation’s “Golden Ticket” award for excellence in academic performance and leadership. Dr. Halvorsen is an Otolaryngology/Facial Plastics resident at Freeman Hospital in Missouri through KCUCOM, with expected graduation in 2023.

Brent Israelsen, JD, Board Member

Mr. Israelsen is the Executive Chairman at Thunder Biotech, Inc.  He graduated from Brigham Young University School of Law in 1982 after receiving his Bachelor of Science at Utah State University. Mr. Israelsen practiced law in Washington, DC for 13 years with positions in the federal government, the U.S. courts, and the private law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Mr. Israelsen is an experienced serial entrepreneur, attorney, and businessman with deep roots in the practice of law, business, innovation, technology, education, and the Internet.

Mr. Israelsen led innovation projects that introduced digital signatures into the real estate and mortgage markets, completing the world’s first electronic mortgage transaction in June 2000. Mr. Israelsen holds four patents, served as President of the Utah Chapter of Maverick Angels, and co-founded GEDIH, Inc., which works with companies in the areas of education, financial and healthcare as well as human resources, legal and government.

Heather Kahlert, Board Member

Ms. Kahlert is Executive Vice President for The Kahlert Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide grants to improve the quality of life and well-being of the community in the areas of health care, youth programs, education, veteran organizations, and human services. Ms. Kahlert attended the University of Utah and in 2018 was named to Utah Valley 360 Business Magazine’s “40 under 40.”

She serves on the Utah Valley University Foundation Board, the Foundation Advisory Board for Primary Children’s Hospital, the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Advisory Board to the University of Utah – Davis Eccles School of Business, the Make a Wish Utah Board of Directors and the Alpine School District Foundation Board.

Kent Loosle, Board Member

Mr. Loosle is the President at Mountain Point Medical Center, located in Northern Utah County. Mountain Point Medical Center is part of the Steward Healthcare System.  Prior to Mountain Point, Mr. Loosle served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Utah Region. Mr. Loosle’s experience includes 10 years as the Chief Operating Officer of St Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center.

Mr. Loosle also served in various leadership positions with Intermountain Healthcare for 13 years. Mr. Loosle has a master’s degree in Business Administration from Utah State University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University. He is very active in his community in Utah County, the Chamber of Commerce, and serves in various civic organizations.

Lieutenant Commander Shannon Lorimer, D.O., Board Member

Dr. Lorimer specializes in Orthopedic Surgery and is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Lorimer received her D.O. degree from KCUCOM in 2010 after completing her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas.  She completed her residency at Rowan University in Stratford, New Jersey and is an Orthopedic Oncology Fellow at the Huntsman Cancer Institute affiliated with the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City. Prior to acceptance into her fellowship, Dr. Lorimer served as attending orthopedic surgeon for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center in North Chicago, Illinois.

John F. Nemelka, MBA, Board Member

Mr. Nemelka was raised in Mapleton, Utah. He earned his MBA degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Brigham Young University in 1990. Mr. Nemelka founded NightWatch Capital Advisors, LLC in 2001 and served as Chief Executive Officer of the public company SWK Holdings. Previously, he was a partner at Graham Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in technology-driven companies. While at Graham Partners, he also managed the Graham Group’s alternative investment portfolio. Prior to Graham Partners, he worked for Smith Barney in the Industrial and Transaction Development Groups and worked for the Head of the Investment Banking Division, working on strategic planning and operational issues. Mr. Nemelka currently serves on the Board of Directors of SANUWAVE Health, Inc., a medical technology company, and is a strategic partner at TractusMed, LLC, which is developing the largest diagnostic cancer database in the U.S. Mr. Nemelka is also a co-founder of the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Andy Noorda, Board Member

Mr. Noorda is a managing member of The Canopy Group, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Lindon, Utah. The Canopy Group targets information technology and life science companies in the western United States. It was founded by Mr. Noorda’s father, the late Ray Noorda, who was the founder and former CEO of Novell, Inc. Mr. Noorda worked in various supervisory capacities at Novell before joining The Canopy Group.

Mr. Noorda has been involved in medical philanthropy assisting the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation in making grants to notable not-for-profit entities, including the University of Utah’s Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence, the University of Utah School of Dentistry, The Noorda Performing Arts Center at the Utah Valley University and Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake. Mr. Noorda also serves as a Board of Trustees member for the ScenicView Academy for young adults with autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities.

Jonora Searles, RN, Board Member

Ms. Searles graduated from Linfield College, where she served as Student Body President. Ms. Searles has served as a Registered Nurse since 1991, working in Triage, High Risk Labor and Delivery, Post-Anesthesia Recovery and Critical Care. She has also served as a Director of Nursing for a home health agency in Dallas, Texas. In 1995, Ms. Searles earned her Advanced Certification, specializing in Obstetrics.

While still working as a labor and delivery nurse, Ms. Searles became a Licensed Realtor in 2002. She has been a Realtor with Keller Williams since 2003, focusing on commercial development and residential sales. She continues to represent clients and manages residential lease properties. Ms. Searles currently serves as Vice President of Operations for EltonCo, a private investment company. She resides in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

Michael Skurja, DPT, ECS, Board Member

Dr. Skurja is a co-founder of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and served as the Executive Vice President of Operations and the Director of Continuing Education until 2019. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science from Fort Lewis College, and a Certificate in Physical Therapy from the Mayo Foundation in 1969. That year, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the United States Navy, where he served for 23 years as a physical therapist and in countless executive medicine positions, retiring as a Captain (0-6).

In 1992, while serving in the Navy, he obtained a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. He also obtained a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Dr. Skurja currently serves as the President of Wasatch Education, Inc. and as the Chair of the RMU Board of Trustees. Dr. Skurja is also a co-founder of the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Greg Stuart, Board Member

Mr. Stuart is founder and CEO for Strategic Partners Group based in Bountiful, Utah. Mr. Stuart started his real estate career in 1977, specializing in industrial real estate brokerage. In 1979, he co-founded Commerce Properties, which grew to become the largest commercial real estate brokerage company in the Intermountain area. During his time at Commerce, Mr. Stuart served as President and CEO, as well as the chairman of the industrial committee overseeing all industrial activity at Commerce.

In 2012, Mr. Stuart exited Commerce to pursue the full-time development of commercial and retail properties throughout the United States. This has resulted in developments exceeding 1,000,000 square feet in 16 states. Strategic Partners Group has developed properties for Walgreens, Tractor Supply, O’Reilly Auto, Dollar General, Family Dollar and Shopko. Mr. Stuart is also a co-founder of the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Norman Wright, PhD, Board Member

Dr. Wright has served as the Dean of the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah since 2010.  Dr. Wright earned his PhD in Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University, where he also graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.

Dr. Wright has consulted, trained, and served on the boards of many organizations, ranging from the World Wide Fund for Nature to Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University PhD Program in the United Arab Emirates to Kahuku Hospital in Hawaii. He currently works to make his home community better by serving on the Provo City Energy Board and works to make individual lives better around the world through his service on the Executive Committee of the Academy for Creating enterprise with operations in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and Venezuela.

Richard P. Nielsen, PT, DHSc, ECS, Ex-officio Board Member, Founding President & CEO

Dr. Nielsen is the co-founder of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and is the co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine. In addition, he has served as RMU’s Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Nielsen is also a part-time faculty member at RMU in Clinical Electrophysiology graduate and training courses. He obtained his Doctorate degree in Health Sciences (DHSc) with emphasis in Clinical Electrophysiology/Neurophysiology from the University of St. Augustine in Florida and a master’s degree in Neuro-kinesiology from the University of Washington in Seattle with undergraduate Bachelor’s degrees from both Brigham Young University and the University of Utah.

Dr. Nielsen is Board Certified as an Electrophysiologic Clinical Specialist and has three times re-certified. He previously served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years as a physical therapist and was consultant to the U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, U.S. Supreme Court, Pentagon, and the White House until retirement in 1994. He now serves on multiple humanitarian foundational boards and has led humanitarian efforts to Africa for 34 years in a charitable foundation he and his wife started called World of Difference ( www.worldofdifference.ngo ) where they build primary and secondary schools and libraries, drill wells in remote villages, take RMU graduate healthcare students to work in third-world hospitals and clinics and provide agricultural support to the residents of Malawi, Africa. He and his wife were awarded the American Red Cross International Hero Award in 2013, and he received the National Leader of the Year Award in 2015 by the American Physical Therapy Association. In 2019, Dr. Nielsen received the Utah Hero of the Year award in Healthcare Education.

John J. Dougherty, DO, FACOFP, FAOASM, FAODME, FILM, Ex-officio Board Member, Dean, and Chief Academic Officer

After undergraduate studies in which he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education and Biology from Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri, Dr. Dougherty earned his D.O. degree in 1992 from the COM now known as the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (“KCUCOM”).  Thereafter, he was a resident at the Family Medicine Residency Program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, before becoming the Founding Chief Resident of the Family Medicine Residency Program at Oak Hill Hospital – Joplin (associated with KCUCOM).

Dr. Dougherty is board certified in Family Medicine and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine.  He is recognized as a fellow in both Family and Sports Medicine, as well as with the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators (a professional association of deans and presidents of osteopathic medical schools, residency program directors, and the leadership of AACOM, which is now known as the Assembly of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Educators) and the Institute of Leaders in Medicine under the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.  Dr. Dougherty has served on the Executive Committee of the Osteopathic Recognition Committee within the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and as President of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine.  Immediately before relocating to Provo, Dr. Dougherty had been serving as Dean of the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in Henderson, Nevada.  Prior to that, he served in a variety of senior leadership roles at KCUCOM for 20 years, including the Chair of Family Medicine, Medical Director, Associate Dean of Clinical Education and Medical Affairs, Senior Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs and Graduate Medical Education, and Interim Dean.  He also served Freeman Health System for nine years as its Director of Medical Education and Family Medicine Residency Program Director and Clinic Director in Joplin, Missouri.

Dr. Dougherty has been certified as an inspector for COCA since 2012. Dr. Dougherty is the only inspector to be certified to inspect all COM areas (Administrator, Academic, Educator, Practitioner), and has served as an Inspection team chair since 2017. As a COM administrator, Dr. Dougherty has successfully shepherded several successful efforts through COCA, including the approval of an additional location for KCUCOM ’s Joplin campus, a class size increase for Touro University Nevada COM in Henderson, Nevada and now Noorda COM in accomplishing Pre-Accreditation.