Francis Gibson, MSW, MBA, Board Chair

Francis Gibson, MSW, MBA serves as CEO of Spanish Fork Hospital for Intermountain Health.   He received his MBA in Business and Health Care from Utah State University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Houston after completing his undergraduate work at Brigham Young University.  

Francis has served in the Utah State Legislature for 13 years and a city councilman in Mapleton city for one term or four years.  Francis has been committed to helping children in need by serving on the Children’s Justice Center Board for 12 years, and the United Way of Utah Board. “I believe everyone should get the chance to be their best as define by them”.  Francis loves to serve in a number of areas that will assist others to become what they want to become.     

Francis and his wife Sheila have four children, a son and daughter-in-law, and one granddaughter.  He coaches high school football and loves to compete at just about anything, so golf is his current competitor that often times beats him.   

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.

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.

Gary Herbert, Board Member

Gary R. Herbert served as the 17th governor of Utah from 2009 to 2021 and was the nation’s longest-serving governor when he left office. During his tenure, his focus was on economic development, education, energy, and efficiency in government. As a result, Utah is recognized as a premier business destination and a great place to live and raise families, with an unsurpassed quality of life.

Herbert has long been a strong advocate for excellence in public and higher education in Utah. He is currently dedicating his time and resources to benefit the students at Utah Valley University, launching UVU’s Herbert Public Policy Institute. The Institute develops future policy leaders, gathers the community, and builds trust in civic institutions.

Brent Israelsen, JD, Board Member

D. Brent Israelsen is a lawyer licensed in Utah (active) and in Washington DC (inactive).  He co-founded Thunder Biotech, Inc. He also serves as President and CEO of GEDIH, Inc. and GENISES, Inc. and on the boards of directors of, Inc. and Citizens Portal Inc.

Mr. Israelsen graduated from Brigham Young University, J Rueben Clark School of Law, with a Juris Doctorate degree in 1982. Previously he graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degrees in University Studies with an emphasis in economics, accounting, history, political science, English and Spanish.

Mr. Israelsen practiced law in Washington, DC with positions in the federal government, the United States Courts, and the private law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Mr. Israelsen worked in Boston, MA as President of Jurisoft, a division of Lexis Nexis.

Mr. Israelsen led software technology companies developing innovation projects that introduced digital signatures into the education, finance, government, insurance, mortgage and real estate markets. His team completed the world’s first fully electronic mortgage transaction under new digital and electronic signature laws in June 2000. He served as President of the Utah Chapter of Maverick Angels with chapters in California, in Utah and in Milan, Italy.

Mr. Israelsen is an experienced lawyer, serial entrepreneur and businessman with deep roots in the legal, government and regulatory markets, as well as business, education, finance, government, healthcare, insurance, real estate, software and technology markets. He holds four patents.

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.

Linda Makin, Board Member

Linda Makin serves as Vice President for Planning, Budget & Finance/CFO at Utah Valley University.  She earned her Master of Public Administration from Brigham Young University and her Bachelor of Accounting from Utah Valley University.  During her 40+ year career at UVU, Linda has supervised a variety of administrative teams including Finance and Business Services, Internal Audit, Budget, Policy, Human Resources, EEO/Title IX, University Compliance, University Planning & Effectiveness, and Institutional Research.  She serves as a peer evaluator for the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities and engages with professional higher education associations.

Reflective of her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Linda serves as UVU’s Utah Women in Higher Education Network chapter executive liaison, as a member of UVU’s Women’s Council, as an ambassador for the Utah Women’s Leadership Project, and as a mentor for the Utah Women’s Leadership Exchange.  She is active in the community serving as a member of Utah Community Credit Union Board of Directors, Utah Foundation Board of Trustees, and United Way of Utah County Board.

John F. Nemelka, MBA, Board Member

John F. Nemelka, MBA, 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.


Brent Noorda is a slow thinker who practices charity, entrepreneurship, humor, music, nursing, parenting, software engineering, studying, and writing. As a Trustee of the Ray & Tye Noorda Foundation, Brent has been involved with Noorda-COM since its conception.

In 2014, Brent returned to school for a career change from software startups to nursing. That initiation into current education and healthcare practices made Brent hopeful that innovations in teaching methods will lead to more doctors providing more care to more people in more locations, and optimistic that Noorda-COM will play an important part in making that happen.

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 (RMUoHP). He currently serves as the Chair, RMUoHP Board of Trustees, and the President of Wasatch Educational, Inc.

He graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado in 1967 with a B.S. degree in Biological Science and the Mayo Foundation Physical Therapy Program in 1969 with a Certificate in Physical Therapy. In 1979, he earned a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California with a specialization in musculoskeletal disorders, and in 2007, he received his Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from Rocky Mountain University.

Prior to joining RMUoHP Dr. Skurja’s career included-

  • Twenty-three years in the US Navy as a clinician, educator and hospital administrator; he retired as a Captain in 1992.
  • Owner of a private practice in San Diego specializing in electrophysiologic testing, 1992-2006.
  • One of the two co-founders of Electrophysiologic Testing Seminars and the Institute of Clinical Electrophysiology.

Dr. Skurja lives in San Diego, California with his wife, Nan.

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.

Dr. Norman Wright, PhD

President & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Norman Wright was appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine effective February 1, 2022 following a national search. Prior to his position at the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine, he served as the Dean of the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University for eleven years, leading that institution through the introduction of several new undergraduate and graduate programs, two accreditation renewals, significant fundraising, a doubling of the student body and faculty team, creation of a world-class advisory board, and building a new 200,000 square foot business building.

Dr. Wright holds a Ph.D. in Management from Wharton as well as an M.A. degree in Management from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Public Administration degree and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Brigham Young University. Prior to joining the Woodbury School of Business, Dr. Wright served in academic administration for nine years in the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, and Hawaii.

In addition to his academic work, Dr. Wright maintains close connection with industry through consulting and board service including with organizations such as Kahuku Community Hospital, the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine, Academy for Creating Enterprise, and Provo City Power.

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

Founding Dean & 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.