IHH Board Members and Staff
Current Board Members
Christopher T Caldwell, D.O.
Dr. Caldwell has served as the Medical Director of the Montana Spine and Pain Center in Missoula. He has long been an advocate for the biopsychosocial model, having studied psychology and pre-med at Wheaton College, a faith-based liberal arts school that prides itself on the integration of faith and reason.
This early exposure to the role of the mind, body, and spirit in health informed his medical studies at the founding school of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO where he also served as a teaching fellow in clinical anatomy. He completed a surgical internship prior to his residency training and board certification in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine & Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and was awarded Outstanding Resident by the American Osteopathic Association. He left the faculty in the manual medicine department at his alma mater to complete his Anesthesia Pain Medicine fellowship at the University of Iowa under Richard Rosenquist, MD, current Chair of Pain Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He has also served as President of the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine during his tenure practicing in Park City and is a graduate of the Montana Medical Association's Physician Leadership Program. He served as the Pain Medicine representative to the Neuroscience Leadership Council for Providence St. Joseph Health. He is active as a continuing education lecturer to his peers and serves regularly as preceptor to health professions students (medical, PA, pharmacy and PT) and family medicine resident physicians.
As a physician who has treated persistent pain for 15 years, Dr. Caldwell has a passion for the patient narrative (and named a daughter Storey because "nothing changes people like the power of narrative"). He is thrilled to have good news in pain treatment (describes himself as "captivated by neuroscience optimism"), but also knows from the trenches how difficult it can be to reach those you are trying to help. He struggles daily with how best to teach each patient's story. Dr. Caldwell also has a lifetime goal of one country per birthday, born from his exchange student experience in Belgium. These last two traits are what compelled him to join Lorimer Moseley and David Butler on the inaugural Pain Revolution ride from Melbourne to Adelaide in April 2017.
Christopher Comer, PhD
Dr. Comer is a Professor Emeritus of Biology & Neuroscience at the University of Montana. 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.
Professor of English at UM since 2003, Ashby Kinch is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the University of Montana Press. 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.
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 medieval volume of the forthcoming Bloomsbury Cultural History of Death Ages (2022). He also writes and teaches about neuroscience and literature, especially poetry.
Dana Kopp, MLS, AHIP(S)
Dana is the Medical Librarian at Providence St. Patrick Hospital, she received her BA in English – Secondary Education from Montana State University and her MLS degree from the University of North Texas. Dana has been with Providence since 2001 in both Technical and Professional Library roles serving locally in The Learning Center and across the System as a member of System Library Services. Dana has received award funding to create relaxation and education stations within the hospital, update public computer access in waiting rooms and received the Medical Library Association’s Hospital Library Scroll of Exemplary Service Award in 2019.
Outside of Librarianship, Dana and her family run a small ranch, raising cattle and horses. They enjoy riding in the mountains, playing Cowboy Polo and other horse games, fishing and rarely having any downtime.
Amy Ratto Parks serves as the Executive Director of the IHH. She is also the Associate Director of the Writing and Public Speaking Center at the University of Montana. She holds an MA in literature, an MFA in poetry, and an EdD in Education from the University of Montana. Her research areas include meta-cognition, writing instruction, and the psychology of writing; she writes regularly about integrating meta-cognitive strategies into classroom pedagogy. Her creative works, Bread and Water Body (2004), Song of Days Torn and Mended (2015), Radial Bloom (2018), and How to Remember the World (2019), explore the physical experiences of illness, loss, grief, and gratitude.
Laura Shelton, MD
Dr. Shelton is a family physician with Florence Family Medicine. She graduated with honors from the University Of North Dakota School Of Medicine in 1994. Having more than 24 years of diverse experience, especially in FAMILY PRACTICE.
Janet Stone, ex officio
Janet 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 for twenty years in K-8 classes and also served in school administration.
John Stone,Ph.D., MD, MA, BA, ex officio
Dr. 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 a 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, PhD, IHH Chair
Dr. VanRiper brings a background in health policy and insurance, law, and bioethics to the IHH Board. She is the immediate past Executive Director for IHH and had previously served on the Board for nine years. She is currently the Executive Director for the Montana Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association. Past appointments include CEO of the National Association of State Health CO-OPs; Assistant Clinical Professor at the Center for Health Policy and Ethics at Creighton University; Assistant Professor and Director of Health Care Reform Initiatives at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University; General Counsel and Vice President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana; and Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner for the State of Montana. She holds a J.D. from the University of Montana and a doctorate in Philosophy with an emphasis on applied ethics from the University of Utah. She also serves on the Board of the Montana State Workers’ Compensation Fund.
When not working she enjoys hiking mountains, kayaking the lakes and streams of Montana, and frolicking with her rambunctious grandchildren.
Past Board Members
Beth Hubble, PhD, MA, BA
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. 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.
Chris Fiore, PhD
Chris 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.
Kathy Mangan, MS, AdvCBP, CBI
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 their 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 on 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 the 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 biomechanics 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 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.
Erik Norbie earned an MFA in creative writing at the University of Montana. Since leaving the study of medicine, he has worked to change how students and professionals in the health sciences are trained, including expanding the role of the humanities. His creative work appears in literary and academic journals such as Image, Bellevue Literary Review, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and JAMA, among others. He was selected as a winner of the Kalanithi Writing Award from Stanford University's Department of Medicine and as a finalist for the Loft Literary Center's Mentor Series.
Apryle Pickering, MA, MPH
Apryle Pickering is the Director of Population Health and Government Programs with Community Medical Center in Missoula, Montana. Originally from Vermont, Apryle has a BA in Anthropology from Union College in New York and went on to receive a Masters's Degree in Applied Anthropology and a Masters's Degree in Public Health from the University of Montana. Apryle has worked in healthcare administration and management for the past 9 years and has evolved that previous experience into her current position and interests within population health management and value-based reimbursement models. Apryle currently manages programs and quality reporting within the primary care setting that are focused on a more team-based and patient-centered approach to healthcare. Apryle enjoys hiking, her dogs and traveling in her free time.
Beth Schenck, Ph.D., MHI, BSN, IHH Co-Chair
Beth Schenk is the nurse scientist and sustainability coordinator for Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana. In addition, she is an 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 master's 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 is a professor emeritus of the Department of Psychology at the University of Montana and served 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 traveling.
Jeff Walden, MD
Dr. Jeffrey Walden is a Family Medicine Specialist in Missoula, Montana.