PLA Board of Directors

John Heintz, MD

I graduated from the Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1985, and completed an Internal Medicine/Pediatrics residency in 1989 at OSU and at Nationwide Children's Hospital. My work has been in academic, clinical and specialty areas with current work in primary care through Mount Carmel Medical Group(MCMG) and Pediatric Pulmonary at Nationwide Children's in Cystic Fibrosis care. My special interests include engaging patients in their care, transitioning teens with cystic fibrosis to adult care and improving primary care through initiatives at our office. I also serve on the boards of Health Partners and the Mount Carmel Medical Group and as chair of the MCMG Patient Engagement committee. 

I bring a varied background to my work including widespread travel, service in the Peace Corps in Colombia, and a degree in communications/film and photography. My experiences in leadership are all trial and error, prompting my interest in helping others be better prepared.

Jeffrey Bell. MD 
Dr. Bell by training is a gynecologic oncologist.  Locations of professional training include Ohio State University, Bethesda Naval Hospital , and University of Miami , Fla.   He was in private practice from 1984 to 2005, after which he became Medical Director of Cancer Services at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus Ohio.  For 16 years during private practice Dr. Bell had the privilege of serving as program director for the ob-gyn residency at the same hospital; that experience taught him much about relationships, leadership, counseling, mentorship, and coaching.  While continuing clinical activity by teaching and mentoring the residents, he has expanded his leadership experience through his medical director position. Other leadership roles include past president of the Columbus Obstetrics and Gynecology Society, past president of the Columbus Medical Association, and co-chair of the Quality of Life Committee in the Gynecologic Oncology Group.

Dr. Bell's current avocation is leadership and life coaching.  He completed coaching certification at the Hudson Institute of Coaching, and hopes to transition to coaching as a part time career.

Robert Balchick, MD, MBA, CPE
Dr. Robert Balchick is currently employed by Aetna, Inc. in the national accounts division working with large self insured domestic and international clients.  His previous position was the Chief Medical Officer for the State of Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation where he also worked with The Ohio State University’s College of Public Health as an Adjunct Assistant Professor doing population based research.   While working for the State, he was appointed to the Governor’s interagency committee for Health Information Technology and the Governor’s task force for Prescription Drug Abuse.  He is an active member of the Ohio TechAngel Fund, which invests in early start up companies in Ohio and he is a member of the Board of Directors of a start-up bio-pharmaceutical company as well as treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Physician’s Care Connection that provides medical care for the underserved population of Central Ohio.

Dr. Balchick received his Medical Degree from The Ohio State University and completed a Urologic residency at the Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine.  He also holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from The Ohio State University as well as a Certified Physician Executive certification from the American College of Physician Executives.  He is licensed in Ohio and Florida as well as Board Certified in Urology and practiced Urology in Columbus, Ohio for 18 years.  He is a member of the American Urologic Association, the American College of Physician Executives, the American Medical Association, the Columbus Medical Association and the Ohio State Medical Association.

Douglas G. Finnie, MD
Douglas G. Finnie, M.D. has been a practicing general internist in Columbus for over 35 years. Medical school was The Ohio State University.  Internal Medicine Residency was done at Mount Carmel West.  He has been a part of Mount Carmel Health System his entire career; becoming a member of the Mount Carmel Medical Group in 2009.  He has served as the group’s Medical Director and has most recently been named its Chief Medical Officer.  The group is over 200 employed primary care, multi-specialty physicians and APP’s.  He is a longtime member of the CMA and OSMA.  He is married with a family and grandchildren.
Dr. Finnie is passionate about the need for physician leadership in these transformative times.  After evaluating numerous physician leadership training programs across the country, he came to the conclusion that the Columbus Medical Association had the capacity and should develop a unique, world class program.  His role has been as a committed physician champion for the program from its inception.  It is his belief that this program should be local and should encourage physicians from all the local health care systems to learn to work together.  The curriculum has been crafted over the past two years to provide physicians with insight into themselves as leaders, to give them day to day tools to lead change, and to provide lifetime value.  This program will help physicians lead the innovative and transformative change that is occurring in health care today. 

Diane L. Habash, PhD, MS, RDN, LD
Associate Clinical Prof, Division of Health Sciences & Medical Dietetics
Associate Director of Education, Center for Integrative Medicine
OSU College of Medicine

I have been working & learning for over 37 years as a researcher, teacher, and clinician. I began in pre-clinical testing of anti-neoplastic drugs for the government. After getting MS and PhD in nutrition, metabolism and exercise, I developed and used a wide array of assessment procedures in those domains for the OSU Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) and managed its Bionutrition Core. I advised researchers in their design & use of these many methods. 

I have been a dietitian for 18 years and involved in translating health and research information to the every-day patient through research studies, consults, & volunteer work at free clinics for the underserved. I currently serve on non-profit Boards/committees in the Columbus community.   

In 2013 I took on and now continue to teach graduate, undergrad, & medical students about nutrition assessment and diet and to teach undergrads in Health Sciences about Integrative Medicine (i.e. the use and role of integrative medicine in society). In my role as Associate Director of Education for the OSU Center of Integrative Health and Wellness, I am developing and implementing, with our specific integrative clinicians, the educational curricula for training healthcare professionals in many facets of integrative health. 

While my overall personal mission is to impact the health of my community, especially the underserved which I have been doing through leadership for 5 student organizations vested in this work, I am also developing the novel area of ‘narrative practice’ in medicine & health with competence in nutrition with students & dietetic interns. I truly believe that a person’s story is vital for the clinician and patient in the path to achieve ultimate health and healing. Through these collective interests and connections, I am hopeful to make contributions to grants and programs which impact members of my community. 

David A. Julian, PhD
Evaluation Director

Dr. Julian received his PhD from Michigan State University in Community Psychology.  His areas of specialization included health and human services planning, program evaluation and community organization.  Dr. Julian received a MCRP (Master of City and Regional Planning) degree from Ohio State University and a BA in Psychology from Miami University.  This combination of educational experiences and his participation in a variety of professional roles have allowed Dr. Julian to be an active program evaluator who has worked with a variety of health and social services organizations.

From 1992 until 2001, Dr. Julian was the Director of Evaluation and Research at the United Way in Franklin County, Ohio.  During his tenure, Dr. Julian was instrumental in developing a comprehensive system for defining and measuring program level outcomes and using outcome information as a component of local investment decisions.  The Franklin County United Way approach to outcome definition and measurement has been described in several scholarly and practical articles.

Dr. Julian has held appointments in the College of Public Health, City and Regional Planning and Social Work at The Ohio State University.  He has taught program evaluation and planning and worked with students to conduct formal evaluations of education, health and social services programs.  He is currently the Director of Community Planning and Evaluation at CETE, a center in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University.  In his capacity as Director of Community Planning and Evaluation, Dr. Julian has served as Co-Principal Investigator for a variety of evaluation and capacity building projects.  He has authored numerous publications in refereed journals and more than 100 technical reports and presentations.

Marc Parnes, MD
Marc Parnes has been a physician for 33 years in the specialty of Obstetrics and gynaecology. He retired from private practice in August of 2012. Early on in his career Dr. Parnes became aware of the importance of the patient/physician relationship and its critical role in the healing process. Firmly rooted in the physical sciences (BA in Physics from Kenyon College) and classic medicine (MD from Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine), he appreciates that there is something that greatly enhances medical knowledge in the process of healing that has to do with the interaction that occurs between the two individuals involved in the process.

In the spring of 2005 he had the opportunity to take part in Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter training. Since that time he has become a practitioner and steward of the Art of Hosting. He had the opportunity to attend the ALIA Summer Institute six times, which has enhanced his understanding of authentic leadership. It has led to a greater understanding and appreciation of living systems and has led him to develop his personal practice of mindful meditation.

Currently Marc serves as the President of the Columbus Medical Association Foundation and managers a three-physician practice. In both of these endeavors he is given the opportunity to practice the Art of Hosting. Within the practice the physicians have been successfully using self-organization as an integral part of its corporate structure.

Dr. Parnes’ aspiration over the course of his retirement is to share his experience with how the Art of Hosting and mindful meditation has influenced and enhanced his personal practice of medicine. He believes it can lead others to a greater level of practicing the Art of Medicine.

Clinical Nurse Specialist – Breast Cancer Continuum
Ms. Rettig has more than 20 years experience as a Registered Nurse and more than 5 years as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. Prior to joining The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center - The James, Amy held numerous Registered Nursing positions in hospitals, colleges, and government in Ohio. She was the Practice Consultant for the Ohio Board of Nursing and was the Breast Health Nurse for Blanchard Valley Health System. She joined The James in 2008 to specifically work with the breast cancer program.

Amy received a Post-Master’s Certificate in Psych-Mental Health Advanced Nurse Practice from The Ohio State University, a Master of Science in Nursing in family and community nursing from Capital University, a Master of Arts in Lay Ministry from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing from Bowling Green State University. She was also the founder of Special Kids Therapy, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with special health care needs and their families get funding for therapies not covered by state and private insurance.

As a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Amy facilitates work that creates a continuum of care in the breast cancer program by bringing the breast cancer team together through direct patient care, staff education, and system-wide initiatives. The Breast Cancer Continuum, a podcast library, is one program she developed impacting all areas of the care of and for breast cancer patients. She also serves as a facilitator for Relationship-Based Care, a model of healthcare that creates a caring and healing environment through caring for self, caring for colleagues, and caring for the community, to best care for patients and their families.

Anita Somani, MD
Dr. Anita Somani is a 1988 graduate of the Medical College of Ohio and completed her OB/GYN Residency at Mt. Carmel Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. She is board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Miami University. Dr. Somani is interested in the overall health of women.  Specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology, she has a special interest in Minimally Invasive Surgery.  She is a Certified Single-Site® Console Surgeon. She has trained in nonsurgical aesthetics and enjoys enhancing women’s looks with Botox and Juvederm Voluma fillers. She encourages women to follow a healthy lifestyle that includes preventive care, a healthy diet and exercise at any age.

Dr. Somani is an American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fellow, a Past President of the Columbus OB/GNY Society, a member of the Academy of Medicine and the Ohio State Medical Association, a board member of the St. Ann’s Perinatal Peer Review and past board member of the Knightsbridge Surgery Center. She has served as a delegate and alternate delegate to the Ohio State Medical Association.

You may have seen Dr. Somani in a magazine or on television as she is often called upon by the media to present her expert views on current women’s health issues. Her hobbies include running, participating in book club with a group of friends, travelling and cooking.

Tara Spalla, PhD, RN
Tara Spalla, PhD, RN is the Interim Academic Dean at Mount Carmel College of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio.  In this role she leads academic programs and student affairs; mentors associate deans and faculty; assesses quality of instruction; evaluates effectiveness of academic and student-focused programs, and enhances current programs; develops new initiatives for academic programming; provides professional development of faculty and student services staff; and collaborates with enrollment management, institutional advancement and college development.

In an effort to improve patient outcomes, Tara collaborates within a national healthcare system to increase the percentage of registered nurses educated at the baccalaureate level, and with community colleges to develop articulation agreements that offer seamless academic progression.  Both of those initiatives are in alignment with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Institute of Medicine 80/20 recommendation.

Tara is active as an on-site evaluator in the accreditation of nursing programs through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Her scholarship also includes work as a peer-reviewer for Quality Matters™, a leading national benchmark for quality assurance in online education.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Wright State University, Master of Science degree in community health nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in higher education policy and leadership from The Ohio State University.  Her research examines how the use of trans-Atlantic web-conferencing impacts cultural competence of nursing students.  She has presented this work nationally and internationally.