Our Faculty is composed of scholars, clinical, healthcare and business professionals from a wide range of disciplines.

Our faculty and administration are continuously listening to, learning from, and working with the healthcare and business community. As a result, our curricula stays current within the dynamic professional landscape, and our students graduate with real-world experience.

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Stacey Willis, OTD, BSOT, OTR/L

Stacey Willis, OTD, BSOT, OTR/L

Dean & Program Director

Dr. Stacey Willis obtained her Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2012, and her undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy from California State University Dominguez Hills in 2002. Dr. Willis is an expert in psychosocial occupational therapy trea...

Stacey Willis, OTD, BSOT, OTR/L

Stacey Willis, OTD, BSOT, OTR/L

Dean & Program Director

Dr. Stacey Willis obtained her Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2012, and her undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy from California State University Dominguez Hills in 2002. Dr. Willis is an expert in psychosocial occupational therapy treatment, and has been working in community-based mental health for the past 12 years. Dr. Willis has extensive experience in the areas of management, leadership, program development, community integration, fiscal operations, and contract administration.

Dr. Willis served as the Intensive Services Director at the Occupational Therapy Training Program, where she was responsible for overseeing all daily and administrative operations of the Intensive Services Department. This included the oversight of three intensive programs funded by the county of Los Angeles (Wraparound Program, Center for the Assessment of Prodromal States Pilot Program, and the Full Service Partnership Program).  Dr. Willis was able to identify, promote, and embed occupational therapy services into various community-based programs. As director Dr. Willis also provided ongoing management, training, and mentorship to an interdisciplinary mental health services team. Dr. Willis remains a consultant for the division.

Dr. Willis has spoken at numerous conferences, and community events emphasizing the importance and vital role that occupational therapy provides in the treatment of individuals living with mental illness.

Dr. Willis is an avid Lakers fan, self-proclaimed movie buff, and enjoys engaging in community outreach, in an effort to inspire youth to strive to reach their fullest potential. She and her husband’s favorite pastime is to cheer on their son and daughter at their numerous sporting events.

Annie Burke-Doe, PT, MPT, PhD

Annie Burke-Doe, PT, MPT, PhD

Program Director/ Dean, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Phone: 323.454.5068
Email: aBurke-Doe@westcoastuniversity.edu

Dr. Burke-Doe is currently a professor at West Coast University (WCU) Department of Physical Therapy.  After completing her MPT in 1992 she practiced physical therapy in the areas of geriatric rehabilitation, acute care ...

Annie Burke-Doe, PT, MPT, PhD

Annie Burke-Doe, PT, MPT, PhD

Program Director/ Dean, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Phone: 323.454.5068
Email: aBurke-Doe@westcoastuniversity.edu

Dr. Burke-Doe is currently a professor at West Coast University (WCU) Department of Physical Therapy.  After completing her MPT in 1992 she practiced physical therapy in the areas of geriatric rehabilitation, acute care and acute inpatient rehabilitation.  She was Director of Rehabilitation for Regency Health Services and then transitioned to California Children’s Services; completing her PhD in pharmaceutical sciences.  She joined the core faculty at California State University for Fresno until 2007, University of St. Augustine until 2017 and currently works for WCU in Los Angeles, California.  Dr. Burke-Doe holds a California Physical Therapy License and is a California Children’s Services paneled physical therapist, certified grant writer, and certified grant reviewer. She is also certified by Flinders University in Chronic Condition Self-Management. Dr. Burke-Doe has received awards including “Excellence in Teaching and Innovation”, “NDT Treatment Association Faculty Award”, “Excellence in Research and Education Award”, and “Excellence in Rehabilitating Department Leadership.   She has served on committees for the APTA and CPTA for multiple terms and is currently on the education committee, serves at House of Delegates and is the chief representative for the San Diego district.  Dr. Burke-Doe has published Physical Therapy Case Files: Neurological Rehabilitation (McGraw-Hill, 2013), and contributed most recently to several works including, Differential Diagnosis for the Physical Therapist (Elsevier 2018), The Color Atlas of Physical Therapy (McGraw-Hill, 2015), Pathology Implications for the Physical Therapist (Saunders Elsevier, 2015), and Neck Pain: Causes, Diagnosis and Management (Nova Science Publishers, Incorporated, 2011). Dr. Burke-Doe currently teach physiology, pathology and pharmacology. 

Education
BA, Sports Medicine, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA 1990
MPT, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 1992
PhD Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA   2003
Fellowship, Central California Health Policy Institute, CSUF, Fresno CA, 2005

Karen Hassell, PhD

Karen Hassell, PhD

Dean, School of Pharmacy

Contact Information
Email: KHassell@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Hassell graduated with a PhD in Pharmacy and Sociology from the university of Manchester in England. Before joining West Coast University she held senior administrative positions at Stonybrook University, in New York, at Califo...

Karen Hassell, PhD

Karen Hassell, PhD

Dean, School of Pharmacy

Contact Information
Email: KHassell@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Hassell graduated with a PhD in Pharmacy and Sociology from the university of Manchester in England. Before joining West Coast University she held senior administrative positions at Stonybrook University, in New York, at California Northstate University near Sacramento, and at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Hassell has earned the equivalent of over $5 million USD in research income over her career; her main research focus has been the pharmacy workforce, community pharmacy utilization, and pharmacy health policy; her work has generated over 150 peer-reviewed articles, 1 book, 5 book chapters, and more than 140 conference papers. Her publications have been cited over 2900 times; her h-index is currently 33 (GoogleScholar Citations, February 2019).

Dr. Hassell has taught research methods, social pharmacy, health disparities and public health, and health and workforce policy to pharmacy students; she has supervised over 10 PhD students; she has managed and mentored other academics, she regularly reviews grants and manuscripts for a wide range of funding bodies and academic journals, and has held a number of external advisory roles to government and the wider pharmacy profession. She has received national recognition for and been invited to speak at many national and international conferences on her research; most recently she was part of a team collectively awarded the Pharmaceutical Scientist of the Year Award in recognition of work in producing a ‘Road Map’ for the UK pharmacy profession.

Christine Wietlisbach, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, MPA

Christine Wietlisbach, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, MPA

Assistant Professor, Adjunct

Dr. Christine Wietlisbach has more than 20 years experience in occupational therapy practice, education and regulation. She maintains a full-time practice in occupational therapy at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, and is an adjunct faculty member in the master of occupational...

Christine Wietlisbach, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, MPA

Christine Wietlisbach, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, MPA

Assistant Professor, Adjunct

Dr. Christine Wietlisbach has more than 20 years experience in occupational therapy practice, education and regulation. She maintains a full-time practice in occupational therapy at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, and is an adjunct faculty member in the master of occupational therapy program at Loma Linda University. Dr. Wietlisbach earned her bachelor degrees in psychology and occupational therapy from Washington University in St. Louis, and her doctorate in occupational therapy with a dual emphasis in hand therapy and administration/practice management from Rocky Mountain University in Provo, Utah. She also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, San Bernardino. Dr. Wietlisbach is past-president of the Occupational Therapy Association of California, and served two terms as a Governor-appointed member and vice-president of the California Board of Occupational Therapy.

Currently, she is a senate-appointee and Chair of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Wietlisbach lectures nationally and has authored occupational therapy textbook chapters in the areas of industrial rehabilitation/ergonomics, physical agent modalities, and wound care for the upper extremity. Her awards include the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Lindy Boggs Political Action Award, and the Occupational Therapy Association of California’s Award of Excellence, Practice Award, and Political Action Award.

Lisa Phillips

Lisa Phillips

Program Manager

Lisa Phillips' experience in higher education began in Georgia in 2004. She worked as the assistant to the Department Head of Dental Hygiene at Clayton State University, just south of Atlanta. She has a passion for working with students in higher education.   Mrs. Phillips became part of the Master ...

Lisa Phillips

Lisa Phillips

Program Manager

Lisa Phillips' experience in higher education began in Georgia in 2004. She worked as the assistant to the Department Head of Dental Hygiene at Clayton State University, just south of Atlanta. She has a passion for working with students in higher education.   Mrs. Phillips became part of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program in November 2012 when the program was in the developmental stages.

Mrs. Phillips was given the nickname "Momma Lisa" by the inaugural MSOT cohort for being so involved in their journey and a source of encouragement.  Her true joy and passion is helping students become the professionals they are meant to be.  Lisa says she especially enjoys working with Occupational Therapy Faculty and students because "they make me laugh every day." 

Lisa loves sewing, gardening, stained glass, college football and animals — specifically her fur babies.

Fred Farris, PhD

Fred Farris, PhD

Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information
Email: frFarris@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Farris earned his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Purdue University and completed a post doctorate training program at the University of Rochester. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he teaches in pharmaceutic...

Fred Farris, PhD

Fred Farris, PhD

Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Contact Information
Email: frFarris@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Farris earned his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Purdue University and completed a post doctorate training program at the University of Rochester. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he teaches in pharmaceutical science arena and serves on a variety of academic committees. He was most recently the Department Chair of Pharmacy Practice at Manchester College School of Pharmacy.

Prior to that, he served as the Department Chair of Pharmacy Practice and Administration at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy and as the Department Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Mercer University School of Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia. He has nearly forty years of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences teaching experience and twenty-five years of administrative faculty experience. He has overseen numerous graduate students and authored a large number of scientific papers.

Daniel Cipriani, Ph.D., PT

Daniel Cipriani, Ph.D., PT

Professor, Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Phone: (323) 454-5048
Office: Center for Graduate Studies
Email: dcipriani@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Daniel Cipriani has been a licensed Physical Therapist since 1984 with extensive clinical experiences in the areas of orthopaedic rehabilitation, orthopaedic trauma, an...

Daniel Cipriani, Ph.D., PT

Daniel Cipriani, Ph.D., PT

Professor, Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Phone: (323) 454-5048
Office: Center for Graduate Studies
Email: dcipriani@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Daniel Cipriani has been a licensed Physical Therapist since 1984 with extensive clinical experiences in the areas of orthopaedic rehabilitation, orthopaedic trauma, and sports medicine. His primary area of clinical expertise focuses on lower extremity biomechanics and injury mechanics, with a special interest in running and cycling related injuries.  He has been involved in academia and research since 1991, beginning his academic career at The Medical College of Ohio (University of Toledo's Health Science campus), moving to San Diego in 2005 to join the faculty at San Diego State University. At SDSU, he helped develop a Masters Degree program in Rehabilitation Science.  Dr. Cipriani also served on the faculty at Chapman University for five years before joining West Coast University.  As a faculty member he has received numerous teaching awards including being a 3-time recipient of the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence at the Medical College of Ohio and the Outstanding Faculty Member at Chapman University.

Dr. Cipriani serves as a manuscript reviewer for numerous professional research journals and he is a member of the International Editorial Board for the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.  In addition, for several years he served on the main Editorial Board for the Physical Therapy Journal and was awarded Manuscript Reviewer of the Year by the American Physical Therapy Association.

Dr. Cipriani received his B.S. in Physical Therapy at The Ohio State University. He completed his M.S. (Exercise Science and Applied Biomechanics) and Ph.D. (Applied Measurement/Statistics) at the University of Toledo.  His research interests include applied exercise techniques for the enhancement of movement, assessment of orthoses on joint function, and research focusing on the Clinimetric and Psychometric properties of clinical measures.  Dr. Cipriani has authored and co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed research publications, several book chapters, and numerous invited papers.  Abstracts from his research and that of his students have been presented at State and National Physical Therapy and Biomechanics Professional Conferences.  Dr. Cipriani has presented lectures and workshops across the United States and Puerto Rico mostly on the topics of lower extremity biomechanics and orthotic management of foot pathomechanics.

Education
PhD, University of Toledo, 2003
MS in Exercise Science/Applied Biomechanics, University of Toledo, 1992
BS in Physical Therapy, University of Toledo, 1984

Links
Publications
Research Gate Publications
LinkedIn Profile

Dr. William Ofstad, PharmD

Dr. William Ofstad, PharmD

Chair, Pharmacy Practice Department

Contact Information
Email: wofstad@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Ofstad earned his B.A. in Chemistry from Whitman College concurrently with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and a Pharm.D. from the University of California San Francisco. He completed a...

Dr. William Ofstad, PharmD

Dr. William Ofstad, PharmD

Chair, Pharmacy Practice Department

Contact Information
Email: wofstad@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Ofstad earned his B.A. in Chemistry from Whitman College concurrently with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and a Pharm.D. from the University of California San Francisco. He completed an ambulatory care and cardiology focused Pharmacy Practice Residency with Kaiser.  His past administrative roles include serving as Assistant Dean for Education, Director of the Office of Teaching and Learning, Director of the Center for Team-Based Learning and President of the Northern California College of Clinical Pharmacy.  He has served as chair for multiple college and university committees and serves nationally on the steering committees for the Team-Based Learning Collaborative and Academy of Process Educators. His primary research focus is in teaching and learning including team-based learning, team building, simulation, and interprofessional education.

His practice experience includes ambulatory care pharmacy at UC Davis Medical Center and Sacramento County Department of Public Health.  He is a licensed Advanced Practice Pharmacist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist.  Among his goals as department chair is to promote a student-centered, collaborative, creative culture to advance the program through collective excellence in teaching, service and scholarship. He values working as one cohesive team, unlocking growth in everyone, cascading communication, essential integrity, and the transformation of education.

Dr. Ofstad is a father of two boys, Apollo and Orion, and husband to Amy, who is also a pharmacist.  He has an open door (open Zoom, open Teams) policy, so please feel free to connect anytime.

Heather Thomas, Ph.D., OTR/L

Heather Thomas, Ph.D., OTR/L

Professor

Dr. Heather Thomas, Professor of the Occupational Therapy in the Doctorate and Masters in OT program has a long history of working in occupational therapy education. Prior to becoming a full time faculty member and curriculum coordinator during the inception of the program in 2013, she taught at Lom...

Heather Thomas, Ph.D., OTR/L

Heather Thomas, Ph.D., OTR/L

Professor

Dr. Heather Thomas, Professor of the Occupational Therapy in the Doctorate and Masters in OT program has a long history of working in occupational therapy education. Prior to becoming a full time faculty member and curriculum coordinator during the inception of the program in 2013, she taught at Loma Linda University for 10 years.  Dr. Thomas has presented at international, national and state conferences, and has been involved in providing OT services in Haiti since the devastating earthquake in 2010.

Dr. Thomas has served in a variety of leadership positions with the Occupational Therapy Association of California, the Los Angeles OT Leadership Forum, the city of Los Angeles, and the American Occupational Therapy Association. She is the author of the top selling activity analysis text book "Occupation-Based Activity Analysis" which is used across the world, and has authored chapters in multiple textbooks.  Dr. Thomas is the winner of the 2015 WCU Outstanding Service award, 2016 Occupational Therapy Association of California Award of Excellence and the 2018 WCU Occupational Therapy Faculty of the Year award.

Bryant Edwards

Bryant Edwards

Assistant Professor, Adjunct

Bryant Edwards earned his Masters of Arts and Occupational Therapy Doctorate from the University of Southern California, and his Masters of Public Health from The Ohio State University.  Having spent the entirety of his occupational therapy career working with children and adolescents, he is Board C...

Bryant Edwards

Bryant Edwards

Assistant Professor, Adjunct

Bryant Edwards earned his Masters of Arts and Occupational Therapy Doctorate from the University of Southern California, and his Masters of Public Health from The Ohio State University.  Having spent the entirety of his occupational therapy career working with children and adolescents, he is Board Certified in Pediatrics through the American Occupational Therapy Association.  Dr. Edwards is currently the Occupational Therapy Manager at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, overseeing a staff of over 50 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and therapy aides.  In addition, he has served as a consultant for school districts and therapy agencies.  His volunteer leadership has included serving as the Secretary for the Occupational Therapy Association of California for 4 years, and he is currently the Vice President of the Association. He has served as adjunct faculty at West Coast University since 2016.​

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