Good, Healthy Life: Advisory Team

Policies & History

Aelwen Wetherby, Ph.D., UNL History Instructor, describes events and policies in U. S. history
that have shaped the healthcare system we have today


Joann Schaefer, M.D. Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska; Marty Fattig, Nebraska Hospital Association; and
Dr. Rob Rhodes, Nebraska Medical Association talk about problems in the current health care system


Joann Schaefer, M.D. Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska; Marty Fattig, Nebraska Hospital Association; and
Dr. Rob Rhodes, Nebraska Medical Association talk about some solutions for better health care


Joann Schaefer, M.D. Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska; Marty Fattig, Nebraska Hospital Association; and
Dr. Rob Rhodes, Nebraska Medical Association talk about the value of Good, Healthy Life

The Good, Healthy Life Advisory Team:

Joann Schaefer, MD
Executive Vice President at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska

She oversees the company’s Health Network Services, Case Management, Quality, Pharmacy, Medical Policy and Wellness areas. Prior to joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, Dr. Schaefer served in a dual role as chief medical officer and director of the Division of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2013. Before that, she practiced family medicine and served as a tenured associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Creighton University Medical School.

Marty Fattig
Nebraska Hospital Association Board Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Nemaha County Hospital, Auburn, NE

The Nebraska Hospital Association was founded in 1927.  NHA’s mission is to serve its members by being the trusted leader to improve health, well-being and quality of life of all Nebraskans.  NHA serves as the influential voice of its members in health care legislative arenas, promoting quality health care and influencing public opinion of hospitals and health networks.

Mr. Fattig has been involved in healthcare for over 40 years.  He began his career as a bench Medical Technologist.  He is currently the CEO of Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn, Nebraska where he led the effort to install their EHR in 2004.  He is Chairman of the Rural Health Advisory Commission.  He is a member of the Critical Access Hospital Advisory Council, and the Critical Access Hospital Advisory Board on Quality.  He is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Nebraska Hospital Association.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration.

Robert Rhodes, MD
President, Nebraska Medical Association, Family Physician, Southwest Family Health in Lincoln

The Nebraska Medical Association was founded in 1868, and represents nearly 3,000 active and retired physicians, residents and medical students from across the state of Nebraska. The mission of the Nebraska Medical Association is to serve physician members by advocating for the medical profession, for patients and for the health of all Nebraskans.

Dr. Rhodes earned his medical degree from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine and completed his residency with the Lincoln Family Practice Program and UNMC. He is Board Certified in Family Practice. Dr. Rhodes is an adjunct instructor at UNMC and a clinical associate professor at the University of South Dakota. He is a founder/President Emeritus of Clinic with a Heart.

Susan Bockrath, MPH, CHES
Executive Director, Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors

As Chief Health Strategists in districts that cover from 1 to 11 counties, Nebraska’s local public health departments identify and respond to local health priorities and needs.   NALHD and member local public health departments maintain partnerships with government agencies, academic institutions, community-based organizations, advocacy groups, and representatives from business, education, healthcare, housing, and other entities. 

Ms. Bockrath is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors (NALHD)—the statewide, non-profit professional association of local health department directors.  In this role, she applies her experience in public health, organization and project management, evaluation, and health literacy to amplifying local health departments’ efforts to make “the good life” a healthy one for all Nebraskans.  Ms. Bockrath is a longtime advocate of health literacy as a tool for improving health outcomes for individuals and communities—including immigrant newcomers and English Language Learners.  Her most recent work in this area focused upstream, on building health professionals’ and educators’ health literacy skills.  Susan holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health (1998) and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. 

Melanie Dawkins
Series Host

Ms. Dawkins is an experienced television host and anchor.  Her career includes twelve years in the television field, reporting on a wide range of subjects.  She has experience reporting on a number of health topics while working closely with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, which included weekly health stories. Ms. Dawkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications/Broadcast Journalism.