Health Informatics

Girmay Berhie
Health Informatics
Phone: (304) 696-2718

Girmay Berhie, Ph.D., MSW, MS-IS, is a tenured professor and the director of the Health Informatics Department at Marshall University.  Dr. Berhie received his Ph.D. in public policy and administration with a concentration in research methodology. He received his master’s of social work from Saint Louis University. Additionally Dr. Berhie has a master’s of science in information systems from Marshall University and took several courses such as biostatistics, principles of epidemiology, intermediate-biostatistics, regression analysis in public health research, applied multivariate methods courses from the John Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health: Graduate Program in Epidemiology, Baltimore, Maryland.  Berhie also specializes and lectures in the following areas: global health, program planning and evaluation, biostatistics, public health research, health service research, hospital information systems, health informatics and electronic health records (EHR).

Currently, as chair of the department of Health Informatics Advisory Group, he is directing his efforts towards the development of a first of its kind “West Virginia Health Informatics Innovation Center: The Center of Excellence in Health Innovation.” Berhie was the former Director of West Virginia Statistical Center and presently owns and is chair and CEO of “Sheba International, Inc.,” a consulting firm that conducts innovative research, evaluation, grant development, IT services and web development.

Dr. Berhie was a consultant and evaluator for Bluefield College Minority Health Institute on the development of proposal entitled “Establishing Exploratory NCMHD Research Centers of Excellence” and Project EXPORT Center of Excellence, funded by the National Center on Minority Health Disparities/National Institutes of Health (NIH)/NCMHD.

In the fall 2012, Dr. Berhie co-authored a book titled, “The multi-dimensional developmental evaluation model: a conceptual schema for evaluating developmental programs.”

Dr. Berhie’s research interests include quality improvement in the health care system, eHealth technology applications, health information systems interoperability and health information exchange. A list of Dr. Berhie’s research and grants can be found below.


Research & Grants

National Initiatives Model: As a former Director of West Virginia Statistical Center (WVSAC) he has successfully written and was awarded grant funding from the National Institute of Justice and National Institute of Health. He has served as Principal Investigator and Project Researcher and Evaluator for numerous other grant supported programs. In 1992, Berhie assisted in the development of a Title IV-E training grant that is still operational today at Marshall University.

Global Initiative Model: As an executive director of the non-profit organization, “International Medical & Academic Alliance (IMAA),” Berhie serves as active supporter of a “T team” for the Summit International Health Clinic (SIC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In January 2009, the IMAA developed a partnership with the Florida Hospital Corporation.  Berhie applied to US-AID program for $3.5 million for the expansion of the Summit International Clinic into a specialized hospital and this project expansion is still under development. Currently, he is working on the development of a partnership with Mekelle University, Ethiopia to foster an innovative research agenda, exchange of faculty and students, etc. He plans to assist like-minded people in attracting federal, state, and private funds and making research a potent arm for the Health Informatics Department, both in the U.S. and abroad.


John Biros
Health Informatics
Phone: (304) 746-1941

John Biros, MS-IS, is an associate professor of Information Systems at Marshall University. Since 1997, Professor Biros has been responsible for teaching courses in structured programming, systems analysis, design techniques, database management and computer architecture. He has also assisted with the curriculum redesign for the Information Systems program and the development of the Community Advisory Council to promote the graduate college in the business community. Prior to his position at Marshall, Professor Biros worked at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of West Virginia/ Ohio and was responsible for designing and implementing a variety of information systems projects for the Chairman of the Board and CEO (1985 – 1997). He was an associate professor and coordinator of the Data Processing Program at West Virginia Northern Community College in Wheeling. (1977 – 1985). Professor Biros also worked as a systems engineer for the IBM Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pa. (1967 – 1972).

Professor Biros earned his M.S. in Information Systems from the West Virginia Graduate College in 1997 and his B.A. (1962) and M.A. (1966) in Philosophy from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.


Alberto Coustasse
Health Informatics
Phone: (304) 746-1968

Alberto Coustasse, Dr.PH, MD, MBA, MPH, is an associate professor in the Marshall University Health Informatics Program. Since 2008, Dr. Coustasse has been responsible for teaching the courses: HCA 653, HCA 656, HCA 600, HCA 695, MPNA 700, MPNA 724 and MPNA 756. Dr. Coustasse also works as a grant writer in health disparities for the University of North Texas at Fort Worth. Prior to his position at Marshall, he was an institutional researcher for the Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas (2001 – 2004) and the Chief Medical Officer for the Health and Rehabilitation Centers of the National Defense Pension Fund in Santiago, Chile (1995 – 1998).

Dr. Coustasse earned his doctoral degree in public health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in 2004; his master’s of public health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in 1999; his MBA from the School of Administration and Economic Sciences at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 1994; and his MD from the School of Medicine at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 1992.

Dr. Coustasse has presented over 70 research topics addressing healthcare disparities, health services management and international healthcare around the world. He has also published over 30 scholarly articles addressing similar research topics. Dr. Coustasse is currently a reviewer for the International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing and a member of the Business and Health Administration Association Committee.  In May 2009, he received the LCOB Alumni Research Award.


Eldon Larsen
Health Informatics
Phone: (304) 746-2047

Eldon Larsen, Ph.D., is a Professor of Engineering at Marshall University. Since 2003, Dr. Larsen has been the coordinator of the Master of Science in Engineering degree program and served as Chair of the Graduate Council from 2001- 2010.  He has also served as Chair of the CITE Research Committee and CITE Curriculum Committee.  Dr. Larsen earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in thermodynamics of phase equilibria from University of California at Berkley (1983) and his M.S. (1978) and B.S. (1977) in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University.

Prior to his position at Marshall, Dr. Larsen worked at the Union Carbine Corporation where he was a development scientist (1991 – 1999); a project scientist (1987 – 1991); and a senior engineer (1983 – 1987). He also served as the Ph.D. recruiter for Union Carbine at University of California at Berkeley (1987 – 1997) and occasionally at Brigham Young University. Dr. Larsen is the sole author of more than 25 project reports and co-author of more than 10 additional project reports, all of which are proprietary to Union Carbine Corporation between 1983 and 1999.  He has presented his research all over the U.S. in over 30 different venues– his most recent presentation “Practical Project Management – Principles and Fundamentals” was presented to the Huntington Post of the Society of American Military Engineers in March 2012.

Dr. Larsen has consulted and/or trained managers in project management in organizations such as, Verizon, NASA and many more within the state of West Virginia and its surrounding states. He served two years as President and CEO of the West Virginia/Ohio Valley Chapter of the Project Management Institute (2006 – 2007) and served as Director in the National Management Division of the American Institute of Engineers (2009 – 2011).


Shane Tomblin
Health Informatics
Phone: (304) 696-2664

Shane Tomblin, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Health Informatics at Marshall University. Since 2002, Dr. Tomblin has been responsible for teaching courses in management information systems (MIS) to undergraduate and graduate students within the Health Informatics program.  Dr. Tomblin earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in MIS in 2005 from University of Kentucky. His dissertation was titled, “The Relationship between GDSS Support Types and Organizational Learning: A Multi-level Perspective.” He earned his M.A. in Mathematics (1992) and his B.A. in Mathematics (1989) from Marshall University.  Prior to his position in the Health Informatics Department, Dr. Tomblin worked as a mathematics instructor for the Marshall University Community and Technical College from 1991- 2002.

During his time at Marshall University, Dr. Tomblin developed several graduate and undergraduate courses including MIS 680: Healthcare Telecommunications and Telematics (2010), HRM 625: HRIS and Knowledge Management (2007), MIS 412: Enterprise Systems (2011), and MIS 415: Emerging Topics in ICT (2011).  Dr. Tomblin has published many articles detailing his MIS research in reputable journals such as The Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems (2006), Journal of Digital Business (2007) and theJournal of Organization Computing and Electronic Commerce (2010).