The NIHD Fellows Program recognizes and appoints those NIHD members who have made proper application and who have demonstrated significant and sustained contributions to nursing, health care, healthcare design and NIHD.   Those NIHD members accepted into this Program may use the credential “NIHD Fellow” after their name to reflect their achievements in nursing, health care and healthcare design, in addition to their NIHD membership.  This credential represents a designation, appellation or title only, not a certification.  

Susan E. Ziel, BSN, MPH, JD

Consultant, Integrity Health Strategies

Affiliate Faculty and Teaching Specialist, University of Minnesota

Susan represents and advises healthcare clients, in the capacity of coach and consultant, as they assemble innovative and optimal healing environments -- whether built or virtual -- that not only comply with applicable requirements but which are also deliver on the Triple Aim's promise to provide better health care earlier and for less, across an entire targeted population.  Susan served on the NIHD Board of Directors as Secretary for four years (2016-2019).  Her 45+ years of experience in health care, as a registered nurse, healthcare administrator, consultant, health law attorney, plus completion of the Healthcare Design and Innovation Certificate at the University of Minnesota,  enables Susan to maximize her "real world" perspectives in working with clients and colleagues.  

Representative clients: hospitals, medical care organizations (group practices, clinics, FQHC, RHC, etc.), senior communities (assisted living, memory care, SNF), home health and hospice, online health care providers.  

Kathleen Okland, RN, MPH, EDAC

Healthcare Design Consultant

Kathy Okland RN, MPH, EDAC is nurse, leader, author and influencer.  Diverse clinical practice and executive roles have grounded her clinical insight and contributions to advance the environmental domain and performance outcomes.  Integrating both the business and clinical case for the environmental domain in healthcare is her unique competency. Kathy is credentialed in Parish Nursing, Nursing Home Administration and Evidence Based Design. NIHD has been her professional association of affiliation having served as the Past President, Co-Editor and contributing author to "Nurses as Leaders in Healthcare Design: A Resource for Nurses and Interprofessional Partners", recipient of the Debbie Gregory Leadership Award, Lady With The Lamp Research Scholarship and is an NIHD Fellow.  She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, and supports her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, as Affiliate Faculty for the School of Nursing. Retiring from Herman Miller in 2019, Kathy remains engaged as an independent consultant @

Jaynelle F. Stichler, DNS, RN, NEA-BCr, EDAC, FACHE, FAAN

Research Consultant, Sharp HealthCare Center of Nursing Excellence 

Jaynelle F. Stichler, DNS, RN, NEA-BCr, EDAC, FACHE, FAAN is currently retired but has had a distinguished career as a founding Co-Editor Emerita of the HERD Journal, a leading source of evidence for healthcare design with over 13 years of peer-reviewed publications;  Consultant for Research for Sharp HealthCare Center of Nursing Excellence a 5 hospital system in San Diego, CA; and Professor Emerita of Nursing at San Diego State University.  Dr. Stichler is an active principal investigator in studies focused on the effect of the healthcare environment on patient, provider and organizational outcomes.  Dr. Stichler has authored books and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. She is a frequent global presenter at nursing and healthcare design conferences. She is the co-editor for Nurses as Leaders in Healthcare Design: A Resource for Nurses and Interprofessional Partners.  Dr. Stichler is also one of the co-leaders and Fellows of the Academy of Nursing in Health Design at Clemson University School of Nursing. She is also a Fellow in both the American College of Healthcare Administrators and the American Academy of Nurses. Jan mentors clinical nurses and other professionals in clinical and administrative research, evidence-based practice projects, and other disseminating new knowledge (publications & presentations).

Susan O'Hara PhD, MPH, BA, RN

Clemson University Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and School of Architecture

Susan O'Hara is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and recently completed a post-doctoral faculty position in that school as well as School of Architecture where she became a member of the advisory board committee for the RIPCHD.OR project. This work extends from her role as President and Founder of O'Hara Healthcare Consultants, LLC, specializing in architectural healthcare programming and design review for medical facilities. Using simulation modeling, Susan has worked with hospital administrators and architects providing occupancy planning services, hospital wide planning, and detailed architectural programming services. Her company led the initial simulation modeling and space analysis for the National Nurses Time and Motion Study at the direction of Dr. Marilyn Chow and Ann Hendrich. Dr. O'Hara has more than 30 years of experience and a broad base of skills including healthcare operations, education, research, marketing, direct patient care, nursing staff supervision, in-service training, program development and management. Currently, she pursues her passion for teaching and research and the relationship between nursing and architecture. In support of that program of research she was chairperson of the Inaugural International Nursing Conference for Excellence in Healthcare Design: History, Design and Innovation in August of 2019. With Kathleen Valentine and David Allison, she has been developing the first ever certificate program Certificate for Leadership and Innovation in Health + Design between the Schools of Nursing and Architecture. It is in the final stages of development and approval.