David Boan, Ph.D.


Psychology Department

Co-Director of Humanitarian Disaster Institute, Associate Professor of Psychology
On Faculty since 2011

Office: BGC M261
Phone: (630)752-7272
Fax: (630)752-7033


Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, 1978

Pre-doctoral Clinical Internship, Alhambra Psychiatric Hospital, Alhambra, CA, 1977

M.A., Counseling Psychology, Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology, 1975

B.A., Psychology, Washington College, Maryland, 1973

About David Boan

Professional and Personal Interests

Dr. David Boan began his career in clinical practice in Sacramento, CA, and soon found himself engaged in working with community programs and services.  This began a long transition from developing church-based counseling programs, developing community services for the developmentally disabled and deaf, to working with healthcare facilities in the US and internationally to improve the quality of care. 
In 1996 Dr. Boan completed the transition to community and organizational services by becoming the VP of Research for the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care in Maryland.  In this role he designed and led programs on the role of culture in organizational performance, designing information services for community action, and using behavior management to improve the delivery of care.  He was part of the team that developed the first public hospital report card in the United States.  He participated in programs using financial incentives to change healthcare, defining leadership attributes that lead to excellence in performance, and creating high performing teams.  From there, Dr. Boan went on to become the Executive Director for Innovation and New Products for Joint Commission Resources and Joint Commission International where he led development of change models that lead to sustainable change, defined standards for quality healthcare in developing countries, created tools for building capacity for improvement in international healthcare settings, and the measurement and improvement of healthcare culture.  Dr. Boan began consulting on the Humanitarian Disaster Institute in 2010 and joined the staff and faculty of Wheaton College full time in 2011.  His current work focuses on such topics as knowledge transfer, community and organizational capacity building, community resilience and faith-based organizations, and public health and disasters.
Dr. Boan lives in Wheaton with his wife Andrea, a social worker.  They work with refugee families, attend the Missionary Alliance Church, and pursue interests in camping, bicycling, woodworking and jazz. 

Courses Taught

Applied Research Lab

History and Systems of Psychology

Membership in Professional Societies

Member, American Psychological Association

Member, APA Division 52: International Psychology

Member, Society for Community Research and Action


Dr. Boan co-directs the Humanitarian Disaster Institute and the Applied Research Lab together with Dr. Jamie Aten.  In the lab, students are engaged in grants and contracts with disaster and humanitarian relief organizations that address a range of disaster prevention, response, recovery, and community resilience efforts.  Dr. Boan’s emphasis in the Institute and Lab is in public health, including health system quality improvement, health interventions and community resilience.

Dr. Boan also serves as a technical consultant to private and government organizations on applied research, knowledge transfer, and organizational behavior change.  The focus of this work is on assisting practitioners and organizations in the practical uptake of research evidence to improve practice.  In this work Dr. Boan works with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Joint Commission Resources, in addition to the Humanitarian Disaster Institute.

Dr. Boan’s work also extends to developing countries, working in partnership with many humanitarian organizations focusing on strategies for creating and building capacity for healthcare (including mental health), models for building organizational and community capacity, and incorporating evidence into effective management and leadership. This includes conducting local, participatory research on capacity for change, capacity for innovation, resilience and recovery, and how organizational culture supports or constrains quality.

Selected Grants

Aten, J., & Boan, D. (2013). Faith-based public health preparedness. Cook County Department of Public Health. Funded: $50,000.

Boan, D., & Aten, J. (Co-Principle Investigators). (2013-2014). Global church-based disaster ministry. Foundation (Anonymous). Funded: $20,000

Boan, D., & Aten, J. (2013-2014). Global System for Church-based Disaster Resilience. Maclellan Foundation. Funded: $50,000 1:1 Match.

Aten, J. (Co-Principle Investigator) & Boan, D. (Co-Principle Investigator). (2012-2014). Building Faith-based Organizational and Local Capacity for Disaster Psychosocial Care in Japan: Equipping the Japan Evangelical Association to Support Local Churches after the Tsunami. World Relief. Funded: $300,000.

Aten, J. D., & Boan, D. (Co-Principle Investigators). (2012-2013). Trauma care of refugee families in DuPage County. Grainger Company. Funded: $10,000.

Boan, D., (Co-Principle Investigator) & Aten, J. (Co-Principle Investigator) (2012-2013). Building Capacity for Clinical Care of Child Restaveks in Haiti. Equitas Group. Funded: $150,431.

Aten, J. (Co-Principle Investigator), & Boan, D. (2012). Review of the Research on Trauma and Trauma Impact in Sub-Saharan Africa. Biblical Seminary and American Bible Society. Funded: $15,000.

Davis, W. (Principle-Investigator), Mangis, M. (Co-Investigator), Boan, D. (Co-Investigator), Aten, J. (Co-Investigator) (2011-2012). Assessment and redesign of frontier mental health services in Phillips County Montana. Agency: Health Resources and Services Administration. Funded: $75,000.

Boan, D. (2009 - 2011) Engaging Hospitals in Discharge Process Redesign (Project RED), Joint Commission Resources and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality ($35,000)

Boan, D. (2009 - 2011) Dissemination and Utilization of the AHRQ Effective Healthcare Guides, Joint Commission Resources and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality ($35,000)

Boan, D. (2009 - 2011) Measurement and Change Strategies for Hospital Patient Safety Culture, Joint Commission Resources, ($5,000)

Boan, D., Lassa, J. & Killingsworth, J. (2010 - 2011) Identification of Opportunities for Healthcare Development in the PR China, US Trade and Development Agency, ($60,000)

Boan, D., Lassa, J. & Killingsworth, J. (2010 - 2011) Technical Assistance for Strategic Planning for a Sichuan Regional Healthcare Information Network, Sichuan Province, PR China US Trade and Development Agency ($560,000)

Boan, D., Lassa, J. & Killingsworth, J. (2009-2010) Feasibility of Measuring the Impact of Strategic Planning at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, NIH, ($125,000)

Selected Publications and Presentations

Selected Book Chapters

Boan, D, and Nadzam, D. (2009) Challenges on the Path to Higher Performance in Soule and Weber (editors) What Every Healthcare Executive Should Know: The Cost of Antibiotic Resistance Oak Brook: JCR

Boan, D. (2009) Planning Your Project in Nadzam, B (Editor) Getting Started: The Quality Improvement Toolkit Oak Brook: JCR 

Selected Peer Reviewed Papers

Aten, J., Topping, S., Boan, D. & Hosey, J (In Review) Building Capacity for Responding to Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Needs: A Clergy, Academic, and Mental Health Partnership Model (CAMP) Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research,

Boan, D (In Press) The China National Health Reforms:  An Opportunity for Mental Health Care International Psychology Bulletin

Boan, D. (In Review) Effects of Variance in Perceptions of Hospital Quality and Safety on Hospital Capacity to Improve Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice,

Feldbauer, R., Boan, D., Nadzam, D., and Finis, N. (2008) Design of a patient-safe environment: The Joint Commission Position Health Environments Research and Design Journal  1(2) 65-69

Boan, D (2007) Changing culture in the home health setting Home Healthcare Nurse 24(10) 662-669

Boan, D (2005) Cognitive behavior management and organizational culture Journal of Consulting Psychology  58(1) 51-61

Published Technical Reports

Boan, D, Killingsworth, J. & Lassa, J (2011) Sichuan Regional Health Network (SCRHIN) Services Strategy & Technical Assistance, Report to the US Trade and Development Agency,  Washington DC, Contract No. GH2009310071

Boan, D (2008) Sustaining Improvement A JCR Published Monograph Oak Brook, JCR

Boan, D; Wright, J; Walsh, M; Bieg, K; & Fitzgerald, M (2005) Team based care in heart failure. Report to the American College of Cardiology, Bethesda, MD

Boan, D; Carman, K; Fitzgerald, M; and Maxey, N (2003, June) A Guide to Knowledge Sharing Report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on increasing knowledge transfer among health care quality improvement organizations, Baltimore, MD

Selected Presentations

Boan, D. (2005) Creating a culture of quality: Improving home health teamwork Report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Baltimore, MD Contract 102005-015

Boan, D. (2005) A model for home health care culture and interventions A paper presented to Quality Net, September, Hunt Valley, MD

Boan, D, Fitzgerald, M, & Huff, E (2005) Team culture and hospital quality improvement Paper presented to the American Health Quality Association, February,  San Francisco, CA

Boan, D (2005) Culture and quality improvement Paper presented to the Alaska Quality Conference, May, Anchorage, AK

Boan, D & Barnett, S (2003) Model healthcare practices in the treatment of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people  Paper presented to the American Public Health Association Convention  November San Francisco, CA

Boan, D & Fitzgerald, M (2003) The Medicare Quality Improvement Clearinghouse: Using the Internet to support healthcare quality improvement  Paper presented to the American Public Health Association Convention, November, San Francisco, CA

Boan, D (2003) Trends in collaboration or how I spent my summer vacation Paper presented to the CMS Quality Net Conference; September, Owings Mills, Maryland

Boan, D (2003) Distance learning and systems design Paper presented to the Tri-Regional Conference of  QIOs, June, St. Petersburg FL

Boan, D; Fitzgerald, M; & Karge, G (2003) Sense-making applied to the five state home health pilot: Lessons learned from a powerful new methodology Paper presented to the Tri-Regional Conference of QIOs St. Petersburg FL

Kling, R & Boan, D (2003) Social Informatics and Quality Improvement Paper presented to the American Health Quality Association Orlando, FL

Boan, D (2003) Online Provider Profiling as a Home Health Agency Intervention Paper presented to the American Health Quality Association Orlando, FL

Boan, D; Schaefer, T.; Hines, S. & Fitzgerald, M. (2002) The Mother of All Interventions: A Legislatively Mandated Statewide Hospital Report Card Paper presented to the American Health Quality Association  Dallas, TX

Boan, D; Hines, S; Traxler, C; & Benaissa, S (2001) Determining the health quality of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people from Medicare data  Paper presented to the American Public Health Association Atlanta, GA

Traxler, C; Boan, D & Benaissa, S (2001) Satisfaction with Health Care Services: Interviews with Medicare Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patients.  Paper presented to the American Public Health Association November Atlanta, GA

Boan, D (2001) Advantages and Disadvantages of Online versus Face-to-Face Expert Panels, Paper presented to the annual convention of the American Health Quality Association, Los Angeles, CA

Boan, D; & Traxler, C (2001) Developing standards of care for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people Paper presented to the American Health Quality Association Los Angeles, CA

Boan, D & Traxler, C (2000) Standards of Care for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adults Paper presented to the American Public Health Association Boston, MA

Boan, D (1998) Developing Effective Quality Improvement Interventions Paper presented to the Tri-Regional Convention of Peer Review Organizations St. Petersburg, FL

Boan, D (1998) Using Behavior Management to Increase the Impact of Quality Improvement Projects  Paper presented to the Annual Convention of the American Health Quality Association, Austin, TX

Boan, D (1997) Using the Intranet in a Continuous Quality Improvement Environment Paper presented to the Annual Convention of the Employee Involvement Association  Fort Lauderdale, FL

Media Center