Robert Kulesher, PhD

Professor, Health Services and Information Management
Director, Health Services Management Program
4340-N Health Sciences Building

Dr. Kulesher is a health policy specialist and an experienced hospital and nursing home administrator. Originally from Washington, DC, Dr Kulesher attended Villanova University in Pennsylvania where he received a BA degree in psychology. In preparation for a career in health services management, he received the Master of Health Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis. After a 20-year career in health care administration, he earned a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware. His research focuses on the impact of reimbursement policy on the provision of healthcare services. He has been at East Carolina since 2003. Previously he held faculty appointments at Penn State and St. Joseph’s universities and Rutgers University-Camden as visiting professor in public policy and administration. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.


  • PhD, Urban Affairs and Public Policy, University of Delaware, 2003
  • MHA, Health Administration and Planning, Washington University in Saint Louis, 1977
  • BA, Psychology, Villanova University, 1974

Program Affiliations

Courses Taught

  • COHE 6300 Health Law
  • COHE 6310 Health Care Accounting and Financial Administration
  • COHE 6600 Management of Health Care Operations
  • COHE 6610 Financial Management of Health Care Organizations
  • COHE 6620 Healthcare Strategic Planning and Management
  • HIMA 3120 Healthcare Delivery Systems
  • HSMA 3020 Healthcare Payment Systems
  • HSMA 3030 Written Communication and Documentation in Health Care
  • HSMA 3050 Leadership in Healthcare
  • HSMA 4028 Health Care Reimbursement: Policy and Research
  • HSMA 4055 Healthcare Finance and Accounting
  • HSMA 4057 Introduction to Long Term Care
  • HSMA 4083 Advance Topics in Health Care Management and Service Delivery
  • HSMA 4903 Allied Health Management Experience
  • PUBH 8020 Organizational Theory and Leadership

Research Interests

National health policy, healthcare financial management, health care of the poor and uninsured, health insurance, and Medicare, and Medicaid.

Teaching Interests

  • Acculturation and professionalism in health care management

Selected Works


Transformation of the Urban Healthcare Safety Net: The Devolution of a Public Responsibility. Kulesher, Robert. The Health Care Manager 34(4) October-December 2015, pp. 279-287.

Physician Communication in the Operating Room. Kirschbaum, Kristin A., Rohan P., Rask, Sally A. Fortner, Robert Kulesher, Michael T. Nelson, Tony Yen, and Matthew Brennan. Health Communication, Volume 30, pp. 317-327, 2015. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2013.856741. Published online: 02 June 2014.

International Models of Health Systems Financing. Kulesher, Robert and Elizabeth Forrestal. Journal of Hospital Administration, Volume 3, No. 4, August 2014, pp. 127-139. DOI: 10.5430/jha.v3n4p127.

Health Reform’s Impact on Federally Qualified Community Health Centers: The unintended consequence of increased Medicaid enrollment on the Primary Care Medical Home. Kulesher, Robert R. The Health Care Manager, Volume 32, Number 2, April-June 2013, pp. 99-106.

Identification of Accrual Barriers onto Breast Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials: A Case-Control Study. Houlihan, Robert H., Michael H. Kennedy, Robert R. Kulesher, Stephenie C. Lemon, S. Lawrence Wickerham, Chung-Cheng Hsieh, Dario C. Altieri. Cancer, Vol. 116, Issue 15, August 1, 2010, pp. 3569-3576.

The Impact of PPS on Hospital-Sponsored Post-Acute Services: A Case Study of Delaware Medicare Providers. Kulesher, Robert R. and Margaret G. Wilder. Journal of Healthcare Management, Volume 53, Number 1, January/February 2008, pp. 54-66.

The Development of Profession of Health Services Management in the United States. Kulesher, Robert R. Chinese Journal of Rehabilitation Theory and Practice, Volume 14, Number 1, January 2008, pp.15-17.

Prospective Payment and the Provision of Post-Acute Care: How the Provision of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 Altered Utilization Patterns for Medicare Providers. Kulesher, Robert R. and Margaret G. Wilder. Journal of Health Care Finance, Volume 33, Number 1, August 17, 2006, pp. 1-16.

Impact of Medicare’s Prospective Payment System on Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, and Home Health Agencies. Kulesher, Robert R. The Health Care Manager, Volume 25, Number 3, July-September, 2006, pp. 198-205.

Medicare’s Operational History and Impact on Health Care. Kulesher, Robert R. The Health Care Manager, Volume 25, Number 1, January-March 2006, pp.53-63.

Medicare-The Development of Publicly Financed Health Insurance. Kulesher, Robert R. The Health Care Manager, Volume 24, Number 4, October-December 2005, pp. 320-329.


“Cross-Medium, Shared Instruction to Engage Modern Students.” Kennedy, Michael, Kulesher, Robert, & Ross, Thomas. AUPHA Undergraduate Workshop, Birmingham, Alabama, November 6 2011.

“Impact of Health Reform on Federally Qualified Community Health Centers: The Unintended Consequence of Increased Medicaid Enrollment.” Presentation at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, New Orleans, LA, March 18, 2011.

“Transformation of the Urban Health Care Safety Net: The Devolution of a Public Responsibility.” Presentation at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, Baltimore MD, April 24, 2008.

“Lessons Learned from the First Three Years of a Health Services Management Program Offered Completely On-Line.” Presentation, Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Undergraduate Workshop, Chicago, IL, November 18, 2006.

“Successful Tenure in Academic Healthcare Management Faculty Appointments.” Presentation, Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Undergraduate Workshop, Chicago, IL, November 19, 2006.

“Writing and Documentation Competency in the Curriculum.” Presentation, Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Undergraduate Workshop, Nashville, TN, October 25, 2003.

Books/Book Chapters

“Transitions of Care”, Kulesher, Robert and Mary Helen McSweeney-Feld. Chapter 3 in Dimensions of Long-Term Care Management: An Introduction (2nd edition) edited by Mary Helen McSweeney-Feld, PhD, Carol A. Molinari, PhD, and Reid Oetjen, PhD. Health Administration Press, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-56793-836-4.

“Statutory Benefits: How They Involve the Manager.” Kulesher, Robert R. Book chapter in The Health Care Manager’s Legal Guide, Charles R. McConnell, editor, Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC, 2011. ISBN: 0-7637-6620-8.

Grants and Contracts

Cellucci, L.W. (PI), Kennedy, M., Kulesher, R., and Zeng, X. (2013) “Health Care Leadership 2.0: Video and Social Media for Leadership Development.” Awarded $10,000.

Dissertation Committees

Comparison of Documentation Models Used by Emergency Physicians in a Community Hospital Setting. Guyla Corbett Evans, PhD. Department of English, East Carolina University, dissertation committee member, 2013-2015.

Identification of Accrual Barriers to Cancer Clinical Trials in Massachusetts. Robert H. Houlihan, DHA. School of Health Sciences, Central Michigan University, dissertation committee member, 2008-2009

Honors and Awards

  • Dean’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Service, School of Allied Health Sciences, East Carolina University, 2006.

Service Activities and Memberships

  • Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy, member since 2001-2009.
  • American Academy of Medical Administrators, member since 2012.
  • American College of Healthcare Executives, member since 1975, Fellow (FACHE) since 1987.
  • American Hospital Association, personal member since 1975.
  • Association of University Programs in Health Administration, member since 2000.
    • Chair, Long-Term Care Faculty Forum
    • Review Panel for Undergraduate Certification, since 2012
    • Journal of Health Administration Education Reviewer Panel, since 2011
    • Undergraduate Program Committee, member 2007-2013
  • Healthcare Financial Management Association, member since 2002.
  • National Association of Community Health Centers, member since 2011.
  • North Carolina Hospital Association, affiliate since 2003.
  • North Carolina Healthcare Financial Management Association, member since 2003
  • Urban Affairs Association, member since 1999.

Professional Experience


  • Professor, Health Services and Information Management, East Carolina University (July 2016 to present); Associate Professor (July 2009 to June 2016); Assistant Professor (July 2003 to June 2009).
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Public Policy and Administration, Rutgers University, Campus at Camden New Jersey, (2002-2003)
  • Instructor, Master of Science in Management Program, Wilmington University, Wilmington DE (1995-2002)
  • Instructor, Department of Health Policy and Administration, Penn State University, Brandywine Campus, Media PA (1988-1991)

Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

  • Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington DE (1995-1998)
  • Saint Francis Country House, Darby PA (1991-1992)
  • Brandywine Convalescent Center, Wilmington DE (1989-1991)

Insurance and Financial Services

  • Agent, Registered Representative, Investment Officer, Northwestern
  • Mutual Life/Baird Securities, Philadelphia PA (1992-1995)

Hospital Administration and Management

  • Vice President, The Germantown Hospital and Medical Center, Philadelphia PA (1986-1988)
  • Vice President, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford DE (1979-1986)
  • Administrative Staff, Jewish Hospital of St Louis, St. Louis MO (1977-1979)
  • Administrative Resident, Veterans Administration Hospital, San Francisco CA (1976-1977)
  • Administrative Intern, Carilion Health System, Roanoke VA (1974-1975)

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)