Ralitsa Akins, MD, PhD

Prior to joining  DMU, Dr. Akins served as the associate dean of faculty affairs at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine in Spokane, WA. Dr. Akins received her MD from The Medical University of Varna in Varna, Bulgaria. While there, she served as Staff Surgeon, Assistant Professor in Family Medicine, and later as Chief Officer of International Relations. She moved to the United States in 2001 and received her PhD in Educational Administration at Texas A&M University. She then became an associate professor in the medical education, anesthesiology, and pediatric departments at Texas Tech University’s Health Sciences Center. From 2008 to 2011, she served as Associate Director of the Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS) Center. In 2011, she became Associate Dean at SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine. Two years later, she joined the California Northstate College of Medicine, where she earned the title of Professor and chaired the Committee on the meaning, quality, and integrity of the degrees as part of reaccreditation (WACS/WSCUC). At California Northstate, she also became a Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education and a chair in the medical education department.


Nehad El-Sawi, PhD
Assistant Provost for Educational Innovation and Enhancement

Dr. El-Sawi earned her doctorate in microbiology from Trinity College at the University of Dublin, a master's degree in microbiology from the University of Dayton and a bachelor's degree from the University of El-Fateh in Libya. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the College of Medicine at the University of California and a fellow at the Harvard Macy Institute. She has been engaged in medical student education for more than 20 years. 


Vanessa Gray, MHA, CMP, CHCP
Director, Continuing Medical Education

Mrs. Gray has 15 years of both academic and clinical continuing education experience. Prior to joining DMU, she was the CME coordinator at Intermountain Healthcare which is the largest healthcare system in Utah. During her tenure at DMU, Mrs. Gray has grown the CME program from 12 activities to an average of 450 educational offerings each year. Her program maintains CME accreditation for allopathic physicians (with commendation), osteopathic physicians (with commendation), nurses, podiatrists, and physician assistants. Mrs. Gray received her undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and her Master's of Health Care Administration from DMU.


Christina Billings, MPH, CHCP
Coordinator, Continuing Medical Education

Mrs. Billings completed her undergraduate degree at Iowa State University and her Master of Public Health degree at DMU. She has been with the CME department for six years and works with faculty and activity directors to develop live and enduring educational activities from initial planning through post-activity analysis. Mrs. Billings has a special interest in adult learning theory and improving outcomes through immersive educational experiences.


Jason Rosa
Administrative Assistant, Continuing Medical Education

Mr. Rosa completed his undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication at Grand View University. He supports the CME mission by monitoring and tracking registration data for attendees, maintaining the learning management system, and preparing all necessary documents for activities. Mr. Rosa has a passion for providing excellent customer service and promoting personal and professional development.



Jennifer Latterell, DO 
Associate Dean, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Clinical Affairs

Dr. Latterell received her undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Iowa State University and her medical degree from Des Moines University. She completed her family medicine residency at the University of Minnesota/St. Cloud Hospital. After her residency, Dr. Latterell became associate director of clinical teaching at University of Minnesota/St. Cloud Hospital. Dr. Latterell joined DMU in 2018 as associate dean of clinical affairs. She oversees all aspects of student clinical activities including 3rd- and 4th-year clinical rotation management, assisting in preceptor professional development, and continuous quality improvement plans. 

Note: Dr. Latterell left her position at DMU and her last day was June 12, 2020. The job position has been posted and the interviews will occur before the end of the year. The hired physician will join the leadership and organizational structure of the DMU CME program.