Meet our Coaches

Your Coaches and Cheerleaders

Clare Coonan

Clare Coonan is an educator, leadership coach and organizational development consultant with over 30 years of experience helping teams and individuals experience and achieve their best selves. Born and raised in St. Louis MO, she moved to Salt Lake City leaving behind her adventures in teaching high school Biology and stepping into her next adventures in the wild outdoors. She learned how to write grants, supervise staff and volunteers, create marketing materials and manage a board of directors as the Executive Director of a non-profit agency serving people with disabilities. In 1997 Coonan completed her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Utah and worked for a large behavioral healthcare organization in Salt Lake City. She managed a day treatment program for adolescents with significant mental health diagnoses and a foster care program until 2005. She has been working in the organizational development field for the past 14 years. Coonan specializes in working with academic healthcare centers. She has developed and facilitated women’s leadership programs for Unilever and Salt Lake County Government and leadership and/or culture development programs for Texas Children’s Hospital, University of Utah, University of Arizona and Tulane University. Coonan is an avid outdoor adventurer, world traveler and a sporadic knitter.

Merida L. Johns, Ph.D., is an educator, author, consultant, and leadership coach who has over four decades of experience in healthcare information systems on national and international levels. She held tenured faculty positions at The Ohio State University and at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she was the founding director of the Master of Science in Health Informatics program. In 2010 Merida established The Monarch Center for Women’s Leadership Development to help women help themselves fulfill their leadership and economic potential. A prolific author in the domains of health information systems management and leadership, her most recent book, Leadership Development for Healthcare, provides a framework to guide the acquisition of characteristics and behaviors associated with effective leadership. Her article Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Structural, Cultural, and Organizational Barriers Preventing Women from Achieving Senior and Executive Positions, has been referenced by scholars in women’s leadership in a variety of peer-reviewed journals. Merida enjoys several creative pursuits, including writing novels that show how ordinary people tackle challenges, live though sorrow and betrayal, struggle with doubt, and act on their aspirations to achieve positive relationships and flourishing lives.

Merida Johns

WIA Leadership Team

Strategy: Wendy Chapman, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Peer Groups: Donghua Tao, Saint Louis University

Evaluation: Guergana Savova, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Capstone: Sabrina Hsueh, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center,

Case studies: Kathryn Kuttler, Intermountain Healthcare

Logistics: Sauwanee Bahn, University of Utah

Honorary member: Tiffani Bright, Washington University School of Medicine, who helped launch the program.