Diane M. Spokus

Senior Instructor and Associate Director of Undergraduate Professional Development of Health Policy and Administration

Diane Spokus

Contact Information

501K Donald H. Ford Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802
(fax) 814-863-2905





B.S., Human Development and Family Studies/Gerontology Minor, The Pennsylvania State University
M.Ed., Adult Education, The Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D., Workforce Education/Training and Development, The Pennsylvania State University

Teaching Interests

  • Thirteen years teaching experience with Resident and Continuing Education programs
  • HPA Internship Program
  • Human Resource Management in Healthcare
  • Aging
  • Health Policy Issues

Research Interests

  • Healthcare Workforce Shortages: Training, Management, Retention & Recruitment
  • Health and Aging with Chronic Illnesses; Workplace Redesign
  • Job Satisfaction & Quality of Work Life

Examples of Collaborative Projects


Personal Home Care Certificate

National Certified Health Education Specialist

Health-related Experience:

  • Needs Assessment of the Healthcare Industry, Warren County, PA
  • Research Associate, Hartford Foundation Project, The Pennsylvania State University, Penn State School of Nursing, University Park
  • Research Assistant, Penn State School of Nursing, Potentially Inappropriate Use of Medication in the Elderl
  • Health Educator/Outreach Coordinator, Southcentral PA Area Health Education Center (PA AHEC), Healthy Lifestyles Train-the Trainer Program, Using Diabetes as a Model
  • Research Technologist, Gerontology Center, The Pennsylvania State University, Psychometric and physical assessments of elderly.
  • Area Representative, PA Area Health Education Center (PA Area Health Education Center), College of Medicine, Hershey Coordinated professional development programs for healthcare practitioners
  • Personal Care Home Certification
  • Program Coordinator, Noll Physiological Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Organized and implemented PEPPI Exercise program for Penn State and PA Department of Aging Prime Time Health

Diane Spokus, Ph.D., M.Ed., MCHES, is a faculty member at the Penn State University Park campus in the Department of Health Policy and Administration. Currently, Dr. Spokus has 13 years teaching experience and co-supervises and co-teaches the HPA Professional Development class and the summer HPA Administrative Internship program. In addition, Dr. Spokus also teaches Human Resource Management in Healthcare and the health policy intensive writing class. Dr. Spokus also has first-hand policy experience having working in the State House of Representatives and also for the PA Department of Public Welfare. Prior to her health policy appointment, Dr. Spokus taught Biobehavioral Health and aging courses. While working in the College of Medicine at Hershey, she also worked as a diabetes health educator on community-based health education programs while coordinating continuing education programs for clinicians. She was also a Research Associate in the Penn State School of Nursing coordinating a Hartford Foundation Nursing project. Previously, she worked on various workforce research projects, including the multi-site Active Research cognitive intervention study. Her areas of research interests are human resource management, healthcare worker retention, recruitment, training, job satisfaction and quality of work life. Dr. Spokus is a 2014 Schreyers Institute of Teaching Excellence grant recipient and several other grants from the PA Department of Aging and the Department of Labor and Industry.
Dr. Spokus also has her Personal Home Care Certificate from the PA Department of Public Welfare and was awarded the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) credentialing in 2011. Until the recent Geisinger-Lewistown merger, she was the Vice-Chair of the Lewistown Hospital Board of Directors, Chair of the Lewistown Hospital Foundation (LHF) Executive Board and Chair of the Lewistown Hospital Professional Affairs Committee and Chair of the Nominating Committee. Presently, she holds the same positions on the Community Advisory Board. Dr. Spokus is also an elected member of the Pennsylvania Rural Health Association Board of Directors. She has also served the past ten years as a member of the Allied Health Care Steering Committee of the Workforce Investment Board examining the critical workforce areas in healthcare.
Dr. Spokus supervised as an appointed member of the Penn State Commission for Women’s (CFW) Executive Committee and co-chaired the CFW Mentoring Committee. She is a member of the following professional associations: the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the Society for Human Resource Development (SHRM), the Society for Public Health Education, the National Certified Health Educators (NCHES), the Labor Employee Relations Association (LERA), the Human Resource Association of Centre County (HRACC), the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the National Council on Aging, (NCOA) the American Society on Aging (ASA), the Centre County Geriatric Interest Network, Dr. Spokus has reviewed manuscripts, contributed to several book chapters, and is the co-author of the book entitled, Working Longer: New Strategies for Managing, Training and Recruiting Older Employees. As an Allied Healthcare Advisory Board member, she has also co-authored the Healthcare Employer Toolkit: A Guide to Recruiting and Retaining Older Healthcare Workers for the PA Department of Aging and the Southcentral Workforce Investment Board.

Selected Publications

Nam, Y. H., Shea, D., Barry, T., & Spokus, D. (Ready for submission). Patient perspectives on off-label prescribing of drugs. Gerontologist.

Rothwell, W. J., Sterns, H. L., Spokus, D. M., & Reaser, J. (2008). Working longer: New strategies for managing, training and retaining older employees. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Sterns, H., & Spokus D. (2013). Lifelong learning and the world of work. In older workers in an ageing society. Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd., Cheltenham: UK.

Spokus, D. (2010). A first exploratory study of competencies of appreciative inquiry practitioners: Discovery. In M. Newhard, Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University. Two case studies.

Spokus, D. (2008). Factors influencing older healthcare worker quality of life and intent to continue to work.

Spokus, D. (2008). Succession practices in New York state government. In W. Rothwell, J. Alexander, & M. Bernhard (Eds.), Cases in government succession planning: Action-oriented strategies for public sector human capital management, workforce planning, succession planning, and talent management. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.

Spokus, D., Allison, J., Croft, C., Garraty, M., Gentry, P., Myers, M., Reich, L., & Sargeant, D. (Eds.)(2008). PA healthcare employer toolkit: A guide to recruiting and retaining older healthcare workers. Funded by the Southcentral PA WIB and the PA Department of Aging.

Curriculum Vitae

Diane Spokus vitae