JoAnn M. Kelsch
North High School
JoAnn Kelsch is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, a registered nurse, and currently, the Director of Clinical Services for Independent Health. In her current role, Ms. Kelsch plans, develops, implements, and evaluates programs designed to manage the complex health needs of IH members by applying medical best practices, complex care assistance, and cost containment strategies.
During her distinguished 20-year military career, Lt. Col. Kelsch was stationed throughout the country and overseas serving in various staff and management positions with the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps. Notably, she was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs at the Pentagon as the Director of the Uniform Business Office. In this position, she led the effort to modernize medical coding, billing and management practices aligned with civilian best practices. She developed expertise in patient care management programs to improve the health outcomes for active duty service members, military retirees, and their families.
In 2007, she was deployed as part of OPERATION Iraqi Freedom (OIF), stationed at the Balad Air Base in Iraq where she served as the Commander of the Immediate Care Unit at the Air Force Hospital. Lt. Col. Kelsch has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service, Air Force Meritorious Service, Air Force Commendation and Achievement Medals.
At Williamsville North, she was a member of the National Honor Society, a high school yearbook editor, and atwo-sport varsity athlete in tennis and soccer.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the State University of New York at Buffalo and upon graduation, obtained commission as an officer in the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps. In 2002, she earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Wilmington University in Delaware.