I want to thank many people who helped me throughout the doctoral study period. First, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the members of my dissertation committee. Without their guidance and instructions, I would not have accomplished this journey. I am so thankful to Dr. Kenneth White, chair of my dissertation committee, for his continuing encouragement and support of my work since I entered the PhD program. Working with him has been an invaluable learning experience for me, not only on how to be a capable researcher, but also how to be a good scholar and a person with a warm heart. I would like to thank Dr. Michael McCue for the academic guidance and assistantship he provided for the entire study course. I have also benefited greatly from the fundamental research concepts he taught me. I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Dolores Clement, who helped me draft the study proposal. Without her advice and encouragement, I might not have taken the bold step to complete this study. My sincere appreciation also goes to Dr. Leslie Stratton for her excellent suggestions to the study analysis and a detailed review of the draft. The pilot study conducted in her class inspired me to undertake this study.
I would also like to acknowledge a number of faculty and staff for their great help with my study here at Virginia Commonwealth University. I really appreciate Drs. Stephen Mick, Roice Luke, Jan Clement, Gloria Bazzoli, David Harless, Yasar Ozcan, Kelly Devers, Carolyn Funk, Patricia Carcaise-Edinboro, and Tanvi Gautam. It is their excellence in teaching that guided the foundation for scholarly inquiry into the field of health care organization and policy research. My appreciation is extended to Beverly DeShazo for her administrative assistance throughout the whole study period as well as suggestions regarding the dissertation formatting. Many thanks go to Dr. Henry Carretta, Rochelle Clarke, Anna Lin, Dr. Tony Chu, and Carroll George for their technical and administrative support.
I have been so blessed to share my most memorable study life with the fellow doctoral students, especially Matt Krauchunas, Anna Lin, Esther Hsieh, Reethi Iyengar, Jennifer Neimeyer, Nailya DeLellis, Mark Swofford, and Albert Liu. Their assistance without reservation enhances the core value of the doctoral program. My appreciation also goes to those friends who brightened my life in Richmond, particularly Ken Chen’s family, Wayne Fu's family, the Armbruster family, Hsing-Jung Chen, Dr. Hsueh-Fen Chen, Sunt Lin, Phil Huang's family, and Chao-Po Liu's family. Moreover, I deeply thank God for the love and care provided to my family by the family-like members in Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, including, in particular, Revs. Carla and Brint Keys, Dr. & Mrs. Bill and Martha Phipps, Eleanor Workman, Hung-Juan and Daphne Lai, Edward and Laura Dail, David Ross, Betsy Rice, Melinda Mottley, Dr. Marcia Perry, and Rev. and Mrs. Bill and Ruth Metzel.
Special thanks are given to the Mennonite Christian Hospital, which supported my study for the past two and half years. I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Peter Huang and my colleagues at the hospital, who not only took care of my responsibilities when I was abroad, but also were always there to encourage and pray for me.
The greatest appreciation is extended to my wife, Sophia, for her endless love and care for me and our family. I would never have accomplished the dream of doctoral studies without her sacrifice and support. Finally, I would also like to thank all family members in Taiwan for their unconditional and everlasting love and support.