ACDIS Boards & Committees

ACDIS is assisted in its mission by a number of volunteer boards and committees. Calls for incoming volunteers take place in January and June as follows. 
 
January Call for Volunteers

ACDIS Advisory Board

Task: Providing leadership, expertise, and an industry voice for the ACDIS membership.

Click here to download the committee scope of work. For questions about the Advisory Board, contact ACDIS Interim Director Laurie Prescott (laurie.prescott@hcpro.com) and Programming Director Rebecca Hendren (rebecca.hendren@hcpro.com). To view ACDIS Advisory Board frequently asked questions, please click here.

  Dee Banet, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS
  Division CDI director, east Florida division
  AdventHealth
  Daytona Beach, Florida

Banet currently serves as the division director of clinical documentation integrity for AdventHealth East Florida Division. In this role, she leads CDI strategy and operations for the division which is comprised of seven acute care hospitals. Banet has experience in a variety of clinical areas including critical care nursing, case management, and utilization review. Banet has a passion for CDI and the impact it has on patient care, safety, quality, and physician/hospital profiles. She utilizes that passion to mentor other CDI leaders and orient new staff and providers. Banet’s CDI career started in 1999 as a frontline CDI specialist. Her CDI experience includes leading clinical documentation programs in the inpatient and ambulatory settings to include academic, rural, and multi-hospital system environments. Banet is the co-founder for the Southern Indiana/Kentucky ACDIS local chapter, served on the ACDIS Advisory Board (2011-2014) and the ACDIS Regulatory Committee (2020-2022), and she is a member of the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council.

Elected to the board in 2024; serving through April 2027
 

  Keisha Downes, MBA-HM, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS
  Senior director middle revenue cycle
  Tufts Medicine Health System
  Boston, Massachusetts

Downes is the senior director middle revenue cycle for Tufts Medicine health system, based in Massachusetts. This role combines the four middle revenue cycle areas of utilization management, clinical documentation integrity, hospital coding, and health information management. Downes also is a visiting professor for DeVry University where she teaches courses for the health information technology program. She is a current member of ACDIS, HFMA, AHIMA, and the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council, and a past member of the 2022/2023 ACDIS Leadership Council Mastermind group. Downes co-authored the ACDIS/AHIMA supported Guidelines for Achieving a Compliant Query Practice—2022 Update. A nurse for 20 years, she attained her BSN from Liberty University and MBA in healthcare administration from Western Governor’s University. 

Elected to the board in 2024; serving through April 2027
 

  Okemena Ewoterai, BSN, MA, CCDS, CDIP, CCS
  Director of CDI
  Montefiore Medical Center
  Bronx, New York

Ewoterai has more than 14 years of CDI experience and more than 20 years of nursing experience. Currently, she oversees a diverse staff including foreign medical graduates, registered nurses of various backgrounds, a coder, and a physician assistant. As part of her CDI experience, she has educated nurses and providers on clinical documentation techniques, workflows, engaged in software selection, and quality review processes (PSI, Elixhauser, and HCCs). Ewoterai has worked on practice briefs and white papers with ACDIS and AHIMA, including co-authoring “Clinical Validation: the Next Level of CDI” in January 2019, and the ACDIS/AHIMA Guidelines for Achieving a Compliant Query Practice in February 2019. She has been an officer in the Greater New York ACDIS local chapter and is currently a member of the ACDIS Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She has also been a guest on the ACDIS Podcast.

Elected to the board in 2024; serving through April 2027
 

  A.J. Hegg, MD
  Medical Director of UM
  Essentia Health 
  Duluth, Minnesota

Dr. Hegg has been the CDI medical director for the Essentia Health System since 2019 and is based out of Duluth, MN. He recently became the medical director and lead physician advisor for UM at Essentia in 2022. He is board certified in Critical Care, Internal Medicine, and Emergency Medicine and practices clinically as an Intensivist and Emergency Physician. He completed residency and fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI in 2012, and graduated from medical school at the University of Minnesota in 2006. 

Elected to the board in 2023; serving through April 2026
 

  Faisal Hussain, MD, MHIIM, RHIA, CCDS, CDIP, CCS 
  Executive Director of Clinical Documentation Integrity
  Wellstar Health System
  Marietta, Georgia

In his current role, Dr. Hussain is responsible for overseeing the CDI strategy and operations for the entire health system, which is comprised of nine hospitals, 300+ medical offices, along with other service offerings such as cancer centers, rehabilitation centers, hospice facilities, urgent care locations, etc. Dr. Hussain has a strong CDI background and has previously worked in both outpatient and inpatient settings to assist CDI initiatives at large physician practices and hospital systems throughout the country and has led multiple CDI teams throughout his career towards achieving success. He is a recognized industry leader and is a current and founding member of ACDIS Leadership Council and ACDIS Regulatory Committee. He regularly speaks at multiple national and local conferences, including the national AHIMA Convention and Exhibit, the national ACDIS conference, and several local state ACDIS chapter meetings. In addition to this, he has also been invited to speak on multiple CDI and HIM podcasts, including The ACDIS Podcast, AHIMA HI Pitch Podcast, Coder vs CDI, etc.

Elected to the board in 2023; serving through April 2026
 

  Sydni Johnson, BSN, RN, CCDS
  Associate Director of CDI Quality and Education
  Banner Health
  Tucson, Arizona

During her 19-year career in nursing she worked as a quality analyst and partnered with CDI specialists on mortality, length of stay, and PSI/HAC projects. This experience led to her current CDI journey of eight years. Under Johnson's leadership, her auditor team modernized the CDI audit and data reporting processes. Her education team streamlined CDI education and orientation, created an annual CDI competency, and standardized provider education. In 2017, she obtained an Integrative Health Coaching Certification and utilizes motivational interviewing skills in her CDI leadership and education role. She is a published author in the CDI Journal and has spoken at the ACDIS national conference, local AHIMA roundtables, ACDIS Educator Networking Group meetings, and local ACDIS chapter events. Sydni serves as co-chair for the Arizona ACDIS chapter since 2020.

Elected to the board in 2023; serving through April 2026
 

  Amy Kratochvil, RHIT, CDIP, CCDS
  System director for HIM coding and CDI
  UChicago Medicine
  Chicago, Illinois

Kratochvil has been in the coding and CDI field for 20 years, starting as an inpatient coder at UChicago Medicine and entering into an auditing and coding manager role within a few years. The CDI program started under her leadership in 2009 and has grown from two CDI specialists to 25 across the health system today. Kratochvil has worked very closely on initiatives related to length of stay planning, improvement in expected mortality, denial prevention, and PSI/HAC reductions. She is always looking for ways that technology can help her team identify opportunities with their work on a concurrent or post discharge pre-billing basis, this included recent work with the data analytics team on targeting discrete data elements for documentation opportunities. She has a passion for education for her team and spent a few years teaching introduction to coding classes at Moraine Valley Community College, in Palos Heights, Illinois. Kratochvil is a member of the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council and was a member of the 2022/2023 ACDIS Leadership Council Mastermind group.

Elected to the board in 2024; serving through April 2027
 

  Trey La Charité, MD, FACP, SFHM, CCS, CCDS
  Medical director for CDI and coding
  University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC)
  Knoxville, Tennessee

La Charité is the medical director for CDI and coding at the UTMC in Knoxville, Tennessee, a 685-bed academic medical center. Besides being a practicing hospitalist, he is a clinical associate professor of internal medicine and is the curriculum director of the internal medicine residency program’s hospitalist rotation. He also has extensive experience and ongoing responsibilities in case management, utilization review, compliance, denials management, and resident education. He has also previously served as the medical director of the outpatient CDI initiative for UTMC’s primary care network. He is a past ACDIS Advisory Board member, a regular presenter at the ACDIS annual conference as well as ACDIS’ annual ACDIS Physician Advisor Forum, has written five books in the field of CDI, and is a regular contributor to ACDIS’ CDI Journal.

Elected to the board in 2024; serving through April 2027
 

  Tami McMasters-Gomez, MHL, BS, CCDS, CDIP, CCS-P, ICD-10 CM/PCS Trainer
  Director of Coding and CDI programs
  UC Davis Health
  Sacramento, California

McMasters-Gomez started her journey in healthcare 30 years ago as a file clerk at a very small rural hospital. It was there where she learned several important skills, including coding. In 1997, she accepted a position at UC Davis Health and during her 26 years there, McMasters-Gomez has worked in a variety of roles, such as coder, auditor, supervisor, manager, and director. She has enjoyed the growth and challenges that have come with her various positions at UC Davis. McMasters-Gomez was the 2021 recipient of the ACDIS Award for the Most Diverse CDI Program in the Nation, and the ACDIS 2022 CDI Professional Achievement Award.

Elected to the board in 2023; serving through April 2026

  Tiara Minor, RN, BSN, CCDS
  Director of CDI
  University of Miami Health System
  Miami, Florida

A Hampton University alumna, Minor is the director of CDI at the University of Miami Health System in Miami, Florida. She has more than 10 years’ experience in CDI, with the last seven in CDI/coding leadership. During her tenure in CDI, she has worked with various types of hospital systems including large academic medical centers, multi-hospital systems, smaller community hospitals, a children’s hospital, and outpatient clinics. Spending two and a half years in consulting broadened her experience with exposure to different facilities, leadership operations, vendor-relations, and technology solutions. Prior to taking the leap into CDI, she worked in the emergency department, initially as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and then registered nurse. Minor is passionate about CDI innovation, team development, healthcare quality, and an advocate for diversity. She and her team received the 2022 ACDIS Achievement Award for Diversity in CDI. Minor was also the recipient of the 2023 ACDIS Achievement Award for Professional Achievement in CDI. She is a member of the ACDIS Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council, and the 2023/2024 ACDIS Leadership Council Mastermind group.

Elected to the board in 2024; serving through April 2027
 

  Laurie Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CRC  
  Interim Director, CDI Education Director
  HCPro/ACDIS
  Chicago, Illinois

Prescott is the CDI education director with HCPro and the interim director of ACDIS. Prescott serves as a full-time instructor for the CDI Boot Camps as well as a subject matter expert for the ACDIS. Prescott is a frequent speaker on HCPro/ACDIS webinars and is the author of the CDI Complete Training Guide.

Prescott started her nursing career in 1985 as a graduate of the University of Vermont School Of Nursing. Since that time she has worked at a variety of organizations including academic, large and small community hospitals. She has worked in a number of nursing roles including as manager in the areas of medical/surgical, ICU, PACU and endoscopy. Her experience also includes specialization as a compliance officer.

She completed her MSN with a focus in nursing education at the University of Phoenix and taught nursing as an adjunct instructor to ADN students. She continued her focus of nursing education in various roles. In 2007, Prescott left this role to develop and implement a CDI program and remained in this role until joining HCPro in August of 2013.

Serving on the board since January 2017
 

  Beth Simms, BSN, RN, CCDS
  CDI and acute care coding program manager 
  Banner Health
  Phoenix, Arizona

Simms has 24 years of RN experience with a focus in adult and pediatric critical care, with the last nine years in CDI. In 2017, she obtained her CCDS certification. She has been featured in multiple ACDIS articles and interviews related to specialized CDI roles. Simms presented “Flourishing by Design: Building Organizational Structure and Partnerships for a Flourishing CDI Department” at the 2023 ACDIS Conference in Chicago, Illinois. In her current role, Simms coordinates and oversees multiple software programs utilized by the CDI and coding departments, and is integral in the development of workflows, staff education, and data analytics. Currently, Simms is attending graduate school to obtain a Master of Science in health informatics and analytics.

Elected to the board in 2024; serving through April 2027

   Deanne Wilk, MPS, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O, CDIP, CCS
   
CDI Education Specialist
   HCPro
   Chicago, IL

Wilk is a current CDI Education Specialist and the incoming CDI Education Director for HCPro, in Chicago, Illinois. She is a subject matter expert for ACDIS. Wilk previously served on the ACDIS Advisory Board from 2017-2020 and in her new role now serves as chair of the Board. She is also a member of the ACDIS’ Physician Advisory Committee, Leadership Committee, and Regulatory Committees. She is the co-author of CDI and Quality Reporting: How Healthcare Record Review Can Improve Outcomes. She is also a frequent speaker on CDI and coding topics and is a contributor to the CDI Journal and ACDIS Podcast

Elected to the board in 2024; serving through April 2027
 

  Lena N. Wilson, MHI, RHIA, CCS, CCDS   
  RCS Specialized Manager–Clinical Documentation Integrity (Inpatient & Professional Operations) and ICD-10 Clinical Education
  Indiana University Health
  Indianapolis, Indiana

Wilson has a Bachelors in HIM (2002) and Masters in Health Informatics (2009) both from Indiana University. She holds credentials of CCS and CCDS. She began her career as an inpatient coder and continued to grow from there, expanding her skills into quality auditing and then into various leadership roles in HIM/coding/CDI. 

She now has almost twenty years of HIM, coding, and CDI experience and has been at IU Health for the last 16 years. During her tenure, she has worked in various roles supporting the CDI team from direct leadership/program oversight as well as solely focusing on physician documentation education leading up to and through the ICD-10 code set conversion.

The IU Health inpatient CDI program was implemented in 2005/2006 and she has been involved since the inception of this program in every aspect and its continued growth. Over the last 15 years, the program has expanded to cover 16 inpatient and critical access facilities across the health system with 24 team members and one team lead. She has worked with others to support the implementation of a computer assisted CDI tool as well as a production and quality monitoring programs.

The IU Health CDI program is continuing to expand into the professional space. The professional CDI program will focus on the documentation of HCC diagnoses in the physician office. This is currently still in the pilot stage and will continue to evolve over 2021 and beyond.

Elected to the board in 2021; serving through April 2024

Previous ACDIS Advisory Board Members:

  • Sam Antonios, MD, FACP, SFHM, CPE, CCDS (2016-2019)
  • Dee Banet, RN, BSN, CCDS (2011-2013)
  • Tracy Boldt, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDIP (2019-2022) 
  • Cindy Basham, MHA, MSCCS, BSN, CPC, CCS (2007-2010)
  • Susan Belley, M.Ed., RHIA, CPHQ (2011-2013)
  • Sheri Blanchard, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CCDS, CCS (2021-2024)
  • Tracy Boldt, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDIP (2019-2022)
  • Timothy N. Brundage, MD (2011-2013)
  • Gloryanne Bryant, BS, RHIA, RHIT, CCS, CCDS (2007-2010)
  • Shelia Bullock, RN, BSN, MBA, CCM, CCDS (2009-2011)
  • Donald Butler, RN, BSN (2013-2015)
  • Jean S. Clark, RHIA (2007-2010)
  • Wendy Clesi, RN, CCDS (2014-2017)
  • Angie Curry, RN, BSN, CCDS (2017-2020)
  • Wendy De Vreugd, RN, BSN, PHN, FNP, CCDS (2007-2010, 2014-2017)
  • Jennifer Eaton, RN, MSN, CCDS (2019-2023)
  • Emily Emmons, MSN, RN, CCDS, CHFP, CRCR (2021-2024)
  • Cheryl Ericson, MS, RN, CCDS, CDIP (2014-2017)
  • Paul Evans, RHIA, CCDS, CCS, CCS-P (2016-2019)
  • Susan Fantin, RN, BSN, MSA, ACM, CCDS, CDIP (2020-2024)
  • James Fee, MD, CCS, CCDS (2015-2018)
  • Garri L. Garrison, RN, CPC, CMC, CPUR (2009-2011)
  • Colleen Garry, RN, BS (2007-2010)
  • Robert Gold, MD (2007-2010) (2011-2013)
  • Katy Good, RN, MSN, MHA, CCS, CCDS (2017-2020)
  • William E. Haik, MD (2007-2010)
  • Tamara A. Hicks, RN, BSN, MHA, CCS, CCDS, ACM (2007-2010, 2016-2019)
  • Sylvia Hoffman, RN, CCDS, CCDI, CDIP (2013-2015)
  • Robin R. Holmes, RN, MSN (2009-2011)
  • Walter Houlihan, MBA, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA (2013-2015)
  • Thomas W. Huth, MD, MBA, FACP (2015)
  • Robin Jones, RN, BSN, MHA/Ed, CCDS (2016-2019)
  • Fran Jurcak, RN, MSN, CCDS (2011-2014, 2018-2021)
  • James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS (2010-2012)
  • Glenn Krauss, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPUR, FCS, PCS, CCDS, C-CDI (2010-2012)
  • Mark LeBlanc, RN, MBA, CCDS (2014-2017)
  • Trey La Charité, MD (2011-2013)
  • Pam Lovell, MBA, RN (2007-2010)
  • Vaughn Matacale, MD, CCDS (2021-2024)
  • Gail B. Marini, RN, MM, CCS, LNC (2010-2012)
  • Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CPC, CPC-I, CCDS (2007-2010)
  • Michelle McCormack, RN, BSN, CCDS, CRCR (2014-2017)
  • Chinedum Mogbo, MBBS, MBA, MsHIM, RHIA, CCDS, CDIP (2021-2024)
  • Jeff Morris, RN, BSN, CCDS (2018-2021)
  • Karen Newhouser, RN, BSN, CCDS, CCS, CCM, CDIP (2015-2018)
  • Christopher Petrilli, MD, SFHM, CCDS (2019-2022)
  • Autumn Reiter, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O, CDIP, CCS (2021-2023)
  • Erica E. Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS (2018-2021)
  • Judy Schade, RN, MSN, CCM, CCDS (2015-2018)
  • Susan Schmitz, JD, RN, CCS, CCDS, CDIP (2017-2020)
  • Lynne Spryszak, RN, CCDS, CPC (2007-2012)
  • Colleen Stukenberg, MSN, RN, CMSRN, CCDS (2009-2011)
  • Kelly Sutton, MHL, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS (2021-2024)
  • Heather Taillon, RHIA (2007-2010)
  • Aimee Van Balen, RN, BSN, CCDS (2021-2024)
  • James E. Vance, MD, MBA (2014-2017)
  • Deanne Wilk, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS (2017-2020) 
  • Donna D. Wilson, RHIA, CCS, CCDS (2011-2013)
  • Lena N Wilson, MHI, RHIA, CCS, CCDS (2010-2012)
  • Anny Yuen, RHIA, CCS, CCDS (2015-2018)
  • Irina Zusman, RHIA, CCS, CCDS (2018-2021)

Chapter Advisory Committee

Task: Serving as liaisons between local chapter leaders and ACDIS national administration by participating on chapter leadership conference calls, promoting best practice, and providing guidance to leaders across the country. Click to read the committee's scope of work and the current group roster.

Click here to download the committee scope of work. For questions about the committee, contact ACDIS Associate Editorial Director Linnea Archibald (linnea.archibald@hcpro.com).

  Danita Arrowood, RHIT, CCS, CCDS                                         
  Content and instructional designer 
  FinThrive Learn
  Alpharetta, Georgia

Arrowood is a seasoned HIM professional with more than four decades of experience in coding, auditing, CDI, and education. She holds RHIT, CCDS, CCS, and CRC certifications. She has experience as a production coder and an auditor for the Department of Justice, quality improvement organizations, hospitals, physician offices, and as an adjunct teaching staff member. Danita is a healthcare content and instructional designer for FinThrive Learn, co-chairs the ACDIS CDI educators networking group (2022-2024), and is a member of the Chapter Advisory Committee. She has previously served as an AHIMA coding roundtable coordinator and on various other leadership committees. She has developed thousands of hours of coding, CDI, and compliance-related content and provided in-person education to physicians, clinicians, and coders across the country.
 

  Amy Bush, BS, RN, MJ, CCDS, CCS
  CDI specialist III
  Cooper University Health System
  Woolwich Township, New Jersey 

Bush is currently serving as an inpatient CDIS III at Cooper University Hospital, a level I trauma center. She joined the Cooper CDI team with the goal of establishing the CDI program in the Women’s and Children’s Institute, which covers maternity, general pediatrics, PICU, and NICU. This new endeavor followed a 20-year career at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she held numerous positions in CDI, PICU case management, bed management nurse coordinator- patient flow, and clinical coordinator cardiac center scheduling and precertification. Bush has also held positions as a nurse advocate, regulatory affairs associate and compliance officer, director of admissions and case management, and clinical nursing in the PICU at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She obtained her B.S. in nursing at the Pennsylvania State University and a master of jurisprudence in health law at Widener University School of Law. She has presented in various venues, served as a guest lecturer at two universities, and was honored to be the featured speaker at nursing grand rounds. Bush is currently serving her third year in a co-leadership role in the ACDIS pediatric networking group (APDIS).
 

  Denise Deter, RN, BSN, CCDS
  CDI manager
  Valleywise Health
 Phoenix, Arizona

Deter has more than 30 years of experience in the nursing profession with the last 11 years in CDI. Prior to CDI, her background as a nurse includes medical/surgical, ICU, and emergency department. As a CDI specialist, she spent multiple years contracting as a second-level review auditor and training new CDI specialists. She has been at Valleywise Health for the last four years. She has served in multiple leadership roles with her current position as the CDI manager for both outpatient and inpatient CDI. Deter’s primary focus over the last two years was to build the outpatient CDI program at Valleywise Health. She currently serves as one of the Arizona ACDIS chapter’s co-chairs and serves on the ACDIS Chapter Advisory Committee. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in nursing at the University of West Georgia. She also presented at 2023 AzAHIMA annual meeting on “How to Build an Outpatient CDI program.”

 

  Ella Elizee, APRN, MSN, CCDS
  Population health manager
  USF Tampa General
  Tampa, Florida

Elizee is currently the population health manager at the USF Tampa General physician organization in Florida. She is a former CDI educator and has a notable presence in the CDI field. She has contributed to the CDI Journal and actively participates on the Chapter Advisory Committee and ACDIS Leadership Council, and has been a member of the ACDIS Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She has spoken at the state chapter meetings and was a speaker at the 2023 ACDIS national conference. Elizee has also been a guest and has shared her insights on the ACDIS Podcast. Elizee's dedication extends to her role as vice president of the Florida ACDIS chapter, showcasing her commitment to professional development.
 

Carol McNutt, RN, CDIP
CDI manager
Lifebridge Health
Owings Mills, Maryland 

Bio coming soon...
 

  Keri Miller, RN, BSN, CCDS, CCS
  CDI manager of quality and education
  University of Miami 
  Miami, Florida

Miller is currently the CDI manager of quality and education at the University of Miami Health System. She has seven years of experience working in the CDI field with experience in consulting and CDI quality. Her current role focuses on team education on compliance, DRG optimization, and quality measures capture. Her passions include leading the Michigan chapter of ACDIS and providing educational opportunities for CDI professionals across the industry.
 

  Janell Murray, BSN, RN, CCDS
  CDI educator
  Banner Health
  Phoenix, Arizona

Murray is a CDI educator at Banner Health in Phoenix, Arizona. She has more than 14 years of experience in nursing with more than nine in CDI. She recently joined Banner Health as the CDI educator which covers all the Banner Health hospitals. Prior to her current role, she worked as a CDI specialist for the Brundage Group and Parkview Health Systems. Her nursing background includes telemetry and the ICU/CCU, serving as a nursing team lead, preceptor, and department educator. As a CDI professional, she has served as a committee member, working in critical access hospitals to level 1 trauma/teaching facilities. She assisted with onboarding and led the continued education updates for her team. She has been a member of the Indiana chapter of ACDIS, served as the chapter's social media manager from 2020-2022, and then transitioned to the chapter president for the 2023-2025 term. She also recently joined the ACDIS Chapter Advisory Committee.
 

  Paula Rector, RHIT, CCDS, CDIP
  CDI specialist
  Grady Health
  Newman, Georgia

Rector has more than 37 years of hospital/healthcare experience, and more than 15 years of experience in CDI development, implementation, consulting, and staff. Her experience encompasses administrative director/management of the revenue cycle, including HIM, coding, patient accounts, patient access, medical staff operations and credentialing, centralized scheduling, and risk management. She has also served as project manager for denials review teams and A/R reduction teams. Rector has worked in a variety of healthcare settings from large academic medical centers to small community hospitals in many states of the United States. She has served in several HIM and ACDIS state chapter positions and Iowa state healthcare projects. Rector has served as secretary of the Georgia chapter of ACDIS since 2020.
 

  Rani Vivian Stoddard, MBA, RN, CPHQ, RHIA, CCDS, CCS, CDIP
  CDI supervisor
  Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital
  Valencia, California

Stoddard has been a CDI supervisor for more than nine years. She assists a six-person team consisting of nurses and foreign medical graduate physicians. She came to CDI from quality, teaching, healthcare marketing, blood donor nursing, intensive care, medical-surgical nursing, and rehabilitation nursing. Stoddard has been active in the California ACDIS local chapter since 2016, in the past serving as its secretary and currently as the California ACDIS Connection newsletter editor. Through her efforts and the work of her colleagues on the leadership team, the California ACDIS chapter has been able to several hold in-person annual conferences. She joined the Chapter Advisory Committee in 2019 where she hopes to bring back leadership tools to the volunteers in California and share successful tips the California ACDIS chapter has developed since its inception nearly a decade ago. Stoddard is a previous speaker at the ACDIS national conference in Las Vegas in 2017 and poster presenter in 2018.
 

  Madhu Subherwal, MBBS, MHA, CCDS, CDIP
  CDI manager
  Torrance Memorial Medical Center
  Torrance, California

Subherwal is a physician, completing her medical education at Dayanand Medical College in India, and has been CDI manager at Torrance Memorial Medical Center since 2015. Subherwal began her journey in CDI in 2010 while completing her master’s degree in health administration. Since then, she has been a member of the ACDIS Events Committee from 2019 through 2021, the 2022/2023 ACDIS Leadership Council Mastermind group, and the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council. She has served on the leadership team for the California local chapter since 2019.
 

  Ashley Vahey, BSN, RN, CCDS
  CDI director
  Penn State Health
  Hershey, Pennsylvania

Wells graduated from Moravian College in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. She has spent her entire career at Penn State Hershey Medical Center where she has held various positions, including direct care nurse, clinical head nurse, infection prevention practitioner, CDI specialist, and CDI team lead. Previously, her CDI focus was mortality case review and organizational quality initiatives. She has been in the CDI field now for nine years. Wells has presented nationally for groups such as Vizient and AHIMA and was also a member on the ACDIS Resource Library Committee for several years. She is currently the co-lead for the Central Pennsylvania ACDIS local chapter and a member of the ACDIS Chapter Advisory Committee. Her newest achievement is the co-authoring of the book for ACDIS titled CDI and Quality Reporting: How Healthcare Record Review Can Improve Outcomes

Certification Committee

Task: Maintaining and updating the CCDS and CCDS-O Certification Programs, including the exam and its prerequisites. Click to read the committee's scope of work and the current group roster.

Click here to download the committee scope of work. For questions about this committee, contact ACDIS Director of Programming Rebecca Hendren (rebecca.hendren@hcpro.com).

CCDS Subcommittee:

Marie Bourque-Namer

Bio coming soon...

 

  Sharme Brodie, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O, CRC
 
CDI education specialist 
  HCPro/ACDIS
  Middleton, Massachusetts
Brodie is a CDI education specialist for HCPro. Brodie serves as a full-time instructor for CDI Boot Camps and a subject matter expert for ACDIS. She has more than 35 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, including multiple areas of nursing, serving in a variety of roles at both large academic and small community hospitals. Prior to joining HCPro, Brodie worked as a consultant providing program audits, implementation advice, and continuing education for CDI departments, including physician education She has been responsible for the successful implementation and oversight of a CDI department and the revitalization of a CDI department at a small community hospital. Sharme is a frequent contributor of articles for ACDIS’ CDI Journal and CDI Strategies. She has been a speaker at the national ACDIS conference and is a frequent guest host on the ACDIS Podcast.

 

Mary Carol Brouwer

Bio coming soon...

 

Cheryl Ericson

Bio coming soon...

 

Patricia Henry

Bio coming soon...

 

  Dorene Hughes, MSN, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP
  Clinical documentation director
  Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center
  Hartsville, South Carolina

Hughes has been involved in CDI for over 14 years, with seven years of that experience as a CDI director. Prior to CDI, she has 12 years of experience as a well-baby and NICU nurse and six years experience as a nurse in a nursing home. She is currently a member of ACDIS, the Tennessee ACDIS local chapter, AHIMA, and is the past tresurer for the South Carolina ACDIS local chapter. Hughes is the lead chair for the Darlington County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, and is alos involved in the Hartsville Evening Lions Club and the ToastMasters Club in Hartsville. Prior to nursing, Hughes taught kindergarten and first grade. She married her high school sweetheart in 2020 and together they have six children, three dogs, and three cats.

 

  Fran Jurcak, MSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O
  Chief clinical strategist
  Iodine Software
  Austin, Texas

Jurcak is an accomplished senior executive with over 30 years of success in healthcare. She is currently the chief clinical strategist at Iodine Software where she has focused her attention on employing innovative artificial intelligence machine learning model technology to support documentation accuracy in all records. Jurcak is focused on creating efficient workflows, preventing duplication of effort, and supporting professional communication between the clinical and coding teams. She has worked side-by-side with CDI specialists and coding staff, CDI leaders, and corporate executives to develop workflows and processes that support positive outcomes for healthcare organizations. She received the 2017 ACDIS award for Professional Achievement, served two elected terms on the ACDIS Advisory Board and currently sits on the certification boards for both inpatient and outpatient CDI as well as the NAHRI Advisory Board. 

 

Roshan Shetty

Bio coming soon...

 

  Susanne Warford, RN, MBA, CCDS
  HIM data analytics manager 
  Baptist Health
  Kentucky

Warford's experience includes emergency department, neurosurgical ICU, transplant, case management, and compliance with the last nine years in CDI/HIM. During those nine years, she served as a facility CDI specialist, CDI auditor/educator and regional CDI manager, where she helped to systemize and standardize processes for seven facilities spread throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Prior to her current role, she started the CDI appeals program, which has since developed into its own department. Susanne currently serves as the Vice-President for the ACDIS Kentucky/Southern Indiana Chapter. She is a member of the 2021 – 2022 ACDIS CDI Leadership Council and has served on the CCDS Exam Committee since 2019.

 

  Gail Weldon, RN, CCDS
  CDI team lead
  Baptist Medical Center East and Prattville Baptist Hospital
  Montgomery and Prattville, Alabama

Weldon has worked full time as an RN since 1978 and has been with the same great healthcare system for the last 22 years. In 2007, she became a quality coordinator overseeing professional practice evaluations and all things physician related. When the CDI department was formed, she transitioned to CDI, which Weldon believes is the best career move she has ever made. Weldon loves CDI and she goes to work with excitement every day. Weldon is a CDI team lead for two of the system's three facilities. In her off time, Weldone loves to experience life with her husband, children and grandchildren. She feels extremely blessed to have both of her parents living and enjoys their company as often as she can. Weldon also loves dogs and birds, and has a few of each.

 

Irina Zusman

Bio coming soon...

 

CCDS-O Subcommittee:

  Tracy Boldt, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDIP, CCDS-O
  System manager of CDI
  Essentia Health System
  Duluth, Minnesota

Boldt has more than 15 years of healthcare experience, including nursing, administration, and consulting, specializing in hospital revenue cycle management. Specific to CDI, Boldt has led CDI engagements for clients representing small hospitals to larger integrated delivery networks with multi-site programs. She has successfully led CDI integration projects with interest in clinical documentation (inpatient and outpatient), and identifying process changes and workflow enhancement regarding how provider documentation is reflective of accurate patient care.

 

  Judy Dokken, MBA, CHDA, RHIT, CCS
  Revenue cycle manager
  Mayo Clinic
  Rochester, Minnesota

In her current role, Dokken works with providers and coding staff to support quality documentation and code capture processes. After many years of facility and professional coding, Dokken transitioned to working with providers on billing requirements including ICD-10 implementation. After ICD-10 implementation, she began work on evaluation and management CPT documentation and coding. Later, her role expanded to include risk scores, patient complexity, hierarchical condition categories, and alternative payment models. Currently she supports the work of Mayo’s outpatient CDI program.

 

  Tamara A. Hicks, BSN, MHA, RN, CCS, CCDS, ACM-RN, CCDS-O
  Director of clinical documentation excellence (CDE)
  Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist (AHWFB)
  Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Hicks has more than 22 years of experience in CDI and over 37 years of nursing experience. As an original staff member when the CDI program at AHWFB began in 1999, she participated in building and expanding the program by educating staff and faculty, providing leadership, promoting departmental goals, and coordinating department operations. Hicks holds a diploma in nursing from Watts School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina, and graduated summa cum laude from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She obtained a master’s in health administration from Pfeiffer University in Charlotte. She has worked for AHWFB for her entire career, with 15 years of service as a staff nurse in the hospital's intermediate care unit and nine years as manager of care coordination. She is a member AHIMA and ACDIS where she is a frequent contributor, serving on the ACDIS Advisory Board twice, currently sitting on the CCDS-O Certification Board, currently serving as the social media coordinator for NC-ACDIS, and she was awarded the CDI Professional of the Year Award at the 2019 ACDIS Conference.

 

  Fran Jurcak, MSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O
  Chief clinical strategist
  Iodine Software
  Austin, Texas

Jurcak is an accomplished senior executive with over 30 years of success in healthcare. She is currently the chief clinical strategist at Iodine Software where she has focused her attention on employing innovative artificial intelligence machine learning model technology to support documentation accuracy in all records. Jurcak is focused on creating efficient workflows, preventing duplication of effort, and supporting professional communication between the clinical and coding teams. She has worked side-by-side with CDI specialists and coding staff, CDI leaders, and corporate executives to develop workflows and processes that support positive outcomes for healthcare organizations. She received the 2017 ACDIS award for Professional Achievement, served two elected terms on the ACDIS Advisory Board and currently sits on the certification boards for both inpatient and outpatient CDI as well as the NAHRI Advisory Board.

 

  James Manz, MD
  Spine and neurological surgery consultant
  Mayo Enterprise Health System
  Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Manz services as physician chair of the Mayo Enterprise Outpatient CDI Subcommittee, physician vice chair for the Mayo Enterprise Inpatient CDI Subcommittee, and physician advisor of the Mayo Clinic Problem List Stewardship Committee. He is the co-author of the ACDIS Pocket Guide and has been a frequent speaker at ACDIS national conferences.

 

  Shannon E. McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CPC-I, CEMC, CRC, CCDS
  Director of HIM/coding
  HCPro
  Middleton, Massachusetts

McCall directs all of HCPro’s Certified Coder Boot Camp® programs. She is the developer of the Certified Coder Boot Camp®—Inpatient Version and the Evaluation and Management Boot Camp®. Most recently she collaborated with the CDI team to develop the Risk Adjustment Documentation and Coding Boot Camp®. As a consultant for HCPro, she works with hospitals, medical practices, and other healthcare providers on a wide range of coding-related issues with a particular focus on education, coding reviews, and audits. McCall has extensive experience with coding for both physician and hospital services. Prior to joining HCPro, she worked for a national medical practice management company, where her duties included serving as a client manager and an in-house coding trainer. She also previously worked for a national consulting firm focusing on hospital inpatient, outpatient, and ER services. McCall previously served on the ACDIS advisory board. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina.

 

  Karen Newhouser, RN, BSN, CCM, CCDS, CCS, CDIP
  Director of CDI education
  MedPartners
  Tampa, Florida

Newhouser’s current role at MedPartners helped her find her niche in education through writing, speaking, and personal engagement. Within multiple roles spanning a 40-year-career in critical care nursing, case management, and CDI, Newhouser has been resolute in her mission to set people up for success. Newhouser was honored as the 2015 CDI Professional of the Year by ACDIS and was a member of the ACDIS Advisory Board.

 

  Diana Ortiz, JD, RN, CDIP, CCDS
  Revenue cycle marketing manager, CDI product owner
  3M Health Information Systems, Inc. 
  Wausau, Wisconsin

Previously, Ortiz was the director for ambulatory CDI at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since joining Ochsner in 2013, her roles included serving as a project manager as well as inpatient CDI operations manager. During this time, she coordinated the implementation of computer-assisted coding and metrics reporting for the CDI department. Ortiz has a nursing background in both the emergency and the psychiatric setting, and HIM experience in hospital emergency facility coding and database management. 

 

  Laurie Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O, CDIP, CRC
  Interim ACDIS director
  HCPro
  Chicago, Illinois

Prescott is the interim director and subject matter expert for ACDIS. She is a frequent speaker on HCPro/ACDIS webinars and is the author of the CDI Specialist’s Complete Training Guide. Prescott started her nursing career in 1985 as a graduate of the University of Vermont School of Nursing. Since that time, she has worked at a variety of organizations including academic, large and small community hospitals. She has worked in a number of nursing roles including as manager in the areas of medical/surgical, ICU, PACU, and endoscopy. Her experience also includes specialization as a compliance officer. She completed her MSN with a focus in nursing education at the University of Phoenix and taught nursing as an adjunct instructor to ADN students. She continued her focus of nursing education in various roles. In 2007, Prescott left this role to develop and implement a CDI program and remained in this role until joining ACDIS in August of 2013.

 

  Jessica M. Vaughn, DNP, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O, CRC                                                                   
  Vice president, value-based CDI
  Norwood
  Austin, Texas

Vaughn has over 11 years of CDI experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings and 25 years of nursing experience in hematology/oncology acute care, nephrology, obstetrics/gynecology, and primary care. In 2015 she led one of the nation’s first and outpatient CDI programs focused on value-based care for population health. Vaughn has spoken at multiple conferences, authored articles, received ACDIS’s National Professional Achievement Award, and helped write both the original study guide and the initial CCDS-O certification exam. Vaughn has held certifications in oncology, chemo and biotherapy, AHIMA approved ICD-10 CM/PCS trainer, and most recently completed her Doctor of Nursing at Duke University with research focusing on CDI nurse-led preventative care initiatives.

 

  Yvonne Whitley RN, BSN, CPC, CRC, CDEO
  Ambulatory CDI manager
  Novant Health
  Charlotte, North Carolina

Whitley was one of the first CDI specialists tasked with creating this new department for Novant Health’s Medical Group in September 2013, as well as building one of the first ambulatory CDI programs in the country. She now leads a robust team that supports much of Novant Health’s Medical Group of over 530 physician locations and over 2,500 providers. Whitley obtained her BSN from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. She has been with Novant Health for the last 20 years and comes from a nursing background with 30 years in critical care, trauma, and open-heart ICUs. She also has experience as a clinical research coordinator for drug and device trials.

 

  Michelle M. Wieczorek, RHIT, RN, CPHQ
  Senior manager
  DHG Healthcare
  Erie, Pennsylvania

Wieczorek combines 30 years of healthcare knowledge as a clinician, with subject matter expertise in CDI, HIM, and clinical quality in her role as leader of CDI services at DHG Healthcare. Wieczorek has served in leadership roles in critical care nursing, health information management, utilization review, clinical quality, and information technology and has practiced in acute, outpatient and managed care settings. She has extensive experience in software development and IT product management, including holding a US patent in natural language processing clinical rules logic as a result of her work in developing a CDI software program with a national IT vendor. Wieczorek is active in professional organizations and is presently an appointee to the CDI Practice Council of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and was recognized by her peers with the Distinguished Member Award by the Pennsylvania HIMA in 2016. Michelle is a sought-after author and speaker on topics such as electronic health records, CDI, risk adjustment, and clinical quality. She has presented webinars for ACDIS, AHIMA, and the American Hospital Association. She has contributed to publications such as the CDI Journal (ACDIS), the Journal of AHIMA, and is presently on the Editorial Board of ICD-10 Monitor. Wieczorek is based in Western Pennsylvania and travels nationally leading consulting engagements to deploy best practice tools and methodologies for clinical documentation, risk adjustment, and revenue integrity.

Resource Library Committee

Task: Reviewing materials donated to the ACDIS community for publication in the Resource Library for accuracy, compliance, relevance, and effectiveness. Click to read the committee's scope of work and the current group roster.

Click here to download the committee's scope of work. For questions about the committee, contact ACDIS Associate Editor Joshua Raposa (joshua.raposa@hcpro.com). 
 

  Chinwe Anyika, PhD, RN-BC, CDIP, CCS, CCDS, CCDS-O, CPHIMS
  Manager of CDI and data operations
  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  New York, New York

Anyika is the manager of CDI and data operations at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She has 18 years of nursing experience, and 14 years of CDI and inpatient coding experience. In her current position, she oversees other CDI specialists, supervises daily CDI operations and workflow, trains CDI specialists and providers, and utilizes data analytics and CDI informatics to drive provider performance improvement. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in biomedical informatics and holds professional certificates in VBA programming, data analytics, and data visualization with tableau.
 

  Laurie Baker, MSN, RN, CCDS
  Clinical documentation specialist
  Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center
  Jasper, Indiana

Baker is a clinical documentation specialist at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper, Indiana. She has 31 years of nursing experience, including in the medical/surgical unit. She has 11 years of experience in case management/utilization review and six years of experience as a CDI specialist. She earned her CCDS credential in 2020 and currently does CDI reviews for traditional and managed Medicare and Medicaid patients. Baker was a 2022 recipient of an ACDIS CDI Scholarship award. 
 

  Melissa Crigger, RN-BSN, MHA, CCDS
  Clinical documentation specialist
  Carilion Clinic
  Roanoke, Virginia

Crigger is a clinical documentation specialist at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia. She is a registered nurse with more than 29 years of nursing experience. She has five years of CDI experience with her areas of expertise in vascular surgery, neuro trauma ICU and PCU, and oncology. Crigger has also served as an infection preventionist and was the surgical site infection content expert as well as conducted quality improvement projects for HAC reduction. She also has experience in case management, utilization management, and nursing education where she served as an assistant professor of nursing at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke. She has a master’s degree in science with an emphasis in healthcare administration and has experience in outpatient practice management as well. While Melissa loves educating physicians and clinical documentation, she considers being mother to her 10-year-old son her greatest accomplishment.   
 

  Elizabeth Harvey, RN, BC, MS, CMCN, CPHQ, CCDS
  Level 3 CDI specialist
  West Virginia University Medicine
  Morgantown, West Virginia

Harvey is a level 3 CDI specialist at West Virginia University Medicine in Morgantown. She is a registered nurse with more than 30 years of nursing experience, specializing in CDI since 2007. Harvey has her master’s in community health education and holds education, clinical assessment, and process improvement dear to her heart. Recently, she participated in a process improvement project with sepsis as a level 3 project. At present, Harvey has a goal to form a state ACDIS chapter. She has held the CCDS certification since 2013. She has previously served as president of the West Virginia State Health Care Quality Association and now serves as the treasurer. Harvey is a progressive thinker and is always giving it her all to make the world a better place.
 

  Amy Kirk, RHIT, CCS, CCDS, CRCR
  CDI regional manager
  Ensemble Health Partners, supporting Bon Secours Mercy Health
  Cincinnati, Ohio

Kirk is a CDI regional manager with Ensemble Health Partners, supporting Bon Secours Mercy Health. She has been in the health information field for 31 years with 17 years as an acute care inpatient professional coder at a level 1 trauma center and academic facility, and 14 years in inpatient CDI. Her coding experience and the increasing need for provider documentation education led her to help grow the CDI department in 2007 as a CDI specialist and becoming a regional CDI manager of five facilities in 2013. Kirk believes a strong CDI team has a foundation of processes and resources to support best practices. Using her experiences in coding and CDI, Kirk has helped their teams navigate through the challenges of the ever-changing healthcare environment.
 

  Lee Anne Landon, BSN, CCMC, CCDS
  Network director of the clinical documentation program
  HonorHealth Healthcare System
  Scottsdale, Arizona

Landon is the network director of the clinical documentation program at HonorHealth Healthcare System in Arizona. She has more than 16 years of experience in CDI. Previously, Landon has worked in multiple roles and settings, including acute care, case management, and utilization review for hospitals, insurance companies, and the New York state PRO. Her current CDI program includes all payer reviews, quality, and denial management. The program has established close collaborative relationships with the coding and quality department along with a working relationship with case management. Landon is an active member of her local ACDIS chapter and was a co-chairperson for two years. She has presented at ACDIS national conferences and at local chapter events. She is a member of the ACDIS Leadership Council, has served on Leadership Council Mastermind group, and has been invited to attend several Leadership Exchanges.
 

  Natalie Negro, MPH, BSN, RN, CCDS
  Corporate manager of CDI
  Penn Medicine
  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Negro is the corporate manager of CDI at Penn Medicine in Pennsylvania. As manager, Negro provides education and support to encourage growth and development of an effective CDI department, follows metrics and key performance indicators, and collaborates with providers and other stakeholders to ensure the success of Penn Medicine. Some of her favorite initiatives Negro has worked on are those which leverage technology and the electronic medical record to improve documentation and patient care. Negro is passionate about CDI and all the ways in which it promotes accurate and complete code sets for public health data, hospital rankings, and hospital finance. An amateur detective at heart, Natalie loves board games, escape rooms, and anything that involves putting together clues and solving puzzles.
 

  Kelly Rice, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS, CRC
  CDI lead, provider education
  Mayo Clinic
  Falmouth, Maine

Bio coming soon...
 

  Pamela Ruiz, MD, CCDS
  CDI lead
  Christus Highland Medical Center
  Shreveport, Louisiana 

Ruiz has more than nine years of healthcare experience and five years of CDI, education, auditing, denials, and coding experience. She has worked in various types of hospitals including large academic medical centers, multi-hospital systems, a children’s hospital, a heart hospital, and smaller community hospitals. As a CDI lead, Ruiz provides education, support, follows metrics and key performance indicators, and collaborates with providers and other stakeholders to ensure success in the system CDI program at Christus Healthcare. Ruiz is an active member of ACDIS, the Texas local chapter, and the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council.
 

  Ashley Wells, MN, RN, CMSRN, CCDS
  CDI specialist
  Medovent Solutions
  Mansfield, Texas

Wells has ten years of nursing experience, beginning her nursing career and love for professional development and education at a Portland, Oregon acute care hospital. In the years that followed, Wells has gained experience as a nursing instructor and clinical educator at an acute care hospital in the DFW metroplex. Since 2019, Wells has gained a broad range of CDI experiences ranging from concurrent and retrospective reviews, provider and staff education, and clinical validation denials. Wells’ favorite professional milestones include onboarding staff members and being a part of the ACDIS community with previous participation on the ACDIS Furthering Education Committee.
 

  Brittani Winkler, MHA, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O
  Manager of CDI
  Wellstar Health System
  Collins, Ohio

Winkler is a manager of CDI at Wellstar Health System, which is based in Marietta, Georgia. In her current role, she is responsible for leading CDI initiatives across seven facilities, presenting metrics to hospital stakeholders, attending multidepartment meetings, and leading the outpatient HCC reporting initiative. Winkler joined the CDI world in 2017 and has a background in medical/surgical nursing, home health nursing, case management, and clinical resource management.
 

  Alison Yazmer, RN, BSN, CCDS, CCS
  CDI educator, denial prevention specialist
  Middlesex Hospital
  Middletown, Connecticut 

Yazmer started Middlesex Hospital’s CDI department as a pilot program in 2004. The department presently staffs both concurrent and second level review CDI nurses. Yazmer transitioned to CDI educator and denial prevention in 2000. Yazmer chairs the clinical validation committee working with providers to develop evidenced based best practices guidelines for high risk diagnoses vulnerable to denial. She is responsible for education and quality assurance for providers, CDI nurses, and coding staff ensuring compliance and understanding of clinical guidelines and ICD-10 Official Coding & Reporting Guidelines. Previously, Yazmer worked as an acute care medical/surgical nurse, utilization review nurse for an insurance company, and manager for inpatient case management and outpatient disease management. Currently, Yazmer is the vice-chair for the Connecticut Hospital Association’s Payer Audit Representatives Meeting.

June call for volunteers

Events Committee

Task: Plan ACDIS in-person and virtual events in collaboration with the ACDIS administration to meet the education and networking needs of CDI professionals. Click to read the committee's scope of work and the current group roster.

Click here to download the committee's scope of work. For questions about the committee, contact ACDIS Editor and Product Coordinator Karla Kozak (karla.kozak@hcpro.com).

  Patricia Barry, RN, BSN, M.Ed, CCDS
  Director of Clinical Documentation Integrity
  Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  Boston, Massachusetts

Barry is the director of clinical documentation integrity at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston. She has 25 years of nursing experience, with a focus on nursing education, career development, leadership, and clinical practice. She started her CDI career in 2008 and had the privilege to practice and lead multiple CDI teams in many academic medical centers, including Tufts, UCLA, Stanford, and the Queen’s Medical Center in Hawaii. Barry has participated in the CDI AHIMA program, has been a speaker at the Workforce Development Conference, has hosted many ACDIS chapter programs, has been featured in the ACDIS CDI Journal in 2017, and founded the New England CDI Leadership group.

 

  Sara Booker, BN, RN, CCDS
  CDI Team Lead
  Ascension
  Indianapolis, Indiana

Booker has 26 years of nursing experience in the areas of medical-surgical, critical care, step-down, endoscopy, and home hospice. She discovered the world of CDI six 6 years ago and has not looked back. Booker moved from a CDI specialist role to a supportive role as a CDI float and now is a CDI team lead. She has served on the Query Committee for the past four years. She has developed an orientation plan and educates new CDIs. She is a past president of the Indiana ACDIS local chapter and currently serves as its secretary.

 

  Johanne “Jo” Brautigam, RN, CCDS
  CDI manager
  Roper Saint Francis Healthcare
  Charleston, South Carolina

After 25 years in critical care, Brautigam took the leap into CDI in 2011. She became CDI manager in 2013 and currently manages 11 CDI specialists, covering four hospitals. She is the president of the South Carolina ACDIS Chapter, a member of the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council and the ACDIS CDI Scholarship Committee, and a past member of the CDI Week Committee. She is co-author of The CDI Director’s Cut: A Guide for Effective Program Management and a subject matter expert for ACDIS.
 

Shannon DiSilvestro, BSN, RN, CCDS
CDI Specialist
U Chicago Medicine Medical Center
Chicago, Illinois

DiSilvestro is a CDI specialist at U Chicago Medicine Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. She has been a nurse since 1995. Most of her career was spent in the emergency department (ED), but she has also worked in medical/surgical, telemetry, interventional radiology, non-invasive cardiology, care management, and utilization management. She worked as an Epic credentialed trainer, CPR instructor, and assisted with the startup of an ED sepsis initiative and chest pain initiative for credentialing for a past employer. She began working as a CDI specialist in 2019. At the University of Chicago, she is currently working on the startup of the NICU CDI program for their Level III NICU and 3M prioritization project as well as volunteering as an employee engagement ambassador. She is also finishing her master’s degree. 

 

  Karen Elmore, BSN, RN, CCDS
  Documentation Quality Coordinator
  BJC HealthCare
  St. Louis, Missouri

Elmore began the CDI program at Boone Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, (part of BJC HealthCare) in 2008. Her previous experience includes 18 years as a neurological intensive care unit nurse and the clinical education lead. Elmore earned her CCDS in 2014, and in 2016 became a documentation quality coordinator for BJC HealthCare where she supports 14 CDI specialists and four CDI leaders within four hospitals in the Columbia/St. Louis area. Her current areas of focus include account management, second level reviews, quality measures (patient safety indicators/hospital-acquired conditions), coding and CDI mismatches, physician/provider education, mortality reviews, insurance denial reviews, and orientation of new CDI staff and providers. Elmore started the Heart of Missouri ACDIS local chapter in 2009 and in 2015 brought together other Missouri chapters to hold a state-wide, full-day event. They’ve since held three state conferences gathering more than 100 participants. She also currently serves on the ACDIS Chapter Advisory Board.
 

  Diane Kenney, RN, BSN, CCDS
  CDI specialist
  Novant Health
  Charlotte, North Carolina

Kenney is a CDI specialist for Novant Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, with 36 years of nursing experience, serving the past 12 years in the CDI role. She presented a poster at the 2019 ACDIS conference and has served on the query template and mortality work groups. Her previous roles were clinical analyst and data abstractor for STS thoracic surgery, cath PCI/MI; CHF and ED outpatient core measures where she served as the facilitator for the thoracic surgery best practice team and co-facilitator for CP best practice and started her career in the ED for 19 years and serving on multiple committees. 
 

  Carrie Mayfield, MSN, RN, CCDS
  Clinical Documentation Supervisor
  Children’s Minnesota
  Edina, Minnesota

Mayfield is the Clinical Documentation Supervisor at Children’s Minnesota in Edina, Minnesota, with 35+ years in nursing, serving in leadership, direct and indirect patient care, and education roles. She has diverse experience throughout her career in medical-surgical, oncology, and float pool units, intensive and emergency care, home health and hospice, medical insurance/prior authorization review, home medical equipment, and nursing education. More than eight years ago, she started at Children’s Minnesota in the CDI Program and continues to expand her knowledge in pediatrics and CDI daily.
 

  Tina Scarborough, RN, CCM, CCDS
  CDI team lead
  AdventHealth
  Sebring, Florida

A nurse for more than 30 years with background in industrial nursing, emergency room, medical-surgical, home care, case management, bed management, and Scarborough helped start the CDI program at AdventHealth more than eight years’ ago and now serves as team lead over three facilities and contributes to several quality improvement committees such as clinical excellence, sepsis committee, and physician/residency orientation. She and her team conducted a successful CDI ER pilot, and which is now an established program.
 

  Sandra Thomas, MSN, RN
  CDI specialist
  U Chicago Medicine Medical Center
  Chicago, Illinois

Thomas is a CDI specialist at U Chicago Medicine Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Her nursing career has been in MICU, CCU, cardiac cath lab, adult surgical heart ICU, home health, and as an instructor of CPR, ACLS, 12 lead ECG, and ventricular assist device. She worked as a credential trainer for EMR-EPIC applications. Thomas has volunteered and co-chaired committees to develop orientation processes in ICU, as well as for CDI programs. She has done IRB-approved nurse research. She has also served as a committee member for a trauma recovery program for patient experiencing post-traumatic life events.
 

  Rebecca Truett, MBA, MSN, RN, CCDS, CCA, CDIP
  Clinical Documentation Specialist
  Novant Health
  Winston-Salem, NC

Truett is a clinical documentation specialist and clinical documentation excellent educator for Novant Health in Winston-Salem, NC. She has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare field. Her nursing career has spanned from bedside nursing for surgical, emergency, and critical care departments to nursing director of surgical services. Truett also served as performed director of quality and risk management for nine years, and nursing director for an ambulatory surgery center for five years. Truett’s current role as clinical documentation excellence educator allows her to provide clinical documentation integrity expertise as well as program development and operational support to the clinical documentation management team. 
 

  Margie Watson, MSN, RN, CCM, CCDS
  Interim director of the integrated CDI audit department
  Wise Health System
  Decatur, Texas

Watson is the interim director of the integrated CDI audit department at Wise Health System in Decatur, Texas. In this role, she oversees both the utilization review and CDI staff. Over the years, she led a variety of nursing positions in community hospitals, large teaching facilities, a psychiatric hospital, a critical access rural hospital, and a long-term acute hospital. She worked a wide range of positions starting out as a staff nurse, moving into nursing administration, informatics, case management, hospital administration, and as an RN adjunct faculty instructor at both Kilgore College and E.T.B.U. Watson started in CDI in 2009, as an outgrowth of case management. She is an active member of ACDIS member and the ACDIS Leadership Council.
 

  Laura Werner, DC, RN, BSN, BA, MSN-Ed, CDIP, CSS
  Executive director, CDI
  Community Health System
Werner has nearly 30 years of clinical experience, including a dozen in CDI where she has assisted in the design and implementation of acute care and critical access CDI departments, working both onsite and remote. She has been in education for over 35 years both online and in person and is currently an instructor for Gurnick academy of medical arts. Werner also serves as a nurse planner for HCPro and ACDIS.

Furthering Education Committee

Task: Maintaining and updating the ACDIS CDI Scholarship Program and planning for the annual CDI Week activities. Click to read the committee's scope of work and the current group roster.

Click here to download the committee scope of work. For information about this committee, contact ACDIS Associate Editor Jess Fluegel (jfluegel@acdis.org).

  Leyna Belcher, DNP-C, MSN, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O
  Enterprise system CDI educator
  WVU Medicine
  Carroll, Ohio

Belcher is the enterprise system CDI educator at WVU Medicine, based in Carroll, Ohio. She is a seasoned clinical professional with over a decade of experience in documentation review including as a CDI review RN, CDI specialist, supervisor, and CDI educator. Belcher’s CDI strengths include implementing successful projects for increased CC/MCC capture rates, and utilizing ACDIS/AHIMA-compliant queries to increase SOI/ROM and CMI scores. Data extraction and revenue cycle management, denial reviews, and building process and workflow templates for inpatient and outpatient CDI are also strengths of hers. Belcher has completed an effective outpatient program launch working with UR, physician champion advisors, and CDI staff for outpatient conversions to inpatient and capturing HCCs. Her strengths also include communication for peer-to-peer reviews for providers to use during conversations with insurance companies. Belcher also creates education and orientation plans for providers, nurses, and the CDI team. Supervising multiple team members and working with a supervisory team across multiple sites across multiple service lines including HVI/cardiothoracic, oncology, OB/GYN, NICU, trauma, orthopedic, ICU, vascular/nephrology, and elective surgeries is an additional strength of hers.

 

  Lynette Byerly, RN, CCDS, CCS
  Clinical documentation specialist auditor/trainer
  University of Colorado Health
  Aurora, Colorado

  Byerly has been a nurse for 15 years, starting her career in ortho/neuro, then transferred in the emergency department. While in the ED, she took on the role of trauma nurse coordinator for six years. In 2014, Byerly had the opportunity to join the CDI team part-time and fell in love with it. She has worked full time as a CDI specialist for nine years now. Byerly joined ACDIS in 2018 and obtained her CCDS shortly after. She is currently an auditor/trainer of CDI specialists. Byerly joined the ACDIS Regulatory Committee in August of 2020, and in April 2021 obtained her CCS. 

 

Vanessa Elliott, MBA-HM, RN, CCDS
Enterprise System CDI Educator
WVU Medicine
Morgantown, West Virginia

Elliott has 28 years of nursing experience and 10 years as a CDI professional. Prior to entering the CDI arena, Elliott worked in a variety of settings such as case management, utilization review, and ICU (which included neuro, CICU, and a mixed ICU setting). Elliott is part of the ACDIS Leadership Council.

 

Maria Garcia “GiGi” Donohue, RN, BSN, CCDS
Regional Manager, Clinical Documentation Excellence
Orlando (Florida) Health

Donohue is the regional manager of clinical documentation excellence at Orlando (Florida) Health. In this role, she manages a dozen CDI specialists across three hospitals in the healthcare system and four outpatient case managers/documentation specialists. She has been in the CDI world since 2010, building on a decades’ long nursing career. Over the course of her nursing career, she worked in a wide variety of clinical settings as well as utilization management. 

 

  Maricus Gibbs, PhD, RN
  CDI Specialist
  Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
  Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Gibbs is a CDI specialist at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has worked in the health and human services industry for 23 years. Beginning as a nursing assistant in long term and rehabilitation facilities, he gained experience in education and eventually became a registered nurse in home health and inpatient acute care. After he earned his PhD in health services research, he entered the CDI field two years ago. 
 

  Jeanne Johnson, MHA/INF, BNS, RN
  System Director of Clinical Documentation
  Premier Health
  Dayton, Ohio

Johnson is the system director of clinical documentation at Premier Health in Dayton, Ohio. She has been an RN for 30 years and obtained her masters in healthcare administration and informatics from Phoenix University. She assumed her current position in 2018 and acquired the coding department in October 2021. Johnson started her nursing career at Ohio Health in Columbus and has been with her current organization since 2001. Her recent roles include manager of case management and CDI team lead. She is a current member of the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council and was a member of the 2021/2022 CDI Leadership Council Mastermind group. 
 

  Alyce Reavis, RN, MSN, CCDS
  CDI Auditing Coordinator
  Evangelical Community Hospital
  Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Reavis is the CDI auditing coordinator at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She has been a registered nurse for more than a decade after being a public educator for 12 years. Since joining the CDI ranks, she has served as a preceptor for new team members, developed educational materials for CDI staff, coders, and providers, and helped her team members prepare to sit for the CCDS exam. She was a 2021 recipient of an ACDIS CDI Scholarship award.   

 

2023 CDI Week Advisor:

  Kelly Sutton, RN, BSN, MHL, CCDS​   
  CDI Educator
  Providence Health & Services
  Oregon

Sutton’s CDI career started in 2015 as a frontline CDI specialist in a suburban 170-plus-bed facility in Sebring, Florida. The transition to CDI was enjoyable as Sutton was able to utilize her clinical knowledge and experience to drive reviews in the CDI role. Navigating through a rapidly changing financially-based program as it transitioned to a quality-based program was a welcomed challenge. She achieved her CCDS certification in 2018. Sutton was promoted to a newly created CDI educator role in January 2019 as the CDI program transitioned away from facility-based to a divisional lead program. The educator role allowed her to participate in the creation of policies and processes for the division. Responsibilities included oversight of the onboarding process for all new employees. Additional responsibilities included developing education for 40+ employees and multiple physician groups across 11 facilities. The role of corporate CDI educator and Implementation specialist occurred in August 2021. Responsibilities included providing CDI, coding, and physician education and software program support to over 40 facilities across the system. She obtained her CCS certification in 2022. Currently, Sutton is the CDI educator for Providence Oregon. Responsibilities include auditing and providing CDI and physician education across all ministries in Oregon. She is a member of several professional organizations, including ACDIS and the Florida ACDIS local chapter. Sutton participated in the ACDIS Virtual Education Curtain Call in 2020 and presented an HCPro webinar in 2022. Sutton currently serves on the ACDIS Advisory Board and the ACDIS Leadership Council (2023-2024).

Elected to the board in 2021; serving through April 2024

ACDIS Regulatory Committee

Task: Reviewing regulatory policy and coding and clinical updates, commenting to agencies on behalf of ACDIS, and providing summary, interpretation, and analysis to the ACDIS membership. Click to read the current group roster.

Click here to download the committee scope of work. For questions about the committee, contact ACDIS Editor Jess Fluegel (jfluegel@acdis.org).

  Haaris Ali, MBBS, MBA, CDIP 
  Senior consultant
  Claro Healthcare
  Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Ali has served as a leader providing oversight and expertise in CDI, denials management, utilization review, process improvement, and case management. He has trained hundreds of physicians and nurses in CDI and denials management, and has led the centralization, standardization, and scaling of departments. He currently serves on the Texas ACDIS leadership team and formerly served on the Washington ACDIS Evergreen chapter leadership team.

 

Debra L. Anoff, MD, FACP, FHM
Senior Medical Director of the Clinical Revenue Cycle
University of Colorado Health
Aurora, Colorado

 

  Sharme Brodie, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O, CRC
 
CDI education specialist 
  HCPro/ACDIS
  Chicago, Illinois

Brodie is a CDI education specialist for HCPro. Brodie serves as a full-time instructor for CDI Boot Camps and a subject matter expert for ACDIS. She has more than 35 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, including multiple areas of nursing, serving in a variety of roles at both large academic and small community hospitals. Prior to joining HCPro, Brodie worked as a consultant providing program audits, implementation advice, and continuing education for CDI departments, including physician education She has been responsible for the successful implementation and oversight of a CDI department and the revitalization of a CDI department at a small community hospital. Sharme is a frequent contributor of articles for ACDIS’ CDI Journal and CDI Strategies. She has been a speaker at the national ACDIS conference and is a frequent guest host on the ACDIS Podcast.
 

  Lynette Byerly, RN, CCDS, CCS
  Clinical documentation specialist auditor/trainer
  University of Colorado Health
  Aurora, Colorado

 

Byerly has been a nurse for 15 years, starting her career in ortho/neuro, then transferred in the emergency department. While in the ED, she took on the role of trauma nurse coordinator for six years. In 2014, Byerly had the opportunity to join the CDI team part-time and fell in love with it. She has worked full time as a CDI specialist for nine years now. Byerly joined ACDIS in 2018 and obtained her CCDS shortly after. She is currently an auditor/trainer of CDI specialists. Byerly joined the ACDIS Regulatory Committee in August of 2020, and in April 2021 obtained her CCS. 
 

  Angelica Cage, MBA, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS, CDIP
  CDI director
  Tufts Medicine
  Boston, Massachusetts

Cage has eight years of CDI experience including acute care hospital and health system CDI management and senior advisor for consulting services. Her background includes critical care nursing in the trauma/surgical/neuro ICU, burn ICU, PACU, as well as in case management, utilization review, and quality/risk management. With a passion for CDI advancement, ethics, and quality improvement, Cage has brought success to CDI programs by integrating a more collaborative workflow and relationship between CDI and HIM, establishing advanced CDI training, implementing quality-focused objectives, participating in appeals and denials management, and serving as SME to hospitalist readmissions reduction council. 

Cage has been a speaker at the 2021, 2022, and 2023 ACDIS national conferences, a guest speaker on the ACDIS Podcast, and a guest columnist in the CDI Journal. She currently serves as the Texas ACDIS local chapter co-leader, and is a member of the Chapter Advisory Committee, Regulatory Committee, the chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and 2023/2024 CDI Leadership Council member.
 

  Andrea Eastwood, MAS, RHIA
  CDI director
  Trinity Health
  Livonia, Michigan

Eastwood is a health information management professional with more than 25 years of experience working in both acute and ambulatory care settings. She has worked at Trinity Health for the past 21 years at the corporate office and hospital setting in various leadership roles including CDI, HIM, care coordination, case management, and cancer program leadership. In her current role, she is responsible for CDI program leadership and oversight across both inpatient and observation CDI. Eastwood has presented on CDI topics at multiple national conferences.

 

Colleen Deighan Ejak, RHIA, CCS, CCDS-O
Consultant
3M Health Information Systems

Deighan Ejak is a consultant with 3M Health Information Systems where she provides advisory services on outpatient CDI, documentation integrity, medical coding, and revenue cycle management to 3M clients. She has 25+ years of technical and managerial experience in coding, clinical documentation, compliance, and revenue cycle management. Prior to joining 3M in 2019, Deighan Ejak served in a series of leadership roles at a large academic medical center in Cleveland, Ohio, including director of CDI, manager of hospital coding, director of coding compliance and director of professional coding.

Deighan Ejak also served as adjunct faculty for 12 years at Cuyahoga Community College in the Health Information Management program, teaching courses on clinical coding, reimbursement methodologies and medical terminology. Deighan Ejak is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Management. 

 

  Cheryl Ericson, RN, MS, CCDS, CDIP
 
Clinical program manager
  Iodine Software
  Charleston, South Carolina

Ericson’s body of work includes expertise in the mid revenue cycle with a focus on CDI and utilization review as well as quality. She is recognized as a CDI subject matter expert for her body of work which includes many speaking engagements and publications for a variety of industry associations. She has helped establish industry guidance through contributions to white papers, books, conference presentations,and practice briefs for both ACDIS and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Ericson is a current member of the ACDIS CCDS Certification Subcommittee of the Certification Committee. She is also a member of the AHIMA CDI Practice Council. She is a past member of the ACDIS Advisory Board. 

 

Jenny K. Esper, RHIT, CDIP, CCS, CCDS 
Clinical documentation specialist
University of Michigan Health System

After twenty years in different facets of inpatient coding, Esper made the transition to clinical documentation in 2018. Having a passion for documentation integrity, physician education, and coding accuracy, Esper feels at home in her current CDI role.  

 

 

Julian Everett, MHA, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP
  CDI manager
  Guidehouse
  Orlando, Florida

Everett is an experienced nurse and clinical documentation specialist with extensive expertise in adult, pediatric, and obstetric care. With a career spanning more than a decade, Everett has demonstrated a deep commitment to improving the quality of patient care through accurate and complete clinical documentation. As a subject matter expert on pediatric and obstetric care, Julian has played a key role in developing and implementing clinical documentation improvement programs that have helped healthcare organizations improve the accuracy and completeness of their patient records. She has also worked closely with healthcare professionals to provide education and training on best practices for clinical documentation, helping to ensure that patients receive the highest quality care possible.

Everett has written for both ACDIS and JustCoding on a variety of topics including coding, PEPPER, malnutrition, health disparities, the effect of pediatric mortality reviews, and pediatric surviving sepsis.

 

  Wendy Haney, RN, MSN, BSN, CCDS
  Quality and education specialist for CDI
  Mayo Clinic Enterprise
  Montgomery, Minnesota

Haney has been an RN for 30 years with a wide variety of experience including med/surg, peds, OB, ED, and non-interventional radiology. She started in CDI ten years ago without a clue as to what the job entailed before falling in love with the profession.

In CDI, Haney has acted as a mentor and orientation leader for new CDI specialists. She became a lead CDI specialist, then quickly transitioned to the newly developed quality and education reviewer role for Mayo Clinic Rochester. In this role, Haney helped develop the foundations for their current quality review process which has transitioned to an enterprise-wide process. She introduced the Florida (Jacksonville) Mayo CDI department to the quality review process and now conducts quality/query reviews for the Mayo Clinic Enterprise in the areas of neurology, neuro-surgery, orthopedics, and orthopedic trauma. Haney is a member of ACDIS, AHIMA, and the Minnesota chapters of ACDIS and AHIMA.
 

  Faisal Hussain, MD, MHIIM, RHIA, CCDS, CDIP, CCS 
  Executive Director, CDI
  Wellstar Health System
  Marietta, Georgia

Hussain is the executive director of CDI at Wellstar Health System. In his current role, he is responsible for overseeing the CDI strategy and operations for the entire health system, which comprises of 9 hospitals and more than 300 medical offices, along with other service offerings. Dr. Hussain has previously worked in both outpatient and inpatient settings to assist CDI initiatives at large physician practices and hospital systems throughout the country and has led multiple CDI teams throughout his career towards achieving success. He is a current member of the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council and the ACDIS Regulatory Committee. He regularly speaks at multiple national and local conferences, including the national AHIMA conference, the annual ACDIS conference, and several local state ACDIS chapter meetings and state AHIMA conferences.

 

Penny Jefferson, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CRC, CHDA, CCDS-O, CPHQ
CDI manager
UC Davis Health

Jefferson entered the world of healthcare 32 years ago as a medic in the United States Army Reserves in Denver, Colorado. Following her training as a medic, she entered the acute care hospital system as a certified nursing assistant. Her career progression included obtaining an associate degree in nursing in 1998. Over the next 14 years, she worked in all areas of critical care intensive care unit around the US and two years in Australia. She served in many nursing roles at the bedside including preceptor, charge nurse, and hospital nursing supervisor.

In 2012, Jefferson entered the world of clinical documentation integrity at a level one trauma center in Denver, Colorado. She accepted a position with Mayo Clinic in 2019, where she started as a concurrent CDI review and progressed up to supervisor of CDI at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. As a nurse and CDI specialist, she went on to obtain her BSN and then MSN in Nursing informatics. In December 2022, she accepted a position with UC-Davis as CDI manager, where she is excited to continue her career path in CDI. Jefferson is a member of AAPC, AHIMA, ACPA, ACDIS, NAHQ, and is a California ACDIS chapter board member.

 

Christina Merle, MS, RHIA, CCDS, CDIP, CCS, CRC, CIC 
Inpatient consultant
Administrative Consultant Service

Merle is an inpatient consultant with Administrative Consultant Service who has experience in the HIM field, coding, CDI, and education. She holds coding and CDI credentials from AHIMA, ACDIS, and AAPC. Merle is active at the state and national level with AHIMA, and is an AHIMA-approved ICD-10 trainer and ICD-10 ambassador.

 

Jo-Anne Mullins, DNP, MSN, RN, CCDS
Clinical documentation improvement director
The University of Miami

 

Mullins is a registered nurse with 21 years of experience in nursing and holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice and a Master’s Degree in Leadership in Healthcare. She is certified as a clinical documentation specialist (CCDS) and her current role is CDI manager at The University of Miami. Her former positions include clinical auditor for Tampa General Hospital, CDI senior manager for Huntsville Hospital, quality improvement director and staff development coordinator for TN Department of Health. Her accomplishments include the ability to make system changes for quality outcomes. She has been published in the CDI Journal and was a guest speaker on an episode of the ACDIS Podcast. Mullins joined the ACDIS Regulatory Committee in 2023.

 

 

Leah N. Savage, MSN, RN, CCDS
CDI auditor/educator
Baptist Health Systems
Louisville, Kentucky

Savage is a CDI auditor/educator at Baptist Health Systems in Louisville, Kentucky. She has 19 years of experience in nursing and 14 years of experience in CDI. Savage was co-founder and co-chair for the ACDIS Pediatric Networking Group (APDIS) from 2016 to 2020. She also served as the president of the Kentucky/Southern Indiana chapter of ACDIS (2015-2017). Savage has presented on various topics for ACDIS national conference (2017, 2018, 2022), and speaks regularly for local chapters of ACDIS. She also served as a contributor and reviewer of the book, Pediatric CDI: Building Blocks for Success.

 

Mark Spoolstra, MD, FACP
Senior physician advisor
Trinity Health Saint Mary’s
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Spoolstra has been the senior physician advisor for Trinity Health Saint Mary’s for 12 years and has been involved in CDI work for over 20 years. He oversees utilization review and physician documentation and is actively involved in appeals, denials management, HAC/PSI reviews, multiple quality initiatives, and research activities at the hospital. He has worked on multiple initiatives within Trinity Health system including documentation, CDI, denials, insurance contracting, and the role of the physician advisor. He has 36 years of GME and internal medicine hospital practice experience, and continues to practice part time as a hospitalist and as a core faculty member. He has a passion for teaching documentation improvement to residency programs from all specialties.

 

Cherryl D. Young, RN, MSN, MSHSA, CCDS
Clinical documentation educator 
Jackson Health System
Miami, Florida

 

 

Jennifer Young, MSHCM, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS
CDI regional director
McLaren Port Huron, Oakland, St. Luke’s and Karmanos Cancer Institute

Young is the regional director for CDI at McLaren Port Huron, Oakland, St. Luke’s and Karmanos Cancer Institute. In this capacity, she leads the day-to-day operations of the CDI teams with a focus on dashboard metrics and outcomes, resource utilization, clinical validation, quality reporting, physician engagement/education, and staff development. Young has been involved in all aspects of clinical documentation improvement for the last nine years. Beginning her clinical documentation specialist career at McLaren Flint, she has been the regional director for the last three and a half years. Young has done extensive work in CDI on quality metrics, especially mortality reviews, PSI/HAC, clinical validation, and complication reviews. Young’s professional experience includes ICU and Cardiac Cath Lab.

A graduate of University of Michigan Flint with a Master’s in Public Administration/Health Care Administration, as well as a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in General Studies from Oakland, Young is a Certified Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist (CCDS), a Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist (CDIP) and a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). Young is a member of the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) and a member of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Task: To strive to make CDI a community that embodies social responsibility through promoting a positive environment of greater diversity and inclusion across all cultures, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, and educational backgrounds, to break the silence that accompanies discrimination and inequity, and to ensure that all feel valued, empowered, and welcomed.

Objectives:

  1. Inspire CDI professionals of all races, nationalities, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, and ethnicities to thrive within the profession
  2. Improve recruitment and retention in the CDI industry and promote an even playing field for all qualified professionals
  3. Educate the CDI community about behaviors and actions that promote inclusivity
  4. Provide support and bring awareness to biases and discrimination within CDI and the broader healthcare community
  5. Recognize organizations that promote diversity and inclusion and implement actionable policies to ensure follow-through

Click here to watch a video interview with three members of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.

Click here to download the committee scope of work. For questions about this committee, contact ACDIS Director of Programming Rebecca Hendren (rhendren@acdis.org). 
 

  Angelica Cage, MBA, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS, CDIP
  CDI director
  Tufts Medicine
  Boston, Massachusetts

Cage has eight years of CDI experience including acute care hospital and health system CDI management and senior advisor for consulting services. Her background includes critical care nursing in the trauma/surgical/neuro ICU, burn ICU, PACU, as well as in case management, utilization review, and quality/risk management. With a passion for CDI advancement, ethics, and quality improvement, Cage has brought success to CDI programs by integrating a more collaborative workflow and relationship between CDI and HIM, establishing advanced CDI training, implementing quality-focused objectives, participating in appeals and denials management, and serving as SME to hospitalist readmissions reduction council. 

Cage has been a speaker at the 2021, 2022, and 2023 ACDIS national conferences, a guest speaker on the ACDIS Podcast, and a guest columnist in the CDI Journal. She currently serves as the Texas ACDIS local chapter co-leader, and is a member of the Chapter Advisory Committee, Regulatory Committee, the chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and 2023/2024 CDI Leadership Council member. 
 

  Okemena Ewoterai, BSN, MA, CCS, CDIP, CCDS
 
 Associate Director of Clinical Documentation
  Montefiore Medical Center
  New York, New York

Ewoterai is an associate director of clinical documentation in New York, New York. She has over 11 years of CDI experience and over 18 years of nursing experience. As part of her CDI experience, she has educated nurses and providers on clinical documentation techniques and workflows. A key component of her practice is the ability to know when to query and key elements to support a query. Ewoterai also has managed and hired diverse staff including foreign medical graduates, coders, physician assistants, and registered nurses of various backgrounds. 
 

  Tiara Minor, RN, BSN, CCDS
  Senior Manager of CDI
  University of Miami Health
  Miami, Florida

A Hampton University alumna, Tiara Minor is the Sr. Manager of CDI at the University of Miami Health System in Miami, Florida. She has nine years’ experience in CDI, with the last six in CDI/coding leadership. During her tenure in CDI, she has worked with various types of hospital systems including large academic medical centers, multi-hospital systems, smaller community hospitals, a children’s hospital, and outpatient clinics. Spending two and a half years in consulting broadened her experience with exposure to different facilities, leadership operations, vendor-relations, and technology solutions. Prior to taking the leap into CDI, she worked in the emergency department, initially as an emergency medical technician (EMT) then registered nurse. Minor is passionate about CDI innovation, team development, healthcare quality, and an advocate for diversity. She and her team received the 2022 ACDIS Achievement Award for Diversity in CDI. 

  Buddy Morgan, BSN, RN
  CDI Program Manager
  Providence St. Joseph Health
  Renton, Washington

Morgan has formally worked in healthcare for almost 20 years starting as a CNA in the early 2000s. After graduating nursing school, he jumped feet-first into a charge nurse role on a progressive care unit, eventually landing in the ICU. His passion as a bedside nurse includes advocating for equality of care and inclusivity for fellow members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

CDI has opened a whole new world of nursing for Morgan and where he truly found his home as a nurse. Several years into his CDI career, I Morgan was selected to lead a 12-person team as a CDI supervisor. In his current role as CDI program manager, he oversees programs at four facilities and has more than 20 caregivers under his wings. Morgan’s goals are to support caregivers, encourage diversity and inclusivity, and lead his team to success.

  Andrea Smith, RN, BSN, MSN, CCDS
  CDI Manager for Inpatient and Outpatient CDI
  Washington Regional
  Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Smith is the CDI manager for inpatient and outpatient CDI. She has been an RN for 21 years. Her nursing background includes ICU, cardiology, dialysis, and medical-surgical She entered CDI in 2014 and has been a CDI manager since 2018.

  Nicole Tebo, RN
  Director of CDI Operations
  Advocate Health
  Marinette, Wisconsin

Tebo is the director of CDI operations in the Wisconsin region of Advocate Health. Her nursing background ranges from medical-surgical, oncology, and leadership. She has worked in CDI for more than 10 years, beginning with implementing a CDI program at an independent hospital with much success. When her hospital joined Advocate Aurora Health, Tebo moved into a regional CDI manager role overseeing teammates across the north region of Wisconsin. In 2022, she became the director of CDI operations overseeing CDI team in all 16 hospitals across Wisconsin.  
 

  Melody Tyiska, MBA-PM, RHIA, CCS, CPC, CPMA, CHA, OHCC, CCP-P
  Director of HIM & CDI
  St. John's Episcopal Hospital
  Far Rockaway, New York

Tyiska has 15 years of experience as a coding educator. She is a graduate of an HBCU, Coppin State University with an undergrad degree in interdisciplinary studies with core areas in health information management and education. She started her career in coding education, auditing outpatient provider documentation, and providing feedback and training, and in 2013, she began working on in the inpatient side of the house.

Tyiska has an excitement for all things related to education. She has had the opportunity to teach medical insurance and coding at the community college level. Enjoying being a student as well, in addition to coding certifications of RHIA, CCS and CPC she has also earned, Certified Professional Medical Auditor, Certified Healthcare Auditor, Officer of Healthcare Compliance, Certified Compliance Professional-Physician. Being well-rounded in coding, auditing, and compliance makes her an excellent resource for resolving issues of coding and documentation in the medical record.

Tyiska has also earned an MBA with a specialization in project management from the American InterContinental University. Her current project is managing coding and CDI, two sides to the same coin. She is also pursuing additional certifications and has recently completed the ACDIS Clinical Documentation Integrity Boot Camp. 

Physician Advisor Committee

Task: The Association of Clinical Documentation Integrity Specialists’ (ACDIS) Physician Advisor Committee provides collective expertise and written guidance for physician advisors in CDI. The Physician Advisor Committee will meet on a monthly basis. Through individual feedback and group discussion, committee members will determine ACDIS recommendations and publish guidance.

Objectives:

  1. Draft industry guidance in the form of white papers or position papers
  2. Provide helpful guidance through CDI Journal articles, or tips for publication in CDI Strategies weekly email newsletter
  3. Join conference calls with fellow Committee members and the ACDIS administration on regular meetings conducted via conference call, to discuss ongoing projects and relevant industry updates. (No meetings will be held in December and May.)
  4. Contribute to other committee efforts as interest, expertise, and availability permit

To download the Committee's scope of work, click here. Questions or concerns? Email Editor and Product Coordinator Karla Kozak (kkozak@acdis.org). 
 

 Travis Bias, DO, MPH, FAAFP
 
Chief Medical Officer
 3M Health Information Systems Division
 Silver Spring, MD

Dr. Travis Bias is the Chief Medical Officer of the Clinician Solutions (3M M*Modal) business housed within 3M’s Health Information Systems Division. Travis is a board-certified Family Medicine physician with practice experience in the private and employer-based space, currently practicing via telemedicine. He previously served in a clinical operations consulting role as a Clinical Transformation Physician Consultant within the Performance Matrix consulting team. He has also taught as a lecturer in Comparative Health Systems at the George Washington University School of Public Health.
 

 Eric R. Brown, MD, PhD, FACOG, FACS
 Medical Director for Care Management & Physician Advisor
 Advocate Health
 Milwaukee, WI

Dr. Brown possesses a strong background in clinical quality improvement, patient safety, clinical/surgical practice, clinical administration, clinical information technology, care coordination, patient safety, risk management, regulatory compliance, utilization management and clinical documentation improvement/integrity leadership. He has over 20 years of healthcare experience, including over 14 years of clinical practice experience, over eight years as chief of Gynecology, six years as patient safety/quality officer, three years as chief medical officer, over three years as medical director care management/physician advisor, and over five years as performance improvement physician consultant assisting well over one hundred twenty healthcare organizations. He is also a board-certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist with Fellowship status in The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The American College of Surgeons and The American Board for Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, and currently serves on the Committee on Government Affairs for The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

 AJ Hegg, MD
 
CDI Medical Director 
 Essentia Health Systems
 Duluth, Minnesota
 

Dr. Hegg has been the CDI medical director for the Essentia Health System since 2019 and is based out of Duluth, Minnesota. He recently became the medical director and lead physician advisor for utilization management at Essentia in 2022. He is board-certified in critical care, internal medicine, and emergency medicine and practices clinically as an intensivist and emergency physician. He completed residency and fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan in 2012, and graduated from medical school at the University of Minnesota in 2006.

 

 Disha Mahendra, MD
 
Regional Medical Director & Physician Advisor
 Advent Health
 Crowne Point, Indianapolis
 

Biography forthcoming...
 

 Christopher Riccard, MD
 VP of Hospital Medicine and CDI
 Advent Health
 Altamonte Springs, Florida
 
Following undergraduate training Dr. Riccard attended medical school at Ross University. He completed his family medicine residency in Tallahassee, FL which was followed by a relocation to Daytona Beach, FL to work for AdventHealth Daytona Beach. Dr. Riccard originally practiced as a nocturnist prior to accepting a leadership position with the Hospitalist program. Early in his career, he transitioned into a Medical Director role with the AdventHealth Medical Group Daytona Beach Hospitalist team followed by an advancement into the Regional Executive Medical Director of Inpatient Medicine role for the program. In this role he oversaw strategy and clinical operations of the Hospitalist, Neurohospitalist, SNFist and Palliative Care programs across 6 campuses. Dr. Riccard currently serves as the VP of Hospital Medicine and Clinical Documentation Integrity for AdventHealth, a 51 Hospital system covering 9 states, guiding strategy and system operations in these areas.