Local Chapter Association Board of Directors

The AAPC Chapter Association (AAPCCA), the Governing Board for AAPC Local Chapters, is a non-profit association established to create, maintain, and sustain the infrastructure, through approachable and accountable representation, necessary to empower local chapters to function in support of the AAPC "Upholding a Higher Standard". The Board provides policy, rules, regulations, direction, and advice to the AAPC local chapters and is also charged with ensuring that the local chapters function in accordance with the mission of the AAPC.

The AAPCCA Board of Directors is comprised of 16 certified AAPC members who work collaboratively with AAPC staff and current local chapter officers. Two board members represent each region of the country. New board members are selected on an annual basis. AAPC members who have previously served as chapter officers are invited to apply to serve on the Chapter Association Board of Directors.

Hardship Scholarship Fund

In 2012, a new scholarship program was created by the AAPCCA Board of Directors for the purpose of providing assistance to AAPC members who need financial support with maintaining their membership and credentials. Those with financial burdens can apply online. The option is also available for members to nominate a fellow AAPC member in need of financial assistance.

The scholarship application review committee is formed of past AAPCCA Board of Directors members and is strictly a volunteer role. The scholarship can only continue with assistance from donations made by members; once funds run out, then scholarships given will be on hold. Learn more about this scholarship.

Region 1 - Northeast

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York

Pamela J. Brooks, CPC, COC

Meeting Coordinator - Pamela J. Brooks, CPC, COC
Physician Services Coding Manager, Wentworth Douglass Hospital

Pam Brooks supervises a staff of multi-specialty coders at Wentworth Douglass Hospital in Dover, New Hampshire, where she’s worked for 12 years. In that time, she also developed a team of medical auditors and educators, surgical coders, and documentation improvement specialists. Working in the medical field since 1991, Brooks first started in a mental health billing office. She then moved into practice management, overseeing the operations of an eating disorders practice. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Adult Education and Workplace Training from Granite State College and is working on her master’s degree in Health Administration from St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Brooks sits on the advisory board for the Medical Administration Program at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She enjoys mentoring new coders and helping them find employment opportunities.

Chapter affiliation: Seacoast-Dover, NH
Offices held: Secretary

Maria (Rita) Genovese, CPC, PCS

Maria (Rita) Genovese, CPC, PCS
Director of Operations, Department of Medical Oncology and Jefferson Infusion Centers, Thomas Jefferson University

Rita Genovese is president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter, and previously served as either chapter president or vice president in 2008, 2010, and 2012. She is a former member of the AAPC’s National Advisory Board. As director of operations for the Department of Medical Oncology and Jefferson Infusion Centers of Thomas Jefferson University, Genovese manages a practice of over 50 physicians, two outpatient infusion centers, and a support staff of 200. She has more than 20 years of experience in billing and practice management, most recently in the areas of family medicine and medical oncology. Genovese educates physicians and staff in medical coding and compliance regulations.

Chapter affiliation: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Offices held: President, vice president

Region 2 - Atlantic

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC

Cynthia Colangelo, CPA, CPC, COC, CPB

Treasurer - Cynthia Colangelo, CPA, CPC, COC, CPB
Chargemaster Supervisor, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center

Cindi Colangelo was introduced to the healthcare field performing feasibility studies with Ernst & Ernst. After several years in public accounting, she worked in the finance department at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point, New Jersey, for almost seven years. For 23 years, Colangelo was responsible for Shore’s chargemaster. She now works as chargemaster supervisor at AtlantiCare. A coding course in 2001 exposed her to AAPC and led her to CPC® certification. She earned her COC® in 2012. While president of her local chapter in 2012, the chapter received third-place honors for the May MAYnia attendance competition.

Chapter affiliation: Somers Point, New Jersey, Toms River, New Jersey
Offices held: President, president-elect, treasurer, education officer

Yolanda T. Haskins, CPC

Yolanda T. Haskins, CPC
Senior Coding and Reimbursement Specialist, Howard University Faculty Practice Plan

Yolanda Haskins brings more than 30 years of experience to the medical billing and coding field, and has worked in many specialty offices, hospital systems, and as owner of a billing company. She received her CPC® in 2006. Haskins helped establish the Alexandria, Virginia, chapter, which now has more than 250 members. She loves mentoring and encouraging new coders.

Chapter affiliation: Alexandria, Virginia
Offices held: President, member development officer

Region 3 - Mid-Atlantic

Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina

Sharon J. Oliver, CPC, CPC-I, CPMA

Sharon J. Oliver, CPC, CPC-I, CPMA
Senior Inpatient Biller, East Tennessee State University Physicians and Associates, Quillen College of Medicine

Sharon Oliver has been in the medical profession for more than 28 years. She has been an office manager, certified medical assistant in family practice and obstetrics/gynecology, and a nurse in pediatrics. Oliver has been a CPC® for nine years and a PMCC instructor for eight years. She is a senior inpatient biller for cardiology, internal medicine, infectious disease, and hospitalists at East Tennessee State University Physicians and Associates, Quillen College of Medicine. She is a co-contributor for Elsevier publications on ICD-10-CM and Step-By-Step Medical Coding by Carol J. Buck. Oliver is an instructor for The Coding Institute boot camps and was a top five finalist for AAPC’s 2011 Member of the Year award.

Chapter affiliation: : Southern Appalachian Coders
Offices held: President, member development

Judy Wilson

Business Administrator

Judy Wilson has been in the medical field as a coder/biller and management for more than 38 years. For the past 25 years, she has been the business administrator for Anesthesia Specialists, a group of nine cardiac anesthesiologists who practice at Sentara Heart Hospital. Judy was Region Three Coder of the Year Finalist in 2009. In 2011 Wilson served as treasurer for the AAPCCA board of directors and again in 2013. She has presented at several AAPC regional and national conferences, as well as at AMBA conferences and local chapters. She serves on Bryant & Stratton College BOD and teaches CEU classes for Bryant & Stratton. She is an ICD-10-CM/PCS instructor for the AAPC and has written several articles for various healthcare magazines. She enjoys teaching and getting to know the members of the Local Chapters.

Region 4 - Southeast

Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, Bahamas

Candice M. Ruffing, CPC, CPB, CPMA, CENTC

Vice President - Candice M. Ruffing, CPC, CPB, CPMA, CENTC
Associate Consultant, Acevedo Consulting, Inc.

Candice Ruffing conducts coding and compliance audit projects; provides consulting services to clients’ management, physicians, and staff; and provides input for developing each client’s annual audit plan. She has more than 15 years’ experience in coding and billing for multi-specialty physicians. Ruffing enjoys mentoring and guiding others to fulfill their career goals.

Chapter affiliation: Stuart, Florida
Offices held: President, secretary

Najwa Liscombe, CPC, CMA

Najwa Liscombe, CPC, CMA
Coding and Reimbursement Analyst III, University of Florida Health Family Medicine – Main

Najwa Liscombe has been working in the medicine field for more than 27 years. She has coded services for multiple specialties, including anesthesia, radiology, obstetrics/gynecology, family medicine, and orthopaedics. Liscombe has worked in the private sector and as a consultant. She was instrumental in starting the Gainesville, Florida, local chapter, was the first president, and now is treasurer. Liscombe works in an academic practice, and is a valuable resource for various coding and reimbursement issues among many practices in Florida and Georgia.

Chapter affiliation: Gainesville, Florida
Offices held: President, treasurer, education officer, and member development

Region 5 - Southwest

Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi

Barbara S. Fontaine, CPC

Chair - Barbara S. Fontaine, CPC
Business Office Supervisor, Mid County Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

Barbara Fontaine’s 30 years in the medical field have taken her from a part-time admissions clerk in a rural Arkansas hospital to coding and billing for a single family practice physician, and then to a multi-physician clinic, which became a multi-practice group in northwest Arkansas. In 2001, she became a surgery coder for Mid County Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine (part of Signature Health Services), where she is now business office supervisor. Fontaine focuses on keeping up to date with correct coding and billing for her providers, and continuing education for physicians and staff. She earned her CPC® in 2001 and became a member of the St. Louis West, Missouri, local chapter, serving on several committees before becoming an officer. In 2008, she was awarded as her local chapter’s Coder of the Year and AAPC’s Coder of the Year.

Chapter affiliation: St. Louis West, Missouri
Offices held:President, education officer, secretary, member development officer

Sarah Wechselberger, CPC, CPB, CPMA

Sarah Wechselberger, CPC, CPB, CPMA
Clinical Coding and Reimbursement Coordinator, Baxter Regional Medical Center

Sarah Wechselberger started her medical coding career in 2002 with a multi-physician obstetrics/gynecology practice. Since then, she has worked for a multi-specialty billing group and now a healthcare system. Her role as Clinical Coding and Reimbursement Coordinator with Baxter Regional Medical Center (BRMC) began as an organizer and now she manages the first physician coding department for BRMC’s 16+ multi-specialty outpatient clinics.

Chapter affiliation: Mountain Home, Arkansas
Offices held: Secretary/Treasurer, education officer

Region 6 - Great Lakes

Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio

Faith C.M. McNicholas, RHIT, CPC, CPCD, PCS, CDC

Faith C.M. McNicholas, RHIT, CPC, CPCD, PCS, CDC
Manager, Coding and Reimbursement/Government Affairs, American Academy of Dermatology; Proprietor, Coracle

Faith C.M. McNicholas is 2014 AMA Specialty Staff Liaison Excellence Award recipient and has experience in various solo and group practice medical specialties. She is the assistant editor for American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) Derm Coding Consult, and a contributor for Association of Dermatology Managers/Administrators (ADA/M) Newsletter and Journal of Dermatology Nurses Association (JDNA). McNicholas presents at AAD annual and summer meetings, AAPC regional conferences, ADA/M and JDNA annual meetings, and AAD monthly webinars and regional symposia. She is an ICD-10-CM/PCS expert and approved trainer.

Chapter affiliation: Des Plaines, Illinois
Offices held: President, president elect, secretary

Ruby Woodward, BSN, CPC, CPMA, COSC, CSFAC

Ruby Woodward, BSN, CPC, CPMA, COSC, CSFAC
Coding Supervisor, Third-party Auditing Company

Ruby Woodward has 40 years of experience in the medical arena, serving 25 of those years in both nursing and the business of medicine. She has expertise in coding, education, auditing, and compliance, and has been heavily involved in orthopedic regulations. Woodward has presented at AAPC conferences, both regional and national, as well as at the local level. She is a member of the AAPC ICD-10-CM training team. Woodward is passionate about orthopedics and obsessed with feet. She is an advocate for continuing coder education.

Chapter affiliation: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Offices held: President, vice president, member development

Region 7 - Mountain/Plains

Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa

Kristie Stokes, CPC, BSHA

Secretary - Kristie Stokes, CPC, BSHA
Remote Coder/Biller, Maryland-based Ambulatory Surgery Center

Kristie Stokes began working in the medical billing and coding field in 1997 as a follow-up clerk for an ambulance service. Since then, she has worked as a medical biller, administrative assistant, assistant manager, manager, and coder. Stokes earned CPC® certification in 2007, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration through the University of Phoenix Online in 2009.

Chapter affliation: Mobile, Alabama
Offices held: President, vice president

Teresa Bartrom, CPC

Teresa Bartrom, CPC
Billing Manager, Aspire Plastic Surgery, LLC

Terri Bartrom has more than 25 years of experience in the medical billing and coding specialties of plastic and reconstructive surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, pain management, and podiatry. She has been instrumental in organizing multiple programs and ICD-10-CM boot camps in her local chapter, where she inspires officers and members to perfect their professions in the medical field. Bartrom has been an AAPC member for 11 years and a certified coder for 10, and she loves to share ideas, resources, and positive energy. She is a lifetime member of the American Business Women’s Association and Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Bartrom holds an associate’s degree in Digital and Computer Electronics from Indiana Vocational Technical College and business certifications from Indiana Business

Chapter affliation: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Offices held: President, vice president, education officer

Region 8 - West

California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska

Linda Martien, CPC, COC, CPMA

Linda Martien, CPC, COC, CPMA
Associate Director of Reimbursement, Nuo Therapeutics (formerly Cytomedix)

Linda Martien began her career more than 30 years ago, starting out as an emergency medical tech and then coding, billing, practice management, hospital outpatient revenue cycle management, and consulting. She served and held office on the AAPC National Advisory Board from 2005–2009. Martien has also served in several officer positions with the Jefferson City and Columbia, Missouri, chapters. Her love of coding and reimbursement is evident when you hear her speak.

Chapter affiliation: Jefferson City, Missouri
Offices held: President, president-elect, education officer

Holly Brown, CPC, COC, CEMC

Holly Brown, CPC, COC, CEMC
Coding Supervisor, Third-party Auditing Company

Holly Brown has worked in medical billing and coding since 2006, starting out at the front desk of a multi-physician cardiology practice. She quickly learned the billing/coding side and transferred to the billing office, where she scrubbed charges and helped to code office visits and procedures. Brown now specializes in quality/training and auditing E/M and outpatient services for physicians and hospitals. She helped to start the St. Augustine, Florida, chapter in 2009, and has served as president-elect and president. In 2012, she worked with other coders in the area to start the Orange Park, Florida, chapter, where she has also served as president. She enjoys mentoring new coders and being involved in her local chapter.

Chapter affiliation: St. Augustine, Florida
Offices held: President, president-elect

AAPC Representative

Marti G. Johnson

Marti G. Johnson
Director, Local Chapters, AAPC

Since 1994, when Marti Johnson joined AAPC, the number of chapters has grown from 30 to more than 500. Her tenure has been dedicated to the establishment and support of AAPC members and local chapters.