Message from the AAPCCA Chair
Your 2018-2019 AAPCCA Board of Directors Chair, Ruby Woodward
Greetings from Minnesota to all the outstanding officers around the country, in Alaska, the various islands, and in our international locations. After returning from HEALTHCON to yet another major snowfall, I wondered if we were going to be able to actually spring into May MAYnia! Although there are still many piles of plowed snow and areas of snow in our yards, we are finally again seeing areas of grass showing through, giving a sense of a new season beginning. Like the weather and seasons, we now begin a new season for your national board leadership. It is with great humility, pride in our organization and members and enthusiasm for our profession in this rapidly growing field that I begin this new journey with you all. I have had the honor and privilege of meeting many of you at officer training, regional and national conferences, seminars and local chapter offerings. Like many of us on the Chapter Association Board, I consider you family. I plan to see this family grow and prosper in 2018.
By now you should all be gearing up for one of the most exciting chapter events of the year, May MAYnia. This is a time for your chapter to shine. May MAYnia brings you the opportunity to make the medical community aware of your chapter’s existence and all that we have to offer our members and their employees. Our organization provides everyone in the business side of the practice an ability to learn, to grow professionally and personally and to network with like professionals. I challenge each of you to reach out to those members who don’t attend and to the medical facilities and schools in your area, invite them to your May MAYnia event. Make them aware of the wonderful opportunities we have to offer and make them hungry to return.
In the recent Health Care Business Monthly you had the opportunity to be introduced to the 2018-2019 AAPCCA Board of Directors. Many of you have also had the opportunity to speak with us at HEALTHCON. Now is the time to learn a little bit more about me. I am a native of Pennsylvania, growing up in a mall town in southwestern PA. I received my bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and began my long career in the medical arena over 40 years ago. If I have learned nothing else throughout my career, I have learned to accept and embrace change and to never say never. I started my career on the orthopedic unit of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh after indicating in my interview that I would work on any unit other than orthopedics and ICU. I fell in love with orthopedics and until recently spent my entire career in this specialty. I entered the business side of medicine when accepting my first office clinician position. One of our duties was to “code.” Because those clinically do not speak the same language as the manuals, I found myself reading the ICD-9 book from cover to cover, yes, including the guidelines in order to grasp the concepts. As I moved to Wyoming and finally Minnesota, I used my nursing knowledge base and at that time rather limited business/coding knowledge to promote my strengths for the organization. I spent over 30 years of my career in the dual role of clinician and coder until the clinical began to interfere in my coding and I retired from nursing in the early 2000s. I faced the challenges of those who had been formally trained in coding, believing that I didn’t deserve to be able to code by becoming the first certified coder in the organization. I have since achieved multiple certifications, have presented both locally and nationally for AAPC and other organizations. I have served as President, Vice President and Member Development officer of the Minneapolis Chapter and remain actively involved in my chapter. I am passionate about AAPC, our chapters and members, orthopedics and feet. In my spare time I enjoy reading, knitting and scrapbooking. I am a long-time beagle and cat mom. And above all, I love my son more than life itself. I look forward to serving our chapters, officers, members and AAPC.
Ruby Woodward, CPC, CPB, CPMA, CPC-I, COSC, CSFAC
Chair, AAPC Chapter Association Board of Directors 2018-2019