AAPC Thought Leadership Team

  • Katherine Abel

    linkedinKatherine Abel, CPC, CPB, CPMA, CPPM, CDEI, CPC-I, CMRS

    Katherine Abel is senior director of content and manages planning for curriculum improvement and development. She is a prior healthcare consultant with more than 20 years of experience in healthcare, including extensive work in billing offices and adjudicating claims for commercial payers. She has experience with system conversions and high-growth billing operations. Prior to joining AAPC, Katherine was a billing administrator for Stat Solutions, LLC and served as vice president of operations for PriCare, Inc.

  • Nicole Benjamin

    linkedinNicole Benjamin, CPC, CEDC, CPC instructor

    Nicole Benjamin is an exam development specialist in the clinical content department at AAPC. She has over 13 years of experience in emergency department coding and has worked for three different billing companies and one hospital. Over the span of her coding career, Nicole has performed audits on coding staff and physicians, educating physicians to improve their documentation, and trained and supervised coders. She was on the committee for the emergency department specialty and assisted with the development of the CEDC certification exam and practicum. At present, Nicole creates materials for the AAPC curriculum and certification examinations and validates testing and teaching materials.

  • Chris Boucher

    linkedinChris Boucher, MS, CPC

    Chris Boucher is a senior development editor at AAPC. He has 17 years of experience writing about medical coding, and 22 years of experience in the medical publishing industry. He has worked in coding, billing, and medical examinations, all with a significant writing/editing component. Chris' primary responsibilities are researching, writing, and editing coding newsletters and working with other AAPC publishing entities, such as Healthcare Business Monthly and the AAPC blog. He specializes in coding for orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery, and pain management.

  • Kaitlyn Brack, BSHIIM, CPC, CEMC, CFPC

    linkedinKaitlyn Brack, BSHIIM, CPC, CEMC, CFPC

    Kaitlyn Brack is a medical coding quality analyst at AAPC. Her coding areas of expertise include Medicare wellness, evaluation and management, family practice, internal medicine, and pediatrics, with additional experience in endocrinology, rheumatology, palliative care, nursing home/assisted living/skilled nursing facility, rural health, inpatient/outpatient, and oncology. Kaitlyn has a Bachelor of Science in health informatics and information management from the University of Southern Indiana. She also has her yellow belt certification for Lean Six Sigma. Kaitlyn has a husband, two kids, and three dogs with whom she loves to travel and see new places!

  • Suzanne Burmeister

    linkedinSuzanne Burmeister, CPC, COBGC

    Suzanne Burmeister, managing editor of the AAPC newsletters, is your go-to resource for your toughest obstetrics and gynecology (ob-gyn) coding questions. She's been the Ob-Gyn Coding Alert editor since 2004 and has experience covering other specialties such as cardiology, gastroenterology, oncology, pulmonology, orthopedics, physical medicine and rehab, otolaryngology, neurosurgery, and more. Burmeister has a Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina State University and an international master's degree from Trinity College Dublin. With her husband, two kids, and two dogs, she's an avid RV camper and loves all things Disney!

  • Stacy Chaplain

    linkedinStacy Chaplain, MD, CPC

    Stacy Chaplain is a development editor at AAPC. She has worked in medicine for more than 20 years, with an emphasis on education, writing, and editing since 2015. Prior to AAPC, she led a compliance team as director of clinical coding quality for a multispecialty group practice. Chaplain has clinical experience in cardiology, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology and values being able to apply what she's learned to her writing. Chaplain received her Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of Texas at Austin and her Medical Doctorate from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She enjoys imparting her knowledge to others and teaches medical terminology as an adjunct professor at Portland Community College.

  • Rachel Dorrell

    linkedinRachel Dorrell, MA, MS

    Rachel Dorrell is a development editor at AAPC. She has written about practice management and nursing homes since she joined TCI/AAPC in 2017. Rachel is especially interested in patient-centered care and the role of narrative in healthcare, and writes about compliance, coding, and reimbursement, as well as staffing, documentation, and ways to make healthcare more inclusive and safe. She has a Master of Arts in 19th century literature and culture from the University of York in York, England, and a Master of Science in narrative medicine from Columbia University in the City of New York. She also raises livestock and stewards an organic farmstead and forest with her husband and family.

  • Renee Dustman

    linkedinRenee Dustman, BS, AAPC MACRA Proficient

    Renee Dustman is managing editor of content & editorial at AAPC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in media communications - journalism. Renee has more than 30 years’ experience writing various genres. She has been writing and editing content for Healthcare Business Monthly and AAPC's Knowledge Center blog since 2007. She also has experience in graphic design and spent several years laying out AAPC's member magazine. Renee’s past work includes being print production manager for Mobile Beat Magazine and editor in chief for Inside Adobe InDesign and Inside QuarkXPress. Follow her on Twitter @dustman_aapc.

  • Lee Fifield

    linkedinLee Fifield, BS

    Lee Fifield is a development editor at AAPC. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Ithaca College, N.Y., and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years.

  • Dr. Mohd. Ali

    linkedinDr. Mohd. Ali Hadi, CCS, CPC, COC

    Dr. Mohd. Ali Hadi is the senior director of international training and education at AAPC. He holds a bachelor's degree in medicine and surgery from Aligarh Muslim University, India. Ali is a certified coder through AAPC and AHIMA and holds multiple credentials. He has over 18 years of experience in the healthcare industry, working with providers and payers in the areas of health information systems (HIS) and revenue cycle management (RCM). During his career spanning almost two decades, Ali has worked in areas such as coding, auditing, clinical documentation improvement, training, authoring, and content development. He has been associated with many organizations, including 3M, Prexus Health Partners, Zawna, Oman Insurance, and Accumed Practice Management. At AAPC, Ali is currently involved in authoring the coding courses and credentialing exams for the international market, including countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and more.

  • Leesa A

    linkedinLeesa A. Israel, BA, CPC, CUC, CEMC, CPPM, CMBS, AAPC MACRA Proficient

    Leesa A. Israel is the head of publishing, editorial & technology at AAPC. She oversees data and content for Codify, books, newsletters, thought leadership, and more, with the goal of providing the most up-to-date, in-depth healthcare resources possible to AAPC members. Leesa specializes in medical coding and reimbursement for evaluation & management, urology, and general surgery, as well as billing and collections policies and strategies for physician practices. She presents on coding and billing issues at local and national events. Leesa has a bachelor's degree in communication/journalism from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. She lives with her husband, two kids, and two dogs in Western NY.

  • Raemarie Jimenez

    linkedinRaemarie Jimenez, CPC, CDEO, CIC, CPB, CPMA, CPPM, CPC-I, CANPC, CRHC

    Raemarie Jimenez has over 26 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She is a nationally recognized speaker and thought leader in the business of healthcare. She serves as a coding liaison to the AMA CPT® Editorial Panel. Over the past 12 years at AAPC, Raemarie has held a variety of responsibilities, including leading the development of certification exams and exam preparation materials; overseeing the operations for the exam; distance learning; and education licensing program departments. As AAPC's senior vice president of products, she oversees all AAPC product lines. Prior to joining AAPC, Raemarie spent many years running billing and coding departments, audit services, provider education programs, and client services. At ConCorde Career Institute, she served as assistant academic dean, program director for the coding and medical assistant programs, and director of graduate services.

  • Rebecca Johnson

    linkedinRebecca Johnson, BS

    Rebecca Johnson is a development editor at AAPC. She has covered the ever-evolving home health and hospice markets for nearly 25 years, starting about the time the Balanced Budget Act ushered in the devastating Interim Payment System. Under a myriad of payment and regulatory changes, Rebecca has helped home health and hospices agencies thrive and stay compliant. She has also covered markets ranging from internet banking to managed care to physicians. She is an expert on regulation, reimbursement, operations, business strategies, legislation, and more. Before working as an editor, Rebecca taught high school. Rebecca, who received her Bachelor of Science degree from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, lives in Northern Virginia with her spouse, three children, two cats, and one snake.

  • Craig Laursen

    linkedinCraig Laursen

    Craig Laursen is the director of instructional services at AAPC. He works with AAPC’s course instructors and does project management and talent procurement for content development projects. Craig has over 10 years’ experience in online education and more than 15 years in training, customer service, content and copy writing, and operations management. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Utah Valley University.

  • Deborah Marsh

    Deborah Marsh, JD, MA, CPC, CHONC

    Deborah Marsh is a senior development editor at AAPC. She has been researching and writing about medical coding and the business of medicine since she joined TCI/AAPC in 2004. She spent many years as the editor for Radiology Coding Alert, Cardiology Coding Alert, and Oncology & Hematology Coding Alert, among other newsletters. In her current role, she assists with ensuring the accuracy and quality of AAPC's online medical coding tools. She also works with other professionals to create educational resources with clear, targeted information for our colleagues in the field of healthcare.

  • Lisa Meaney

    linkedinLisa Meaney, BS, RHIT

    Lisa Meaney is a senior development editor for AAPC. She has worked in the health information technology field for the past 10 years. Lisa's areas of expertise include emergency department coding, E/M level assignments, and infusion and injection coding. Prior to joining AAPC, she worked as a senior content editor at The Coding Institute, preparing and editing content for a variety of instructional resources and official coding books. Lisa earned her bachelor's degree from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in and her associate degree in Health Information Technology from Alfred State College.

  • Bruce Pegg

    linkedinBruce Pegg, MA, CPC

    Bruce Pegg is a senior development editor for AAPC. He is an experienced teacher and published author. Bruce has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loughborough University in England and a Master of Arts degree from The College at Brockport, State University of New York. He specializes in E/M, pediatric, and primary care coding.

  • Brett Rosenberg

    linkedinBrett Rosenberg, MA, CPC, CCS-P, COC

    Brett Rosenberg currently serves as a faculty manager for AAPC’s Virtual Instructor-Led Training program. He also works as a subject matter expert on the AAPC content and curriculum team. Brett has six years of experience as a medical coder, specializing in the field of diagnostic radiology. From 2017 to 2021, he served as development editor of AAPC’s radiology, otolaryngology, urology, and outpatient facility coding newsletters. Prior to joining AAPC, Brett worked as senior coding specialist for Medical Resources Management in addition to his work on a contractual basis with Aviacode. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Vermont in 2011 and his master’s degree in psychology from Medaille College in 2016.

  • Juan Sancho

    linkedinJuan Sancho, CDEO, CPMA, CRC, Approved Instructor, CPC, CCS, RN

    Juan Sancho is the training manager of AAPC International, which is based in the Middle East. He has more than six years of multiple specialty experience in teaching, coding, auditing, content development, billing, nursing, customer service, and sales. Juan has spoken at various AAPC local chapter meetings, healthcare-related seminars, and meetings and is known for his zeal and passion for teaching. He is a contributor with various social media groups and medical coding vlogs. Juan’s number one priority in teaching is to bring the energy and makes learning fun for the students with out-of-the-box teaching style.

  • Mike Shaughnessy

    linkedinMike Shaughnessy, BA

    Mike Shaughnessy is a development editor at AAPC and writes the Radiology Coding Alert and Pulmonology Coding Alert publications. After graduating from the State University of New York College at Geneseo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication – Journalism/Media Studies, he spent his career creating TV, radio, print, and web content for a variety of industries. When Mike is not relaxing at home with his wife, son, and dog, you can find him riding the roads and trails of Central New York on his bike or root-root-rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

  • Shereen Vadivel

    Shereen Vadivel, B.P.T, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, CCS

    Shereen Vadivel is the director of training for AAPC India. She completed her bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy and has more than 18 years of RCM experience as a coding director, auditor, educator, trainer, practice manager, and mentor. Over the past 12 years, Shereen has provided training for more than 5000+ students in India and the UAE to help them pass AAPC certification exams. She is actively involved in various AAPC curriculum development projects and has been an active speaker in local chapter meetings. Shereen enjoys working with and training associates in all major specialties of medical coding, including E/M, surgery, diagnostics, inpatient, and outpatient.

  • kristin-webb-hollering

    linkedinKristin Webb-Hollering, BA

    Kristin Webb-Hollering is a development editor at AAPC and writes the popular compliance publications Part B Insider, Medicare Compliance & Reimbursement, and Health Information Compliance Alert. With decades of experience as a writer and editor, she focuses on such hot topics as regulatory reform, Medicare billing, federal policy, fraud and enforcement, MACRA, and HIPAA.

  • Kathryn Williamson

    linkedinKathryn Williamson, CPC, CIC, CDEI, Approved Instructor

    Kathryn Williamson is the education specialist for the inpatient curriculum at AAPC. Her career began over 12 years ago and includes being the sole onsite coder for a 40-bed full-service hospital. Kathryn has published a variety of content including webinars, articles, and lectures for AAPC and other organizations. She currently serves on the Coding Advisory Committee and is pursuing a degree in health information management. Kathryn has a passion for in inpatient modalities, cardiothoracic specialties, and pathophysiology.

  • Meagan Williford

    linkedinMeagan Williford, BA, MA, CPC

    Meagan Williford is a development editor at AAPC. She has written about many different specialty areas in the medical coding field including cardiology, neurosurgery, podiatry, outpatient, urology, and evaluation and management. Meagan is currently the writer for AAPC’s newsletters Cardiology Coding Alert, Podiatry Coding and Billing Alert, and Urology Coding Alert. She also has extensive experience in marketing and social media. Meagan holds a B.A. in English from Barton College and an M.A. in English from North Carolina State University.

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