NC ACDIS Board Members
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Sarah Matacale - President of NC ACDIS

Sarah Matacale is an RN/BSN with a background in critical care, hospice, education, and IT/HIMS as well as a variety of other settings. She has been freelance writing for the past 5 years or so for Allnurses.com and other CDI-related venues.  Sarah began her CDI journey roughly 5 years ago realizing that she wanted to use her critical thinking skills in nursing in a job that would accommodate 3 busy children's schedules/school and her physician husband's erratic work schedule. She went back to school to obtain a coding/auditing/billing certification and immediately sat for the CCS exam (even before employment since she qualified as a nurse to test). Passing the CCS exam gave her the “in” to get a job with Vidant as a Clinical Documentation Specialist, where she has remained employed to date. She has since then obtained her CCDS, sat on the ACDIS conference committee, ACDIS CDI week
committee, has written for the ACDIS journal, and tries to take every opportunity to work on
various committees and improvement projects at Vidant.

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Jennifer Holub - Secretary of NC ACDIS

Jennifer Holub has been a nurse for 18 years and in CDI for nine years. She started in CDI in 2011, coming from a 100-bed emergency department position in Ohio. After a few years, she decided to move to NC to be closer to family. Since living in NC, she has mostly worked for consulting companies: UASI and then Intellis. These positions have allowed Jennifer to travel and work remotely for a variety of facilities small to large with varying practices, protocols, and computer systems. She feels comfortable diving right in anywhere she goes. She is also working on her MBA one class at a time.

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Cherise Weston - Treasurer of NC ACDIS

Cherise Weston, AAS, CCS, CRC is nationally trained in HIM, specializing in inpatient coding, auditing, educating, and consulting.  She has over 20 years of experience with direct patient care and coding. She currently holds the position as an Inpatient Coding Analyst & Educator at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist (AHWFB). In this position, she focuses heavily on mortality and risk adjustment audits. She works in partnership with CDE and Quality assurance to risk-adjust patients using Vizient models. She has been an essential part of implementing the Inpatient Risk Adjustment process at AHWFB. She takes the initiative of assisting with the growing needs of the department since the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Prior to her joining AHWFB, she worked as a respected HIM professional in various hospital settings ranging from private practice to Level 1 trauma academic medical centers such as Johns Hopkins and Mt. Sinai Medical Center of NY. Cherise’s HIM career has focused on being a coding mentor, consultant, auditor, and educator for various hospital systems in NY, NJ, PA, MD, NC, GA, TX, and CA. Cherise continues to grow professionally, as she is pursuing additional education and credentials in clinical documentation and compliance.

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Tamara Hicks - Social Media Coordinator of NC ACDIS

Tamara Hicks, RN, BSN, MHA, CCS, CCDS, ACM-RN, CCDS-O, has been a nurse for nearly 38 years.  She spent 15 years at the bedside in a critical care unit before transitioning to CDI in 1999, helping to start the first CDI team at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.  She spent nine years as a manager in Care Coordination, and today she serves as the Director of Clinical Documentation Excellence at AHWFB, with responsibility for CDI in 5 hospitals and more than 50 ambulatory clinics.  Tamara was a founding member of the national ACDIS advisory board and served a second term between 2016 and 2019.  At the annual ACDIS conference in 2019, Tamara was awarded the CDI Professional of the Year Award.  She continues to be a frequent speaker at the annual ACDIS conference.

 

Outside of work, Tamara has been married for 37 years to her best friend, who is also a nurse in psychiatry.  She has 2 grown children and 3 adopted pups who are all mutts!  Whenever possible she likes to foster dogs to ensure their best life possible!

Meet the Upcoming Board Members for 2022-2023

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Lisa Israel, BSN, RN, CCDS - Treasurer-elect of NC ACDIS

Lisa has been a registered nurse for 30 years, with 19 of those years at the bedside in various settings of critical care - trauma/burn, cardiac, neurology, emergency department, GI lab, and pain management.  For the past 11 years, she has worked as a CDI nurse for various hospitals throughout the United States.  Lisa loves the work as a CDI nurse and always looks forward to her job daily and to the many changes in the industry that CDI is experiencing. She works remotely for a large West coast hospital system. Lisa continues to seek opportunities for professional and personal growth; emphasizing, "I’m always learning." 

 

Outside of work, she spends time paddle boarding, reading, traveling, and doing Pilates.  She is a mother but her children are out of the house. Both of her boys are officers in the U.S. Army and her daughter lives in St. Louis and is a chef.  Her two little rescued pups are her heart, too.  Lisa tends to think that she has never met a stranger and loves talking to and meeting people – new and old. 

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