NC ACDIS Board Members
Pamela Hughes- President of NC ACDIS
Pamela Hughes, RN, BSN, CCDS, CCS is a 3M M*Modal CDI & HCC Collaborate Adoption Specialist. She has been a nurse for 26 years with vast experience in physical rehabilitation, internal medicine, general surgery, oncology, orthopedics, emergency medicine, and neurology. In 2010, Pam transitioned to Clinical Documentation Improvement where she has served in various roles as a CDI Specialist, CDI Team Lead, and CDI Manager/Coordinator over the past 9 years. She also has experience with DRG clinical validation auditing, denials, and CDI consulting. In 2015, Pam passed her Certified Coding Specialist exam and received her certification. She has worked with various healthcare organizations in Florida and relocated to North Carolina in 2017. She is serving NC ACDIS as President-Elect for 2020-2021. She also serves on the ACDIS Leadership Council for 2020-2021. She has extensive experience in leadership, process refinement, coding, program development, and interdepartmental collaboration.
Debbie Martin- Secretary of NC ACDIS
Debbie Martin, MSN,RN has been a nurse for more than 30 years in various settings of critical care, occupational health, clinical information analytics, and CDI, with experience in various levels of healthcare management. In her current role, she oversees 16 CDI specialists; she is also a member of the facility’s Patient Safety Indicator review committee. Also a member of the ACDIS Leadership Council.
Kirti Loper- Treasurer of NC ACDIS
Kirti Loper has a Master’s in Business Administration with a Concentration in Health Care Management from East Carolina University. She holds a certification in healthcare data analytics (CHDA) from AHIMA. Kirti has been with Duke University Health System for almost ten years. She is a Strategic Services Associate with Clinical Documentation Integrity and loves her role in this department because it gives her the opportunity to stay connected to the clinical side while focusing on system improvement through data analytics. Outside of Duke, Kirti enjoys spending time with her beautiful family, running, reading, and traveling. She is a mom to three amazing and curious kiddos and one very loved and sweet Wheaten Terrier.
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 37 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 Wake Forest Baptist Health. She spent nine years as a manager in Care Coordination, and today she serves as the Director of Clinical Documentation Excellence at WFBH, 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. Outside of work, Tamara has been married for 36 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 2020-2021
Sarah Matacale - President-Elect 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.
Jennifer Holub - Secretary-Elect 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.
Cherise Weston - Treasurer-Elect 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 Wake Forest Baptist Hospital (WFBH). 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 WFBH. She takes the initiative of assisting with the growing needs of the department since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to her joining WFBH, 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 an 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.