UAMS Compliance ‘Champions’ for 2021 Chosen

By Ben Boulden

Those separate areas and their functions include Clinical Billing Compliance, HIPAA and Privacy Compliance, Research Compliance, and International Compliance and Conflict of Interest.   This year’s award-winners are:

Paula Alonso is the Clinical Billing Compliance Champion for 2021.

Pictured left to right: Amy Jones, Paula Alonso, Angela Holland

Pictured left to right: Amy Jones, Paula Alonso, Angela Holland

Amy Jones, Senior Director of Clinical Billing Compliance, together with the CBC team nominated Paula Alonso as the 2021 Clinical Billing Compliance Champion. Paula serves UAMS as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Revenue Cycle.  In her previous role, she served as Sr. Director of Clinical Billing Compliance and she continues to advocate for compliance both as a mentor and resource to the clinical billing compliance team.  As one member of the CBC team stated “Paula’s internal moral compass is always right which exemplifies our organization’s core values.”  In her current leadership role, she creates and sustains an ethical culture that permeates throughout her revenue cycle team as well as the many compliance professionals she has mentored through the years.  Paula’s keen knowledge and insight allows her to sustain a balance between the revenue stream and compliance.  She is a visionary leader that always strives to make processes better.

Cara Kirby is the HIPAA Compliance Champion for 2021.

Heather Schmiegelow, HIPAA Campus Coordinator and UAMS Privacy Officer, together with her team nominated Cara Kirby, RHIA, as the 2021 HIPAA Compliance Champion. UAMS is fortunate to have

Pictured left to right: Heather Schmeigelow, Cara Kirby, Alicia Hall, Brittany Parker

Pictured left to right: Heather Schmeigelow, Cara Kirby, Alicia Hall, Brittany Parker

Cara as HIM’s Data Integrity Manager. Not only is she dedicated to ensuring the integrity of our patients’ medical records, she genuinely cares about our patients and their families and is always willing to help in any way possible.

Cara and her team often collaborate with the HIPAA Office on patients’ requests for amendment and medical record corrections. She is always willing to pause what she is doing to assist with the issue at hand. Cara is experienced with privacy and confidentiality due to her background in Health Information Management. She practices these ethical principles in everything she does and educates others if given the opportunity. She has reported numerous incidents to the HIPAA Office suspecting a potential breach of protected health information and advised others to report.

Giuseppina Dusio, Ph.D., is the Research Compliance Champion for 2021.

Darri Scalzo, Research Compliance Officer, together with her team nominated Dr. Giuseppina Dusio as the 2021 Research Compliance Champion.

Giuseppina Dusio

Pictured left to right: Darri Scalzo, Nancy Rhea, Dr. Giuseppina Dusio, Carrie Chiaro, Jennifer McCluskey

Dr. Dusio has several qualities that exemplify the title of Compliance Champion.  She serves as an IRB reviewer and puts a lot of effort into completing thorough study reviews.   Dr. Dusio is always curious and she is always willing to learn; she readily admits that she does not have all of the answers.  Because of these qualities, she always makes time to learn about new research compliance topics and never shies away from asking the tough questions. She attends many compliance trainings and willingly participates in the discussions; even sharing very personal stories, which she says, make her more proud to be a part of a research community that is constantly searching for new treatments and cures.  This really brought home the idea of pouring your heart into your work, which is exactly what Dr. Dusio does on a daily basis and why she is this year’s Research Compliance Champion.

Dr. William Brooks Gentry is the International Compliance and Conflict of Interest Champion for 2021.

William Brooks Gentry, left

Pictured left to right: Dr. Brooks Gentry, Philip Principe

Philip Principe, Director of International Compliance and Conflict of Interest, together with his team nominated Dr. William Brooks Gentry as the 2021 International Compliance and Conflict of Interest Compliance Champion.  Dr. Gentry is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology & Toxicology, former Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, and current holder of the Wilbur D Mills Chair in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies at UAMS.  He is also a founding partner of InterveXion Therapeutics LLC, a UAMS Arkansas Bioventures company.  Formed in 2004 as a medications development company, InterveXion’s mission is to discover and advance innovative medicines that reduce the impact of human suffering on individuals and communities.  Dr. Gentry’s work as part of InterveXion navigates the interface of grants and conflict of interest regulations.  He has consistently gone the extra mile to ensure that his work with InterveXion takes place in a compliant manner, consistent with federal regulations and UAMS policies.

The week was first observed in 2005 as a co-sponsored event between the Health Care Compliance Association and the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. The goals for this year’s event are compliance and ethics awareness through completion of annual compliance and HIPAA training, recognition of outstanding Team UAMS members who have gone above and beyond in support of compliance standards, and reinforcement of a positive culture of compliance demonstrated by all levels of leadership at UAMS.