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San Diego Imperial Chapter Leadership

Our Chapter offers many services to our members, as well as many ways to volunteer your services and become involved in the Chapter.

If you have suggestions to improve our services, would like to participate on a committee, or have an idea for educational programming, please email hfmasandiego@gmail.com or contact any of our Chapter officers, board members or committee chairpersons.

OFFICERS

Terri Meier CHFP, CSMC, CSBI

Terri Meier is currently the System Director Patient Revenue Cycle at UC San Diego Health, providing leadership and strategic direction of UCSDH’s Shared Business Office (SBO). SBO unifies the patient-facing element of the billing office for both hospital billing and professional billing with a single bill and single point of contact for customer service. Terri has worked exclusively in healthcare for 40 years serving in multiple leadership roles as well as healthcare consulting.

Immediately prior to UCSDH Terri served for four years as the Director, PFS and Director Professional Billing Organization for Stanford Health Care and the prior 12 years as the Director, Revenue Cycle Operations for Oregon Health & Science University.

Terri holds a healthcare financial management certification from the Oregon Graduate Institute as well as CHFP, CRCR, CSMC, CSBI from the Health Care Management Association (HFMA). Terri is also the President for the 2020-2021 year for the San Diego Imperial Chapter of HFMA.

Perla Pace

Perla Pace, manages access services and financial counseling for Sharp HealthCare in San Diego County. Sharp HealthCare is a large not-for-profit integrated health care system serving 3.2 million residents annually. Perla is responsible for ensuring uninsured and underinsured patients are connected to health care resources at four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals.

Pace has served as programs chair 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. She has participated in special event planning including the 50th anniversary celebration and 5th Annual Women’s event.

She earned a Bachelors’ degree from the University of Phoenix where her area of study focused on healthcare administration and leadership. Perla Pace is an expert in organization change and is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Basak Kaya, MBA, SSGB, CHFP, FHFMA

Basak Kaya is the Vice President of Revenue Cycle at Vituity, a physician owned and led multi-specialty partnership serving over 7.5 million patients in soon to be 18 states.

Prior to joining Vituity, Basak was the System Director of Revenue Integrity, Quality, Analytics and Training for Sharp Healthcare.

Basak has 19 years of professional experience in healthcare technology, revenue cycle operations, finance, and performance improvement across private and public sectors. She was a Director at Healthcare Financial Services, President/CEO of an international consulting firm, executive over strategic operations for a healthcare technology company in New York City, managed revenue cycle projects at The George Washington University Hospital and worked in business intelligence consulting and new product development at The Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC.

Basak holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus in health services management and finance from The George Washington University where she was a Millennial Scholar. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from The University of Virginia. Basak published articles on recovery audits, received multiple academic and professional awards. Basak also serves as an advisor to University of California San Diego Revenue Cycle Education Programs.

Basak is an active member of the HFMA and has been serving on the board of the San Diego chapter for the last 6 years.

Violeta Aguirre

Violet Aguirre works for Scripps Health as a Revenue Cycle Manager overseeing the Public Resource Specialists Department. She is responsible for a team of specialized individuals that assist their uninsured and underinsured patients apply for public benefits. These efforts facilitate discharge needs in collaboration with their Case Managers and Social Workers.

Her 18+ years of experience has allowed for successful collaboration between various entities, specifically the hospital and the County Hospital Outstation Point of Entry (HOPE) program. Most recently her team took the lead in conducting a successful pilot which resulted in the current business model on how all participating hospitals do business with the County HOPE Program. In collaboration with other departments, she is focused on advocating for her patients get the coverage they need to reduce self-pay, bad debt and re admissions. All decisions are made with the patient at the center.

Prior to Scripps she worked for the County Health and Human Services Agency as an Eligibility worker for the Medi-Cal program, where she gained most of her program knowledge. She has been a participant and currently serves as the Chair for the HOPE Program Liaison workgroup.

Cindy Pizarro

Cindy Pizarro is currently the Revenue Cycle Customer Service Coordinator at UC San Diego Health. She oversees the SBO Customer Service call center by analyzing and monitoring agent call statistics and the operational needs of the call center. She is a graduate from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and is a Certified Revenue Cycle Representative (CRCR) from the Health Care Financial Management Association (HFMA). Prior to UC San Diego Health she worked in the dental field for 9 years.

Cindy started with the SBO Department as a Customer Service Professional for 2 years. During that period, she was a mentor to her peers and worked closely with leadership on the implementation of SBO’s process improvements. One of her goals was to continue to expand her knowledge in the healthcare billing industry, guiding her to her current role as a SBO Coordinator.

Shelly Robertson

Shelly Robertson, San Diego Imperial Chapter Secretary 2022-2023

Fahd Benjalil

Fahd Benjalil currently serves as the Chief Financial and Operating Officer (CFO/COO) for SHARP Coronado Hospital. After a decade in the Corporate Finance industry, Fahd joined the SHARP Grossmont Finance team in 2011. His efforts there and reputation for integrity led to his current position as SHARP Coronado Hospital CFO/COO. In addition to his finance and operations experience, Fahd holds a Six Sigma certification and is trained on the principles of a High Reliability Organization (HRO).

Fahd believes that hard work, strong relationships, and the willingness to give back to the community are the necessary pillars for a strong foundation to a successful career. Fahd has been involved with HFMA for over 10 years and has held various roles within the chapter culminating with chapter president for 2018-2019. Fahd currently serves on the HFMA National Advisory Committee.

Fahd holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from National University in San Diego, CA. He is proud of his recent U.S. naturalization from his home country of Morocco, and also a proud resident of San Diego’s East County where he lives with his wife, Diedre, their three children, a dogs and a cat.

DIRECTORS

Susan Kilmer

Finance Transformation & Decision Support Manager
Sharp HealthCare

Susan Kilmer is the Finance Transformation & Decision Support Manager at Sharp HealthCare. She has been in healthcare for over 15 years. She has led two system-wide Financial Decision Support Tool implementations and is currently partnering with leaders to develop standard service line reporting. She has her Master’s in Public Administration with emphasis in Healthcare Administration from University of San Francisco, and Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a double manager in Management Information Systems and Accounting from California State University, Chico. She has extensive experience as a project manager, leading teams, successfully partnering with teams across the organization to implement systems, as well as business processes.

Tonya Richardson

Vice President of the San Diego Branch
California Business Bureau Inc/Medical Billing Services

Years with CBB: 22
Healthcare Experience: 26

Tonya Richardson joined California Business Bureau Inc./Medical Billing Services in July 1998. CBB/MBS is a full service account receivables management company specializing exclusively to the Healthcare Industry. She has a broad range of experiences in her career; she has held positions as a Collector, Collection Supervisor, Branch Manager and currently as Vice President of the San Diego Office. Through these experiences she has developed a sound understanding for operational needs and delivering client service/sales needs and satisfaction. She has an astute knowledge for managing Medical Receivables. She is proficient in Account Flow Management with a keen ability to Manage Special Projects and a proven track record for delivering results. Tonya is well versed in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, The California Rosenthal Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and also has a clear understanding of HMO/PPO Billing, Workers Compensation Billing, and Self Pay Medical Receivables.

Tonya is the Region 4 President of the California Association of Collectors (CAC) and currently the Social Chairperson for the San Diego-Imperial Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). Through these associations, she became involved and concerned with legislative issues that have potential affect on the collection of healthcare accounts. She has attended meetings with state legislators in Sacramento to lobby for or against bills and potential legislation that have or would have likely impact on our business.

Tonya Lives in Poway, CA with her husband and together they have 5 children ranging in age from 9 to 23 years old. Her favorite pastimes are being outside watching her kids play sports, wine tasting with her husband and in her kitchen cooking. She is also training for her 10 th Susan G Komen 3-Day which benefits the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.

Christina Bolanos

Manager, Revenue Cycle Performance Improvement

Christina Bolanos is responsible for hospital charge integrity and revenue cycle training efforts for Sharp HealthCare – a fully integrated healthcare delivery system with 2,110 licensed acute care beds at 4 acute care and 3 specialty hospitals, 3 affiliated medical groups, a health plan, 3 skilled nursing facilities, 21 outpatient clinics, and 5 urgent care centers.

Christina oversees charge integrity and training teams, safeguarding processes that produce accurate, compliant, clean claims across for the system. Her charge integrity team who are system-wide operational experts on TES edits, and ensures sound charge entry and reconciliation processes for all departments. Her training team oversee all revenue cycle employees are trained and given the tools to do their job with the most current revenue cycle knowledge.

Prior to her current position, Christina was the manager over laboratory revenue cycle billing and behavioral health patient access services teams at Sharp HealthCare.

Christina has over 17 years of professional experience, 14 of those years in supervisory roles. After starting her healthcare career as a per diem at Sharp HealthCare Pathology Laboratory, Christina moved into a leadership role helping establish Sharp HealthCare’s first and only outreach laboratory revenue team. Christina was recognized with prestigious “Core” awards for her stellar results in denials management and behavioral health financial counseling efforts.

Paromita Laskar

Over the last 14 years, as a Healthcare Revenue Cycle/Integrity Leader, Paromita has earned recognition in streamlining, standardizing and upgrading business functions. She has been a part of Sharp Healthcare for over 11 years until 2019 where she has developed strategic business initiatives to improve KPI measurability, and provide a strong leverage at contract negotiations. Her newest role is with Stanford Healthcare as Revenue Cycle Program Manager, driving strategic revenue cycle initiatives across the enterprise.

As a mentoring leader, Paromita believes in boosting the growth of team members, in becoming independent decision makers, using strong foundational research techniques. Paromita is a passionate public speaker on subjects of motivation, team work as well as Revenue cycle related subjects and has spoken in numerous forums, promoting industry best practices.

She earned her Masters in Public Health from San Diego State University and Masters of Business Administration from Mumbai University, with an undergraduate degree in accounting.

Adam Taylor

Adam Taylor is the Manager of Revenue Integrity for Systems and Analytics at Palomar Health – a North County delivery system anchored by two medical center campuses which provide an array of acute care services, obstetrics, rehabilitation, behavioral health, pediatrics and neonatal intensive care.

Adam is responsible for charge capture practices, chargemaster management, the organizations clinical documentation improvement (CDI) program, coding/billing integration, and revenue cycle analytics at Palomar. Prior to joining Palomar, Adam spent 8 years proving healthcare IT consulting to a diverse range of clients; serving in roles such as a Solution Strategist at Cerner Corporation and a Senior Advisor at Impact Advisors, LLC.

In addition to Adam’s participation in HFMA, he has participated and gained certifications in equivalent industry associations; Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) from HIMSS. Adam holds a dual degree in Economics and Business Management from Baker University.

Alece Hon

Alece Hon currently is the Sr. Clinical Analyst, in the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, at UC San Diego Health, providing leadership, day to day oversite, while meeting the needs of the physicians, professional billing group and health system. Alece has a diverse background since she supported her husband military career but has been in healthcare for the past 25 years. She is also a member of the Past President Alumni, of the San Diego Imperial County HFMA chapter.

Prior to UC San Diego Health, Alece worked for Scripps Health for over 11 year as a Sr. Clinical Analyst. While at Scripps Health, she supported Hospital Finance, Home Health and Hospice divisions.

Alece holds a Master of Business Administration (Healthcare Concentration), from Point Loma Nazarene. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (emphases in Accounting) and is CHFP from the Health Care Management Association (HFMA).

John Garcia, FHFMA

John has over 20 years of healthcare finance experience including working for healthcare providers as well as revenue cycle technology, consulting, and service firms. Currently he is a Senior Financial Analyst for Sharp HealthCare, and is a member of the Finance team at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. Prior to joining Sharp he was an Account Manager for Avadyne Health where he worked closely with revenue cycle leaders nationwide to help hospital clients improve their revenue cycle performance.

John is a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) and Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHFMA), and is currently the Certification Chair for the San Diego-Imperial chapter of HFMA.

Julie Haluska

Julie Haluska is the Founders Awards Chapter Director for the San Diego Imperial Chapter.

 

CERTIFICATION

The certification committee has one main focus – to get you certified. Our motto is “Just do it,” (take the test that is!)  Are you interested in becoming a certified member?  Check out the invaluable information on National’s website. https://www.hfma.org/certification/

Chapter contact: John Garcia, FHFMA, San Diego Imperial Chapter's Director of Certification

  • Fahd Benjalil, FHFMA
  • Jared Berkson, CHFP
  • Roger Blackwell, CHFP
  • Daniel Chambers, CHFP
  • David Chevallard, CHFP
  • Mendy-Sue L. Drew, FHFMA
  • Craig D. Du Fault, CHFP
  • John M. Garcia, FHFMA
  • Andrea C. Gonzalez, CHFP
  • Mary Grossman-Scudder, CHFP
  • Alec Hendry, CHFP
  • Reid Hollyfield, FHFMA
  • Alece L. Hon, FHFMA
  • Basak Kaya, FHFMA
  • Thomas S. Kumura, FHFMA
  • Jeffrey M. Lambert, FHFMA, CMA
  • C. Patrick Lash, FHFMA, CPA
  • Marianna Martinez, CRCR, CHFP
  • Terri L. Meier, CHFP, CRCR
  • Mayflor A Mejia-Obispo, CHFP
  • Maya Mohan, FHFMA
  • Urvashi Pathak, CHFP
  • Zachary Pecyna, CHFP
  • Beata Piehl, CHFP
  • Sean Putnam, CHFP
  • Judy A. Riesen, FHFMA
  • Christopher L Stallard, CHFP
  • Brett Steigerwald, CHFP
  • Leticia Stewart, CHFP
  • Lisa Marie Thakur, FHFMA, CPA
  • Andrew Toth, CHFP
  • Narciso Vazquez, CHFP, CRCR
  • Xiang Wu, CHFP
  • Alexander Zamora, CHFP

Chapter Year President
FY 19 [2018-2019]           Fahd Benjalil
FY 18 [2017-2019]  Debbie Binczewski
FY 17 [2016-2017]  Julie Haluska
FY 16 [2015-2016]  Jennifer Hays
FY 15 [2014-2015]  Shannon Vanderbilt
FY 14 [2013-2014]  Pia Labos
FY 13 [2012-2013]  Pia Labos
FY 12 [2011-2012]  Deb Hagen
FY 11 [2010-2011]  Margie Drobatschewsky
FY 10 [2009-2010]  Denise Awrey
FY 09 [2008-2009]  Alece Hon
FY 08 [2007-2008]  Lisa Thakur
FY 07 [2006-2007]  Melanie Van Winkle
FY 06 [2005-2006]  Danette Roberts
FY 05 [2004-2005] Bob Hemker
FY 04 [2003-2004]  Bridget Flannigan
FY 03 [2002-2003]  Dave Epstein
FY 02 [2001-2002]  Carol Clay
FY 01 [2000-2001] Reid Hollyfield
FY 00 [1999-2000] Jack Duffy
FY 99 [1998-1999] Kari Cornicelli