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2021 Sessions & Speakers

Coming Next Fall!

Until then, please enjoy the following information from our 2019 Fall Annual Conference.


2019 Sessions & Speakers

Empathic Communication:  Yes, You Can Teach It!
A rich research base shows that empathic communication is key to patient engagement and outcomes, risk reduction, patient safety, CAHPS scores, and healthcare team engagement and effectiveness.  After citing this evidence along with the research evidence that supports the teachability of empathic communication, this workshop illustrates and engages attendees in quick practice of concrete skills that communicate empathy.  


  • The impact of empathy on key patient, provider and organizational priorities

  • The research base supporting the teachability of empathic communication

  • Concrete skills and tools to communicate empathy


Jill Golde, MS Language of Caring, a branch of Planetree International
Jill brings over 25 years of experience as a mission-driven consultant and trainer for a broad range of private and public sector organizations. Expert in organizational change and the patient experience, Jill is known for her appreciative focus,  engaging presentations, her genuine connection and caring, her astute observation skills and her ability to share her perceptions in a constructive fashion. Jill has consulted to many hospitals, health systems and medical practices and has trained thousands of health care teams, including nurses and physicians in the skills that make the patient and family experience anxiety-reducing, heartwarming and healing.


Recruitment and Retention: Learn from a Panel of Your Peers

 Are you having trouble recruiting the right fit for your practice? Is it difficult to retain good employees? You probably aren’t the only one with these problems. We have assembled a panel of your peers who are fighting these same battles with innovative strategies. Bring your questions for our distinguished panel. We will be discussing:


  • Where to find the right employees

  • Determining if the employee is a good fit

  • Keeping long-term employees motivated

  • Current benefit trends


Elaine C. Baragiola, Esse Health
As vice president of human resources, Elaine is responsible for the development of all HR strategies, and the delivery of HR services and programs.She has specialized in human resources for more than 25 years.  Prior to joining Esse Health, Elaine served in senior roles with Cardinal Health, Rehab Choice and Quest Diagnostics Inc.  Elaine holds an MBA from Fontbonne University.   She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management.

Cierra Brown, MBA, Practice Manager for Allergy, Asthma & Food Allergy Centers
AAFAC is a growing private practice with six full time providers providing patient care in St. Louis, MO, Bloomsdale, MO and Swansea, IL. Cierra manages the everyday operations, budgeting, staff recruitment and development and works with the physicians to develop and carry out business strategies. Cierra has been with the practice for over a year. Before joining AAFAC Cierra has had a varied managerial background in healthcare including in-home care, pain management, dental and medical research.

Tammie Cooper, Signature Medical Group
Tammie Cooper has almost 30 years of experience leading and implementing Human Resource strategies that drive business results.  Tammie specializes in leading HR functions that includes organization development, people development and improving culture while incorporating a strong business strategy.  Ms. Cooper holds a BA in Communication, SPHR and Life Coach Certifications.

Prior to launching her HR consulting business Cord3, Inc., she held C level positions in Fortune 500 & 1000 companies including Healthcare, Manufacturing, Technology and Franchise development.  Currently, Ms. Cooper is the Director of Human Resource and Organization Development at Signature Medical Group in St. Louis, MO.


Christine M. Keefe, CPA, CMPE, Metro Imaging.
Metro Imaging is a group of five Outpatient imaging centers in St. Louis, Missouri. Chris is responsible for financial operations and performance, budgeting, billing, information systems and expansion projects. Chris has been with Metro Imaging for 17 years. Prior to joining Metro Imaging, Chris was a partner at BKD, LLP, a regional CPA and consulting firm. Chris is past-president of Medical Group Managers Association (MGMA) of Greater St. Louis.

Optimizing Revenue Cycle with Patient Interactions

What makes healthcare so much different compared to other industries?  Understand common payment practices, where insurance plays, why corporate culture impacts delivering excellent healthcare and trending technology.  Why positive patient interaction and reinforcing billing principles are key to running a good practice.  Learn why change is required in today’s ultra-competitive healthcare market.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the important payment practices that you should know in the changing healthcare landscape. 
  • Don’t forget where insurance plays with practice profitability.
  • Create a practice with good culture and technology to capture patient payments.

 Ideas come from taking a step away from the office, allow you to think and view things from a different lens.  Learn from interacting with an engaging environment to help you bring something back to your practice.


Travis Heimbuch with Professional Office Services, Inc.
Travis is passionate on using technology to help drive adoption for patient 
payments and improved workflow efficiencies. Over the last decade, Travis has traveled across the country as a sales consultant, sales manager and corporate director of marketing within the healthcare industry. Travis continues to work on improving the healthcare experience through patient communication, marketing and revenue cycle management with every medical specialty.

HIPAA Hot Topics

There is a plethora of interesting topics and information related to HIPAA.  In this session, we
will focus on the “behind the scenes” opportunities that face our practices every day.
Security Risk Analysis/Management Plan
The idea of addressing the mandated Security Risk Assessment requirements may be
daunting.  To help minimize this overwhelming feeling that one gets when we hear this subject,
we will break it down into these three learning objectives:

  • Provide an overview explaining a HIPAA Security Risk Analysis and Security Management
  •  Discuss top threats
  • Examples of solutions to address threats

Tales of the Unexpected: Social Media Snafus
Many of us our unsure of the HIPAA challenges associated with social media.  In this part of the
talk, we will discuss:

  • From chickens shredding records to shocking social media posts, HIPAA is compromised every day in unexpected ways.
  • Examples from headlines as well as from around the water cooler.
  • Discuss best practices and practical solutions for preventing these HIPAA hazards.


Scott T. Gima, RN, MHA, Management Performance Associates
Scott Gima has been a strategist in the health care field for 20+ years. Using his background as an RN and as a manger of long-term care facilities, Mr. Gima brings practical operational experience to assist providers with compliance implementation. Gima helps hospitals, nursing homes, therapy companies, and other providers design, build and maintain effective compliance programs, with special attention to compliance culture, board engagement and HIPAA security.

How to Best Collect from Patients in Person in a High Deductible Era

Join us for a group discussion on how best to help our employees collect patient responsibility when the majority of our patients now have high deductibles that must be met before insurance payments begin. Barbara Faupel, Practice Manager of Allergy Consultants, will give an overview of how her office has made changes over the last six years and will then help moderate a group discussion of attendees.


Learning Objectives

  •  How can we help our patients understand their insurance before and during a visit so they don’t have ‘sticker shock’ afterwards?
  •  How can we train our staff (physicians, clinical staff, front desk, and billing department) to have correct conversations with patients concerning any costs a patient may have during their visit?
  •  How can we help each other with new ideas, brainstorming, and unique perspectives on keeping our practices one step ahead of high deductibles


Barbara Faupel is the Practice Manager for Allergy Consultants.
With an initial background in non-profit management (Bachelors of Science & Master of Arts degrees); Barbara is CMPE certified, current Fellowship candidate, is the Immediate Past President of Greater St. Louis MGMA, and a past panel speaker for the Physician Leadership Institute. She is responsible for the operations and administration of Allergy Consultants. This includes overseeing the business office, lab, and front desk and handling all personnel issues and human resource activities. Barbara manages the physician schedules and credentials, financial, business, strategic and marketing plans, payroll, and facilities management. She also serves as the HIPAA Practice Compliance officer.

Engaged Employees: Are You on the Way to a Happy Marriage or Headed to Divorce Court?

Attracting and retaining employees who create a positive and productive work environment is imperative for today’s healthcare organizations. This presentation focuses on strategies to enhance employees’ engagement. Participants will gain knowledge regarding the differences in generations and how these differences impact employee engagement. Leadership skills to foster retention of healthcare employees will be highlighted during the presentation. Finally, resources to assist the healthcare leader with employee engagement will be provided.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore strategies to enhance employee engagement.

  • Differentiate the generational needs to enhance employee engagement. 

  • Determine the leadership skills necessary to retain employees.

This presentation will provide healthcare leaders with the leadership strategies to attract and retain employees in the changing healthcare environment.


Dr. Richelle Rennegarbe is the Director of the Graduate and DNP Programs and Professor of Nursing at McKendree University.  Dr. Rennegarbe taught at McKendree University from 1996-2003, and returned as the Nursing Division Chair in July 2009. Dr. Rennegarbe is the primary faculty member for the manager track and dual MSN/MBA program, as well as the DNP in Ethical Leadership at McKendree University. She graduated from the McKendree BSN program in 1993. Dr. Rennegarbe has a MSN with a focus in community health. Her doctorate is in health education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. Dr. Rennegarbe served as the Chief Nurse Executive from 2002-2004, and then as the Chief Executive Officer of Salem Township Hospital in Salem IL from 2004-2009. Dr. Rennegarbe serves as the Region IV/V Board of Director for IONL. Dr. Rennegarbe serves on the HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Board of Directors, and also serves on the Board of Directors Executive Committee and as Secretary of the hospital board.  Dr. Rennegarbe has her Certified in Executive Nursing Practice by the American Organization for Nursing Leadership.



Greater St. Louis MGMA
PO Box 16012, St. Louis, MO 63105