October 07, 2013
5 Minutes with
BC Advantage (BCA): Can you give us some insight into what your direct role is as the Department Head/Associate Professor for the Indirect Patient Care Department?
Angie Brown (AB): I am a Department Head and Associate Professor for Indirect Patient Care at the Corporate & Career Development Division at Greenville Technical College. I have served in the health care field for 30-plus years and have been at Greenville Technical College for the past 15 years. I started out with one program and I now oversee 150 programs, both live and online with the help of three full-time employees, two part-time employees, and 15 adjunct employees.
I have to say that over the past 15 years I have been truly blessed with awards and recognition throughout our community and nationally. From 2003 through 2012, I have received awards, which include: Outstanding Performance for RAKE (Recognizing, Achievement, and Keeping Enthusiasm) Award, Outstanding Associate Instructor Award, Unsung Hero Award, Outstanding National Liaison, Outstanding Program Host, Innovative A. Wade Martin Nominee Award, President's Standards of Behavior Professionalism Award, Associate Instructor of the Year Award, Outstanding Business Partner Award, 2012 National Council for Continuing Education and Training Award, and 10 years of Exceptional Service Award. The greatest recognition I have received, however, is from my students and parents. It is the joy of hearing a squeal when someone passes a certification, or the parents and students stating that I have changed their lives! Greenville Technical College, along with our partners, is the training pathway for our students' future. We partner with Practice Management Institute, American Academy of Professional Coders, American Association of Medical Assistants, and globally with colleges.
BCA: Why did this field appeal to you and how did you get started?
AB: Even as a child I dreamed of teaching and had a passion to share my knowledge with others. I started in the field as a Certified Medical Assistant, working for a physician. Later, one of my instructors asked me to teach at Greenville Technical College. This led to teaching coding, insurance, and medical management courses with the certifications. I teach for Practice Management Institute (PMI) with our online courses. All students can take advantage of these - whether they are looking to begin a career or just needing the continuing education credits for their current position. Teaching is rewarding beyond description!
BCA: What would you say has been the biggest challenge so far in your career?
AB: The biggest challenge is my students' different levels of education. They often doubt that they, too, can become certified in a field of their choice, but when they pass you can see that beam of pride in their eyes. The challenge is being responsible and entrusted to give and share my knowledge with them. Each student has the opportunity to learn.
BCA: What has been your greatest achievement?
AB: I honestly have so much more to learn and each and every award or achievement has meant the world to me. Although I carry the credentials of CMC, CMIS, CMOM, CPC, CPC-I, CPC-H, CRCR, CRCA, and CMA, I am still growing and expanding my own knowledge.
BCA: What steps would you say are necessary to "break into" this field, besides meeting educational and experiential requirements?
AB: You must have the enthusiasm and joy to be at a job that you love to come to each and every day. To break into the field you have to love coding, insurance, reimbursement, and management, and be a great networker.
BCA: Can you describe a typical work day for you?
AB: My typical day consists of teaching online or traditional classes here at Greenville Technical College and holding staff meetings once a week with my department. I also serve on various committees and advisory boards as well as assist students on a daily basis.
BCA: You worked with PMI and the Greenville Health System to create an apprenticeship program through the Department of Labor. Can you tell us how successful this program has been for students?
AB: This project took about two years of meetings to accomplish and our students are now receiving the benefits of the outcome of an apprenticeship program recognized by the Department of Labor. They are obtaining employment and better salaries.
BCA: What type of advice can you give our subscribers who are interested in becoming an instructor?
AB: My advice would be to have a sense of commitment and dedication to see others succeed and a willingness to devote the time needed to become an expert in your discipline area.
BCA: You hold the record for receiving multiple awards from PMI; which award means the most to you and why?
AB: Educator of the Year is my dedication. I love working with PMI and have been honored and pleased to have grown with such a great company.
BCA: With the countdown to ICD-10 implementation underway, what changes do you anticipate to affect your department the most?
AB: I feel we will have more training since we offer the ICD-10 online, and our department looks forward to training all those who have not started the process yet.
BCA: Have you done any training for ICD-10 so far?
AB: Yes, with PMI and AAPC.
BCA: There have been calls from industry leaders to abandon the implementation of ICD-10, instead moving forward to ICD-11. Do you have any opinions on bypassing ICD-10?
AB: I feel that the United States is far behind other countries in this area and it should move forward. Delaying the ICD-10 implementation will only increase the costs of the conversion.
BCA: Would you like to add anything else?
AB: Networking with organizations and people and with my students enriches my life! Email me at email@example.com with any questions that you may have regarding online learning at Greenville Technical College or PMI.