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September 21, 2015


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SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

Networking with Instructor Leads to Externship and Employment for Student

Networking with Instructor Leads to Externship and Employment for Student

Richmond Campus student Cindy Arbuthnot was recently hired as a coding and billing assistant at Hospice Care Plus after she impressed the staff with her skills and professionalism during her externship with the company.

Cindy landed the externship through networking with her ANU medical billing and coding instructor, Veronica Waddles, a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) who works at Hospice Care Plus as a referral specialist. Veronica felt that Cindy would be a great fit for the company. “She’s a very good people person,” Veronica said of her recommendation of Cindy. “She does everything exceptionally well that you ask of her. She goes above and beyond.”

Loretta Rinthen, director of finance for Hospice Care Plus, also feels that Cindy has been a great addition to the staff. “With the changes that are going on in Medicare and Medicaid with coding and billing, I felt like we needed to step  up with what we were requiring of our employees, and so when we had the opportunity [to accept] a coding student [for an externship] I took that opportunity,” she explained. “We have found that with the requirements that we need additional help, because Medicare is now requiring things to be done more up to date. We needed someone with the expertise that Cindy has shown us that she has. We’re just so glad she’s here. She’s a breath of fresh air.”

“We needed someone with the expertise that Cindy has shown us that she has. We're just so glad she's here.”

Cindy, who was a stay-at-home mom for sixteen years before she enrolled in the medical billing and coding and medical office specialist programs at ANU, feels that she’s found a home at Hospice Care Plus. “I absolutely love my job,” she said. “As soon as I started there, it felt more like a family. It’s someplace that you don’t dread having to go—you enjoy going.”

A- Cindy Arbuthnot was hired by Hospice Care Plus after demonstrating her skills during her externship with the company.

B- Cindy (center) is shown with Hospice Care Plus director of finance Loretta Rinthen (left) and referral specialist Veronica Waddles (right) who is Cindy’s medical billing and coding instructor at ANU.

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KNOXVILLE
Barb Neblett – Director of Health Science Education – Difference Maker

Barb Neblett – Director of Health Science Education – Difference Maker

Barb Neblett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education- public health and science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is also a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and a Certified Phlebotomy Technician. Barb has been a National College instructor for two years and is currently serving as the Director of Health Science Education, overseeing all medical programs at National College’s Knoxville Campus. Barb began her career as an Administrative Clinical Assistant performing front office procedures, but after being exposed to the clinical duties, she became much more interested in learning the medical aspect and earning her certifications.

“Ms. Neblett is a woman who cares more about making a difference in me than making a difference for me!”

 

“I thought [being an instructor at National] would be a great opportunity because I could combine my passion for health care with my desire for teaching. The students here have an amazing amount of perseverance and I am very rewarded by watching them transition from timid students to confident medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, and medical billers and coders.”

“I have really developed a family here at National with each new class and have become very close to the staff. We all work very hard together to help all of our students achieve success.”

Medical assisting and billing and coding graduate Tamika Gary said: “Ms. Neblett is a woman who cares more about making a difference in me than making a difference for me! I love her so much! She changed my life.”

Medical assisting graduate Brenda Vargason added: “I graduated in 2013 and I am hearing impaired. Ms. Neblett told me many times, ‘You are talented and you’re going to make it happen.’ Even though I am no longer in school, I still like to drop in and see her because she is so encouraging.”

Upcoming medical assisting graduate Alisha Kumher commented: “I am looking forward to the [Registered Medical Assistant exam] success class next term. Ms. Neblett has had 100% passing rate on the RMA certification exam in the last year, so I’m sure to pass.”

Director of Health Science Education Barb Neblett (left) is an inspiration to students such as medical assisting student Alisha Kumher (right).


ROANOKE VALLEY
Marine Veteran Earns Three Degrees in Five Years and Receives Promotion

Marine Veteran Earns Three Degrees in Five Years and Receives Promotion

U.S. Marine veteran James Pitts worked for Integrity Windows and Doors for six years, eventually working his way up to assistant supervisor. He realized that he excelled in this position, as he was able to transition three departments from having employees who had very low morale to wanting to work additional hours on the weekends. 

James decided this was the right direction for his career, and he wanted to further his education to be able to achieve a higher level of management. A friend recommended that he research the Roanoke Valley Campus of American National University. He liked the tuition rate compared to other schools and also the veterans’ assistance that the institution provides, such as the Blue Ribbon Grant and the Armed Services Recognition Grant. “I took full advantage of everything,” said James. As a student, he continued to work during the day and take classes at night for five years, ultimately earning an associate’s degree in information technology, as well as associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration-management.  

“I want to go to the top, as far as I possibly [can go]."

While attending ANU, James appreciated “the versatility of the amount of classes you could take each term, the types of classes you could take, and that the instructors would work with you… knowing that [I] was working and taking classes.”

His favorite course was the Ethics class taught by instructor Neal Engers, where he feels he gained useful information for management scenarios and appreciated the diverse perspectives the class discussion often highlighted. “They really [explored] some touchy subjects,” said James. “Everyone was either laughing or shedding tears. There was lot of class discussion with different opinions on the same subjects.”

After completing his education, James began working at Yokohama Tire Corporation in Salem, Virginia. He was recently promoted to production/personnel supervisor, where he oversees fourteen employees. “The job is fantastic and I love what I am doing,” said James. “I hope that I can make a positive difference in my employees’ work.”

In addition to the education he received, ANU holds a special place in James’s life for another very important reason. It is where he proposed to his girlfriend at the end of his first graduation ceremony in 2013 using the large screen on the stage.

Now with degrees in hand and his feet firmly planted on a management path, James’s future is nothing but bright. “I want to go to the top, as far as I possibly [can go],” he said.

A- ANU graduate and U.S. Marine veteran James Pitts chose American National University to take advantage of the veterans’ assistance that the institution offers.

B- James was recently promoted to production/personnel supervisor at Yokohama Tire Corporation in Salem, Virginia.


PRINCETON
Doctor Al-Attar Provides Externship Site and Hires Graduates

Doctor Al-Attar Provides Externship Site and Hires Graduates

The Princeton Campus’s director of health science education, Pat Sell, and career center director, Elaine Owens, recently presented American National University’s Distinguished Community Employer Award to Dr. Inas H. Al-Attar, doctor of pediatrics and infectious medicine.

Since 2007, Dr. Al-Attar has been a supporter of ANU students and graduates. She has allowed students to perform their externships in her office, and throughout the years quite a few have been hired upon completion of those externships. Wendy Robinette, a medical assisting graduate who has been employed at the practice for 8 years and is the current supervisor, says, “Being a graduate of National, I always say ‘yes’ to students seeking an externship site and call the school first whenever we need to hire a medical assistant.”

“Being a graduate of National, I always say ‘yes’ to students seeking an externship site and call the school first whenever we need to hire a medical assistant.”

The Princeton Campus appreciates all the externships and the career opportunities Dr. Al-Attar has provided to ANU students and graduates and looks forward to continuing the relationship with her and her staff for years to come.

Dr. Inas Al-Attar (center) and ANU graduate and office supervisor Wendy Robinette (right) accepted the Distinguished Community Employer Award from Princeton Campus director of health science education Pat Sell (left).


LEXINGTON
Medical Assisting Graduate Accepted to Local RN Program

Medical Assisting Graduate Accepted to Local RN Program

Michael Adams enrolled in the medical assisting program at the Lexington Campus with determination and enthusiasm. His sights were set on graduating and earning his certification as a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) – and he achieved it. His performance during his externship at Lexington’s Pain Treatment Center led to immediate employment with them.

Having secured a degree, certification, and employment in the medical field, most people would stop there, but Michael has developed a career ‘bucket list’ and intends to continue his education. “I have planned things out with some very definite goals,” he explained. “My plans are coming together because I am determined to succeed.” The next goal he can check off on his list— Michael was accepted to nursing school and started classes this month.

“Everyone encouraged and helped me so much here at ANU, and I appreciate it so much.”

“I’m delighted to be accepted into nursing school,” he said with a smile. “American National gave me the knowledge I needed to pass the entry exam. Everyone encouraged and helped me so much here at ANU, and I appreciate it so much. My time at ANU opened this door for me!”

So what else is left on Michael’s career bucket list? “My ultimate goal is medical school,” he shared. “I want to earn additional credentials before I go; I feel it will make me a better physician. You can never have too much knowledge, no matter what endeavor you choose in life.”

Medical assisting graduate Michael Adams was recently accepted into nursing school and hopes to eventually become a physician.


LYNCHBURG
Guest Speaker Encourages IT Students with Personal Insights

Guest Speaker Encourages IT Students with Personal Insights

Students in IT program director Pamela Hooper’s Network Defense class at the Lynchburg Campus recently had the opportunity to hear from a guest speaker who works as an IT professional. Tim Lindy is an application architect for Anthem, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies. He spoke to the students about his experiences working his way up from a help desk technician for a local company to contributing on a planning and strategizing level within a large-scale corporation. He offered insight into his day-to-day responsibilities and how they fit into the bigger IT picture within the organization.

“He was very knowledgeable about the subject matter and spoke well about the systems he uses to do his job.”

In addition to discussing the technological aspects of computer networking, Mr. Lindy also advised the students that human networking and communication can be just as important when embarking on an IT career. “Consider your audience,” he suggested. “You won’t explain a technical issue the same way to an end user as you would to your vice president.”

Mr. Lindy concluded his presentation by outlining several tips for how students can be successful in their chosen career: simple clear, concise communication; have a customer service attitude; it’s ok to say “I don’t know”; follow through with your commitments/protect your reputation; stay positive; and network! “It was a very informative presentation,” said student Robert Warrick, Jr. “He was very knowledgeable about the subject matter and spoke well about the systems he uses to do his job.”

A- Guest speaker Tim Lindy (far right) spoke to the Network Defense class at the Lynchburg Campus about both the technology and people aspects of networking in the IT field.

B- Mr. Lindy (left) shared with students Greg Eddy (center) and Robert Warrick, Jr. (right) about his experiences working his way up from help desk technician at a local company to application architect for a major organization.


PIKEVILLE
Phlebotomist Enrolls at ANU to Further His Medical Career

Phlebotomist Enrolls at ANU to Further His Medical Career

Brandon Click had worked as a phlebotomist at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) for over ten years when he enrolled in the nursing program at the ANU Pikeville Campus to help further his career. A father of three, he chose ANU because of its low student-to-teacher ratio and the availability of night classes, which allowed him to go to school while continuing to work to provide for his family.

As a phlebotomist, Brandon works in the oncology unit at PMC, but he’s gaining more diverse experience working in clinical rotations throughout the hospital as part of his nursing program. Brandon said his co-workers at PMC have been very supportive. “They’re always there to help,” he said.

“I've always wanted to take care of people ever since I was a little boy. I feel [ANU] is going to give me the opportunity to do that.”

After graduating from the nursing program, he hopes to continue working with oncology patients in the cancer center at PMC, where he feels communication between the patients and the medical staff is vital. “I’ve always wanted to take care of people ever since I was a little boy. I feel [ANU] is going to give me the opportunity to do that,” he explained. 

Brandon Click had worked as a phlebotomist at Pikeville Medical Center for ten years when he enrolled in the nursing program at the Pikeville Campus.


DANVILLE, KENTUCKY
Professional Coder with 20 Years’ Experience Speaks to Class

Professional Coder with 20 Years’ Experience Speaks to Class

The Danville, Kentucky Campus recently welcomed Mary Ann Little, a certified professional coder (CPC), as a guest speaker in instructor Lesa Moore’s Medical Office Finance class. Ms. Little, who has over twenty years of experience in the field,  shared that when she began her career performing coding for an x-ray department, she worked from just two pages of codes, but today coding is much more involved. 

Ms. Little discussed how important it is for doctors to provide accurate dictation in order for their billing and coding staff to correctly code a bill. The medical assistant plays an important role in ensuring the dictation is accurate, as they are the first point of contact with the patient.

“After listening to her speak, it made me realize I had chosen the right career path.”

The students in attendance all agreed that Ms. Little’s presentation was very informative. “I enjoyed having a guest speaker come into class and share her knowledge on the topics of billing and coding, as well as what you go through dealing with insurance companies,” said medical assisting student Eva Handley. “I learned how hard a coder works and how much knowledge you have to have to get a medical claim paid,” explained Colleen Porter, another medical assisting student.

“After listening to her speak, it made me realize I had chosen the right career path,” added medical assisting student Jessica Bennett.

Guest speaker Mary Ann Little (left) shares with students from her twenty years of experience working in medical billing and coding.


FLORENCE
Surgical Technology Student Accepted into AST Honor Society

Surgical Technology Student Accepted into AST Honor Society

Cheryl Marksberry, a student in the last term of her surgical technology program at the Florence Campus, was recently accepted into the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) Honor Society. According to the AST website, the mission of the honor society is to recognize the achievement of surgical technology students and to support the professional development of its members. Requirements for admission include a grade point average of 3.75 or higher, a 95% overall attendance rate, and integrity and leadership in academic and extracurricular activities.

“I have put forth great effort to learn as much as I can. This is something that I’m very proud of.”

Cheryl was a stay-at-home mom when she enrolled in the surgical technology program at ANU. “I was a newly divorced single mother, and I stumbled on to the surg tech program when I was looking for college for my oldest [child],” she recalled. “There was just something telling me ‘You’d better do it.’ It only took me about a week and a half to get enrolled, signed up, and in class.”

As a student at ANU, Cheryl excelled in her program, as she studied in the simulated operating room at ANU before moving into clinical rotations in area hospitals. Surgical technology program director April Anderson feels that her acceptance into the honor society is a reflection of her dedication to the program. “Cheryl is a go-getter, and it’s apparent that she will go the extra mile to get the training needed for success. That quality will make Cheryl a great employee,” April said.

As Cheryl nears the end of her surgical technology program at ANU, she feels a great sense of personal accomplishment. “I have put forth great effort to be on the dean’s list every term and learn as much as I can. This is something that I’m very proud of,” she shared. “I’m very excited that this adventure is coming to an end and that I can go out and further my studies and my experiences and be the best that I can be.”

A- Florence Campus surgical technology student Cheryl Marksberry has been accepted as a member of the Association of Surgical Technologists Honor Society.

B- Cheryl Marksberry (far left) attended the 2014 Association of Surgical Technologists’ (AST) Annual Kentucky State Assembly along with other Florence Campus surgical technology students and graduates.


 
The National News is a biweekly publication designed to share the success and academic accomplishments of students and graduates from American National University and National College. For more information, contact the Communications Department.

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