Veronica Chepak RN, BSN | President
Veronica Chepak, RN, BSN is currently an Accountable Case Manager for a Collaborate Care Model using integrated Medical/Behavioral Case Management at Montefiore Medical Center. She has over 10 years of Utilization Management and Case Management experience in Commercial, Self-Insured, Medicare and Medicaid Environment. Additionally, she was an integral part of the assessment development team for a major Managed Care Company. Her prior hospital nursing experience includes oncology, complex cases, and a Medicaid Clinic with an emphasis on prenatal care. Most recently she has been a case manager for the Health Home program. An active board member of the Hudson Valley Chapter of CMSA for the past six years, she is presently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration at Pace University.
Rita Orlando RN, CCM | Immediate Past President
Rita is currently a Care Transitions Coordinator for the Care Management Organization of Montefiore Medical Center. She has over 40 years of healthcare experience including Utilization and Case Management in Commercial, Self-Insured, Medicare and Medicaid environments. She developed the credentialing, utilization management and quality improvement processes within a Medical Management Program for a Self-Insured Health Plan. Recently she has worked as a Documentation Improvement Specialist and her prior hospital nursing experience includes med/surg, pediatrics and physical rehabilitation. She also has extensive home health care experience and has worked several years for certified, long term, and licensed agencies. Rita’s physical rehabilitation experience enabled her to participate in the “start up” of a Durable Medical Equipment Company in the NYC area. She has been a member of the Hudson Valley Chapter of CMSA since it’s beginnings.
Suzanne Muccio RN, BSN, CCM | Treasurer
Suzanne Muccio is currently a Documentation Improvement Specialist DRG Validator at Qualcode Inc. She has over 25 years of Nursing, Utilization Management, Risk Management, Quality Improvement, and Case Management experience in Acute Care, Home Care, and Hospice settings. While working at an acute care hospital for the terminally ill for 16 years, she was the Chairperson of the Nursing Policy and Procedure Committee and was responsible for total revision of all procedures while in that role. She was also an active member of the Hospital Ethics Committee which was responsible for Policy development and consults. She also co-chaired the hospital Staff Wellness Committee, which provided pro active support and wellness for staff members who worked at the hospital.
Rosalind Coco, RN | Secretary
Roz is currently a Care Transitions Coordinator at Montefiore CMO, she began working at the CMO as a Complex Case Manager. She is a seasoned healthcare professional with over 20 years working in managed care environments various clinical, management and business capacities, She has a clinical background in Emergency Room Nursing in Manhattan.
Linda Baker RN, CCM, CPC | Board of Directors
Linda Baker has practiced as a Registered Nurse for 28 years. She is currently the lead Perinatal Nurse Case Manager at Hudson Health Plan. In this role she oversees the case management activities within the plan’s “Mommy & Me” Program. Her previous work experience includes positions as a Senior Quality Improvement Specialist and Senior Health Care Investigator for Medicaid/Medicare programs. Throughout her extensive career she has earned certifications in the following areas; ANCC Board Certified Case Manager; Physician Coder. Linda is an active participant in the NYS DOH Case Management Task Force, and serves on the board of the Hudson Valley Perinatal Forum. Linda serves on Content Expert Panel for American Nurses Credentialing Center Case Management exam, and also as a BOD for the Capital District CMSA chapter. Linda was awarded Case Manager of the Year 2012-2013.
Diane Lantz, RN, MS | Board Member
Diane has 36 years of nursing experience, with the last 16 years focused in the area of nursing case management. She has worked in collaboration with the Office of Medical Affairs on high risk and ethical medical cases via the Ethics Committee. She assisted in the Program Development of the Medicare Observation program at Montefiore Medical Center. She was the recipient of the 2010 Hudson Valley Chapter Case Manager of the Year and is currently on the Public Policy Committee for the Hudson Valley Chapter.
Christina Coons, RN, BSN, PCC, CCM | Co-President
Christina is a Hudson Valley bred healthcare leader. She graduated Pace University, Pleasantville with her Bachelors of Nursing Degree and earned a certificate in Population Care Coordination from Duke University School of Nursing. Christina held innovative positions in the post-acute care market throughout the region, most notably with Visiting Nurse Service of New York, from 2005 to 2016, which included oversight of key transitional care programs based in NYC and Westchester. She currently works as a healthcare consultant for RFR Consulting Group, based in Latham, N.Y. and independently as a case manager. She is active with NYS DSRIP projects, as co-chair of care coordination work group at Bronx Health Access. Past professional experience with a leading healthcare technology company, Tunstall Americas, supported a passion for improved patient care and outcomes using telehealth and telecare solutions across the country. Christina is actively pursuing her MBA in healthcare with Empire State College. She has been a member of CMSA since 2008 and HVCMSA board member as of 2014.
Michele Lucente, MSN, RN, CCM | Board Member
Michele is currently a Patient Access Case Manager at Westchester Medical Center where she developed this role to track, monitor, and facilitate patient through-put from Ambulatory Surgery and PACU, through Inpatient admission (when justified) and discharge. In this role, Michele developed new methods for pre-admission patient assessment and coordination to improve process flow and ensure appropriate transitions of care. Michele conducts on-site in-services to Attending Physicians, Residents, Nurse Case Managers, Nurses, Social Workers, and Finance, and provides educational sessions at Physicians’ offices regarding the new CMS regulations, appropriate documentation, and the role of the nurse case manager to ensure appropriate leveling/billing. The efficacy of this program is demonstrated by a reduction in insurance denial rates by fifty percent in six months. Michele has 37 years of nursing experience as a Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) and a case manager in several environments: acute care, home care (certified, long term, and licensed), and a managed Medicaid/Medicare long term care program. Michele is a Certified Case Manager and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, NYSNA and CMSA/ HVCMSA.
Maria Gambardella, RN, MSN | Board Member
Currently, Maria is an assistant care coordinator at Westchester Medical Center, Maria Ferrari Children’s Hospital. She is a seasoned nurse with 36 years of critical care, operating room, emergency room and administrative experience.
Gwen Swinson RN, BA, CCM
Gwen’s is a Population Health Nurse at Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point. She has been in this position for the past two years. Prior to that, she held the position of Nurse Case Manager at the West Point Warrior Transition Unit for four years. This position involved caring for active duty soldiers with complex medical needs. She managed care for soldiers returning home to eight surrounding states and sometimes transferring to other states if necessary, providing care in their home of record. Gwen has also worked as a Transplant Coordinator at Montefiore Medical Center’s Kidney Transplant Department and as a Nurse Manager of the Comprehensive Sickle cell center. She also served in the Army Reserves, Army Nurse Corps for 15 years. Other experiences include Pulmonary ICU, Cardiothoracic ICU at Montefiore and Poison Nurse Specialist at UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA. She has been an active CMSA member since 2012.
Sheryl Manasse, LMSW, CCM, PPA
Sheryl Manasse is an Oncology Social Worker. She has been with United Healthcare for almost 15 years with a focus on Cancer and its effects on the patient and family. She has run Support groups for Gilda’s Club of Westchester, specializing in Post Treatment Support and Support for the Gynecological Cancers. She has also run groups as a Crisis Counselor for the American Cancer Society and Grief Counseling for her Community post 9/11. Sheryl has consistently been recognized by her peers as an outstanding leader. She has been published in industry newsletters and has recently been recognized by United Healthcare as a top performer by winning the National Sage Award, the first of its kind presented to Social Work Clinicians. Sheryl delights in her family, friends and expanding her personal and professional relationships.