Accreditation Review Team
ACC's Accreditation Review Specialists are highly dedicated clinicians with real-world experience treating cardiovascular (CV) patients in the hospital setting. Their sole focus is to help facilities identify processes that improve CV patient care through accreditation. Their mission is to approach each site review in a collegial manner to break down barriers and engage in meaningful conversations with professionals at the facility. As experts in the care of the cardiac patient, our team of reviewers have accredited healthcare facilities worldwide. They have developed and maintained a collective knowledge of process improvement initiatives, best practices, and help educate facility personnel.
Accreditation Review Specialists:
Leela Beers, MBA, BSBM, CVT, AACC
Joining us in September 2008, Leela has been a Chest Pain Coordinator leading teams to successful CPC Accreditation for Cycle's III and IV. Leela also serves as a CV service line leader in the Tampa Bay area and has opened several new cath labs, EP, OH, and TAVR services. Leela is the Cardiac Cath Lab v1 Accreditation co-chair, assisting in the development of essential components for our Cardiac Cath Lab Accreditation.
Kristy Chambers, MSN, RN, AACC
Joining us in February 2015, Kristy is an Accreditation Review Specialist. Previous to her ACC Accreditation Services employment, she was the Chest Pain Coordinator and Stroke Coordinator at Ogden Regional Medical Center where she served as chair for the HCA Mountain Division Cardiovascular Patient Care Coordinators Committee. She was a top 10 finalist for the Deputy Heart Attack Program with her Community and EMS Heart Attack Simulation Education Program. She is a TeamSTEPPS® master trainer and has years of experience in simulation education and training both nationally and internationally.
Anna Ek, BSN, RN, AACC
Anna began her work as an accreditation review specialist in 2007. Anna has a strong background in cardiac, surgical, and PACU nursing. She began her nursing career during the time of thrombolytic trials which ignited her longtime passion for cardiology. She is a strong advocate of EMS and the part they play in the pre-hospital care of the cardiac patient. In addition, Anna has a keen interest in induced hypothermia therapy and works to research the effects of hypothermia therapy on the post-cardiac arrest patient. Anna is the in-house expert on drastically improved outcomes for the patient population because of therapeutic hypothermia treatments and "cooling centers."
Lisa Nicholls BSN, RN, AACC
Lisa Nicholls joined the ACC accreditation review team after 35 years of nursing. Her career spanned service in critical care, emergency medicine, critical care ground transport as well as flight nursing. She provided direct patient care, served as an educator and then moved into leadership roles. Prior to joining ACC, Lisa was the accreditation coordinator at Georgetown Community Hospital in Georgetown, KY, and led her team to three successful Chest Pain Center and two Heart Failure Center accreditations. Georgetown Community Hospital received recognition during Heart Month in February 2022 as a Heart Failure Accreditation Champion.
K. Marie Nicholls, BSN, RN-BC, CVRN, AACC
Marie has an extensive background in clinical cardiology and emergency medicine, and has a Board Specialty Certification in Cardiovascular Nursing. Prior to joining our team in 2015, she was a patient research educator for myocardial ischemia at Summa Health Systems in Akron, OH. While at Summa, she was a leading team member in the development and implementation of cardiovascular process improvement, formation and implementation of STEMI policy and procedures, a cardiac patient and staff educator, and an ACLS instructor. She has experience in electrophysiology and device interrogations. Marie was also a facility site manager for the NCDR Clinical Registries and an active participant in the accreditation processes for CPC Cycle IV Accreditation.
Shulee Norris, BSN, RN, CVRN
Shulee comes to us from Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas recently serving as the Cardiovascular Quality Manager where she was an active participant in the CPC accreditation process. Her background is in critical and cardiac patient care. Previously Shulee served as a Cardiovascular Coordinator where she obtained experience in quality process improvement and NCDR Clinical Registries.
Kim Pheifer, BSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, AACC
Kim joined ACC Accreditation Services in March 2017. Kim comes to us from Meridian Health in New Jersey. She recently served as a database administrator and and has experience in both cath lab operations and cardiac rehab management. She previously served as manager of cardiac services at Bayshore Community Hospital. Her community outreach efforts have included participation as a team captain for the American Heart Association's Shoreline Heart Walk.
Nicole Roman BSN, RN, AACC
Nicole has been a registered nurse since 2004. Her experience includes ICU, Cardiac Surgery ICU, Cath Lab holding area, stress testing, ED, and Nursing Supervisor. After many years at the bedside, Nicole became a Chest Pain Coordinator and successfully applied for ACC's Chest Pain Center with PCI Accreditation as well as Cardiac Cath Lab Accreditation. The hospital she worked for was one of the first in the United States to receive ACC's Cardiac Cath Lab Accreditation. Nicole was also charged with completing all state –mandated Cath Lab certificates and applications. She became a Certified Cardiovascular Care Coordinator (C4) through ACC Accreditation Services in 2017. In addition, Nicole has extensive experience with data abstraction in the ACC ACD and NCDR Chest Pain MI Registry.
Kaitlin Stevenson BSN, RN, AACCJoining us in June 2021, Kaitlin is an Accreditation Review Specialist. Kaitlin started her career in the United States Army as a medical-surgical nurse. In addition, she has experience in adult and pediatric cardiology, emergency medicine, and quality and performance improvement. Prior to joining ACC, Kaitlin worked as a Chest Pain Center Coordinator as well as a Heart Failure Center Coordinator at her local community hospital where she led her organization to successful accreditation. She also served as the NCDR data manager for the Chest Pain MI Registry. In addition, Kaitlin started the pediatric cardiology quality program at a large university hospital.
Rebecca (Beckie) Vickers BSN, RN, AACC
Before joining the ACC, Beckie worked for Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) in Murrieta, CA. She has previously staffed the facility's emergency and Cardiac Cath Lab, including four years as the chest pain coordinator/STEMI program manager. During her first year as the chest pain coordinator, LLUMC achieved Chest Pain Center Accreditation. Beckie's community projects include Sidewalk CPR, a high school EHAC/hands-only CPR program, and lifesaving awards event to reunite patients who suffered cardiac arrest with the community members who intervened on their behalf.
Deborah Washington, BSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, AACC
Joining us in February 2015, Deb has a background in emergency medicine, sexual assault/domestic violence care, cardiology with cath lab experience, and provides leadership and guidance as a chest pain coordinator. She served on the writing committee for the Cardiac Cath Lab v1 Accreditation platform in 2015-2016. Deb has been a Certified Cardiovascular Care Coordinator (C4) since the C4 course was first offered in 2011. Deb led her previous employer's ED team to Chest Pain Center (CPC) Accreditation for Cycle III in 2010 and 2013. She also facilitated the CPC Accreditation for three other system hospitals in 2013.
Kevin Wehrle, RN, AACC
Prior to joining us in 2007, Kevin worked for Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay, Ohio. While at that facility, he was a staff nurse/charge nurse within the ICU as well as the Cath Lab and eventually became the Manager of the Cardiovascular Service Line that included the cath lab, cardiac rehab, stress testing department, and the non-invasive vascular lab. He was part of the steering committee that developed a full interventional STEMI program with open heart surgery as a backup.
Debbie Wolfe, BSN, RN, CCCRN-K, CHFN-K, AACC
Debbie joined the accreditation review team in 2015 after 27 years in the hospital setting. Her nursing career has included roles as bedside critical care nurse as well as critical care educator, heart failure coordinator/inpatient and outpatient; she has also managed quality measures surrounding the MI patient. Debbie has been a member of AAHFN since its inception and carries CHFN credentials. In 2013, she was awarded Cleveland, Ohio's Faces of Care award.
Michele Wood, MSN, RN, CPHQ, AACC
Michele became Field Operations Director in 2017; she has been associated with our accreditaiton team for over six years. Her diverse background in healthcare administration has focused on cardiac quality improvement, performance improvement, and data abstraction. Michele has contributed to several publications on topics such as STEMI process improvement and the financial impacts of the STEMI process. She helped to develop the heart failure transition program at the hospital with which she was previously associated and had oversight of all cardiac clinical registries and reporting. In addition to her hospital background, she was a firefighter and EMT and volunteered in dispatch for 12 years.
Bridget Gilley, MSN, RN, AACC
Bridget Gilley is a Team Leader within the Accreditation Review Team. Bridget has a wide variety of clincial experience including ED, education, Chest Pain Coordinator, Clinical Outcomes as well as nurse manager for a large telemetry floor, 10-bed observation unit and a 22-bed short stay unit. Bridget has also been published three times in Critical Pathways in Cardiology.
Bridget has a sincere passion for community education particularly when it comes to EHAC. Bridget received honorable mention for the EHAC person of the year award in 2016.
Carolyn Haren, BSN, RN, CPHQ, AACC
Joining us in January 2014, Carolyn is a Team Leader within the Accreditation Review Team. Carolyn continues to serve as an accreditation review specialist for both Chest Pain Center (CPC) Accreditation and Heart Failure Accreditation. Prior to joining us, she was the Chest Pain Coordinator at Affinity Medical Center in Ohio leading them to achieve previous versions of Chest Pain Center Accreditation.
Accreditation - Clinical Products Team
The clinical products team works to ensure that our accreditation offerings are designed in compliance with the best available medical evidence and known medical therapies to support clinical decision making. Our team is also comprised of individuals who have years of real-world experience in the clinical setting and are versed in the language and methodology of quality and process improvement.
Amy Westfall, MBA, BSN, RN, CCRN, AACC
Amy joined us in November of 2016 as our Cardiac Cath Lab Clinical Product Manager. She is now the Director of ACC's Clinical products for Accreditation Services. She previously served as an Administrative Nurse Manager of Cardiac Cath Lab, EP, IR and Cardiac Imaging for a health system in Ohio. Amy has over 20 years of procedural nursing experience, which included working as a staff RN and staff developer in an interventional cath lab, hybrid lab and EP as well as pre- and post-op. Her previous responsibilities included oversight of regulatory processes, staff competencies, education, and policy and procedure development.
Tracey Blevins, MBA-HCM, BSN, RN, AACC
Clinical Product Manager for Chest Pain Center Accreditation
Tracey joined in January 2015 serving as an Accreditation Review Specialist for Chest Pain Center Accreditation. Tracey has more than 30 years of nursing experience in cardiovascular (CV), emergency, staff development, critical care transport, and CV management of critical care services. Prior to joining us, she was the Chest Pain Center Coordinator at University North Carolina (NC) Healthcare in Chapel Hill, NC, leading them to achieve their first Chest Pain Center (CPC) Accreditation with Cycle IV. Tracey became the CPC Clinical Product Manager in April 2023.
Robert Bunney, MBA-HM, BSN, RN-BC, AACC
Clinical Product Manager for Electrophysiology Accreditation and Cardiac Cath Lab Accreditation
Joining us in September 2019, Robert is now the Clinical Product Manager for Electrophysiology Accreditation and Cardiac Cath Lab Accreditation. In his previous role at ACC, he served as a member of the Accreditation Review Team. Robert has extensive experience in cardiovascular procedures and considerable knowledge about ACC's Accreditation programs. In addition, he has experience working in or with cardiac catherization, electrophysiology, pediatric, neuro, and vascular services at University Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute in San Antonio, TX. Robert has a strong quality improvement background and is well acquainted with the NCDR hospital registries offered by ACC.
Liza St. Clair, MS, BSN, RN, CPHQ, AACC
Clinical Product Manager for Heart Failure Accreditation and Transcatheter Valve Certification
Liza joined ACC in June 2014. She became the Clinical Product Manager for Heart Failure Accreditation in May 2019. She now also manages the Transcatheter Valve Certification service line. She previously served as a Clinical Quality Advisor for a number of ACC NCDR Registries. Prior to joining ACC, Liza was a Clinical Outcomes Specialist/Heart Failure Coordinator at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Heart & Vascular Institute in Falls Church, Va.