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Meet the Southwest Washington Informatics Team

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Alice McKeon – Clinical Informatics Specialist

Alice has been working for Providence since 2004. She began working in the Staffing and Patient Placement departments. Before Providence, she spent several years as a Health Unit Coordinator in a Tacoma area ER as well as over a decade in banking as a Personal Banking Officer and Manager. She is an Epic Credentialed Trainer in ADT-Prelude.

Alice has lived up and down the West Coast, moving to the Olympia area a week after ‘The Mountain’ blew up in 1980. She graduated from Timberline High School, is working towards her Bachelors in Business at WGU and deeply despises all things Algebra. She has three children (four if you count Desdemona, the incredibly spoiled English Bulldog) that keep her busy outside of work and school.

Alice enjoys this magical thing called “Epic” and looks forward to finding solutions for all those seeking Epic Answers.

Amy Luken – Clinical Informatics Specialist

Amy has worked for Providence for 12 years. She was with Medical Staff Services for 7 years, admitting for 2 years and the switchboard for a year. Prior to working at Providence she worked 6 years at First American Title as a Jr. Escrow Officer. 

Amy is an Epic Credentialed Trainer in In Patient, OpTime and Anesthesia. 

She has lived in Olympia her entire life and graduated from North Thurston High School. She has twin girls who keep her busy in her off time playing competitive sports. 

Amy enjoys learning about new things and having a variety of challenges to work on, including Provider Account issues and Anesthesia workflows. 

Chad Fisher – Clinical Informatics Specialist

Chad’s background is in Information Technology within clinical settings involving software, servers, networking and desktop support. Chad has been working for Providence since 2011. Before Providence he worked for an Ambulatory Electronic Medical Records software company and for several outpatient clinics over the last 14 years. He is originally from North Central Montana and attended Montana State University in Bozeman. 

Chad is an Epic Credentialed Trainer and does Dragon NaturallySpeaking training, as well. 

He enjoys troubleshooting difficult problems and working with new technology. He is married and has three children that keep him running. 

Christina (Tina) Merten – Senior Clinical Informatics Specialist

Tina has worked for Providence Health and Services in Oregon and Washington for the past 20 years. Her roles have ranged from bed side nurse to clinical nursing educator. She enjoys her current Clinical Informaticist position that is her most recent adventure in her nursing career. She earned her Registered Nursing degree from Mt Hood Community College in the state of Oregon. She is also a Board Certified Medical/Surgical nurse. 

She lives with her husband of 33 years on a Ranch in Toledo, WA. She enjoys just about everything. Her passion is adventure in life itself. She fancies her dog, her horses, skiing, hunting (especially in Africa), mission trips to foreign countries, and service above self. Tina is: A wife, A daughter, A sister, A friend, A Sheriff, An African hunter, A delivery nurse in Peru, An Olympic mounted shooter, A Rotarian, A physician liaison, and a Board Certified Nurse. 

Greg Finkas – Senior Clinical Informatics Specialist

Hello. My name is Greg Finkas. I joined the Providence Informatics team in 2012. I initially began my career with Providence at St Peter Hospital working as a RN on the cardiac units from 2004-2012. I also worked concurrently as a tenured nursing instructor at Lower Columbia College from 2007-2012, providing instruction in documentation in the electronic health record as part of my responsibilities. Prior to my career with Providence, I had a private Chiropractic practice for 18 years.

As part of my formal Epic training, I am credentialed in the ClinDoc and Stork applications. I received my MN degree from the University of Washington-Tacoma, my RN degree from Lower Columbia College, and my DC and BS in Human Biology from Western States Chiropractic College. 

My wife Tami and I are huge Seattle Sounders fan. Stop by and we can talk about the latest Sounders news or, if you prefer, the latest Epic/EHR news.

Joni Copeland – Clinical Informatics Specialist - Lead

Joan E. Copeland RN BS CHPQI FAIHQCIS has been with Providence for over 14 years and in her current role as a clinical informatics specialist for nearly 4 years. Her other roles included Director positions for two Providence Hospice and Home Care agencies and patient flow and disaster coordinator, and administrative supervisor at St Peter Hospital. She has over 40 years of nursing including 18 years of hospital acute nursing, unit charge nurse, hospital supervisory, and management experience as well as clinic nursing. She has also held various executive/management positions across the country from clinic and hospital nursing to President and COO of integrated health system health insurance plans. She is an operational excellence change facilitator and board certified in quality improvement since 1983, having achieved Fellow status in the American Institute of Health Care Quality. She is published author in several national healthcare magazines and has written the applications that won both the Providence President’s Award for Excellence and the Providence Mission Leadership Award for Providence Hospice and HomeCare of Snohomish County. Those awards honor the amazing work of that agency.

Joni views her career as servant leadership and never stops learning from those she serves and serves with. She and her husband, Bill, a retired physical therapist, have 4 awesome grown children and one amazing grandson! She is an active community volunteer which has included medical missions to Guatemala. She volunteers with the PSPH NODA program also. Her newest Providence role is an opportunity and challenge in helping support our amazing EMR, Epic. It is one that is robust and cutting edge for clinical technology to assist in patient care. “My greatest honor is to keep serving those that need us, to keep identifying how we, together, can serve even more, how to heal even more, how to comfort even more. Our Hospital and our ministries are proof of what the right people with God’s help can do for so many, one at a time. The charity of Christ urges us.” 

Jud Simonds – Regional Director Nursing/Clinical Informatics

Prior to joining Providence, Jud spent 4 years in the healthcare IT vendor space, most recently at PatientSafe Solutions in which he lead the clinical implementation/optimization teams as the Senior Director, Clinical Informatics. Prior to PatientSafe Jud was the Senior Director, Clinical Services with CliniComp Int'l in which he lead clinical teams to deploy the Essentris EMR throughout the Department of Defense inpatient facilities worldwide. 

Jud's clinical experience includes a total of 16 yrs of critical care nursing. He began his nursing career at the University of Minnesota working in both surgical and cardiovascular ICU's. He spent 8 yrs with Scripps Health System in San Diego, CA as both a staff nurse and nurse manager, leading staff within cardiovascular, trauma-surgical, medical, and progressive care nursing units.

He received his ADN from St. Luke's College, BS from the University of South Dakota, and his MSN from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Jud is an online nursing Instructor teaching both clinical informatics, and nursing leadership to students pursuing their BSN, and MSN degrees. He is also board certified as a nurse executive through the ANCC. 

Originally from Southwest Minnesota, he eventually found his way to sunny San Diego and now to Washington state. For fun Jud loves to hike, golf, run (or at least try), spend time at the beach, and absolutely loves a new travel adventure... he's traveled extensively throughout Europe and hopes to make it to Asia one day.

Julie Chrisman – Clinical Informatics Specialist

Julie has been with Providence for 10 years and a registered nurse for 26 years. She has worked in the informatics department for 3 years and before that in the Telemetry and CCU unit. In her 26 year nursing career Julie has worked many departments such as Med/Surg, Pediatrics, CCU, Pre/op, PACU, and, Nursery.

Julie is an Epic/Providence Credentialed trainer in Optesia and In-Patient. Julie enjoys spending time with her family camping, riding horses, hiking, and occasionally traveling to a warm sunny place!

Mary Weston – Clinical Informatics Specialist

Mary Weston has been with Providence Health & Services for 25 years. She began working at Providence St Peter Chemical Dependency Center on College Street, and since 1997 she has been in IT. She has worked in various positions ranging from Front Desk, Medical Records, Administrative Assistant for the SWSA CIO, to Clinical Informatics Specialist. She is an EpicCare/Providence Credentialed trainer in Inpatient Provider and is also Epic certified in Inpatient Procedure Orders, Inpatient Clinical Documentation, and Security Coordinator. 

Mary is working towards a Bachelors in Healthcare Informatics. She has been married for 21 years and has a son and daughter who keep both her and her husband busy with their extracurricular activities. Their favorite things to do include watching their favorite NFL Football team play (Go Hawks!), trips to Whidbey Island, and going to Cirque Du Soleil shows when they are in Seattle. 

Mindy Gudaz – Senior Clinical Informatics Specialist - Lead

Mindy has served with Providence for 13+ years in the clinical laboratory, pathology and most recently informatics. She also has several years of experience in the private dialysis sector holding a variety of administrative and human resource positions. Mindy is a 2002 graduate of South Puget Sound CC and 2005 graduate of The Evergreen State College. She also successfully completed the LEADERSHIP Thurston County program in 2010 and the Providence Emerging Leader Program in 2015. She has EPIC certification in Securities, proficiency in Orders and ClinDoc and serves as a certified trainer for ASAP (ED module).   

Mindy appreciates spending time with her family. She has three fine looking children who share her sense of humor. Many weekends are spent at the motocross track or in Tokeland at their family cabin. She also volunteers for a variety of organization across the community. In her spare time, she is keen on running.   

Peggy Le Hew – Manager, Clinical Informatics

Peggy has been with Providence for 20 years (or a lifer as some have called her). She has always been in the Information Services department. First a part time help desk staff person – after 2 years, she became the Applications Trainer for the Southwest Washington region and taught the Microsoft Office Suite of products for 8 years. In 2004, she started supporting Horizon Patient Portal (ProvCare) as a Clinical Support Specialist, which then morphed into the Physician Liaison group. In 2014, the three diverse areas of informatics (nursing, provider, and ambulatory) merged into one team, and Peggy was given the opportunity to manage the team.   

Peggy is finishing her Bachelors of Business at WGU. She prides herself on her sense of humor and her desire to see her friends, family, team, and customers happy. Her “life” degree is in the school of helping caregivers realize how amazing she is; it has worked for quite a few years and we hope it continues far into the future. 

Her goal for SW Washington leaders and staff are to help them learn to love our EHR – alright, well – maybe just to tolerate and use it correctly.