Meet Your New Trustees

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Posted Mar 18, 2012

Each year, the NCCHC board of directors appoints one board member and one member of the public to the CCHP board of trustees. A third seat is filled through a peer election. The CCHP board welcomes three trustees to serve a three-year term through 2014.

Pauline Marcussen, MS, RHIA, CCHP (vice-chair)

Pauline Marcussen, who represents the American Health Information Management Association on the NCCHC board of directors, has worked at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections for more than 14 years. Serving as interdepartmental project manager/medical records, she oversees all aspects of medical records and medical claims processing, including implementing an electronic system a few years ago. Of her transition to correctional health care, Marcussen says, “It was the best decision of my career.”

Marcussen became interested in certification while serving on a committee, using NCCHC Standards to draft health care policies. It seemed a natural progression for her to pursue certification and in 2004 she did just that. She finds certification rewarding due, in part, to the networking and camaraderie among certificants. She recounts having access to no shortage of subject matter experts that she has called upon when the need arose. Marcussen also feels that certification has fostered professional opportunities, opening doors to speak at local and national levels.

Carol Shepard, RN, CCHP

In August 2011, an online election was held for trustee nominees nationwide and Carol Shepard emerged the winner. Shepard is the regional vice president for Armor Correctional Health Services in West Palm Beach, FL, and has been CCHP certified for 20 years. Her work in corrections began 23 years ago at a county jail but she has since worked in both jails and prisons of all sizes in 22 states. One of the reasons she “fell in love with corrections,” she says, is the unique opportunities and autonomy.

Certification is key, says Shepard, in providing continued educational and professional opportunities. Most importantly, she wants people outside of the correctional industry to recognize that correctional health care is an established field with professional certification and standards that professionals choose, not a last resort for employment.

Esmaeil Porsa, MD, CCHP

The third new addition to the board of trustees is Esmaeil Porsa. He began working at Harris County Jail as a second year internal medicine resident 17 years ago. Soon afterward, he made a decision that correctional health care would be his career and source of professional and personal growth rather than a mere stepping stone. Believing that his work is more than a job—that it is a mission—Porsa finds the most rewarding aspect “the pure joy of being able to care for a segment of our population that is sicker, less served and less represented.”

Porsa became a CCHP in 2009 and views certification as being in a professional affiliation like no other. He found value in certification “to be associated with a first-class organization such as NCCHC, with a reputation of being a trendsetter and a guardian of the values that we as health care professionals keep in the highest regard.”

About the CCHP Board of Trustees

The board of trustees is a subcommittee of the NCCHC board of directors that oversees the program for the certification of correctional health professionals who apply for such recognition and meet the program’s criteria. The board of trustees has sole responsibility in matters relating to basic, specialty and advanced certification, including preparing and grading exam materials, establishing grade levels for passing, determining who has qualified and making decisions regarding applicant eligibility for participation.