Board of Directors

Corporate Officers

Clarissa Barnes

Clarissa Barnes, MD, FACP, ACPA-C

Dr. Clarissa Barnes is a board-certified internist who trained at Johns Hopkins for medical school and residency. She practiced as a traditional internist and a primary-care physician before starting her current work as a hospitalist at Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls, SD. She has served as Lead Physician Advisor at Avera McKennan as well as a system-level Physician Advisor for Avera Health.  Currently she serves as the Chief Medical Officer for South Dakota Medicaid. 

Dr. Barnes believes in leading from the front and improving the practice of medicine for patients and clinicians alike. She has held a variety of administrative roles in the areas of physician wellness and quality in addition to her physician advisor work. She has extensive experience in both written and verbal communications, which includes national-level publications and media appearances. She loves bringing people together to use their varied experiences to solve common problems.

She lives in the South Dakota countryside with her husband and three children.

Ahmed Abuabdou

Ahmed Abuabdou, MBBS, MBA, ACPA-C
Vice President - Operations & Treasurer

Ahmed Abuabdou, MBBS, MBA is a practicing Hospital Medicine faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas holding an academic rank of Associate Professor of Medicine. He serves as the Chief Clinical Officer for UAMS Medical Center and leads its Physician Advisory Program. He serves as Physician Champion for the Clinical Documentation Integrity Program at UAMS Medical Center and is the Editor of the CDI Newsletter of UAMS "Concise is Nice" where CDI documentation tips are shared with faculty members, residents, and fellows. Ahmed is an active member of the CDI Education Committee of the American College of Physician Advisors (ACPA). He also serves as a member at-large at the AAMC Chief Medical Officers Group Steering Committee

Ahmed graduated medical school from Gulf Medical University in the United Arab Emirates. He completed internal medicine residency training at St. Elizabeth Health Center, Youngstown, Ohio, and a blood banking / transfusion medicine fellowship at the University of Arkansas for Health Sciences. He completed a master's in business administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

In his spare time, Ahmed enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

Juliet B. Ugarte Hopkins

Juliet B. Ugarte Hopkins, MD, ACPA-C
Immediate Past President

Dr. Juliet B. Ugarte Hopkins is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine and served as co-chief resident while in her Pediatrics residency at Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. She practiced as a pediatric hospitalist for a decade and served as medical director of pediatric hospital medicine and vice-chair of pediatrics in northern Illinois before working for almost a decade as the first physician advisor for case management, utilization, and clinical documentation at a three-hospital, 575-bed health system in southeastern Wisconsin.

Dr. Ugarte Hopkins is currently a Payor Peer-to-Peer Physician Advisor with R1 RCM, Inc. and Founder/CEO of Velvet Hammer Physician Advising LLC - educating and informing health systems and hospitals across the country with CSI Companies, Enjoin, Pediatric Resource Group, and Phoenix Medical Management, Inc.  She has written multiple articles over the years for, and, was the first physician board member for the Wisconsin chapter of the American Case Management Association (ACMA), is a member of the RACMonitor editorial board, and she was recognized as a "Hirsch's Hero" by Dr. Ronald Hirsch in 2016. Dr. Ugarte Hopkins has spoken at multiple national and regional conferences on topics related to case/utilization management and clinical documentation integrity efforts involving physician advisors, was co-chair of the ACPA's National Physician Advisor Conference from 2017 - 2020, and led the ACPA as president from 2020 - 2023.  

Living in Northern Illinois, she and her husband enjoy hiking, collecting eclectic art and knick-knacks, and strive valiantly to encourage their four children to be thoughtful and self-assured individuals with a corny sense of humor.

Board of Directors

Denise Goodman

Denise Goodman, MD, MS, FCCM
Pediatric Committee Chair

Dr. Denise Goodman attended medical school at State University of New York at Buffalo, completed a pediatrics residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical School, and then a pediatric critical care medicine fellowship at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.  Her first faculty position was at the University of Minnesota before moving to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital).She is a Professor of Pediatrics, has been a practicing pediatric intensivist for over 25 years, and is medical director of a large invasive home ventilation program. She has enjoyed the classic academic life of clinical care, teaching, and research and has also served on the pediatric critical care medicine Subboard of the American Board of Pediatrics and is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Pediatrics. As Medical Director of Case Management and Care Coordination at Lurie Children’s she is responsible for denials management, utilization management, and physician education on a number of topics. In addition, she has led or participated in numerous special projects at the intersection of clinical care and the revenue cycle, including readmission reduction, prior authorization, out-of-network processes, and length of stay management. Awards include selection to “Best Doctors in America” and election as a Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Goodman is the Chair of the American College of Physician Advisors Pediatric Physician Advisor Committee.

Alvin Gore

Alvin Gore, MD
Physician Advisor Survey Champion

A Board-certified Family Physician with extensive experience in all aspects of Utilization Management, Dr. Alvin Gore has been performing the duties of a Physician Advisor since 2008. Having completed his training in Family Medicine at the Memorial Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, he has remained involved in medical education for a number of years as an Assistant Medical Director of Family Medicine Residency Program

He has been active in training Family Medicine residents and medical students, and has held academic appointments with a number of medical schools.

Dr. Gore had significant experience with both inpatient and outpatient patient management, with a particular interest in Utilization Management aspects of hospital practices. Dr. Gore has added Physician Advisors' responsibilities to his academic position at the hospital, gradually expanding his range of duties. He has become a successful liaison between the CM Department and the medical staff.

Dr. Gore subsequently accepted a full-time position as Director of Utilization Management at St. Joseph's Health in California, where he is currently responsible for the UM performance at two hospital segments of the Health System's Northern California region. He is responsible for all aspects of the Physician Advisor role including: 2nd level reviews, denial management/ALJ hearings, clinical documentation improvement projects, physician education and outreach, various LOS and cost of care reduction projects, as well as development of the local integrated delivery system.

Ben Kartchner

Ben Kartchner, MD, ACPA-C
The Learning Center Champion

Dr. Benjamin Kartchner is a board-certified Family Medicine physician; HCQM-certified by ABQAURP in 2019. After practicing hospital medicine full-time in Northern Idaho for and beginning his work as a physician advisor in 2018, he transitioned to a physician advisor role for MultiCare Health System in Spokane, Washington. This being a new role for MultiCare, he helped develop multiple facets of physician advisor work including utilization management, care management, CDI, and population health. He has since transitioned to a Care Management and CDI focus and is the Associate Medical Director of Care Management for the Multicare Health System covering the INW/Spokane region. He was the recipient of the ABQAURP Diplomate Achievement in 2021 for work related to COVID-19 Drop Teams and spoke about agile management at NPAC 2021. He is a practicing hospitalist since 2013 and is involved in educating student and resident physicians. He lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on five acres with his wife and three children. Being a “hockey family, his self-described greatest accomplishment is, “building a 60x30 foot hockey rink on the property and winning the NPAC 2021 Quiz Bowl”.

Mary McLaughlin-Davis

Mary McLaughlin-Davis, DNP, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, CCM
Advisory Board Chair

Dr. Mary McLaughlin-Davis became a certified care manager in 1993. She has provided care coordination services for inpatients, outpatients, and health care plans.

As a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Dr. McLaughlin Davis has worked extensively with patients having chronic disease, notably congestive heart failure and stroke. She is a Senior Director of Care Management for the Cleveland Clinic and a guest lecturer at Ursuline College.

Dr. McLaughlin-Davis served as national immediate past president for the Case Management Society of America (CMSA). She is involved with The Public Policy Committee for CMSA and for the Nursing Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. She speaks on care coordination topics across the country, has written numerous articles about care coordination and published the Case Management Guide to Population Health through HCPro. Dr. McLaughlin-Davis recently released, The Practice of Hospital Case Management: A White Paper through CMSA.

Anuja Mohla

Anuja Mohla, DO, ACPA-C
Observation Committee Chair

Anuja Mohla, DO, MBA is the Medical Director of Revenue Integrity at ChristianaCare in Newark, Delaware. She most recently served as a Senior Physician Advisor and Medical Director of Patient Access and Flow for several years at ChristianaCare before transitioning to her current role. She is a practicing hospitalist as well with a board certification in Internal Medicine. A graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Mohla went on to complete her Internal Medicine residency at UMDNJ, New Jersey Medical School. She most recently also finished her MBA from University of Massachusetts. She serves on the board of American College of Physician Advisors as the Chair of ACPA Observation Committee. She is a frequent speaker at the national level on the topics of Denial Management, Appeals, and Regulatory requirements.

Emeric Palmer

Emeric Palmer, MBBS, MBA, FACP
National Physician Advisor Conference Champion

Dr. Palmer is a Medical Director with Anthem Inc. He has worked as a Physician Executive in the Revenue Cycle for the last decade. He served as Senior Medical Director Resource Utilization at Mary Washington Healthcare, Physician Advisor and Assistant Chief Medical Officer at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Northern Virginia, and Physician Advisor at Meritus Medical Center in Maryland. With the Revenue Cycle Solutions division of the Advisory Board Company Inc, he delivered engagement and training of physicians around physician documentation improvement in hospitals and healthcare systems across the country. He serves on the CDI committee with the American College of Physician Advisors (ACPA).

Dr. Palmer’s clinical activity included working as a traditional Internist for the first several years of his career in Chicago and Northwestern Indiana, before becoming a dedicated hospitalist, and wound care and hyperbaric medicine physician. He has also worked extensively in LTACHs and SNFs.

Dr. Palmer holds board certifications in Internal Medicine with Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, and Healthcare Quality and Management with physician advisor subspecialty. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and graduated from the College of Medicine, University of Benin, in Benin, Nigeria. He also holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, and they have 2 adult children. He loves traveling with his family, is a casual fan of soccer and plays in his local league.

Ritu Prasad

Ritu Prasad, MD
Government Affairs Committee Chair

Ritu Prasad, MD, is assistant vice president, Case Management, Acute Care Utilization and Physician Advisor Services, MedStar Health. In this role, Dr. Prasad oversees strategic direction, program development and implementation for acute case management at MedStar Health. A vital component of her role includes developing and implementing both short- and long-term strategies for acute case management and the Physician Advisory Program.

Dr. Prasad also partners with Chief Medical Officers, hospital and Nursing leadership, Finance, Compliance, and Population Health to design and develop recommendations for enhancing throughput and reductions in patient length of stay.

Dr. Prasad joined MedStar Health in 2016, first serving as physician advisor and medical director, Observation Services, for six years. In 2022, she transitioned to the role of senior physician advisor at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital and MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, where she also serves as vice president, Medical Staff. She currently serves as chair of the American College of Physician Advisors Government Affairs Committee.

Dr. Prasad is board certified in Emergency Medicine and received her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Elizabeth Quinn

Elizabeth Quinn, MD
National Physician Advisor Conference Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Quinn currently serves as the System Senior Vice President for CommonSpirit Health’s Internal Physician Advisor Service (IPAS).

Upon graduation from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Dr. Quinn practiced as an Internist and Hospitalist in the Bay Area for over 10 years, co-founding the first Hospitalist program for a 130 acute bed stroke center.

She served as President for the California Association of Interns and Residents, and was a delegate to the American Medical Association. Furthermore, she served as a Director for the Oakland Children’s Hospital’s Multicultural Curriculum Program, creating and implementing multicultural education programs for the Alameda County Medical Center and Public Health Department.

Ultimately, Dr. Quinn decided to transition from clinical practice to physician advisory. After several years of honing her skills as a physician advisor, she joined the newly formed Internal Physician Advisor Service (IPAS) at Catholic Health Initiatives. Since then, she has helped to develop and establish the system-wide IPAS department of what is now CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest not for profit health systems in the United States.

In 2022, Dr. Quinn served as Co-Chair for NPAC 2022, Exploring the Spectrum: Leadership through Collaboration and Diversification. Subsequently, she served as Chair for NPAC 2023, Mavericks of Change: The Transformative Value of Physician Advisors. And, for 2024, Dr. Quinn returns to Chair NPAC 2024, Physician Advisors on Duty: Safeguarding Patients Amidst Shifting Currents of Healthcare.

Dr. Quinn is a champion for the expanding roles of physician advisors within healthcare. She recognizes the profound impact physician advisors can have on Compliance, Revenue Cycle, Quality Assurance, Population Health, and many other areas of the healthcare landscape. More importantly, Dr. Quinn is passionate about how the physician advisor can and should remain a strong advocate for all patients.

Erica Remer

Erica Remer, MD, CCDS, ACPA-C
Clinical Documentation Integrity Committee Chair

Dr. Erica Remer, a native New Yorker, graduated from State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine in 1985, and did her residency at University of Illinois Affiliated Hospitals Emergency Medicine Residency Program from 1985-1988. During a fellowship in emergency medicine administration, she developed expertise in documentation and professional fee reimbursement.

After practicing emergency medicine for 25 years, Dr. Remer became the first physician advisor at University Hospitals Health System in Cleveland, OH. She served in the role of Clinical Documentation Integrity Advisor for 4 years, training 2700 providers in ICD-10. Along her career path, she got certifications in medical coding and as a clinical documentation specialist.

Dr. Remer transitioned to independent consulting in July 2016 and is a nationally known expert on ICD-10 and CDI. Her passion is educating coders, CDI specialists, and healthcare providers with the goal of putting MENTATION into documentation. She has authored numerous articles and is a frequent speaker on CDI, coding, E/M, and denials; is the co-host of Talk Ten Tuesdays, a weekly national podcast; and is a past member of the ACDIS Advisory Board. For fun, she participates in ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee meetings.

She and her radiologist husband, Erick, reside in Beachwood, Ohio.