Board Member Bios
I graduated from Baker college, Flint in 2002 with an associate’s degree in Applied Science. I obtained my RHIT in 2002 and began working in the cancer registry at St. Mary’s of Michigan, Saginaw. I was blessed with excellent mentors and received my CTR credentials in 2005. I also worked in the cancer registry at Covenant HealthCare, Saginaw for a span of 10 years and the registry at Genesys HealthPark in Grand Blanc. I accepted the cancer registry manager position at Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan’s Rogel Cancer Center, in May of 2015. I am very thankful and honored to be part of a very collaborative and multidisciplinary team of physicians, researchers and administrators. We are truly respected as cancer registry professionals and valued for the data we collect as it relates to patient care, outcomes and research. Michigan Medicine is the largest hospital-based registry in Michigan with an annual case volume of over 13,500 cases. We have an amazing registry team of 26 employees, consisting of (1) manager (1) data administrator, (2) quality coordinators/educators, (1) health information analysts, (18) CTR remote abstractors, (2) follow up coordinators and (1) temp from the Oncology Care Model (OCM) project. We are a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Commission on Cancer (CoC) designated program and are the 2nd Leading Public Research University in the US. I am very passionate about my profession and love to share with whoever is interested. Last year, I was honored to present the CTR profession and career pathways to several HIM senior classes at various colleges and presented the same topic at Michigan’s Health Information Management state meeting.
I love spending time with my family and friends! I have a daughter, son-in-law and a three-year-old granddaughter who is excited about becoming a “big sister” this coming December. I have a son and daughter-in-law, who I also enjoy spending time with. I like to kayak, hike, bike, read and am just “starting” to take up golf…FORE!
Janice Pagano, CTR, MLT (ASCP)
In 1995 I graduated from Ivy Tech State College with an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technology and passed my certification test administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. I began working in the laboratory at Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, MI. I spent the next 12 years expanding my role in several areas: performing all aspects of laboratory testing and interpretation and QC, customer services, reporting, and pathology services. It is during this time I began my interaction with the cancer registry. I helped prep cases for tumor board and interacted with the registry staff and started attending tumor board as a member of the pathology staff. In 2007 I began working with the Oncology practice of Lakeland Cancer Specialists where over the next 4 years I interacted daily with all members of the cancer care team as well as the patients. During this time we helped open a new Cancer Center in St. Joseph, MI and expand services to the Niles, MI area. I continued to work with the registry – all the time thinking, this would be a really cool job!
In 2011, one of the registry staff at Lakeland resigned and opportunity knocked. I worked in the registry and attended the state run sessions in Lansing conducted by Michelle Hulbert. I passed my CTR exam in March 2013 and continued working in Lakeland’s registry until October 2014 when I began working in Hawaii as registry manager for the Department of Defense. After returning to the Mainland in 2016, I accepted a contract job with MedPartners, HIM and have experienced registry work in New York, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Florida. I am currently managing the cancer registry for two hospitals in Florida. If there’s one thing I have learned – networking with our fellow registry professionals is invaluable and necessary if we want to provide the most meaningful data to ensure the best patient care.
I have been a member of NCRA since 2013. In October 2013 I joined MICRA and served as MICRA Corresponding Secretary from January 2014 until I moved to Hawaii. I enjoy spending time with my family and my pets, camping, traveling, photography, biking, bowling, and cooking. I am currently training with my Great Dane to be a Therapy Dog Team.
I received my bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management from Ferris State University. My master’s degree is in Management from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. I became certified as a cancer tumor registrar in 2016. I have worked in health information management for the majority of my career, from small acute care hospitals to large behavioral health hospitals. I have also done consulting and contract staffing in outpatient facilities/urgent care, skilled nursing & acute care facilities especially while my children were younger.
Ferris State University offered an opportunity to teach in health information in 2005/2006. I never would have guessed it but I love teaching! I taught in their health administration and health information technology/management programs. I also created a cancer registry certificate program while working at Ferris until 2020. I worked in a cancer registry for a short time at Corewell Health/Spectrum, primarily abstracting urology sites. I am currently a faculty member of Davenport University and teach in the health information management/cancer registry program.
I’m married with two grown sons and four grandchildren. Most of my free time is spent with the grandchildren/family and friends. I enjoy reading, shopping and baking.
Kimberly Fritz, RHIT, CTR
I graduated from Baker College with an associate’s degree in Applied Science and obtained my RHIT. It was shortly before graduation that I learned of the Tumor Registry field. I starting working at McLaren Hospital in the Tumor Registry Dept., and then went on to obtain my CTR credential. The job is forever changing and challenging in many ways, which makes it so rewarding. I am blessed to be part of this field. Before going back to school, I was in the customer service industry for many years. I am an active member of AHIMA, MiCRA, and NCRA.
I am married and have three beautiful daughters. I love to cook and entertain family and friends. I also enjoy quiet dinners with my husband, visiting my children and going to the Detroit Tigers games.
Denise Proper, BS, CTR
I graduated from Lansing Community College (2011) with an Associate’s degree in Medial Office administration and from Ferris State University (2013) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Allied Health Sciences and Certificate in Gerontology. Following graduation, I began my training and career as a Cancer Registrar at the Sparrow Cancer Center in Lansing, Michigan. In July 2015 I received my CTR and that December took a full-time remote position with Mercy Health, at St. Mary’s Lacks Cancer Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the fall of 2017 opportunity knocked and I accepted a position as Cancer Data Coordinator at the Beaumont, Farmington Hills Cancer Center. In addition to my abstracting duties I represent the registry at the monthly Breast Tumor Board meetings and serve as the Cancer Registry Quality Coordinator on the Cancer Committee.
I have been a member of the Michigan Cancer Registrars Association (MiCRA) since 2014 and the National Cancer Registrar’s Association (NCRA) since April 2015. I was elected as Corresponding Secretary at the September 2017 MiCRA Conference for the 2018-19 terms.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, playing with my 2 dogs and 2 cats, researching our family history, scrapbooking, reading and watching movies. I’ve been married for 23 years and have 2 children, a daughter who is finishing her freshman year at Hope College as a Music Education major and a son who is currently a junior at Grand Ledge High School, pursuing a career in law enforcement through Lansing Community College. Our crazy kid filled days are almost behind us and I look forward to watching them move into adulthood while my husband and I remember what life was like before we had kids. I’m looking forward to working with this wonderful group of ladies and serving you for the next two years.
Autumn Vogelaar, BS, RHIA, CTR, CPC
North Regional Director
In August 1992, I graduated from Ferris State University with an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Records Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. I have also received an Associate in Business Studies in Medical Secretarial Science from Delta College.
In September 1992, I began at Sparrow Hospital as a coder. In 1996, I had my first experience in Tumor Registry when I was pulled from coding for approximately four months to help the registrar with abstracting. In 2004, I returned to Tumor Registry at Sparrow on a more permanent basis.
My credentials include Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR), and a Certified Professional Coder (CPC).
I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling (Hawaii, Europe), watching sports (NASCAR, Hockey, Football), and collecting antiques.
Kate Schumaker RHIT, CTR
South Regional Director
I received an Associate’s Degree in General Studies in 2008 and knew I had to find a trade and set myself apart. I have always wanted to work in Health Care, but I knew I did not want to be on the clinical side of things, and thought the Information Technology field would be a good fit. So, I went back to school while raising a family and working full time. In 2010 I graduated from Baker College with a second Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Health Information Technology, and was credentialed as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). At that time, the company I was employed at was a Medicaid HMO insurance company in Detroit and couldn’t picture myself working there long term, so I began to think of other avenues. While looking for ways to fulfill my CEU requirements for my RHIT, I stumbled across the Cancer Registry Management (CRM) course on the AHIMA website. Within the first week of taking the online classes, I was hooked and knew that I had found what I was meant to do. I started the CRM classes in February 2011 and applied for a job as a Cancer Registrar at a hospital in Pontiac, MI and was hired in October 2011. I finished my CRM classes in February 2012 and passed the CTR exam in September 2012. My job challenges me in every way possible and throughout the years my job has expanded from a Cancer Registrar, to an Oncology Program Coordinator, to currently a Regional Cancer Registry Coordinator in South East Michigan. This field offers many opportunities and I learn something new every day, as it is forever changing. I truly love my job and am very blessed!
My hobbies include spending time with my family, water sports, and anything that involves the summer and 80 degree weather.
Emily Nakfoor BA, CTR
I graduated from Western Michigan University in Anthropology. I was particularly interested in primate behavior, genetics, osteology and medical anthropology. Prior to discovering cancer registry, I was a research associate in histology for a pre-clinical toxicology laboratory. My fascination with anatomy and physiology and a desire to make a meaningful contribution in health care in the clinical setting was what redirected me to work in cancer registry.
I have worked for Fred Hutch Cancer Center, formerly the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, for over 14 years. I am thankful for the experience and expertise that I have been fortunate to gain from colleagues and I enjoy learning something new every day. I’m very proud to be a member of the cancer registry community and the contributions we make improving patient care with high quality, useful data. I look forward to the challenges we face in our profession and collaborating with other members of the organization.
I enjoy spending time with my daughter, pets, horses and alpacas. I find time to recharge in nature hiking, biking, kayaking, snowboarding, open water swimming or reading a good book, learning a new language and making art.