Board Member Bios

Denise Proper, BS, C-ODS

Denise Proper, BS, C-ODS

President

Board member since 2016

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 2022 I was promoted to Manager of Data Oncology at Corewell Health East – Farmington Hills (formerly Beaumont, Farmington Hills).

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 term and served in that position until Fall 2023 when I assumed the role of President Elect.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, playing with my 2 dogs and 1 cat, researching our family history, scrapbooking, reading and watching movies. I’ve been married for 28 years and have 2 children, a daughter who is pursuing a career in Elementary Education and a son who serves in the military as a SO Combat Medic.  Our crazy kid filled days are 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.

Kate Schumaker, RHIT, C-ODS

Kate Schumaker, RHIT, C-ODS

President-Elect

Board member since 2013

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.

Stacey Meredith

Stacey Meredith

Past President

Board member since 2022

I graduated from Baker College, Flint in 2002 with an associate 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 Accession Genesys Hospital 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, (3) quality coordinators/educators, (1) health information analyst, and (20) CTR remote abstractors. We are a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Commission on Cancer (CoC) designated program and National Accredited Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC).  I am very passionate about my profession and continue to promote and support individuals interested in becoming certified in the field. 

I love spending time with my family and friends!  I have a daughter, son-in-law, an eight-year-old granddaughter and a 4-year-old grandson.  I have a son and daughter-in-law, who I also enjoy spending time with.  I like to kayak, hike, bike, and read!

Paula Koning

Paula Koning

Recording Secretary

Board member since 2023

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.

Jan LaRose, BBA, C-ODS

Jan LaRose, BBA, C-ODS

Parliamentarian

Board member since 2024

I graduated from the University of Michigan with a BBA in Operations Management and a minor in Technical Writing. Following graduation, I worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry for 10+ years in Quality Assurance/Engineering, manufacturing sterile injectables and solid dose/capsules.

While working on my degree I worked in a genetics lab that performed paternity testing for the state of Michigan. We were one of the first labs in the country to implement DNA testing (albeit very primitive compared to today’s methods).

Life happened in 2010 when I became the primary caregiver for my mother who was suffering with dementia. It gave me pause to think about what path I should take following this phase in my life. I was scrolling the internet and literally stumbled upon the CTR field. The more I read about it the more I was intrigued! THIS was going to be my path.

I began the journey to become a CTR through AHIMA and completed the program in 2017. I was extremely fortunate to have the guidance of some amazing mentors (some who also had served on the MICRA board). I tested for my certification in 2018 and began working at Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield as a Registry Coordinator.  In 2020 I then worked for a contract company working in university and hospital settings. I have happily landed at Corewell Health – West and I’m responsible for abstracting all the GU sites. I absolutely love what I do and couldn’t be happier with the amazing team of people I work with!

On the personal side, I have 3 beautiful children. Two boys who are now grown and off on their own as well as a daughter who is studying at GVSU. And finally, my partner in crime, my red lab Scarlett. In my free time I love to cook, read and refinish/paint furniture.

Jessica Dumond, C-ODS

Jessica Dumond, C-ODS

Corresponding Secretary

Board Member Since 2024

I graduated from Davenport University in 2005 with my associate degree in applied science and received my RHIT credential shortly after. I started at Spectrum Health (now Corewell Health West) in 2009 as a Unit Secretary on a long-term acute care unit. The Cancer Registry field had always piqued my interest during my time at Davenport and I started the Cancer Registry Management program through AHIMA in 2012. I started my journey in the Cancer Registry field as a tumor board coordinator in 2013, earned my credential in 2014, and moved into a Cancer Registrar position. I have been with Corewell Health ever since, moving into the Lead Registrar position in 2016. I am incredibly grateful for the mentorship and support from our incredible team! In 2021, I completed my Bachelor of Health Sciences at Grand Valley State University. While I no longer hold my RHIT credential, I am still a member of AHIMA as well as NCRA. I have been a member of MICRA since 2013 and previously served as Parliamentarian. I am looking forward to being on the board again as Corresponding Secretary. In my free time, I love to travel with my husband, Doug, and entertain our family and friends. I enjoy running and long walks with our dog, Izzy, as well as boating, camping, hiking and generally being outdoors. I also love a good dance party with my girlfriends!

Erin Weber, C-ODS

Erin Weber, C-ODS

North Regional Director

Board member since 2024

Margaret Paquette, C-ODS

Margaret Paquette, C-ODS

South Regional Director

Board Member since 2024

I started my career as a psychiatric social worker after graduating from the University of Detroit/Mercy in social work. I learned that was not the path I wanted to continue, and a good friend introduced me to the cancer registry at the Michigan Cancer Foundation (SEER) in 1987. I was forever grateful since this was the future, I envisioned for myself. I obtained my certification in 1994 and I was a field abstracting supervisor for SEER until 2002.  I was offered the opportunity to come to the registry at Henry Ford Health full time and have been here ever since. I’m so honored to be working with some of the best abstractors and managers in the registry field.  Plus, I have been given educational opportunities to meet many of the great people in the registries around Michigan.

I recently moved from a rural area in northern Macomb County to the beautiful shores of Lake Huron. It was always a dream of mine to live on the water and here I am with my two dogs Candy and Leo. I rescued them but they bring more love into my life than I do to theirs.

I look forward to meeting more of you through this wonderful organization!

Emily Nakfoor BA, CTR

Emily Nakfoor BA, CTR

Treasurer

Board member since 2022

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.