Heather Wilga, RN
Heather Wilga is originally from Bay City, MI. She began her medical career as a CNA after training at the Academy of Allied Health Careers in 1995. She attended North Western College where she obtained a diploma in Practical Nursing in 2000. She then completed her Associates Degree in Nursing at Northeast Alabama Community College in 2017.
Mrs. Wilga has been employed as a nurse at Erlanger Medical Center since 1996 working in general surgery, trauma, pediatrics, neonatal ICU, and pulmonology. She has also worked as a home health nurse.
In 2007, Mrs. Wilga purchased the Academy of Allied Health Careers and obtained 100% membership in 2009. Her nursing career and experience teaching at the Academy has given her the knowledge needed to design and implement the current curriculum for AAHC courses. Heather’s mission and goal for the Academy is to make sure that anyone who wishes to achieve a higher level of education has the opportunity to do so.
Mr. Wilga has an extensive background in financial management. Prior to assuming his role at the Academy, he was employed for fourteen years by Ameriprise Financial. For his last six years at Ameriprise Financial he served as Field Vice-President and Managing Principle of compliance. His extensive experience in the financial industry has proven to be very helpful and one of the reasons the Academy has been able to maintain a financially strong business model, while keeping the costs to our students considerably lower than other schools throughout the country. Mr. Wilga serves as the COO as well as manages the Financial and Business operations at the Academy of Allied Health Careers.
Dr. Pam Holder
Director of Accreditation and Compliance, CMA Instructor
Dr. Pam Holder teaches in the Clinical Medical Assistant program and currently serves as Director of Accreditation and Compliance. She has over 40 years of experience in nursing education and administration. Dr. Holder completed her Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees at The University of Alabama in Birmingham. Her experience includes faculty and administrative positions at Calhoun Community College, Rainsville State Community College, The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). While at MTSU, she served in a dual-services contract with the Tennessee Board of Regents. She has also held clinical staff positions in cardiovascular and oncology nursing.
Dr. Holder is a member of a variety of professional organizations and has over 20 professional publications to her credit. Her work has been funded by a variety of federal, state and private organizations and she has served as project director of grants from the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Service, totaling over $2,000,000. Dr. Holder frequently serves as consultant to various educational programs in the areas of program development and evaluation, test item writing and analysis, and online teaching and learning.
Alan Bazzell, BS
Director of Marketing & Business Development
Alan has a B.S. in Business Administration, from Murray State University, 1993. He has more than 25 years of experience as a Business Owner/Manager. Alan has also served as a Business Development Specialist, Business Consultant and Management Consultant for several companies. Most recently, serving as Industrial Customer Specialist for the 3M Company in Atlanta, GA. Alan’s focus is to help grow The Academy so that, in the future, more students can have the opportunity to pursue their dream of a career in the medical field.
Kellie Grant, CBS, CBCS, CCMA, CPC, CPhT
Director of Finance and Admissions
Kellie Grant obtained her Billing and Coding, as well as her Clinical Medical Assistant Certifications here at The Academy of Allied Health Careers (AAHC). She joined our team as the Director of Finance in 2016. Kellie came to us as a Certified Bookkeeping Specialist with 13 years of Administrative/Financial and Medical experience in different fields. Kellie also works at Kindred Hospital on the weekends as she continues her education.
Tessa Quinn, CCMA
Office Administrator and Clinical Coordinator
Tessa Quinn completed her Clinical Medical Assistant and Medical Administrative Assistant certifications at The Academy of Allied Health Careers in Chattanooga, TN and her Limited X-ray Technician License at RES in Nashville, TN. She has more than 20 years of experience in the medical industry in various fields, including pulmonology, pain management, and Durable Medical Equipment. With a love for The Academy and their mission, Tessa returned in 2011 as an employee to help teach, inspire and encourage each student.
Allie Perez, MSW
Student Counselor and Recruitment Coordinator
Allie Perez, MSW, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, MSW, Southern Adventist University. Allie graduated with her Masters in Social Work in 2018. Since then, she has been committed to making a difference in the Chattanooga community. She has served as a Child Therapist and Crisis Intervention Specialist. Allie was recently married in 2020. Allie and her husband reside in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia with their 3 dogs. Allie joined the Academy of Allied Health Career's team to continue making a difference in people's lives. Allie is passionate about ensuring that AAHC's students prosper and become the best versions of themselves.
Mary E. Heinrich, BS
Mary E. Heinrich, B.S. in Biological Sciences, Lee University; 1998. Ms. Heinrich came to the Academy in July of 2011, where she is the Clinical Medical Assisting Instructor. Ms. Heinrich's extensive teaching experience ranges from the Middle and High School sector, but most of her involvement has been in Career Colleges. Ms. Heinrich brings an array of knowledge to her field including emphasis on Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Pathology and the Health Sciences. Ms. Heinrich, along with her 3 children: Joseph, Zach and Trinity reside in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. She serves her church community as a drummer on the praise team and has coached basketball for several years. Ms. Heinrich has a heart for Medical Missions and has worked with "at risk" students in the public school system.
Kristi Hill, CMAA/EHRS, CCMA,
Kristi Hill, Associate of Applied Science, Chattanooga State Technical Community College, CEHRS, CMAA, CCMA. Mrs. Hill joined our team in 2017, after completing her Clinical Medical Assistant, Medical Administrative and Electronic Health Records Specialist certifications at the Academy for Allied Health Careers. She comes to us with 22 years Administrative experience in Environmental, Health and Safety, and holds certifications in OSHA General Industry, Occupational Hearing Conversation and Workplace Ergonomics. Born and raised in Chattanooga, she and her husband, Jon, call Ringgold, Georgia home. Their son, Jacob is an ICU Registered Nurse at Memorial Hospital and plans to continue his studies to become a CRNA. Kristi is very active at Graceworks Church serving on the Medical, Preschool and Hospitality teams. She feels everyone deserves a chance to succeed and is blessed to be a stepping stone to help them achieve that goal.
Robin Simmon, CPC, CPC-I,
Robin Simmons is a native of North Alabama and has gained an extensive background in the medical billing and coding field over the past 13 years. She is a Certified Professional Coder and Certified Professional Coder Instructor and currently functions in capacity as the Billing and Coding Instructor for the Academy of Allied Health Careers. She has a strong desire to impact and inspire the lives of young men and women in the community. Robin honestly believes that one of the best decisions she could have ever made was to become a Certified Professional Coder because it has allowed her opportunities to have a "productive career" with numerous advantages, resulting in great success.
Cherene Burley, CEHRS, CPC
Cherene earned her CPC and CEHRS at the Academy of Allied Health Careers in 2018. In May of that same year, she happily accepted the opportunity to join our staff/family as a night instructor assisting with the evening Professional Coder program and then the MAA/EHR program. After two years with AAHC, she left to pursue other things but was welcomed back in August this year as MAA/EHR instructor for the night class.
With over 20 years of Human Resources and Recruiting behind her, moving into the medical field was an exciting change. Since earning her certifications she has worked with a mobile radiology group as a Coding Specialist and recently joined Mountain Management Services (CHI) in their denials group.
Cherene believes that teaching allows her to give back to others by helping students become successful in their chosen fields. God has blessed her with the opportunity to live in several states including Maine, Rhode Island, California, Arkansas and Georgia but Tennessee is home. She enjoys time with family and friends enjoying all that Chattanooga and it's surrounding areas has to offer. She has also taken her love of animals and created a small business dog sitting and house sitting.
Justian Jarrett, CCMA
MAA/EHRS & CMA Instructor
Justian graduated with an Associate's Degree in Medical Assisting in 2009. After graduation, Justian began his Medical Assisting career in pain management. After working a year in this setting, he chose to expand his skills by accepting a position as a Certified Medical Assistant in a fast-paced Oncology/Hematology practice. During his time in Oncology/Hematology, Justian began his teaching career first as a Phlebotomy Instructor, then as a Certified Medical Assistant Instructor. Justian has 9+ years as an instructor (4 as a Lead Instructor) and continues to work as a Lab Manager at a leading research clinic in the Chattanooga area.
Dana Robinson, CPT
Dana has worked more than 20 years in various fields, including, phlebotomy, pediatrics, prosthetic for children, mental health, drug and alcohol. She has worked for Galen medical group the past 12 years in the lab as a phlebotomy lab assistant. She loves sharing and teaching all of her knowledge with the students.
Pamela Brown, CEHRS, CMAA
Pamela Brown completed her Medical Administrative Assistant/Electronic Health Records Specialist certifications at The Academy of Allied Health Careers (AAHC) in Chattanooga, TN. She is a mother to three amazing kids and three dogs who keep her very busy. Pamela, who is very cheerful and bubbly joined our team in June 2021 as the Front Office Receptionist and will be the first person you meet when you walk through the doors here at AAHC.
Lisa Lee, LPN
Nursing Assistant and Phlebotomy Instructor
Lisa Lee completed her practical nursing program and became licensed as an LPN in 1997. She also earned the Associate of Science degree from Chattanooga State Community College in 1999. She has 24 years of nursing experience in trauma, plastics, urology, surgical, neonatal, and with the last 17 years in geriatrics. Lisa had previously been an instructor of phlebotomy for 10 years and has been a Nursing Assistant instructor for over 5 years. She enjoys helping people and is dedicated to her students. Her passion is to help students succeed and become better versions of themselves. Her family resides in Dunlap, TN. She and her husband have 4 children, 7 grandchildren, 4 dogs, and 3 cats. When there is time, she enjoys watching movies.