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, pulmonology, and surgical intensive care. 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.
Chief Operating Officer
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 Chief Operating Officer (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 Admissions and Financial Aid
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
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.
Brandy Livingston, MBA
Brandy Livingston, MBA and B.S. in Healthcare Administration and Health Management, Bethel University. Brandy has been in the medical field for 20 years and has been an integral part of leading healthcare as a Practice Administrator. She has in-depth knowledge of Practice Management including Revenue Cycle Management, Billing Guidelines, Human Resources, Practice Administration, Policies and Procedures, Compliance, Marketing, Contract Negotiations, and a multitude of business aspects. Originally from Panama City Beach, Florida, Brandy, and her family moved to Chattanooga, TN in 2005. Outside of the office, Brandy is on the field and sidelines coaching cheer and softball developing leaders on and off the field. Brandy also enjoys crafting and spends countless hours creating unique creations.
Lisa has a background in business management and marketing with 12 years’ experience in the college setting. She formerly worked as a Career Counselor assisting students and graduates in job placement teaching skills related to resume development, interview techniques and presentation skills. In addition, Lisa has worked with physicians, practice managers, hospitals and non-profits in the Chattanooga and North Georgia areas for 20 years in healthcare management, marketing, and sales. She has held memberships with the Chattanooga Medical Group Manager’s Association, the North Georgia Medical Manager’s Association, and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, serving as Vice President of Programming for the East Brainerd Council from 2016 through 2018. Lisa has a passion for helping students seeking a medical career and considers it a privilege to assist them in their journey.
Gary Vance, BA, MS
Gary brings over 40 years of University and College Admissions experience to The Academy. His vast experience includes Director of Admissions, student and career counseling, and financial aid assistance. Gary is also a proud military veteran who served as an Army Ranger attaining the rank of Captain. Gary rejoins the Academy family where he previously served as a recruitment specialist.
Mary McGuire-Guffey, BS
Mary McGuire-Guffey, B.S. in Biological Sciences, Lee University; 1998. Mrs. Mary came to the Academy in July of 2011, where she is the Clinical Medical Assisting Instructor. Her extensive teaching experience ranges from the Middle and High School sector, but most of her involvement has been in Career Colleges. She brings an array of knowledge to her field including emphasis on Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Pathology and the Health Sciences. Ms. Mary and her husband reside in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. She serves her church community as a Youth Pastor, drummer on the praise team and has coached basketball for several years. Mrs. Mary has a heart for Medical Missions and has worked with "at risk" students in the public school system. Mrs. Mary and her husband, Phillip, reside in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
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 for the Academy of Allied Health Careers. She has a strong desire to impact and inspire the lives of young men and women in our community. Robin 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. She is committed to helping her students pursue their dream of a career in the medical field.
Allie Perez, MSW
Allie Perez, B.S. from the 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.
Amelia Badeau, BS, CCMA
CMA Instructor and Clinical Coordinator
Amelia graduated from East Tennessee State University with a BS degree in Sociology and with a Minor in Social Work. In 2017, she obtained her Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CCMA) here at the Academy of Allied Health Careers. From there, she started her rewarding Medical Assistant career in gastroenterology as a surgery scheduler. Amelia is happily married with a beautiful daughter named Lorelai. In her "free time" she trains for Ironman Triathlons and actively serves on the Chattanooga Triathlon Club Board. Amelia believes that we all can do amazing things but we just have to find our way. She wants to help students find their way and positively change their lives. Amelia currently serves as the Academy's CMA night instructor and Clinical Coordinator.
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.
Linda Arnold, CCMA
Linda Arnold rejoins the Academy family as Instructor for the Medical Administrative Assistant / Electronic Health Records evening instructor. Linda previous taught at the Academy for over 16 years. She has over 35 years of experience in the medical field with CHI Memorial Hospital. Her vast experience includes serving as a Clinical Medical Assistant, Ambulatory Monitor Technician, and Cardiac Monitor Technician with the Chattanooga Heart Institute. She is currenty the Senior Charge Cardiac Monitor Technician at CHI Memorial.
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. We are grateful to have Justian serving our students as a substitute instructor for both the MAA/EHRS and CMA programs
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/EHRS program.
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 currently serves as the Academy's MAA/EHRS night instructor.
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.
Dana Robinson, CPT
Dana earned her CPT from the Academy of Allied Health in 2008. She has been an integral part of the Galen Medical Group for over 14 years where she currently works in the main lab as a Phlebotomist, Accessioner, Lab Assistant, and currently serves on Galen's COVID Response Team. In August of 2022, she received her IV Certification. Dana has taught at The Academy as the night phlebotomy instructor for 3+ years.