1. Campagna, Vivian MSN, RN-BC, CCM

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Achieving certification as a case manager is a statement of professional commitment, showcasing one's knowledge and expertise in the field. Certification, however, is not static. Rather, it is an ongoing process to further one's professional development.


The competent practice of case management, which is what certification attests to, requires constant reeducation. To keep abreast of the changes in this dynamic field, one must be knowledgeable about current best practices and emerging trends. The only way to achieve this is through continuing education, which is also a requirement for maintaining certification.


To encourage this commitment by certified case managers, the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) has created the Patricia McCollom Professional Case Manager Scholarship. The scholarship is given annually to a certified case manager in recognition of being an outstanding role model and mentor, with a $1,000 award given in support of tuition, travel, and expenses for participating in a continuing education event.


The CCMC is proud to announce the first recipient of the scholarship: Janis Pennington, BS, RN, CCM, of Mission Viejo, CA. Ms. Pennington was chosen as the most distinguished member of a highly qualified field of nominees who either had applied for consideration or were nominated for the award by their case management peers.


The award recognizes Ms. Pennington's commitment to case management ideals, as exemplified by the case manager for whom the scholarship is named. The late Patricia McCollom, a former CCMC commissioner, practiced case management for several decades. She was an accomplished mentor, coach, speaker, and leader in the emergence of case management, as well as a role model for so many who were taught by her.


In so many ways, Patricia McCollom championed the spirit of continuing education, not only in terms of her own professional growth but also by sharing her expertise with those around her. For those of us who were fortunate enough to know Patricia, she was truly a light of inspiration for excellence in case management and continuing education.


By establishing the scholarship, the CCMC seeks to encourage certified case managers to pursue continuing education in the true spirit and purpose of certification: protection of the public. As advocates for people who receive case management services, as well as stewards of scarce health and human services resources, certified case managers play an important role in the fragmented healthcare system. To undertake these responsibilities, certified case managers from all professional backgrounds and disciplines must commit to keeping their knowledge base current.


Certification is renewable at 5-year intervals, provided that individuals document participation in approved continuing education programs. (Those who do not have the requisite continuing education credits would alternatively need to retake the certification examination and achieve a passing score to maintain the credential.) The requirement for continuing education is emphasized because the commission believes that it is vital to competent practice in a dynamic field.


The Patricia McCollom Professional Case Manager Scholarship award was created with this purpose in mind. Through the certified case manager credential, we honor those case managers who commit to the certification process. Through renewal, we recognize those who dedicate themselves to continual development and remaining current in the field. Now, through the scholarship, we recognize excellence in the field. The award draws attention to those who are head and shoulders above the rest and who, through their practice and as role models and mentors to others, exemplify the ideals of certification and continuing education-just as the award's namesake did through her life and career.


Continuing education should never been seen as a requirement to be checked off a list, or worse yet a necessary burden. It is an invitation for all of us to engage in the field of case management. Individually, the commitment to lifelong learning highlights one's professionalism. Collectively, we elevate the practice of case management across the healthcare continuum. The more practitioners are recognized for their knowledge and expertise, the greater the opportunities that will be opened to case managers in a variety of settings and encompassing a broad array of disciplines.


In honor of the late Patricia McCollom, and in recognition of the first scholarship winner, Janis Pennington, the commission invites all certified case managers to consider how they, too, are influencing others through continuing education. Those who uphold the standards and ideals of the practice are encouraged to apply for the scholarship award.


All current certified case managers, excluding current and past CCMC commissioners, are eligible for the award, and they may be nominated by themselves or others. The applicant must be currently working in the field of case management. Two letters of recommendation from a colleague or supervisor highlighting the applicant's commitment to continuing education and mentoring must accompany the application.


Applications must be postmarked by August 1, 2009. The winner of the 2009 Patricia McCollom Professional Case Manager Scholarship will be announced in October 2009, during Case Management Week. For more information about the scholarship award or for a copy of the application, visit the CCMC Web site at