AAPACN is dedicated to supporting post-acute care nurses provide quality care.

Mission and Board

About the Education Foundation’s Mission and Board

Founded in 2014, the AAPACN Education Foundation is the philanthropic arm of AAPACN. The AAPACN Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (tax ID 47-1713648) that funds and promotes the continued growth and development of nurses and of academic evidence-based research to advance the work of the nursing profession.

The Nominating Committee is currently accepting applications for service on the Foundation Board of Directors for three-year terms, beginning July 1, 2025. The deadline for applications is Friday, July 12, 2024.

Our Mission

The AAPACN Educational Foundation is dedicated to fostering the advancement of education of nursing students and professionals within post-acute and long-term care practice through scholarship and other initiatives.

Our Vision

The AAPACN Educational Foundation is a trusted resource committed to supporting nursing education and funding for passionate, dedicated nursing students and professionals within post-acute and long-term practice.

Meet the Board

Linda Shell, DNP, MA, BSN, RN, DNS-CT

Chief Learning Officer, Lindashell.com |  Oklahoma City, OK  

Linda’s experience spans 30 years in post-acute care where she began her nursing career. She served 17 years with Volunteers of America in various roles including Corporate Director of Education and Leadership where she was awarded the Transformational Leadership Award. She began her own consulting practice in 2017, serving as leadership expert and educator to senior organizations. Linda is passionate about improving patient care through evidence-based practice and the development of nurse leaders. She serves as professor of nursing at Bethel University and also teaches in the Senior Care Leadership program, helping recruit leaders into the post-acute field. She developed SurTHRIVELeadership™ from her doctoral work, and in 2018 collaborated with MedBridge Learning to begin delivering online leadership courses to hundreds of healthcare professionals across the country.


Joel VanEaton, BSN, RN, RAC-CT, RAC-CTA, MT
Vice President

EVP PAC Regulatory Affairs and Education, Broad River Rehab |  Arden, NC 

He began his career in LTC as an MDS coordinator and worked for many years as the Director of Clinical   Reimbursement and RAI for a group of nursing facilities across the southeast. Joel contributes regularly to McKnight’s LTC News and Skilled Nursing News. He has also contributed to the AAPACN Leader for the NAC, Skilled Nursing News Rethink podcast, AAPACN NAC Chat podcast, and ASHA VOICES podcast. He also currently serves on the AAPACN Expert Advisory Panel and regularly presents on all subjects related to state and federal regulation, the MDS, and clinical reimbursement.

Cathy Rodgers, DNP, MSN, RN, IP-BC, QCP

Mobile NHA/DON, UPMC Senior Communities | Sandy Lake, PA 

Cathy has been a nurse for over 20 years with most of that time being spent in long-term care. She has a Doctoral degree in nursing (DNP) and received her NHA license for the state of Pennsylvania. Cathy currently works as a mobile administrator. She has a passion for long-term care and loves teaching and sharing her knowledge of nursing with new nurses and long-term care leaders.

Leigh Ann Frick, PT, MBA, RAC-CT

President, Care Navigation Consulting, LLC |  Simpsonville, SC 

Leigh Ann is a licensed physical therapist and has spent her entire career in the post-acute space. She started as a treating therapist when she quickly realized her passion was teaching and training clinicians about best practices, regulatory compliance, documentation and billing. She moved through various operational and clinical positions eventually becoming the Chief Clinical Officer for a large contract therapy company.  Seeing the opportunity to help a variety of providers handle the need for clinical integration in the changing world of healthcare reform initiatives, she decided to start a consulting practice in 2017. Throughout Leigh Ann’s career, she has been a successful contributor and presenter at both the state and national levels. She has been highly active in the trade associations, NASL and NARA. Leigh Ann has been a member of the APTA since 1993, received her RAC-CT in 2016, and is a professional member of the National Academies of Practice.

Lisa Thomson, BA, LNHA, HSE, CIMT, MT

Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Pathway Health |  Lake Elmo, MN 

Lisa has over 30 years experience in the post-acute and long-term care and currently serves as Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Pathway Health Services. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in supporting leadership teams from all levels through a number of organizational changes to establish regulatory compliance, standards of practice, operational strategies, as well as Joint Commission Accreditation. Lisa is skilled in the coordination and leadership of compliance teams that aide facilities in achieving regulatory, clinical, operational, and financial turnaround. 

Melanie Tribe-Scott, BSN, RN, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA, QCP

Director of Quality Initiatives, Zimmet Healthcare Consulting |  Warwick, RI 

Melanie has 30 years of experience in long-term care and has held a variety of positions. She is currently the Director of Quality Initiatives with Zimmet Healthcare Consultants and is a master teacher for both the RAC-CT and RAC-CTA certification programs. She is also a QAPI Certified Professional. Melanie has consulted for several long-term care facilities and has excellent results in improving RAI systems. She has provided educational programs on topics such as PDPM, nursing documentation, MDS coding, Quality Measures, and Quality Initiatives. She is regarded as an inspiring team leader with exceptional analytical and communication abilities. Melanie is passionate about person-centered care and resident advocacy.

Amy Goldsmith, MA, CCC-SLP, RAC-CT

Chief Operating Officer, z-RADAR | Prospect, KY 

Amy has been working in the post-acute skilled nursing space for more than 23 years. Her passion for helping elders and working within diverse teams has allowed her to direct successful assessment coordination teams, rehabilitation groups, and care coordination nurses. She first received her RAC-CT in 2008, as well as her CMAC in 2018. Amy also holds a license in speech language pathology since 1998. Recently, she was appointed to the CMS MEDCAC patient advocacy council helping give voice to the needs of patients and the nurses that care for them within this often-challenging industry. Amy is an advocate for nurses and therapists because of the critical role they play in the success of the post-acute industry. She firmly believes in supporting seniors and the clinicians who take care of this vulnerable population.