Member Spotlight

Trisha Malisch, CPC

Mesa, Arizona

Institution: Mednax

Title: Medical Coding Educator, Lead Coder, SMFM Coding Committee

Personal and Family Background:

Tell us about someone who had an influence on you as child. 

My grandfather was a huge influence on me as a child. He was the most kind-hearted person and had a great sense of humor.

What was your first job and how did it prepare you for your current position? 

The first full-time job I had was working for a commercial health insurance company, evaluating claims. This was my first insight into how medical information, and coding in particular, is used in the industry. Coding and billing has changed so much since then, but my early experience laid the foundation for my continued love of coding.

Coding Practice:

Was there a mentor who inspired you?

One of the people who has inspired me most is Andy Helfgott. He was a great mentor and friend. Occasionally, Andy would send me a random card in the mail, just to say how much he appreciated me. His attitude and heart inspire me everyday. 

How did the diversity (or lack of diversity) in your career shape your training? 

I’ve been fortunate to work in very diverse environments most of my career. One thing I learned early in my career is that when a diverse group of people work together, great things happen. 

What role has SMFM played in your career?

I attended the very first SMFM meeting where coding was one of the topics presented. I was with one of the MFMs from the University of Wisconsin where I worked at the time, and she introduced me to Dan O’Keeffe. Since then, I’ve had the privilege to work with the SMFM Coding Committee. They’re a really hard-working group, and also a lot of fun to work with!

SMFM Mad Libs:

If you had to live one day in your life over and over (think Groundhog Day 1993 Movie), which would you pick?

The day I married my wife, Michelle. On top of committing ourselves to one another and celebrating our love, there was also a sense of validation. For so long, we never thought this would be possible for us. 

If I could solve one problem in MFM it would be…Wider recognition of the crucial services that MFMs provide to their patients.

My SMFM colleagues would be shocked to know…I would rather spend all of my time fishing.