Media Contact: Danielle Marshall


Sherwood, AR – September 9, 2020 – The Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB), is pleased to announce that the PACB Board of Directors has elected Melissa Cardine, MSN, RN, BCPA as the new Board President. Cardine who is the President of The Bridge RN Patient Advocates and Co-Founder of The Bridge Health Advocates in Gilbert, AZ, will serve a two-year term effective November 9, 2020. She succeeds Christine North, PhD, MPH, BCPA, Professor of Health Communications at Ohio Northern University, who has served as board chair since late 2018, and will continue to serve on the board’s executive committee as Immediate Past President.

Additionally, PACB elected Heidi Kummer, MD, MPH, BCPA as the new board Vice President. Since leaving clinical practice, Kummer now works in private patient advocacy and also serves as Chair of the PACB Exam Committee. Lea Christo, MSW, LICSW, BCPA, Director of the Health Advocacy Program at Assumption College, will continue as Secretary and Tara Bailey, MPA, BCPA, CMC, also in private practice will continue to serve as Treasurer.

“It has been a great honor to serve as board chair for the last two years, and I thank the PACB board of directors for the opportunity,” said Christine North. “I join with my fellow board members in extending our congratulations to Melissa Cardine on her election as President and to Heidi Kummer who now joins the executive committee as Vice President. Under Melissa’s leadership, I am confident that PACB will continue to make significant strides towards the organization’s mission and strategic goals.”

“I am deeply honored to be elected as the PACB Board President and look forward to working with my board colleagues to move PACB’s mission forward,” said Melissa Cardine, who was previously elected to a three year term as Director in 2019. “I offer my sincere thanks to the PACB board of directors for your confidence in my leadership capabilities, and I especially thank Christine North for her generous support and leadership over the last two years. Patient advocates come from diverse backgrounds, but we all share one thing in common – we love what we do. Join us and do what you love!”

About PACB

The nonprofit PACB was organized in 2012 to establish ethical standards, professional competencies and best practices for professionals who work in the emerging field of patient advocacy. Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACBoard) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to benefit the public by granting the BCPA certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for patient advocates – one of the fastest growing professions in the country. PACBoard acts in the public interest by fostering professional standards in patient advocacy through setting and enforcing education, examination, experience, ethics, and professional conduct requirements.

In order to maintain the credential, Patient Advocates who earn the BCPA must either retake the exam or complete 30 Continuing Education credits every three years. Certified advocates are listed on the PACB website. The exam is available two times a year. The next testing period is scheduled for fall 2020, with registration deadline of September 10, 2020. Contact to be notified when registration becomes available. Learn more at The site also hosts news and developments about the organization and information related to exam registration and credential maintenance.


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