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Meet Leslie Boles: Don’t be afraid to ask

This interview with Leslie Boles (lboles@waudcapital.com) was conducted in late July 2021 by Samantha Kelen (samantha.kelen@cardinalinnovations.org), Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, in Charlotte, NC.

SK: In her book How to Be a Wildly Effective Compliance Officer, Kristy Grant-Hart makes a strong argument that compliance officers are actually superheroes. And every superhero has an origin story. Can you tell us how you found your way to the compliance profession?

LB: My journey to becoming a compliance professional is actually quite interesting. I started working in the hospital as an audiology secretary and had a brief encounter with the compliance officer at that time. She shared a Medicare article with me about coding changes and wanted me to read it to see if it affected the way we billed for audiology services. At the time, I had no coding experience, and to be very honest, I didn’t even fully know how to interpret the article, but I read it and was able to identify that we needed to make improvements in our coding. The compliance officer was impressed with how I interpreted the article, and when a positioned opened up in her department, she encouraged me to apply for it, which I did, and I got it. That’s when my compliance career began as a compliance auditor, and I obtained my first coding certification. I really appreciate all the mentorship and guidance I have received from other compliance professionals through the years.

SK: You have put a lot of effort into advancing your skill set and have obtained several certifications. How has prioritizing your professional development helped achieve your goals?

LB: One of the most important things you can do in life is to invest in yourself and never stop learning. Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” I live by this, and prioritizing my professional development helped me maintain current knowledge, become more aware of current trends, and be more marketable. In short, I see professional development as an obligation to my craft, and that’s why I always say, “I don’t have a career, I have purpose.” I want to be the best I can be in my role as a compliance professional.

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