What do I love to do? What’s my niche?

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Writing

I love to write instructions for software applications. I love to write tutorials that go through a process that makes a task easier or automates it. I also love learning new things in the process of writing about them!

pattern drafting for miniatures

Sewing & Pattern Drafting

I know this is technically a hobby but for a while I did make a little bit of money drafting patterns and writing books on the topic. It is a very technical subject surprisingly and especially when you try to explain how to do something step by step. Teaching it is even more of a challenge when you do it over a chat room and the only way to share images is via email. Ahhh teaching online in the days before YouTube or live streaming or teleconferencing... when it was all still the Jetsons and not real yet! Given the chance I'd still love to teach pattern drafting online only this time with more modern tools!

Visual Basic code

Programming

I have been dabbling with programming languages since the days of BASIC A. I am self taught except for Perl and JavaScript which I actually had formal classes in. I hand code sites and learn as I go. I have a wide variety of knowledge and would love to apply it to more projects.

Project Planner

Events

I enjoy setting up to do an event. A class to teach something, a gathering of friends or family or even as part of my job. Years ago I was an Events Coordinator and had a lot of fun setting up the advertising and marketing for various demonstrations of crafts, many of which I had never done. I coordinated week long summer camps for kid crafting as well. Event coordination is just like project management and I enjoy that as well. Keeping track of tasks and details is a big part of what keeps me motivated and happy.

Life Cycle of a Provider

Please keep in mind this was one of many drafts I did for the process but it serves well to show the level of detail I put into my writing. It is now an old procedure and has no HIPPA violations as Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse House and Acme are NOT real but were used frequently as test records in the database system. Please also note that DS3 is no longer used by the State of Alaska as well. Yes, it is very long (80 pages) but the final version was almost 200 pages and then it was discarded by management.

This is simply to demonstrate my writing.

 

Education

Charter College Bachelors of Science ~ Alpha Beta Kappa

Certifications

Solano Community College

Continuing Education

2019

2017

2015

Relevant Classes

  • Advanced Web Development
  • Javascript
  • Visual BASIC.NET
  • Perl
  • Technical Writing
  • Project Management
  • Marketing
  • Statistics
  • Research Methodologies
  • Telecommunications
  • Contract Management
  • Human Resources
  • Operations Management

Workplace Training

  • COGNOS
  • HIPAA Security
  • Archiving Basics
  • Introduction to Supervisor Training
  • Basic Care Coordinator Training
  • Introduction to Office 2007

Where do I or have I used these programs?

CMS: WordPress, Drupal, Dreamweaver,  Joomla

 WordPress, install via cpanel and manually via FTP. Configure basic settings, install theme and plugins. Troubleshoot conflicts and custom changes to HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP researching for additional information as needed. Total current number of sites is 14 with subdomains. I personally use Infinite WordPress to manage updates, themes, plugins and backups.

 

Samples Collage

Prior to using WordPress for all of the sites I used Joomla or Drupal as well as hand coding in HTML CSS and using Dreamweaver for development. I currently use VS Code for all my hand coded sites and work.

Databases: Azure, SharePoint, MMIS, DS3, Citrix, Access, Enterprise, COGNOS, MYSQL, PHPMyAdmin, CPanel

The robust Azure & SharePoint system used by Microsoft in combination with Excel and Power BI was a great system to work with for modifying accounts and tracking data. 

Citrix was a database that was used to track various types of data for the clients that Nine Star served.

 

web management 2020

 

DS3 is the main database currently in use with Senior and Disability Services but it is in the process of being replaced. DS3 originally was a Cold Fusion based system but has migrated to a .NET framework.  The replacement system is named Harmony and went live in the winter of 2018.

 MMIS or Medicaid Medical Information System has been replaced by Enterprise and is a good system that Harmony will eventually interface with. This system’s report manager, COGNOS provides a robust system to track data.

Graphic Art Suites: Corel Draw, Inscape, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, Visio, Star UML, Dia, Freemind

Battle Plan

The Corel Draw Suite is a main tool for my drafting and design work for sewing patterns and technical writing. Inkscape is the Open Source version of it and is used to do various drawings in .svg formats.

Umls are used to diagram processes in Visio and Star Uml.

One of my main tools is Freemind, Freeplane and now Scapple for mind mapping ideas and outlining books.

Office Suites: Office 365, Master Certified Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office 95-2016, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft SharePoint 2007-2016, OneNote, Open Office, Adobe Pro, Adobe DC

I use or have used all of these office suites heavily. They are the main stay of my workflows.

I am certified in MS Office and have continued my education using State of Alaska Trainings for SharePoint eventually earning the respect of the IT administration team and 

open-office

granted my own sandbox to work in as well as full control over the Provider Certification Unit site and the Division’s Archiving site.

I used OneNote to compile a reference manual of all of the procedures for the Certification unit.

Word and Excel were used heavily to do mail merges as well as many other tasks including checklists and data tracking as well as graphs and charts for reports up to the Federal level.

Adobe Pro was used to “jailbreak” documents into Word and Excel, date stamp incoming certification applications and many other tasks including as a pivotal tool in a massive mail merge. I also used it to create the Certification Application and add fill in fields to ensure that applications were legible and data entry was accurate.

This is but a small portion of the variety of software and tools I use or have used on a daily basis. The list could go on and on!

Certification Checklist

The checklist started as a reviewer’s tool to help track all the basic items needed for an application. From a general Word document to a manual show and hide system in Excel to the automated system developed in 2014 by a colleague. When he retired a year later I was tasked with the continual update of the tool. I have made multiple changes to the vb.net code behind the check boxes and also used it as inspiration for other tools. It is used on a daily basis with the 30-50 apps I process each month. 

It has a tool now for printing the worksheets by name which in addition to the checklist customized for each application includes a worksheet for the background check requirement. It is also more diligently commented in the code to allow others to know where and how to update it. During one update additional space was allowed behind the scenes for future changes. There are over 1000 lines of code and it generally takes a day or so of uninterrupted time to do a full change and edit to the system. Small changes are faster. There is a chance that another manual list will be integrated later this year as regulations change.

The Checklist went through another major change process in December 2017, just before I left. Since only I knew how to maintain the original I was asked to create a simplified variation that my remaining team mates could take care of in the future. I based my new checklist off of another project I’d done in the spring, the Compliance Checklist

M4 (Mass Mail Merge Macro)

This was an incredibly complex project I was asked to help with initially and it became my “baby” after a while.

The whole purpose of the project was to track the results of on site reviews for Medicaid compliance. The project had completed a Survey Monkey survey and was struggling to compile and output letters after additional on site reviews had been completed. I took the survey results and the additional questions that the team needed and turned it into a multi sheet Excel, one for each site (1200 or so site based providers and equal that in Spreadsheets).

The first sheet was an import of the PDF from the survey so it was clear which site was being reviewed. The second sheet contained a macro driven questionnaire for the Compliance Team to use for reviews. The third sheet compiled the data entered into the second sheet and combined it with provider name, number and address information and was used for the first round of mail outs via email as well as merging the data to a form based PDF. The last sheet compiled additional compliance data as a way to determine what additional letters were needed.

The second piece of this project was a series of 8 letters, the initial letter telling them the results of their visit and an additional 6 for various levels of compliance plus one certifying the acceptance of the changes made during the process. These were all written in Word which was then used to do mail merged letters one at a time. From there the letter was converted to PDF and fill in form fields were added.

Adobe DC and Outlook do not do mail merges well and so a secondary Excel spreadsheet system was developed to assist with creating the emails and attaching the PDFs to emails. This system used a contact name, email, file name for the PDF and a static programmed instructional message for the body of the email.

Given that I worked on the functionality of the whole system solo and had no budget, I did however have tight timelines as the site reviews were in full swing when I was asked to tackle the project. I am forever grateful to my office mate who tested several times a day for me and offered invaluable feedback on the needed functionality.

The first run of the full project was tested in house and the Provider Certification & Compliance team was gracious enough to put up with and even make up data to help test the system for me and allow me to work out bugs. The first live test was 300 merges and mailings and out of that only 8 bounced all of which were because of a provider changing their email contact and not notifying the State of the change.

This process was used to generate another 3-5 rounds of emails in order to get the 1200 or so providers all in compliance with the regulations.

In addition to designing and developing the process from end to end, I also built a procedure manual for it and provided the team with training.  A tool to track incoming responses was also built and generated reports for management.

All the macros were written in .Net. Only the actual mail merge portion is shown below. The Compliance Tool is on another page.

M4 instructions
M4 instructions
M4 instructions
M4 instructions
M4 Instructions
M4 only instructions
Settings Pie chart
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    Photographs are taken by Sue Darby please ask for permission and link to this site if you wish to use one.

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