District Directors
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District Directors

Baltimore District Co-Director
Suzette Heptinstall, RN, MS, CRNP

Suzette earned her BSN from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va. in 1998 and was a traveling RN for 8 years. She earned her NP degree in Adult Primary Care from Univ. of Maryland in 2008 and her Acute Care NP Post Master’s Certificate from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 2011. She is employed at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Acute Care Surgery/Adult Trauma Service since 2008. Suzette serves as Clinical Faculty for JHH SON. She has been a member of NPAM since 2007.

Email: sheptin1@jhmi.edu

Capital District Co-Director (Montgomery and Prince George's County)
Elizabeth Joyal

Elizabeth Joyal is a newly certified family nurse practitioner with over 30 years of nursing experience in a variety of settings.  Joyal joined NPAM in 2013 as a student and has enjoyed attending Capital District meetings as well as the annual NPAM membership meetings. She believes in contributing to our professional organization in order to propel the Maryland NP role and profession forward. Now that NPs in Maryland have achieved full practice authority, it is our responsibility to educate the public and disseminate information about our role. No longer should we justify our importance to health care as economic, instead research based evidence acknowledging the nurse practitioner professional's cognitive expertise and ability should be identified as the main motivating factor for choosing an NP as the desired healthcare professional.

Email:  ejoyal45@gmail.com

 Capital District Co-Director (Montgomery and Prince George's County)
Cherie O’Neil, MSN, BSN, CRNP


Cherie O’Neil, CRNP is  a Family Nurse Practitioner, board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and licensed in the state of Maryland to provide family-centered healthcare to patients across the lifespan.  She focuses on building long-lasting and trusting relationships with her patients.

Cherie's professional nursing experiences include skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, medical/surgical nursing as well as working in the operating room. Her academic accomplishments include a Master of Science in Nursing from Walden University, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Fairfield University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences from the University of Connecticut.

Email:  cherieoneil@gmail.com


Central District Director (Anne Arundel County
 Shashi Ravindran MPH, MSN, CRNP 

Shashi earned her B.Sc. (Hons.) from University of Delhi, and Master in Public Health (MPH) from Yale University, where she was awarded the prestigious Wilbur G. Downs International Health Fellowship to India.  She completed her Master of Science (M.Sc.) Adult, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner education from University of Maryland. She has previously worked as an Epidemiologist with the Maryland state health department where she served as liaison to the Region III Training and Advisory Committee, and Region III Chlamydia Demonstration Project, and as consultant to the DHHS. Her current position in research at NIH evolved from her interest in public health and epidemiology, and focuses on neurological disorders, specifically, movement disorders, such as dystonia, Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and psychogenic movement disorders, and use of techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) electroencephalography (EEG), neuroimaging with positron emission tomography (PET), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other techniques of clinical neurophysiology. She has been NPAM member since 2009, and volunteers on the legislative, and conference committees. 

Email:   ravindran89@verizon.net


Central District Co-Director (Anne Arundel County
 Lindsay Ward

Lindsay grew up and currently lives in Edgewater, MD. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Elon University in North Carolina and Bachelor of Science in Nursing with honors at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Lindsay earned her Master of Science Advanced Practice Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Before obtaining her PNP degree Lindsay worked at Holy Cross Hospital as a maternal child health nurse caring for newborns and their mothers. At HCH she engaged in leadership opportunities by becoming a nurse preceptor, a nursing informatics super user and member of the Clinical Ladder committee for the advancement of RNs. She initially practiced as a PNP at the Pediatric Center of Frederick in Frederick, MD in 2015. She returned to Annapolis and joined Chesapeake Pediatrics LLC in 2016. She is an active member of NAPNAP and NPAM. She is currently obtaining her breast feeding certificate. She has experience as a pediatric clinical instructor for the UMD undergraduate program, a preceptor for the Pediatric Primary care program and a teaching assistant for the UMD nursing informatics program. She also gained substance abuse research and pharmaceutical trials experience at Johns Hopkins University prior to her nursing career. She continued that to expand that foundation helping to carryout vaccine studies with UMD and the Pediatric Center of Frederick. She is also a member of the Junior League of Annapolis and has previously served as a committee chair in the past in addition to multiple committees. Lindsay enjoys working with children of all ages but especially enjoys working with newborns, infants and school age children. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering, traveling, reading, and spending time with her family especially her two nephews and nieces, friends and her chihuahua Valentina.

Email Address: Lindsayjward@hotmail.com
cell 410 507-3642


Eastern District Co- Director
Steve Mears MS, CRNP, FNP-BC, RN

 Stephen Lee Mears graduated from Salisbury University in 2013 with his MS- Family Nurse Practitioner. He is certified by both the AANP and the ANCC. Stephen has worked for 2 years as an FNP in an NP-owned clinic with his business partner and the business owner Dr. Kerry Palakanis.

He has learned a lot in the first two years of working as a new Nurse Practitioner and continues to learn every day. He loves what he does, and he also loves the area, the people, and helping the medical needs of his local community.

In addition, Stephen feels the need to help bring the NPs in the area together, so that they can support each other, not only to better meet the medical needs of the people on the Eastern Shore, but to also support and promote the profession of Nurse Practitioner in the State of Maryland.

email: slm7743@gmail.com

 Eastern District Co-Director
Sharon Stagg DNP, MPH, CRNP, FNP-BC

Sharon Stagg, DNP, MPH, CRNP, FNP-BC practices with the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health in the Shore Regional Palliative Care Program. She served as a Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland District Director in the past. Sharon’s research interests include workplace bullying and text messaging effects in chronic disease management. Sharon holds a DNP and an MPH from Johns Hopkins University; a Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate from The Catholic University of America; a MS from Salisbury University; and a BSN from Radford University.  

Email:  sstagg@umm.edu and phone is 410-822-1000 x5043


Howard County District Co-Director
Maureen Kelley

Maureen has been a nurse practitioner for 31 years. She has worked in outpatient clinic settings and home based programs. She is presently employed by theBaltimoreVAin the Home based Primary Care program. She has served as a preceptor for undergraduate and nurse practitioner students and has been a member of NPAM since 1994.

Howard County District Co-Director
Lauri Lonberger, MS

Lauri attended the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her BSN in 1977 and MSN in 1985, graduating as an adult nurse practitioner.She lives in Elkridge, Maryland, and has been working as a nurse practitioner for over 25 years. Currently, she is employed at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore where she works in the pre-op testing department. She has been a member of NPAM since 2004.

email:laurinp55@yahoo.comH: 410-799-3191

Mountain District Director (Garrett and Allegany County)
Cathy Chapman

Cathy Chapman is currently serving as the Mountain District Director. Cathy graduated as an adult NP from the University of Maryland in 1995, post master's Family NP certificate from WVU in 1996. She completed an adult/psych mental health CNS post master's certificate from Duquesne University in 2008 as well as a post masters Family Psych NP program from University of Misouri in 2012. She has been a member of NPAM since 1995 and is a member of AANP and APNA.
She is owner of Chapman and Associates Heath Care, an integrated primary care and behavioral health practice in LaVale, MD


H 301-729-6920 cell 301-697-8286


North West Co-District Director (Carroll, Northern Baltimore County)
Sharon Praissman, MS, APRN-BC 

Sharon Praissman Fisher is a dually certified adult and psychiatric NP. She has been a NP for over 12 years and has recently opened her own practice, Nurtured Well, LLC in Towson, MD. She has served as Northwest District Director since 2015 and also coordinates the Psychiatric/Mental Health Special Interest Group

Email:  sharonpfisher@gmail.com


Western District Director (Frederick and Washington)
Linda Muehl, MS

Email:  plmuehl@comcast.net


Southern Maryland District Director (Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s County)

Ellen Reilley Farrell DNP, FNP-BC, GNP-BC, ACHPN
Ellen earned her BSN from University of Maryland in 1999 after her AND from Montgomery College in 1984. She then earned her MSN as a GNP from Maryland in 2000. Additionally, she earned her FNP in 2006 from George Washington University (GWU). She earned a DNP with a specialty in Palliative Care from GWU in 2010. Ellen is currently full time faculty at GWU and program director of the Advanced Practice Palliative Care certificate program . Since 2001 Ellen also works making home visits through her company Gericalls LLC. 

email:  woodbine8@aol.com


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