Notable Women in Finance: Candice Cole

Chief financial officer, Progressive Community Health Centers

  • Category: Notable Women in Finance
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 16
  • Number of years with your current company/firm: 10
  • Undergrad degree/university: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Concordia University)
  • Graduate degree/university: Master of Business Administration (Cardinal Stritch University)

Candice Cole’s finance career spans nearly two decades in Milwaukee’s health care industry. She currently serves as chief financial officer of Milwaukee-based Progressive Community Health Centers, an organization she’s been with for the past decade.

Throughout her tenure, Cole has not only improved the accuracy of financial data and billing processes through streamlined workflows, her efforts led to a significant reduction in closeout of monthly financials from 90 days to 30 days. She also implemented systems for tracking of complex revenue streams, reducing the organization’s insurance claim denial rate by 35%.

Since being named chief financial officer, she has embraced the challenges and responsibilities associated with managing both billing and finance functions for a fast-paced, growing organization.

Progressive Community Health Centers has more than 100 employees and a $12 million annual budget. Cole has provided financial oversight of capital projects including the construction of the new 42,000-square-foot Lisbon Avenue Health Center, a $10.5 million project that was funded via a $5 million federal grant, private contributions, a permanent loan and New Markets Tax Credits.

She has also worked diligently with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), state partners and private insurers to implement new services lines at Progressive Community Health Centers and maximize associated revenues. This includes the expansion of dental care, behavioral health, urgent care and radiology.

“Candice is incredibly committed to the betterment of the community and always puts the best interests of those we serve first,” said Sarah Francois, director of fund development and marketing at Progressive Community Health Centers. “Outside of work, Candice is actively involved in her church community.”

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