AHIMA Board President Kathleen Frawley Dies June 28

AHIMA Board President and Chair Kathleen A. Frawley, 63, died unexpectedly on Friday, June 28. A professor and chair of the health information technology program at DeVry University’s North Brunswick, NJ campus, Frawley, JD, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA officially assumed the president/chair role in January 2013.

AHIMA President/Chair-elect Angela Kennedy, EdD, MEd, MBA, RHIA, CPHQ, will assume the duties of AHIMA Board President and Chair effective immediately.


Frawley was passionate about HIM and was a dedicated AHIMA leader, said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, FACHE, CAE, FAHIMA. “Kathleen had an inspiring and unwavering belief in the importance of health information management and how AHIMA members could lead the profession,” Thomas Gordon said. “She touched the lives of so many of her colleagues in HIM, AHIMA members, and her students. She will be missed by the entire AHIMA family.”

For more than three decades, Frawley played an integral role at AHIMA. She served in several volunteer roles and was AHIMA’s vice president of legislative and public policy services from 1992 to 2000. In 2001, Frawley received the AHIMA Distinguished Member Award, and in 2011 received the New Jersey Health Information Management Association Distinguished Member Award.

As AHIMA president, Frawley encouraged HIM professionals to embrace the future of HIM with her slogan of “Dream Big… and Believe.” During her general session speech at the 2012 AHIMA Convention and Exhibit in Chicago, IL, Frawley told HIM professionals to “believe in yourself, believe in AHIMA, and believe in the indispensible role health information management professionals like you will play in our technologically-driven 21st century healthcare system.”

“On behalf of the board and everyone at AHIMA, our thoughts are with Kathleen’s family during this difficult time,” Kennedy said. “Kathleen’s theme during her presidency was ‘dream big and believe.’ It is incumbent upon all of us at AHIMA to continue to move forward with the work and initiatives to advance the profession and the quality of care for patients everywhere as Kathleen would have wanted.”

Frawley’s family will hold a reception at Shook’s Cedar Grove Funeral Home, 486 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove, NJ, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 1 and July 2. Her funeral will take place at 11 a.m., July 3, at Our Lady of the Lake Church, 32 Lakeside Avenue, Verona, NJ.
The AHIMA Foundation has created the Kathleen Frawley Memorial Endowed Scholarship to accept donations in her name. Contribute to the scholarship here.


  1. I am shocked by the sudden loss of Katherine Frawley. She was a great professor and mentor. She held my hand and led me to the right path in my life. I owe her my career. You will be missed Prof Frawley. Condolences to her family.

  2. I’m shocked by this sad news.
    I’d met Katherine Frawley for the very first time few years back during an annual convention in NJ; I was amazed by her enthusiasm and passion in her presentation.
    Condolences to her family
    She will be dearly missed

  3. The lives Kathleen touched span throughout the United States and abroad through her tireless work and passion for the Health Information Management Administration Profession. We honor her and the legacy she leaves behind. Kathleen’s AHIMA Presidency motto “Dream Big and Believe” will forever live within the LHIMA vision. Kathleen will be missed as our leader and friend.

  4. As representatives of the Central District of LHIMA, we send our condolences to the family of our AHIMA President… we will keep them in our prayers as they say farewell to such a special woman who has touched so many lives in a positive and encouraging way.
    Nancy Jarzyna, Central Louisiana Health Information Management Association

  5. Kathleen and I were great friends. I started working with her in St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City way back in the 1960s. She was my boss and the Program Director at DeVry University where I currently teach. I am devastated by the loss. My condolences to the family. I have lost a colleague, boss and friend.

  6. It is a big loss to AHIMA. One of the nicest and friendliest leaders of AHIMA that I met in recent years. She was with us in our recent Annual Meeting on April 26 and she made a big impact and impression among the attendees. Kathleen made us feel very proud when she said that our annual meeting was one of the best she attended. Kathy, you will be missed by AHIMA and DCHIMA.
    Joseph Mathew, Past President

  7. Her death is a terrible loss to our AHIMA community. It is up to us to promote her legacy as a professional in Health Information Management and as an advocate for our students.

    My condolences to her family.

  8. The SDHIMA Board and Members are very saddened by this news. We extend our sympathies to her family, friends, co-workers and fellow HIM professionals.

  9. As a student.THIS IS great loss for me and all AHIMA family. I send my condolence.she made me very proud when she said i am he great student. She will be missed by me

  10. My condolences and prayers are with Kathleen’s family. She inspired and touched many lives; she was a true HIM leader that will never be forgotten. Her motto ” Dream Big and Believe” will live on in the many lives she touched. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

  11. I was shocked when my friend called me and told me professor frawely died:(. My condolences to her family.

  12. I am a DeVry University student and majoring in the HIT Program. I am still shocked by this news. Professor Frawley, I want to thank you for everything that you have taught me and I am so Blessed to have had known you. You were/are a GREAT MENTOR and PROFESSOR!! I still can’t beleive I won’t see you next semester but I hope I will do you proud!! My Thoughts and Prayers go out to Her and Her family. May GOD’s hands guide them through this difficult time!! You WILL be MISSED and in my HEART FOREVER!! R.I.P. and Fly With The Angels Professor!!

  13. I had the pleasure of being a student of Ms Frawley’s at DeVry University. Her words of encouragement will be with me when I sit for the RHIT Exam on Wedns. She will be missed by many!

  14. She will be missed by all the many people that she touched in their lives. As we go on, we can hear her kind words that will always encourage us all.

  15. Life is but a vapor, thus we must do our work and live each day and moment as if it’s our last. Kathleen has left a very positive impact on the AHIMA family with her leadership. Her memory and legacy must continue through us. May God bless and strengthen her family, students, colleagues, and friends. Many loved you, but God loves you best..

  16. My respects to her family….such a young person to leave all of us…..I am in shock….I am very sorry and God brings peace to her family’s heart and mind….
    Elka from San Diego, California

  17. A great loss to AHIMA and HIM community. Kathleen will be missed, but her legacy will endure. With deepest condolences.

  18. My condolences to Kathleen’s many family members and friends. She will be remembered for her ability to reach out and connect with everyone she came in contact with. It was easy to see her infectious enthusiasm and warmth. I personally will miss her deeply and will remember our many conversations over the years. Sleep peacefully Kathleen for we shall see each other once more in eternity.

  19. My condolences to the family. May you rest in peace! and may God help those who are still here deal with such grief.

    May God Bless you!

  20. My deepest condolences to Ms. Kathleen’s family members and friends. May she rest in peace forever and may perpetual light shine upon her. Amen. I love AHIMA and I love you Ms. Kathleen and we will miss you.

  21. Sincere condolences to Kathleen’s family. She was truly an inspirational leader and will be missed by her AHIMA family.

  22. Heartfelt condolences to family, friends and AHIMA colleagues. This good lady will be missed by so many of us. Her good works and legacies in HIM will always be appreciated.

  23. I am a HIT instructor in south California area. My students and my condolences and prayers are with Kathleen’s family. My students, who are professionals in training will be hearing Kathleen’s motto “Dream Big and Believe” from me to keep her memory alive and appreciated. She will be missed.

  24. I have met and talked to Kathleen at several AHIMA Conventions and she was such a nice lady with such a passion for HIM. She will be sorely missed by our profession. On behalf of the Utah Health Information Management Association, we offer our condolences to her friends and family.

  25. It is with sadness that I learn about the passing of Kathleen Frawley. Kathleen was working in Washington DC when I visited AHIMA offices and met AHIMA staff while investigating the coder accreditation program in 1994. She provided some inspiring advice which I took back to my Health Information Management colleagues and the Health Information Management Association of Australia. Her hospitality at that time and friendship since then is remembered.
    Leanne Holmes Health Information Consultant. Australia.

  26. Dear Kathleen,
    We know a smile we would love to see; A loving face so dear
    We know a hand we would love to hold; A voice we long to hear
    We know a heart thoughtful and true; We know them all, because of you

    With heartfelt sympathy,
    The AHIMA staff

  27. Very sad to hear the news…

  28. Kathleen and I shared a favorite quote from Anatole France which guided the work of the AHIMA Board and extended AHIMA Family. “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” May we continue to do good work and support the vision she had for the profession. I miss you my dear friend.

  29. So sad to hear about Kathleen Frawley passing, she was my professor way back at Turo College, she left a great impact on me. My prayers go out to her family, she will be greatly missed.

  30. I enjoyed hearing Kathleen deliver her address at AHIMA Convention last October. Later that week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Kathleen at the AHIMA Foundation event. We briefly discussed her views about the need for HIM professionals to take personal responsibility for their futures. I was energized by my conversation with Kathleen-no doubt she will be missed by many.

  31. Kathleen hired me and supported me as the Director of HIM and was my boss for 6 years at Jamaica Hospital. We laughed and we cried about so many things. She hired a great management team of department heads. I learned so much from her and think of her often. I know that serving as President meant a lot to her. She had a good heart. I’m still in shock that she is no longer with us. Her spirit lives on in all of us. Miss you KAF.

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