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.

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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.