By Christine Williams, RHIA
Part of our organization’s transformational journey requires our own self-transformation and growth. While that may seem scary, I want to share how I am inspired by this fact. AHIMA’s new mission is built on the foundation of what we as members have brought to AHIMA and our profession—it was created with our history in one hand and our future in the other.
I am grateful we aren’t just changing—we’re also evolving, just as AHIMA’s members evolved from medical librarians to health information managers. Through this process, we will build up the House of Health Information to be stronger and more recognizable than ever before. Just as we thank our association’s earlier members, future HIM professionals will thank us for the difficult decisions we are making today so that the future will be more sustainable and successful.
As we grow and strengthen, we are becoming a more inclusive organization that’s exploring new areas where our members can flourish. It is time to view allied healthcare industry professionals as partners rather than competitors. With partners we can transform industry relationships into sources of strength that complement the work that we do at AHIMA and in our everyday roles. I am excited for the new opportunities that this will bring.
It is important to trust in the experts who lead the business of our association, guided by research and market analysis. As members, we have a vital role to play in providing guidance and caution as it pertains to representation of our membership—without becoming our own barriers for growth and progress.
As we grow and strengthen we are becoming a more inclusive organization.
The association’s journey is very much like that of a butterfly. The shortest part of their lifespan is the actual butterfly phase. To me, the butterfly is a perfect metaphor for our current path: “success” is the butterfly phase, and we must be constantly transforming to attain it. We can’t afford to get stuck in any single phase. We must continue to transform to stay agile in the industry. I am looking forward to working with AHIMA’s Board members this year as we continue that journey. I recently had a conversation with AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, that resonated with me. As we discussed the future of HIM, she emphasized that we need to be intentional to empower people to impact health and to be proud to be on team AHIMA. She couldn’t be more correct—the time is now, and I am ready. She has tasked me with keeping the House of Delegates at the forefront of the Board’s conversations, consistently looking for feedback and ensuring open bidirectional communication. I have accepted that task and am inspired by her passion for ensuring the House is heard.
Finally, I would like to thank my predecessor, mentor, and friend, Shawn Wells, RHIT, CHDA. His passion for HIM and AHIMA sets us up for 2020 and beyond. I am honored to be leading the House of Delegates for 2020 and am looking forward to continuing his work.
Christine Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the document integrity manager at UW Health.