Time to Step Up

Time to Step Up

By Ginna Evans, MBA, RHIA, CPC, CRC, FAHIMA

It is an exciting time for AHIMA. Our strategic plan is a huge opportunity for our organization, our members, our partners, and future audiences to join together to move our profession forward, be the disruptor, demand a seat at the table, and lead others to transform health and healthcare. What you are willing to do as an AHIMA member to support our mission and vision?

The AHIMA Board of Directors kicked off 2020 with their Strategic Governance session in January. The session focused on the work of associations and nonprofit boards, governing as a high-performing board, partnering with professional staff, and maximizing the contribution of committees and volunteers. The next day was our first board meeting of the year. These two days gave us the opportunity as a board to welcome our new members:

  • President/Chair-Elect Katherine Lusk, MHSM, RHIA, FAHIMA
  • Directors Brenda Beckham, RHIA; Terri Eichelmann, MBA, RHIA; and Jami Woebkenberg, MHIM, RHIA, CPHI, FAHIMA
  • Speaker of the House Christine Williams, RHIA
Stepping Up with Advocacy

Advocacy allows each of us to have our voice heard on issues that are important to us, and is an important undertaking to support AHIMA and our profession. For many years, March has been an important advocacy month for our members. AHIMA’s Advocacy Summit, taking place from March 23–24 this year, brings AHIMA members from around the country to the steps of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Advocacy Summit begins with the AHIMA Public Policy Institute. This event allows attendees to hear from federal officials and other stakeholders in Washington, DC, about ongoing public policy work impacting our profession. The Capitol Hill visits take place on the second day of the summit, giving attendees the opportunity to meet with members of Congress and staff to advocate on behalf of the HIM profession. This is a great example of group advocacy, in which people with similar experiences and knowledge come together in groups to talk, listen, and learn, as well as speak with one voice about important issues. Hill visits often result in attendees asking Congressional representatives for their support on various pieces of legislation that will help us move AHIMA and our profession forward.

Advocacy allows each of us to have our voice heard.

You can visit the AHIMA Advocacy Action Center on AHIMA’s website to contact your Congressional representatives. It is a quick and easy process and takes a matter of minutes to complete. In addition, you can arrange to visit your Senators and Representatives when they are on recess and back home in their local offices. Each and every one of our voices is important.

March is a busy month for AHIMA and our profession, but advocacy can take place throughout the year—and can reach beyond the scope of legislation. I hope each of you will give thought to what you can do to help advocate for AHIMA and our profession as we work to achieve our vision of “a world where trusted information transforms health and healthcare by connecting people, systems, and ideas.”

 

Ginna Evans (ginna.evans@ahimaboard.org) is coding educator, internal medicine specialties division, Emory Clinic, Emory Healthcare.

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