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AHIMA Conference Recap


AHIMA’s Health Data and Information Conference was held in Chicago, home of AHIMA’s headquarters. The conference kicked off with a welcome from IlHIMA’s President Christopher Wheat, followed by the presidential address given by PHIMA’s own Valerie Watzlaf, President/Chair of the AHIMA Board of Directors and the CEO Address from Wylecia Wiggs Harris. The opening keynote was presented by Carey Lohrenz. Carey is the Navy’s first female F14 pilot. She shared the story of her life long dream to fly which was initially at jeopardy as  women were prohibited.  Until the laws changed, she persevered as a flight instructor.   Eventually she was able to “sit in her dream job”.  

The education tracks and change in name of the conference reflected AHIMA’s year of transformation. The conference was designed to bring members together in conversation about the present and future of healthcare data and information. There were the usual “topical” tracks around Coding, CDI, Revenue Cycle, and Privacy Security.  Other areas included Disruptions in Healthcare, Continuum of Care, Innovation, Leadership, Career Development, Hot Topics and HIM Case Studies.  

The Exhibit Hall played host to over 140 vendors showcasing technology, services, and educational opportunities. There was a new area called the Innovation Theatre covering many timely topics including Robotic Process Automation  and  Artificial Intelligence. 3M’s annual luncheon was held in the exhibit hall allowing more to attend the popular event.   

Tuesday evening’s Appreciation Celebration was held at Navy Pier.   The theme was “Totally Awesome 80’s game night”.   The entire board greeted the membership in 80’s attire, while 80’s music played.   Plenty of Chicago style pizza and hot dogs were available. The highlight of the evening was the recognition of the Distinguished Member and Triumph Award winners.  

The conference closed with more education tracks, Ginna Evans providing her incoming president’s address and  John Quinones from ABC’s What Would You Do.  

Mark your calendar now for AHIMA ‘20 in Atlanta. After several years in September, the conference is shifting back to October and the conference days are shifting to WEDNESDAY October 14 to SATURDAY October 17.

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