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Footprints Newsletter
November 2019

Inside This Issue:

President’s Message

Hello NCHIMA Members! 

Welcome to fall! Pumpkins, leaves, the best weather and football, football, football! NCHIMA is off to a great start to the year! In September, your elected delegates attended the House of Delegates (HoD) meeting.  Each CSA is represented in the HoD where we review industry changes, concerns, and AHIMA business related items.  This year we voted to change the bylaws to ensure no position on the ballot was ever non-contested.  The HoD was also presented with a charter for a Transforming Guiding Taskforce who will work with the AHIMA Board of Directors and AHIMA leadership to continue to drive change and impact the health information management profession.  This HoD, delegates were encouraged to participate in several workshops outlining current AHIMA initiatives.  Delegates were provided the opportunity to comment on these initiatives to continue to better our HIM industry and programs.   

The Governance Team has begun working on our 70th Annual Meeting.  Mark your calendars for March 29-April 1, 2020.  The 2020 Annual Meeting will be in Concord, NC.  We are looking forward to seeing each and every one of you there! If you are interested in being a vendor, please reach out to Linda Monusko at   

It is my pleasure to represent you, our membership, at the AHIMA.  I am extremely humbled to be your voice at the national level.  Please feel free to reach out to me at with any questions/ suggestions or comments.   You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  I am very interested in the topics that keep our members up at night and how we can work as an association (with AHIMA and other partners) to make a difference in the HIM industry! I want to hear from you so we can ensure we are adequately representing your best interest! 

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season! I look forward to seeing you at NCHIMA events! 


Sallie Bissette, Ed.D, MHA, MBA, RHIA, CHC, NCHIMA President

Call for Nominations

Call for Board Nominations – Deadline December 1, 2019

NCHIMA is accepting nominations for the positions of President Elect and Delegate. The 2020 election will be held on-line February 3 – February 14, 2020. Job descriptions and responsibilities for each position are located below.
Please consider nominating a member or members who have served this organization for one of the following NCHIMA Governance Team positions. The call for nominations is open now through December 1, 2019. This is a great opportunity to grow professionally, support your organization, and network with your peers, so please nominate yourself or one of your qualified colleagues as we continue to build the future of NCHIMA.
Click here to complete the call for nomination form.

The HFMA Summer Institute

Valerie Fernandez PhD, MBA, CPC, COC, CRC, CPMA, CCS AHIMA Approved ICD10 Trainer, NCHIMA Education Chair

I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion about innovation at the HFMA Summer Institute last month. The panel consisted of Jai Patel, Chief of Pharmacology Research and Associate Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute. Stephen Rinaldi System Vice President of UNC Health System also participated. Stuart Ginn the Medical Director at Wakemed Innovations Wakemed Health and Hospitals rounded out the panel. I was honored to be included in a group of such illustrious cohorts.

Dr Patel focused on pharmacogenics and a review of possible drug-drug, drug-disease and drug-gene interactions can positively impact response to cancer therapy. Pharmacogenetic testing is performed prior to implementing a treatment plan to optimize the drug utilized that is patient specific.  Dosage decisions are based on how quickly a patient may metabolize a particular drug. Outcomes have been positively impacted based on this assessment prior to treatment.

Stephen Rinaldi reviewed Business Process Automation, BPA, which can streamline activities that increase quality and improve service delivery and reduce costs. Artificial intelligence is a key aspect of this enterprise.

Stuart Ginn M.D. is an amazing individual. His first career was as a commercial pilot. He then became an Otolaryngologist. His first love is flying and he spearheaded the use of drones at Wakemed. They will soon be partnering with UPS to optimize logistics and to expand capability.

Wearable trackable medical devices was the topic I shared. It is amazing what is under development at this time. Examples include a pacemaker that is recharged by the beating of the heart. MIT is looking at internal discussion directly from the brain to activate a computer. Mhealth, the use of mobile phones and other wireless technology in healthcare is expanding at phenomenal rates and will reach $21 billion in the next couple of years increasing by 35%as new technology is introduced in to the market. One of the biggest obstacles is demonstrating medical necessity and ensuring the carriers will pay for the use of these devices. We must recognize that healthcare is now being delivered beyond brick and mortar offering more personalization, cost reduction and overall patient engagement.

G Patrick Griffin spoke about leadership at the HFMA conference last month. He shared the HARP method. The four leadership principles include H for humility, A for authenticity, R for resilience and P for persistent faith. These concepts can be partnered with our mindfulness training to ensure we are effective in our interactions with our teams. The importance of communication at all levels is a highlight of this program. In order to meet objectives set by the organization, accountability is the hallmark in a high performing environment. We learn most from our failures. Being able to recover quickly and with agility results in positive outcomes. As with our mindfulness training, morale is uplifted, productivity can be improved as an engaged team is a productive team and there is a focus on the talents that each employee brings to the group.

 As the HFMA liaison, I was also able to network with several individuals some of whom will be available for speaking engagements for NC AHIMA for 2019- December, 2020

 Valerie Fernandez PhD, MBA, CPC, COC, CRC, CPMA, CCS AHIMA Approved ICD10 Trainer

NCHICA 25th Annual Conference on Patient-Centered Care:  Are We There Yet?

Jean Foster, RHIA, CHPS, NCHICA Liaison

NCHICA just wrapped up its 25th Annual Conference at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem NC. (September 16 – 17).  This was the first time NCHICA had hosted the conference in Winston-Salem. The current NCHICA President, Chris Jones, happens to live and work in Winston-Salem and made sure the Board of Directors and conference attendees felt welcome in his hometown.

The plenary speaker, Von Nguyen, MD, MPH, VP for Clinical Operations & Innovations,  spoke on “Transforming Health Care: Better, Simpler, More Affordable.”  This session focused on BCBSNC’s rationale for investing in value-based care in North Carolina.  Several takeaways from this session included:  make healthcare more affordable since 26% of people report problems paying medical bills and 45% of people who are uninsured cite cost as the reason they do not have insurance.  Dr. Nguyen discussed bringing value to health care with 3 aims for transformation:  Better Care, Simpler System and More Affordable.  Shifting the priorities to focus to Primary care, behavioral health and population health were suggested.  Building healthier communities to help with food insecurity, early childhood development, housing and transportation were investments mentioned as drivers of health.  He called on health insurers, individuals/consumers, employers, and policymakers and regulators to work on this issue together to solve the current issues facing healthcare.

Speakers for the conference also focused on Healthcare Analytics, Medical Device Security, NCCARE360, Telepsychiatry to Reduce ED LOS and Enhance Value, Data Strategy & Analytics Beyond the EHR, Strategies to Relieve Physician EHR-Related Burnout, Cybersecurity, Privacy and Security of PHI, and Value-based care & Population Health among many others.

One of my favorite sessions featured a parent who served in the United States Marine Corps as an intelligence agent who supported expeditionary units and special operations.  She and her husband both served in this area and their experiences as military intelligence analysts was invaluable when they had to navigate their way through healthcare after the birth of their medically fragile child.  She discussed the role Artificial Intelligence could play in mining data to assist in medical care and avoid the pitfalls she found when electronic health records failed to meet their needs.  She also compared health care teams and how the lack of leadership and communication could be compared to the steps the military takes in making decisions.  This heart felt presentation highlighted how to use data and information to drive decisions and create effective delivery teams.  Everyone who works in healthcare should hear this this inspiring and thought provoking presentation from the Co-owner of White Hawk Advocacy, Mary Beth Moore.

Reflecting back on the conference I just wanted to emphasize the value NCHICA brings to North Carolina and to members such as NCHIMA.  It’s hard to explain how providers, payers, and business partners can come together and work on common issues in spite of competition but that is exactly what NCHICA does.  So thank you for allowing me to represent NCHIMA and the HIM profession with this group and to grow and learn along the way. 
P.S. Remember as a member of NCHICA, NCHIMA members can participate in workgroups. 

Please check out the current workgroups at NCHICA:
NCHIMA Workgroup

Congratulations!!!!  The Following North Carolina Members Have Passed Examinations!

Sheila Mitchem
Ashley Burnette
Karen Mcdermott

Tina Gross

Scarlet Perez

Sonya Matthews
Susan Hobgood
Shaquanta Jenkins
Danielle Haynes
Kimeontae Asbie-Thomas
Tash Yoder
Amy Norman
Jennifer Acton
Paula Roberts
Stephen Afranie
Jennifer Moody
Arthur Gilley
Thais Pettit
Joanna Walker
Cynthia Greene
Jozlyn Shuford
Lisa Anderson
Shaina Walker
Chastity Thomas
Christina Heun
Emily Jacobs
Tiffany Propst
Daphne Roberts

Valerie Miller
Patty Caldwell
Kasey Turnage
Linh Da Pham
Jessica McEntire
Tara DeButt

Student Spotlight

Student Name: Bethany Spence
School/Program: East Carolina University / Health Information Management & Health Services Management Dual Degree Program
Program Director: Dr. Susie Harris
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2020
GPA: 3.872
  1. What initially drew you to this particular profession?
    1. I was always interested in medical coding and decided to pursue it with additional education. I have been a coder for the past eight years so I love challenging myself and finding ways to expand my knowledge and education. HIM is an integral part of our health care system and continues to grow every year. The opportunities and career path options seem to be endless which is a wonderful advantage to have.
  2. What are your future plans?
    1. I plan to graduate from East Carolina University with my Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Health Services Management. I also plan to sit for the RHIA exam after graduation. I would also like to step out of the world of medical coding and experience some of the other fascinating roles in HIM.
  3. How did you decide this field was a good fit for you?
    1. I realized that this was a good fit for me when I was in school for billing and coding. I was very interested in learning all about proper coding and also obtaining my coding certification. As I continued to gain more knowledge and apply it in everyday practice, it was evident that this field is where I belong.
  4. What advice would you present to those considering entering the HIM profession?
    1. The HIM profession is a constantly evolving field. There is a huge demand for HIM professionals. If you are considering entering the HIM profession, then I would recommend seeking further information about educational and professional opportunities. It can be challenging to keep up with the constant changes in health care. That is why it is so important that we continue to grow the work force with trained professionals. There are so many different career paths that can be taken. Also never stop learning, set goals, and believe in yourself.
  5. How does your AHIMA membership affect you and your career goals?
    1. AHIMA is a well-known professional organization. Having a membership with AHIMA is a wonderful way to stay connected with others in similar fields and profession. It is a great opportunity for networking as well as staying current on pressing issues within the healthcare field.

It’s Time to Update Your AHIMA Profile

Please verify NCHIMA has your preferred email address on file to ensure you do not miss out on any important meeting or activity information throughout the year. While you are in your profile, please also visit your communication preferences and allow communications from Component State Association (CSA).

NCHIMA Scholarships

The NCHIMA Education Committee offers scholarships that are awarded every year at the annual meeting.  Potentially, there will be three (3) scholarships awarded in 2020:  one for a RHIT student, one for a RHIA student, and one for an HIM graduate student or educator teaching at a CAHIIM program with a campus in NC pursuing a graduate degree.  All scholarships will be in the amount of $500.
In order to be eligible for any scholarship the following criteria must be met:
  • You must be a student in good standing in a CAHIIM accredited Health Information Management, Health Information Technology Program, or Masters in Health Information Management in North Carolina and be a member of NCHIMA.
  • You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in college work completed. Official transcript required.
  • Obtain recommendation from your Health Information Management Program Director (HIM students) Health Information Technology Program Director (HIT students) or Health Information Management Master’s Level Program Director (Graduate students) along with two (2) additional letters of recommendations. Volunteerism with NCHIMA is strongly encouraged and a letter of recommendation from a Program Chairperson or a Regional Coordinator would be acceptable.
  • Submit a typed resume that you will upload when completing the online scholarship application.
  • Completion of the online NCHIMA Scholarship Application.
The deadline to apply for a scholarship will be December 31, 2019. 

For more information and the link to the NCHIMA Scholarship application, please visit the NCHIMA Scholarship page at

Best of luck to all of the applicants!

AHIMA Student Merit Scholarship Fund

The AHIMA Foundation annually offers merit scholarships to currently enrolled outstanding undergraduates in HIM and health information technology (HIT) as well as those professionals pursuing master's or doctoral degrees in areas related to health information.

There are four levels of scholarships offered:
  • Associate's degree - $1,000 award for students pursuing a Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accredited AA degree in HIM or HIT
  • Bachelor's degree/Post-Baccalaureate certificate - $1,500 award for students pursuing a CAHIIM accredited BA/BS degree or a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in HIM or HIT
  • Master's degree - $2,000 award for students pursuing a Master's degree in areas related to HIM or health informatics
  • Doctoral degree - $2,500 award for students pursuing a doctoral degree in an area related to health information  
  • Click here to donate to the NCHIMA Student Merit Scholarship Fund today!

Links to NCHIMA Resources

NCHIMA Job Board:

NCHIMA Volunteer Opportunities:

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