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Footprints Newsletter
April 2018

Inside This Issue:

President’s Message

Pamela J. LailHello NCHIMA Members!  We are rapidly moving in to warmer weather. I already see trees and flowers blooming in my area of the state. It is a lovely time of year in North Carolina and I truly would not want to live anywhere else. To all of those who have moved to North Carolina, we welcome you and hope that you enjoy living here as much as we do!
The 68th NCHIMA Annual Meeting is right around the corner in Durham, NC. We toured the site after our Governance Team meeting in February and I must say that it is a beautiful space. The people that worked there were kind and friendly when we spoke with them. The thing that I noticed most though is that they were HAPPY and smiled even when no one was looking. The employee turnover at the hotel/conference center was low. The wonderful coordinator proudly told us that several of the folks that we were working with have been working there for close to thirty years! It is fantastic to know that we are working with people who are as committed as we are to providing an outstanding meeting for our NCHIMA members. I hope that you will join us in Durham in May from the 1st to the 4th at this lovely location for the annual meeting. Please register and book your room soon to take advantage of the early registration discount (ends April 2nd). I am really excited to talk to our members, find out how you are doing, and what NCHIMA can do to help you.
The AHIMA Grace Award nomination process will open March 18, 2018 through May 25, 2018 so please nominate your organization for innovative methods in care delivery (utilizing HIM), meaningful methods to use informatics/analytics, and forming new frontiers with consumer education. This is a prestigious award and is a way to show off the fantastic things you are doing in your organization! The Grace Award not only garners national recognition but it is something that your leadership will definitely notice (and appreciate). It would be great to see an organization in North Carolina win the award.
Grace Award:
Applications for scholarships are due by March 31, 2018 to be considered for the disbursement this year. There will be two (2) scholarships awarded, one for a RHIT student and one for a RHIA student. Both scholarships will be in the amount of $500.
Also, NCHIMA is offering a potential $1,000 scholarship to an HIM graduate student or educator teaching at a CAHIIM program with a campus in NC pursuing a graduate degree. Please consider donating to the NCHIMA Scholarship fund if you don’t qualify for a scholarship. We love to support our students and continued growth in our industry. I look forward to seeing everyone in May. Please let us know if you have questions, concerns, or if there is anything we can do to assist you in the meantime.
Thank You,
NCHIMA President 2017-2018
"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." —John Maxwell > Be a leader, step up and be heard in your organization!  If you know the way then others will follow.

NCACDIS and NCHIMA Inaugural Winter Symposium

Last February, the North Carolina Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement (NCACDIS) and the NCHIMA joined forces for our first inaugural joint Winter Symposium! Nearly one hundred NCHIMA and NCACDIS members traveled to the beautiful coastal southeastern part of the state for continuing education on coding and clinical documentation improvement.
Speakers were energetic, educated and eager to share the latest information on topics relevant to members, including:
  • Lori Matherne, RHIA, CCS spoke on Risk Optimization – Leveraging HCCS which provided attendees with an understanding of the role of HCCs in risk-adjusted payments & reporting and its impact on documentation requirements.
  • Dr. Thomas Wertheimer, MD, MBA, CHCQM, CCDS, CCA – Physician Advisor & CDI/Coding Content Expert provided an update on best documentation and billing practices for healthcare for remote telemedicine which is a growing service for many healthcare organizations.
  • Bridgette Williams, FNP-C of NRMC presented an in-depth overview of advanced therapies in congestive heart failure.
  • Lastly, Dan Bray, RN, CCDS, CDIP ended the day on a high note generating much discussion and interests on clinical support/validation of diagnosis and how he successfully manages the CDI program at Cape Fear Valley Regional Medical Center.
The NCHIMA Education Committee would like to thank NCHIMA/NCACDIS Liaison, Leola Burke, Linda Rhodes, President NCACDIS as well as our NCHIMA volunteers for a very successful event!

Sherry N. King, RHIA, CTR 
NCHIMA and NCACDIS Members - Winter Symposium – February 2018 – Wilmington NC

Member Spotlight


Name: Maria T. Mills
Credential/s: Registered Health Information Technitian (RHIT) July 2017 

Employer: None
AHIMA Member: Yes

What initially drew you to this profession?

In 2010, after my last enlistment in the U.S. Navy, I decided to take time to raise my 3 young children. I discussed to some friends who were Coders remotely (at home) and that gave me an interest in pursuing an Associate Degree in Health Information Technology (Graduated December 2017) while my husband had his last tour of Active Duty in Hawaii.

What are your future plans?
As my husband retired last March 2018 in the U.S. Navy, I am diligently seeking employment within Haywood County area to provide for my family.

Does it include further education or certification in the Health Information Management (HIM) field?

Before achieving my Associate Degree in Hawaii, I already had my Bachelor's Degree in Business Management at the University of the Philippines. My Program Director at University of Hawaii - Leeward Community College informed me that there is a 2017 Proviso where I can take my RHIA if I can provide my Bachelor's Degree.  Currently, I am following up with my school in the Philippines to send an Official Transcript of Record to World Education Services (WES) to evaluate my degree in order to take my RHIA credential.

How did you decide this field was a good fit for you?

In many discussions with my sister who is a Registered Nurse (RN) based at Washington DC, this will be a career that will be big in the near future and it will create a lot of opportunity. As a veteran, I was doing Administrative duties in the U.S. Navy and this career will enhance further what ever skills I have gained in the service. I do not have to deal with patients directly but I will be able to help them, as well as the facility that will eventually hire me, to submit documentations as accurate as possible for both patients and medical organization.

Student Spotlight


Student Name: Bibiana McCormick
School/Program: Durham Technical Community College, HIT program
Program Director: Jessica Vaughan
Year: 2018
GPA: 3.9
AHIMA Member:  Yes

1. What initially drew you to this particular profession?
I was initially thinking about nursing but, I learned that I was drawn more towards the administrative side of healthcare. Once I found out about medical coding, I was curious to learn more about a career in health information.
2. What are your future plans? 
My future plan is to pursue a career in Health Information Management. My goal is to expand my coding skills as a medical coder and eventually become a medical auditor or compliance analyst.
-Does it include further education or certifications in the Health Information Management (HIM) field? 
Absolutely. I feel that if a person wants to become a good asset, you not only become very good at what you do but, you also keep up with the changes to stay valuable to those who want to work with you. My education has always paid off. Getting my RHIT credential is a huge accomplishment for me but, I’m glad to know that AHIMA offers other certifications that can help me down the road to get more opportunities for advancement.

3. How did you decide this field was a good fit for you? 
I tried different professions before, but once I learned about medical coding and later HIM, I felt like this was the place where I want to grow and expand my knowledge as a healthcare professional.
4. What advice would you present to those considering entering the HIM profession?
My advice would be to connect with people who work in the field or students who are currently enrolled in HIM or HIT programs and ask them questions you might have about the profession. Attend information sessions at your local college to learn how getting educated can help you open doors into the HIM world. Sign up for AHIMA membership and take advantage of discounts for students and scholarship opportunities.
5. How does your student membership affect you and your career goals?
My student membership gave me a great opportunity to network with other AHIMA members. As a student I’m able to attend NCHIMA meetings at a student rate, receive email correspondence directly from AHIMA about new certifications and credentials as well as apply for scholarships.

AHIMA Salary Snapshot

More than half of the survey respondents work in Revenue Cycle Management: Coding Professionals, Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists, and insurance and billing coordinators. Another 25 percent are in Operations and Medical Records Administration: HIM managers and directors, consultants, administrators, registrars and technicians. The remaining quarter of survey respondents work in Compliance and Risk Management; Education and Communication; Informatics and Data Analytics; and IT and Infrastructure.


Newly Credentialed Professionals



Erika Gourd
Lori Dreher
Lakesha Jones
Kayla Hoots
Melinda Davis
Mildred Reitano


Patti Jackson
Dawn Williams
Laurie Spangler-Rucks
Rachael Robinson
Ninnette Lavender
Pamela Millette
Lakesha Davis
Linda Huerta-Bowman
Rebekah Landes
Reanna Koontz
Billie Jacobs
Marianne Muncy


Maria Strubbe
Lisa Belk
Martha Luke
Lisa Eichelberger
Selena Jarman
Lakesha Davis


Mary Klock


Michele Geer

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Upcoming Events

ICD-10 CM Coding in the LTC Setting (Part 1)
April 13, 2018
Western Foothills Region Meeting
April 13, 2018

Triangle Region Meeting
April 13, 2018

NCHIMA Triangle Region Meeting
April 13 8:30 am - 2:00 pm EDT
NCHIMA Annual Meeting
May 1 - May 4, 2018

ICD-10 CM Coding in the LTC Setting (Part 2)
May 4, 2018

CCS Prep Workshop
May 4, 2018

Charlotte Region Meeting
June 1, 2018

Triangle Region Meeting
June 9, 2018

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