What influenced you to begin teaching Health Information Management as a career?
I have done many things in my HIM career, and keep coming back to teaching so I guess it’s where I am supposed to be. It’s the ultimate mentoring profession and I love to build relationships and watch students grow into successful HIM professionals.
What is the best thing about the HIM program at the University of Cincinnati?
Besides the great faculty? One thing I have always liked about the program is that you are able to enter at multiple times during the year. This allows students to take advantage of the learning opportunities right away, without waiting until that one quarter or semester rolls around to enter.
What makes this program so successful for students?
The students make the program successful for themselves. It takes a lot more self-discipline to complete a distance learning program than a traditional classroom program. I am constantly amazed at students who juggle family obligations, work, school, and so many other things in order to obtain their degree. They have the drive and desire to succeed.
As a vital part of the HIM industry, what do you hope to accomplish throughout your career?
I’m not sure I consider myself vital to the industry, but I do hope I have made a difference through mentoring previous students and employees. I have also tried to volunteer my time periodically over the years to my professional organizations: local, state and national. I think we all have a responsibility to give back to the profession in some way.
How do you see the HIM industry changing in the next 5 years?
I believe the HIM industry is at a cross roads. Increased implementation of electronic health records and conversion to ICD-10-CM should be opportunities for all HIM professionals. However, if we don’t speak up for ourselves there are others out there (IT, finance, nursing) who will be more than happy to take over. We cannot wait to be invited to the table.
What piece of advice do you have for future and current students?
Building on my answer to the previous question — stand up! Don’t wait to be asked to participate, volunteer to be on that committee or attend that meeting for your boss.