Motivated to serve and learn, students competed for a second year
for a coveted volunteer position at the AHIMA19: Health Data
and Information Conference this past September in Chicago.
The benefits from participation in volunteer support activities at
Student Academy and Conference are endless.
Goals for the student volunteer experience at AHIMA19 included:
learn about leadership through example,
advance teamwork opportunities,
provide understanding of volunteerism, and
deliver inspirational moments that encourage AHIMA’s
future leaders to embrace future professional possibilities
Highlights from Student Academy
Held the day before Conference, the Academy is designed to focus
on the specific needs and interests of students through a series of
sessions, including a lunch-and-learn. Student volunteers showed
up early and provided setup and support, and actively contributed
to the delivery of service and content to the Academy. They could
mingle with their peers in the learning experience, too.
An initial highlight for participants was a talk given by AHIMA
CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, where she enlightened participants
with key statements such as “AHIMA’s new mission, vision
and strategic plan requires we say yes when others say no,”
and challenged them to “learn the interpersonal skills you need
to be successful.”
Christi Lower, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA, academic affairs subject
matter expert at AHIMA, presented Health Information
Management Reimaged (HIMR) and devoted time in Q&A to
encourage students. She commended them for managing jobs and
often families to complete their curriculum.
The lunch-and-learn event gave students insight into the
use of geographic information systems with featured speaker
Dr. Este Geraghty, former deputy director for Health Statistics
and Informatics at the California Department of Public Health
and current CMO for a geographic information system (GIS)
company. Geraghty discussed the use of GIS to influence
health policy and advance community development systems.
Representing her peers, Barbara Kennedy (Student Advisory
Committee member) described aspects of her own personal
journey to achieve her HIM professional goals. She highlighted
the benefits of having a mentor and taking personal responsibility
to achieve one’s own unique “greatness.” With poise, Kennedy
shared the challenges and the milestones that have made her the
person she is today; determination, persistence, and a touch of
humor were consistent themes in her success to date.
Speaking on leadership, Keith Olenik, MA, RHIA, CHP,
discussed how leaders are not found only in management
positions, but rather in all areas of the workplace. “Students
must go beyond what they learn in the classroom,” he said,
as he encouraged them to expand their knowledge base and
demonstrate their competency in the profession.
The day closed as young professionals leaned in to learn about
the student resources available to them through the Student and
the Student and Career Center, with readily accessible tools like
the Career Map and Career Assist Job Bank.
As an integral part of the support system that enables the success
of AHIMA’s annual Conference, we commend the student and
new graduate volunteers for their hard work. One can’t help but
believe in a bright future for the profession after interacting with
the AHIMA19 student and new grad volunteers.
A summation of the student volunteer experience is best
expressed with these words from Student Advisory Committee
Member Jennifer Woodrum: “This past week, I have had the
wonderful opportunity to serve as a volunteer with AHIMA in
the student and new graduate program. Through this program,
I was able to attend the Conference and meet some of the most
inspirational leaders and future leaders in HIM. I was able to
serve as a presider and much more during the conference, as
well as attend some great sessions on how to successfully enter the
HIM profession and build a career in this amazing field. Thank
you so much for all of those that made this opportunity possible.
I cannot wait to bring back my experiences and see where they
take me in the future.” v
Students and New Grads Volunteer for AHIMA19
SPOTLIGHT ON STUDENT ACADEMY s