AHIMA ADVANTAGE 4
Supporting HIM Leadership
Another scholarship recipient, Annecia McNeil, MPH, RHIA, is
using her 2018 John Kloss Memorial Veteran Scholarship to build
her leadership acumen to complement her 30 years in HIM.
McNeil is currently a doctoral student studying strategic
leadership at Regent University and plans to earn her doctorate
in May 2022. Her current coursework includes topics such as
leadership theory, global leadership, and ethics—all of which will
help her as she collaborates with executives in her role as a medical
records administrator at a military treatment facility in Georgia.
“I wanted to venture off into leadership to make sure we are
continuing to build that bridge so there is a clear understanding
that in health information management, we are leaders as well,”
says McNeil, a resident of Hephzibah, GA. And because she is a
mentor for HIM students at her facility, she wanted to be certain
that she had the skills to coach students who aim to become HIM
McNeil spent seven years in the army from 1988 through 1995
and was a patient administration specialist, a role that is similar to
a civilian HIM professional, she says. During her military career,
she served tours in Korea and Germany, and at two stateside
“There were not a lot of scholarships that I could find that fit
with a doctoral program, and when I found that AHIMA had
a scholarship for vets, it made me proud,” McNeil says, adding
that the award has helped ease her financial burden. “It’s a great
thing that AHIMA is doing, not only for vets but also for other
McNeil is not just a scholarship recipient—she also donates to the
Foundation when she renews her AHIMA membership. “People
are struggling trying to pay for tuition and books, so anything
that we can do to help others to not only sustain the organization
but also to help it grow is beneficial,” she says.
She believes the scholarships also help raise the profile of
HIM within the healthcare industry. “We have to prepare the
next generation, and to do that, we need to give back to the
organization that has given so much to us and the field of HIM.”
Getting More from Giving
Linda Hyde, RHIA, an independent consultant in Auburn, MA,
understands that preparing the next generation starts by giving
back. For over 20 years, Hyde has donated to the Foundation to
support scholarships for her peers in the industry.
“I benefitted from scholarships in the four years I was at school,
so I know the value of having additional money to help offset the
expenses,” Hyde says. “When I was in a position to be able to give
back, I wanted to support scholarships.”
During the past two decades, Hyde also has made several
donations to the Foundation in memory of friends and former
colleagues. She even helped create a few scholarships to remember
late friends, including Charlotte Lefert, RHIA, her college
roommate at Indiana University. “It gives me a good feeling,
and I always check to see who has been awarded the scholarships,”
When Hyde first started giving to the Foundation 20 years ago,
the scholarships were primarily focused on new HIM students. But
today, AHIMA Foundation scholarships support members at every
educational level. “Now there are so many diverse scholarships
for people who want to go to graduate school, or who want to go
back and do a four-year program if they initially did a two-year
program,” she says.
Hyde urges fellow AHIMA members to consider helping fund a
scholarship to support their peers and elevate the profession. “In
HIM and in the healthcare profession, we are all about giving back
to support our families, our patients, and our communities,” she
says. “We all know that education is increasingly more expensive,
especially if someone is going back to school and has a family to
support. These scholarships help people make that dream of going
back to school come true.”
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How to Support AHIMA Foundation Scholarships
The AHIMA Foundation supports three main types of
Merit Scholarships, which offer four levels of support
Veterans Scholarships for veterans and spouses; and
Dissertation Support Scholarships for those in doctoral
Are you ready to give back to your peers and the industry?
You can show your support in several ways:
Make a gift to the Foundation with your AHIMA
Add a donation to your purchases in the AHIMA Store.
Join the Grace Giving Club by pledging an ongoing
recurring gift to help sustain the Foundation and its
Make an honor or memorial gift for a friend, colleague,
or loved one.
Donate on Giving Tuesday (December 3, 2019) or any
time at ahimafoundation.org/donate.
No donation is too small to have a meaningful impact.
Gifts of $100 or more will be recognized on the AHIMA
Foundation website, in certain electronic and print
publications, and in select AHIMA Conference materials.
Donors of $100 or more also receive an annual donor
pin. Reach out to the Foundation at (312) 233-1131 or at
firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. v