Health Information Managers Day on the Hill
February 23, 2009
The Virginia Health Information Management Association (VHIMA) held its first Hill Day to help educate legislators in the state on the association and the roles of its members in the creation, maintenance and protection of health care information. VHIMA is an affiliate of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the premier association of health information management (HIM) professionals. AHIMA's 53,000 members are dedicated to the effective management of personal health information needed to deliver quality healthcare to the public.
Assistant Dean for Health Information Management (HIM) Jacqueline Gibbons, RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator), Student Activities Coordinator Patricia Martin-Mattocks and students from the HIM program at the Medical Education Campus joined with approximately 30 members of VHIMA at the General Assembly to answer legislators' questions and distribute materials about the organization and the health information profession.
The morning was kicked off with a keynote session from Provost Brian Foley and Virginia's Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra. The highlights of the discussion were addressing Virginia's HIM workforce shortage and plans for economic development through the integration of technology and standards. Encouraging the health community to understand that "HIM is the ‘glue’ that holds the healthcare system together and it is the adventure in the middle among the healthcare stakeholders: clinicians, IT staff, administrators and the patients" stated Foley. The group also had an opportunity to meet individually with their own legislators where the organization's viewpoint on current health legislation was explained. Senator Mamie Locke from the Hamptons' area was so impressed with the HIM students that she sent a thank you note stating "the health management students from Northern Virginia Community College who bought materials were enthusiastic and effective ambassadors for your profession." The students were equally touched by the kindness and attentiveness showed to them during their visit.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site, www.nvcc.edu.