Recent natural disasters throughout several states have led to chaos, destruction and death that have, literally, paralyzed communities and healthcare facilities in many parts of the country. These powerful forces make an even more daunting task for health information managers to pick up the pieces that help normalize everyday life by restoring healthcare services. “There are vast numbers of health information managers still struggling to deal in aftermath but it does not absolve our unbroken obligation to recover as much patient information as possible,” said AHIMA Board President Bonnie Cassidy, MPA, RHIA.
Because their need for assistance is monumental, the AHIMA Foundation is initiating the Health Information Relief Operation (HIRO, pronounced “Hero”) Fund as an ongoing recovery source to assist HIM professionals whose lives have been shattered by natural or man-made disaster. Through the generosity of AHIMA members and HIM’s greater professional community—and beginning with a $10,000 donation by AHIMA—the HIRO Fund will provide material relief to HIM professionals whose practice and personal lives have been thrust beyond the call of duty.
AHIMA will continue extending the call for assistance to support this important initiative for colleagues in the HIM community. “This is not the last year something like this will happen,” said AHIMA Foundation Chair, Lynn Kuehn, MS, RHIA, CCS-P. “But this will be the last year the health information profession will not be immediately prepared to answer the call of entire communities of our colleagues in need.”