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AHDI Announces 2014-2015 Executive Board and 2014 Integrity Award Winners

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) membership has elected four members to the National Leadership Board (NLB), who will serve under the leadership of incoming President Susan Dooley, MHA, CMT, AHDI-F. The NLB also announced officers for 2014-2015.

The following newly elected individuals will serve a three-year board term, from September 1, 2014, to August 31, 2017:

Bonnie S. Bakal, CMT, AHDI-F, At-Large Director;

Sheila I. Guston, CHDS, AHDI-F, At-Large Director;

Jay Vance, CMT, CHP, At-Large Director;

Leigh Anne Frame, CMT, AHDI-F, District 2 Director;

Diane Warth, CMT, RHIT, AHDI-F, District 4 Director; and

Debbie Wolfe, CHDS, AHDI-F, District 6 Director.

At the July 23 meeting during the AHDI Healthcare Documentation Integrity Conference, the NLB elected the following individuals to serve as officers for 2014-2015, taking office September 1, 2014:

• Karen Fox-Acosta, CHDS, AHDI-F, Treasurer;

• Rebecca McSwain, PhD, CHDS, Secretary; and

• Jay Vance, CHP, CMT, President-elect.

AHDI recognizes and expresses gratitude to outgoing President Jill Devrick, MPA, who will begin her term as immediate past president, and the following board members whose terms end August 31, 2014:

• Ann Donnelly, CMT, AHDI-F, District 6 Director;

• Linda Giles, At-Large Director;

• Susan Lucci, RHIA, CHPS, CHDS, AHDI-F, At-Large Director; and

• Bonnie Monico, CHDS, AHDI-F, Treasurer and District 2 Director.

To view a roster of the current NLB, refer to the NLB web page.

In support of AHDI’s professional programs, standards, and best practices, the AHDI conducts an annual awards program to acknowledge the significant contributions of its members and other individuals and organizations that have made an impact on the health care documentation sector over the previous year. The AHDI is proud to promote and honor those who have supported the professional practice standards and goals that AHDI has developed for advancing the profession and positioning this sector for continued relevance in the future of health care delivery.

Award winners were announced during AHDI’s Healthcare Documentation Integrity Conference in Las Vegas.

Rising Star Award: Linda Curia
Curia eloquently wrote about the advancements in technology and in health care and stated, “No matter how automated and electronic our industry becomes, there will always be the human factor that we must inject into this industry. As humans, there is always room for error. It is our duty therefore, to always be vigilant in our roles.” She closed her essay by saying, “If we remain committed to our roles and always strive to do it right the first time, we will achieve our highest level of personal excellence; and in doing so, we will ensure that our health care institution achieves its highest level of excellence by providing the best possible care to each and every patient. We all make a difference!”

The Rising Star Award is presented to an outstanding (active) industry student who presented a contemplative and informed response to the AHDI ’s annual essay contest. The 2014 essay topic was “How Does Attitude + Commitment = Excellence?”

Educator of the Year Award: Audrey Kirchner, CHDS  
Kirchner is a full-time instructor for 360training.com and wrote syllabi and study guides for all courses; developed a mentoring internship for students; uses techniques such as mind mapping strategies to assist students with different learning styles; and also created instructional presentations. Kirchner is a volunteer for many AHDI committees and alliances, including being a commissioner on the Credentialing Commission for Healthcare Documentation and with the development of the RHDS Recredentialing Course and the CHDS Bridge Course.

The Educator of the Year Award is presented to an AHDI individual professional member who has demonstrated excellence in the area of education.

Excellence in Credentialing Award: Audrey Kirchner, CHDS  
Kirchner has a passion for credentialing. She is currently serving on the Credentialing Commission for Healthcare Documentation and as the leader of R.O.P.E. (Recredentialing Outreach Program and Exchange) for AHDI-West. Kirchner helped recruit credit-worthy speakers for the 2014 AHDI conference. Furthermore, Kirchner is an advocate for credentialing—she promotes the benefits of credentialing to the industry and she continues to look for ways to help credentialed individuals find quality continuing education opportunities.

The Excellence in Credentialing Award is presented to a credentialed professional who has demonstrated a unique and measurable contribution to the industry during the prior calendar year.

Advocate of the Year: Linda Allard, CHPS  
Allard’s passion and goal has always been to help create job opportunities for others and to ensure that those jobs are fair and beneficial to workers. She has contributed to many advocacy-related projects, including lobbying Congress on behalf of the industry, teaching, participating on an advisory board, presenting credit-worthy continuing education sessions, publishing papers and other works on HIPAA, initiating a voice recognition training program for students, and creating an externship program for clinical documentation students. Allard supports credentialing and provides a reimbursement to all of NEMT personnel for obtaining their CMT/CHDS credential.

This award serves to recognize an individual for outstanding advocacy activities related to advancement of the health care documentation profession.

Membership Impact Award: AHDI-West Regional  
AHDI-West participated in conference program planning committees in 2011 and 2012, and hosted the Healthcare Documentation Integrity Conference in 2014, in Las Vegas. AHDI-West initiated ongoing programs such as “Coffee Talk,” face-to-face get-togethers with local members to encourage continued membership in AHDI and involvement in AHDI-West; the Corporate Advantage Program, a year-long webinar series of “mission critical” topics; and R.O.P.E. (Recertification Outreach Program and Exchange), offering assistance to for recredentialing individuals.

The Membership Impact Award is presented to an AHDI component that has engaged in unique initiatives and activities which have measurably impacted component growth, retention, and/or professional development of its members over a two-year period.

Employer of the Year Award: Amphion Medical Solutions
Amphion Medical Solutions provides their employees a monetary incentive to use toward AHDI membership, continuing education, or recertification fees. Amphion supplies employees with the reference tool Benchmark KB, which includes associate membership in AHDI; encourages credentialing and holds annual credentialing study groups; is committed to quality concerns and provides a QA manual that explains quality standards and audits; has daily communication with employees; and has created their own SR editing guideline that follows AHDI Book of Style as well as client preferences and editing proficiency and quality. Amphion is committed to supporting AHDI and its component associations and follows AHDI’s Code of Ethics.

The Employer of the Year Award is presented to an AHDI corporate or individual professional member employer who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the professional development of our workforce and support of AHDI’s professional practice, credentialing, and continuing education goals.

Member of the Year Award: Judy Lichtenberger, RHIT, CHTS-TR, CMT, AHDI-F  
Lichtenberger has served as AHDI-NEMA’s President since 2012. Judy demonstrates her leadership skills by helping AHDI-NEMA move forward. She led the AHDI-NEMA 2013 annual meeting, and continues to be creative by looking for alternative solutions to bring value to the members of AHDI-NEMA. During times of decreased enrollment, Lichtenberger showed empathy toward her volunteer’s time and is appreciative of the efforts of her team and how she can help them meet needs with their volunteer time.

The Member of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to AHDI through relevant service and activities that have advanced the mission, goals, and objectives of the association.

Distinguished Service Award: Sherry Doggett  
Doggett is well known in the health care documentation community and has been very active in AHDI. She’s been passionately committed to lending her knowledge of the processes, policies, and politics of health care organizations. In AHDI, she is a past president and has been an active member of the Managers/Supervisors Alliance, served on the Business Alliance, as well as chaired the QA Best Practices for Clinician-Created Documentation Task Force. Doggett has contributed to numerous white papers and resources for health care documentation specialists.

The Distinguished Service Award serves to recognize an individual or organization that has demonstrated consistent support of the association, its goals and objectives, and the profession through services rendered to the industry, sponsorship of AHDI events and projects, and/or contribution of content expertise and leadership in key AHDI initiatives. This honor is awarded by the AHDI NLB.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lea M. Sims, CMT, AHDI-F  
Sims is a visionary leader whose in-depth understanding of AHDI’s strategic priorities, how they intersect, how they can be applied, and how to branch them out into other sectors of health care has continuously enhanced the health care community. Much of our advocacy and standards voice has been built on this strength of understanding that she has at her core, previously as a health care documentation business owner, educator, volunteer, and staff member of AHDI. Sims authored The Book of Style for Medical Transcription, 3rd edition, and coauthored The CMT Exam Guide; and she was integral to the development and revisions of AHDI’s credentialing program and exams.

The Lifetime Achievement Award serves to recognize an individual who has made significant contributions to the association and industry over the course of his/her professional career and has left a resonating footprint on the association and its members. This is the highest honor bestowed by AHDI and is awarded by the AHDI NLB.

A list of all nominees for AHDI’s 2014 Integrity Awards can be found on the AHDI website.

Source: The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity