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2013 AHDI Integrity Award Winners

In support of its professional programs, standards, and best practices, the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (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 promotes and honors those who have supported the professional practice standards and goals that it 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 Annual Convention & Exposition (ACE) in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Rising Star Award: Katrina Watkins
Watkins eloquently wrote about adjusting to change and stated, “Our long-standing commitment is based on providing the highest standards of excellence in each and every job. We have a responsibility to manage industry standards as a team; we must get involved.” She closed her essay with a quote from Marie Robinson, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

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 2013 essay topic was “Why Get Involved?”

Educator of the Year Award: Diane Gilmore, CMT, AHDI-F
As an educator, Gilmore has developed a high-quality educational program that exceeds the AHDI’s model curriculum requirements. She provides her students with a full acute-care experience, and she’s developed textbooks that are used across a variety of medical transcription programs. Gilmore always makes herself available to her students and takes an individualized approach to training to make sure that no student is left behind.

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: Tracey Walter, RMT
Walter has been very active in her chapter in promoting credentialing. She’s organized study groups in her area and developed a program to financially award their chapter members and a complimentary registration to their local symposium for successfully completing their RMT or CMT exam. Walter works with five acute-care facilities and has encouraged and coordinated for many of the medical transcriptionists at her organization to participate in the Space Coast Chapter in Florida.

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.

Membership Impact Award: AHDI Mid-Michigan Chapter
The Mid-Michigan Chapter of AHDI held a very successful annual spring fling event with their full membership in attendance. At their fall meeting, they recognized all members achieving membership milestones with a beautiful pin. The chapter has developed a very good relationship with the Michigan Health Information Management Association, with their members attending the AHDI chapter’s events. Furthermore, the Mid-Michigan Chapter has nearly doubled their membership.

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.

Innovation Through Technology Award: New England Medical Transcription
New England Medical Transcription has invested significant resources and energy to create a medical transcription externship program. The technology setup behind the program is robust and unique to create a meaningful, relevant experience for students to gain real-world, hands-on practice before entering the workforce.

The Innovation Through Technology Award is presented to an individual or corporation that has demonstrated outstanding technology knowledge and/or innovation related to the profession of health care documentation.

Employer of the Year Award: Shumaker Transcription Service
Shumaker Transcription Service has successfully incorporated support of their staff that aligns very nicely with AHDI’s four strategic goals. For example, Shumaker Transcription Service covers their employee’s AHDI membership fees, supplies Benchmark KB to their staff, and financially supports credentialing by reimbursing exam costs upon successful completion and a salary differential for CMTs. Furthermore, the company has promoted the association’s advocacy
program by organizing their medical transcriptionists to visit their representative’s local office to discuss the impact of EHRs on health care.

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: Sandy Shumaker, CMT, AHDI-F
Shumaker has been a member of AAMT/AHDI since 1980, achieved her CMT in 1981, and joined the AHDI's group of fellows in 2010. She was instrumental in creating the Corporate Advantage Program, which offered current and prospective corporate members a year-long webinar series on pressing topics facing the sector. Furthermore, she’s spearheaded a new approach to serving members with small, short-lived focus groups, which has proved to be very successful in her region.

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: Kathryn Martin, AHDI-F
Martin is well known in the health care documentation community and has been very active in AHDI. She’s been passionately committed to building online learning opportunities to provide accessible continuing education to health care documentation specialists. In AHDI, she’s been an active member of the Educators Alliance and served on the ACE 2013 program committee, as well as a great supporter of AHDI’s component associations.

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 National Leadership Board.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Susan Pierce, RHIT, CHPS, CMT, AHDI-F
Pierce’s efforts spanned the years in her dedication to health care documentation professionals. She volunteered, gave many presentations, and helped encouraged professionals to reach higher and achieve more. She was an inspirational leader of the association, having served as national president as well as many other offices and volunteer roles at the national, state, and local levels. Pierce was always an active participant who went to great lengths to attend and contribute at every opportunity. She influenced far too many careers to count. The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded posthumously and presented to her husband, Paul Pierce, who also recieved a lifetime honorary membership to AHDI.

The Lifetime Achievement Award serves to recognize an individual who has made significant contributions to the association and industry over the course of his or 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 National Leadership Board.

A list of all nominees for AHDI’s 2013 Integrity Awards can be found on the AHDI website.

Source: Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity