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AHDI Announces 2016 Integrity Award Winners
at Annual Conference

In support of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity’s (AHDI) professional programs, standards, and best practices, the association 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 association 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.

Congratulations to all of these dedicated members. Award winners were announced during AHDI’s Healthcare Documentation Integrity Conference in Milwaukee.

Rising Star Award: Sarah Olson
Olson, who attends Everett Community College in Everett, Washington, eloquently wrote about persevering to achieve her dream of attending college, after several health-related setbacks, and stated, “I did not go to college immediately after high school because of my health. That dream of going to a prestigious, private college that I had managed to get accepted into was let go. Right then and there I vowed to keep pushing until I was able to attend college. I knew it would take time, patience, and persistence to make it.” She further emphasized, “Attending college was a dream of mine for many years, and if it were not for my persistence and vow to make working towards my medical transcription and editing certification, [I would never have gotten there]. This tenacity and persistence is what is going to keep me going in my chosen career field long after I graduate from Everett Community College.”

The Rising Star Award is presented to an outstanding (active) industry student who presented a contemplative and informed response to the association’s annual essay contest. The 2016 essay topic was “Make Your Dreams Become Your Reality.”

Educator of the Year Award: Elizabeth (Betsy) Stam
As an administrator and advisor of the Medical Transcription and Editing Program at Everett Community College, Stam has been an extraordinary leader who sets herself apart by doing more and going farther than her peers and other educators in our industry. She’s caring and compassionate and strives for excellence in all that she does. She not only is a great educator, administrator, and advisor but also sets a high standard in how we should relate to and engage with students as well as others.

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

Advocate of the Year: Betsy Ertel, AHDI-F
Ertel has been involved in advocacy efforts for many years. Ertel was instrumental in the development of an externship program to help new graduates gain on-the-job training and land their first medical transcription position. Furthermore, she serves on several educational advisory boards and is currently a volunteer on AHDI’s Educators Alliance.

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 has a variety of accomplishments spearheaded by a team of dedicated volunteer members. Year after year, this group finds creative ways to implement AHDI’s strategic goals and engage members across a large geographic footprint. For example, AHDI-West has held “Coffee Talks,” organized a series of continuing education webinars, and created the Recredentialing Outreach Program and Exchange, or ROPE, program to assist health care documentation specialists (HDSs) with recertification requirements.

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

Employer of the Year Award: Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota
Mayo Clinic employs a highly qualified staff of HDSs and medical transcriptionists who work efficiently and effectivity by way of documenting directly in the EHR. They have robust quality assurance and mentoring programs. Their HDSs must be flexible, agile lifelong learners. They know their involvement in the care of Mayo’s patients and they take great pride in their contributions.

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.

Innovation Through Technology: Tyrrell Software of Binghamton, New York, and Spectrum Health of Grand Rapids, Michigan
For the first time, AHDI is pleased to honor two organizations as the winners of this year’s Innovation Through Technology Award. Tyrrell Software and Spectrum Health, a West-Michigan health system, partnered to bring a higher level of automation and reporting capabilities to the auditing of clinician-created documentation. Representatives from both Spectrum Health and Tyrrell Software were instrumental in developing the AHDI/AHIMA quality assurance best practices for clinician-created documentation in 2014. As a result, these two organizations partnered to create a customized version of TQAudit for Spectrum Health’s program. This latest product evolution introduced many new features from automatic data capture, dynamic item resolution, and creative reporting techniques.

The Innovation Through Technology Award recognizes an individual or corporation for outstanding technology knowledge and/or innovation related to the profession of medical transcription and health care documentation.

Member of the Year Award: Barbara Naill, CHTS-IS, CHTS-TS, CPEHR, CHDS, AHDI-F
Naill has been an active volunteer leader for the Great Lakes Region and Ohio Valley Chapter. In addition, she has been a staunch advocate of education, networking, mentoring, and certification. Her mantra is always to be all that you can be, and she demonstrates this in her own work and advocacy for accurate medical records. Naill is focused, objective, and approachable while working in a steadfast and deliberate manner on the projects she has initiated or volunteered to help with. She exemplifies great leadership and teamwork.

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: Gary David, PhD
David and his team at Bentley University developed a landmark study of medical transcription and its practices and practitioners. Although our profession had existed for perhaps 100 years in some form, it was a pioneering effort to understand who we are and what we do. David’s contribution to the health care documentation field is absolutely unique and even foundational—knowledge that, since 2007, we and others have been able to build on.

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: Kim Buchanan, CHDS, AHDI-F
Buchanan has served AHDI for many years as a volunteer to include AHDI president, multiple leadership roles in her home state component, and on various committees focused on AHDI’s continuing education, curriculum development, credentials, and education approval programs. Furthermore, she is well known as an AHDI and documentation integrity advocate. She is always positioning others to learn more, do more, and stay with lifelong learning. Buchanan is a dynamic, honest, compassionate, and visionary leader and mentor to many.

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 National Leadership Board.

— Source: Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity