By Ginna Evans, MBA, RHIA, CPC, CRC, FAHIMA
I always view the change of seasons in the fall and the gorgeous colors as a chance for new opportunities. This year has been difficult, and I’m sure each of us is ready for “new” in whatever way it comes into our life.
Virtual meetings have become our reality—a new opportunity for AHIMA this year. Sometimes I wonder if we would have been able to transition to virtual meetings as successfully if this pandemic had happened even just two to three years ago. But I keep this thought at the forefront of my mind each day: We must keep moving forward and focus on the work to be done. As volunteers, in our daily jobs, and in our daily lives we must focus on what we need to accomplish, whether that means staying the course or reassessing our direction and making necessary changes.
We have each encountered personal changes but so has AHIMA. The Journal of AHIMA has transformed into an excellent digital channel for publishing. And we have made the transition for our meetings to take place in a virtual format.
We held our Leadership Symposium in July. In the past, this meeting has been held in Chicago, IL, where CSA leaders, the Board of Directors, volunteers and staff all come together to kick off the new volunteer year. This year, the Leadership Symposium was also AHIMA’s first big virtual meeting. This meeting brought together close to 250 volunteers and staff. The questions and comments in the chat box were consistently rolling in, with many comments noting appreciation for the honesty and transparency of the information being shared as we explored this new virtual environment. The Assembly on Education was also held virtually in August.
Now, an important annual event for our members and the industry is just weeks away: the AHIMA20 Conference. While I am sad that I can’t welcome each of you to my hometown of Atlanta, GA, AHIMA’s dedicated meetings team has planned a fun, educational, and interactive meeting that I am looking forward to. I know we are a group that loves to see our friends, catch up in the exhibit hall, and just enjoy being together but this year it is critical that we think about everyone’s health and safety. If you haven’t yet registered, I hope you will make plans to join us.
There are a few important points about AHIMA20 that I’d like to highlight:
- Attendees of the virtual conference will have the opportunity to obtain about 100 CEUs.
- Attendees will have access to the meeting content for two months after the program ends.
- There will be innovative exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities.
- Health Information Professionals Week—or HIP Week, as we lovingly call it—has been rescheduled to coincide with AHIMA20. Celebrating during the conference gives us the opportunity to highlight the importance of health data and the work of health information professionals.
I have seen great resilience in our members. We’ve had a lot of changes in just a few months and I know it hasn’t been easy. AHIMA is here for you as we navigate this difficult year. Two years, AHIMA committed to transform as an association—and that transformation is definitely in process. AS AHIMA’s core purpose states: “The purpose of AHIMA is to commit to excellence in the management of health information for the benefit of patients and providers.” Former President Jimmy Carter shared these words in his inaugural address: “We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.” As I reflect on his words, I think about how we are called to action to face new challenges even as we continue to fulfill our standing mission, vision, and purpose. Remember you are not alone. We will continue to work together to come through all our challenges and find new opportunities to. We are AHIMA and we are strong.
Ginna Evans ([email protected]) is coding educator, internal medicine specialties division, Emory Clinic, Emory Healthcare.
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