Board of Directors – 2020
Ginna Evans, MBA, RHIA, CPC, CRC, FAHIMA –
Coding Educator, Internal Medicine Specialties Division
Ginna Evans works for Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining Emory she was Assistant Director of Medical Records at Dekalb Medical Center. She served on the AHIMA Board of Directors from 2014 – 2016 and was Chair of the Board Governance Committee in 2016. She has also served in many other roles for AHIMA including AHIMA Foundation Board in 2013, Chair of Triumph Awards Committee, Chair of Nominating Committee, member of Nominating, Fellowship and Bylaws Committees, and other groups. GHIMA service includes President twice in 2007 and 1993/1994 as well as many other leadership positions. She served on the HIM Advisory Boards for Devry University, Augusta University (formerly MCG), and Dalton State College.
She received her Masters of Business Administration from Mercer University, Bachelor of Medical Records Administration from Emory University, and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory College; Emory University. She is a Fellow of AHIMA.
She is the recipient of the 2018 Trust HCS Trust Builder Award and the 2011 AHIMA Mentor Award. In addition, she has received numerous awards from the Georgia Health Information Management Association including the Distinguished Member Award in both 2008 and 1996, Mentor Award in 2009, the Distinguished Service Award in 1998, and the Clinical Site Award in 2006.
Katherine G. Lusk, MHSM, RHIA, FAHIMA
Chief Health Information Management and Exchange Officer
Children’s health Dallas
Katherine G. Lusk, MHSM, RHIA, FAHIMA serves as the chief health information management and exchange officer for Children’s Health, Dallas, Texas. As an Active AHIMA member, attention is focused on patient identity, interoperability, clinical documentation improvement, standards development and innovative uses of technology. She has served as the president of the TxHIMA, on the AHIMA House of Delegates, and multiple workgroups. Lusk received TxHIMA’ s Legacy Award in 2018 and AHIMA’s Pioneer Triumph Award in 2012. Her organization has received the AHIMA Grace Award, Most Wired, and HIMSS Level 7 Analytics and Davies Awards. She is a recognized HIM subject matter expert and speaker.
Valerie J. Watzlaf, Ph.D., MPH, RHIA, FAHIMA
Vice Department Chair of Education and Associate Professor
University of Pittsburgh - Department of Health Information Management
School of Health and Rehabilitation Science
Valerie Watzlaf is the Vice Chair of Education and Associate Professor within the Department of Health Information Management in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) at the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a secondary appointment in the Graduate School of Public Health. In those capacities, she teaches and performs research in the areas of health information management, epidemiology, quality improvement, statistics, and long-term care.
Dr. Watzlaf received her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Records Administration from the School of Health Related Professions; her Master of Public Health (MPH) and Doctorate in Epidemiology from the Graduate School of Public Health; all from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Watzlaf has worked as an HIM practitioner and consulted in several health care organizations in HIM, long-term care, and epidemiology. Dr. Watzlaf is very active in professional and scientific societies having served/chaired the following AHIMA committees: Data Quality Task Force; Coding, Policy, and Strategy Committee; Research Committee; Council on Accreditation (which is now CAHIIM), the Council for Excellence in Education (CEE); AHIMA Board of Directors, and the AHIMA Foundation Board of Directors. She was also on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of AHIMA (JAHIMA) and Perspectives in HIM. Dr. Watzlaf has published extensively in the field of HIM. She has delivered over 100 presentations and authored over 50 publications.
Dr. Watzlaf has received the AHIMA Research Triumph Award, PHIMA’s (Pennsylvania’s) Distinguished Member Award, and the University of Pittsburgh's SHRS Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Sharon B. Easterling, MHA, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, FAHIMA
Recovery Analytics, LLC
Sharon B. Easterling is CEO of Recovery Analytics, LLC in Charlotte, NC. Her experience includes past corporate assistant vice president as well as senior director pf ambulatory clinical documentation improvement. She is a national speaker and widely published. Sharon authored the “Clinical Documentation Improvement Prep Guide and Exam Book”; AHIMA and is past winner of the CSA Recognition for Advancing Coding Knowledge through CodeWrite. She currently sits on the executive board of NCHIMA as past president, Coding Classification and Terminologies Practice Council, Wolters Kluwer Advisory Board, and chair of the advisory board of the American College of Physician Advisors.
Jennifer E. Mueller, MBA, RHIA, FACHE, FAHIMA
Vice President & Privacy Officer
Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center
Jennifer E. Mueller, MBA, RHIA, FACHE, FAHIMA, is the vice president & privacy officer at the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center (WHAIC). Prior to WHAIC, Jennifer served 19 years as VP & CIO at Watertown Regional. She served the Wisconsin HIM Association (WHIMA), twice as President, and is very involved in its leadership. She has received several awards, including the WHIMA Distinguished Member. Nationally, Jennifer has been on the AHIMA Privacy and Security Council. She has a Bachelor’s degree in HIM as well as a Master’s in Business Administration, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Health Information Management Association.
Christine Williams, RHIA
Speaker of the House of Delegates
Document Integrity Manager
Christine Williams, RHIA, has been in the HIM profession since 2005 and is currently the Document Integrity Manager for UW Health in Madison, WI. In this role, she serves as a multi-state leader for the Illinois and Wisconsin UW Health hospitals in the expertise of documentation completion, documentation solutions and oversight of compliance auditing the record of care. She has made an investment in the HIM profession through her volunteerism within Wisconsin Health Information Management Association (WHIMA) serving as President, Director, Delegate, Nominating Committee Member and Team Leader over her 12 year membership. She also stepped in as interim Executive Director for WHIMA during a time of retirement and transition for the organization.
Brenda K. Beckham, RHIA
Executive Director, HIM
Baptist Health Kentucky
Brenda K. Beckham, RHIA, is executive director of HIM at Baptist Health in Louisville, Kentucky. She began her career as a file clerk in the “medical records” department and has performed every job role within (HIM). The last ten years have consisted of standardizing the HIM and coding departments in a total of eight facilities and over 300 physician practices, which includes the implementation of a system wide EMR. With Beckham’s oversight, her team is currently creating an ambulatory CDI department. Beckham has served as president and treasurer of the KHIMA where she was presented with the Distinguished Member Award. She has presented locally and nationally on topics covering CDI, change management, HIM operations and IT collaboration.
Theresa (Terri) Eichelmann, MBA, RHIA
Director, Coding and HIM Technology
St. Louis, MO
Terri Eichelmann, MBA, RHIA has over 30 years of experience as a leader in health information management. She is currently a Director at BJC HealthCare in Saint Louis, MO. Terri has responsibility for Coding and HIM Application Support. She has held HIM leadership roles in academic, community and rural hospitals. Eichelmann is adjunct faculty in the Health Information Management program at Saint Louis University. She sits on the Advisory Boards for the HIM program at Saint Louis University and HIT program at St. Charles Community College. She has serves as a volunteer on the AHIMA Triumph Awards Committee. She has served as collaborator on articles, served on the Southern Illinois HIM Association Planning Committee, and been a speaker at various events.
John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS
Executive Vice President Emeritus
John P. Hoyt was Executive Vice President Emeritus, HIMSS Analytics at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the largest U.S. not-for-profit healthcare caused-based organization focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology. While a full time Executive Vice President, Mr. Hoyt was responsible for providing executive leadership and direction to HIMSS Analytics worldwide where he also provided direction for all Stage 6 and Stage 7 validations and derivative research. Now as consultant to HIMSS Analytics, Mr. Hoyt continues to conduct Stage 6 and Stage 7 validations, consulting engagements globally pertaining to HIMSS Analytics maturity models and is the principle architect and interpreter of the revised acute care EMRAM standards which were announced at HIMSS 2016 in Las Vegas for use in 2018.
Throughout his healthcare career, Hoyt has been instrumental in defining business and IT strategy as well as selecting, implementing and integrating mission-critical healthcare information systems across the enterprise. Before joining HIMSS, Hoyt served as a hospital Chief Operating Officer and twice as a Chief Information Officer with various healthcare organizations accumulating in over 22 years of hospital executive committee leadership experience. Mr. Hoyt served in consultancy practices, including: IBM Healthlink Services and First Data Health Systems Group.
Hoyt holds a BSBA in Economics from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and an MHA from St. Louis University in Missouri. He is a HIMSS Fellow and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). He joins the Board in a volunteer, non-voting role as advisor.
Seth Jeremy Katz, MPH, RHIA, FAHIMA
Associate Chief Information Officer
Truman Medical Center
Kansas City, MO
Seth Jeremy Katz is the Associate Chief Information Officer at Truman Medical Centers. During more than twelve years at Truman, Seth has held a number of roles supporting the departments of Health Information Management, the Project Management Office, IT Training and Nursing Informatics. He also works on a variety of strategic projects such as referral management and patient engagement, with a current focus on building up Truman’s Innovation Center and their telehealth presence. Under his leadership, the Truman HIM department has been awarded both the 2013 Grace Award and a 2017 Innovation Award. Outside of Truman, Seth is a consulting faculty member for the HIM program at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Godwin I. Okafor, MSHI, RHIA, FAC-P/PM
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Godwin I. Okafor is program manager at US. Dept. of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC and an adjunct professor in Maryland. He has served in a variety of roles at the state and national levels. He has served on the AHIMA Annual Convention Program Committee, AHIMA HoD Task Force and the HIE Practice Council. Okafor has also served as the director of the MdHIMA and president-elect. He serves on an advisory committee for an academic program to ensure program curricula consistently and effectively meet industry needs. Okafor has extensive volunteer experience that demonstrates his commitment in the HIM profession. He is a model professional for representing AHIMA, which is evident by his dedication to service to his profession.
Kim D. Theodos, JD, MS, RHIA
Assistant Professor of Health Studies
University of Louisiana Monroe
Kim D. Theodos is an assistant professor of Health Studies at the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM). At ULM she teaches health informatics, healthcare leadership and healthcare administration. Previously, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the HIIM program at Louisiana Tech University. She has served at the state and national level in various capacities including LHIMA (Louisiana) president, treasurer and secretary, annual convention chair and education strategy manager. Theodos was a member of the AHIMA Annual Convention Program Committee for four years, serving as chair in 2015. With numerous presentations at meetings, publications and service, Theodos has been a consistent contributor to AHIMA’s HIM Body of Knowledge.
Melinda A. Wilkins, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA
Professor and Director of Health Information Management
Arkansas Tech University
Melinda A. Wilkins serves as professor/program director of the graduate program in health informatics and undergraduate program in HIM at Arkansas Tech University. She has additionally worked in an outpatient and inpatient setting as well as in consulting. Wilkins is a recent recipient of the AHIMA Leadership Triumph Award and has served in many volunteer roles at both the national and state level. Most recently she has served as the chair of the Board for CAHIIM as well as a consultant for Arkansas’s health information exchange efforts.
Jami Woebkenberg, MHIM, RHIA, CPHI, FAHIMA
Sr. Director, HIMS Operations
Sun City West, AZ
Jami Woebkenberg, MHIM, RHIA, CPHI, FAHIMA, is Sr. Director of HIM Operations at Banner Health in Phoenix, Arizona. She served on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Health Information Management Association in various volunteer capacities, including 2 terms as President and a term as Director. Jami recently co-chaired AHIMA’s EHR Documentation Integrity Practice Council and was a member of the LGBT Workgroup. She previously served as the co-lead for the Informatics Practice Council and was a member of the Information Governance Practice Council. She is a member of the Advisory Council for the HIM program at Phoenix College. Jami has contributed to articles, toolkits and Practice Briefs as well as service on workgroups through AHIMA.
The House of Delegates (HoD) is a deliberative assembly comprised of delegates elected or appointed from each of the 52 Component State Associations (CSA) and the AHIMA Board of Directors. Delegates serve as a grassroots member forum of AHIMA governing the health information management (HIM) profession. The HoD is chaired by the Speaker of the House, an AHIMA official elected by delegates.
Delegates work virtually year-round, operating on a July 1-June 30 term advocating for the profession, the members, and the Association. These leaders help keep our profession strong and moving forward by contributing or recommending action on issues affecting the industry.
Founded in 1946, the House of Delegates is a long-standing, decision-making body of our professional association. Delegates have a critical role in guiding and governing the health information management (HIM) profession.
In 2012, the HoD implemented a new, forward-thinking approach to the operations and configuration of the House of Delegates. Consisting of the House Leadership, Envisioning Collaborative and ad hoc Task Forces, the HoD allows for agility and diverse input for strategic planning to better address and meet the needs of our members, profession, and industry.
We gather input from the Envisioning Collaborative consisting of one selected delegate per state to help inform the Board in setting strategy. We have a House Leadership team consisting of one CSA delegate per state. Along with subject matter experts from other relevant areas, delegates not on the House Leadership Team or Envisioning Collaborative can join Task Forces. As issues come through the House Leadership pipeline and are vetted, delegates will be notified and assembled to address them. The HoD offers a variety of activities for participation and cross-collaboration, such as vetting practice briefs for Practice Councils and joining workgroups with other volunteer groups.
This approach will position the House of Delegates to move more agilely to address the issues facing our profession today, tomorrow, and in the future and will allow the HoD to make the best use of time and effort for our delegates to govern the profession.
House Leadership will serve as a steering committee consisting of 52 CSA delegates. They ensure effective House of Delegates operations through alignment with strategy. House leadership provides oversight and direction to designated task forces and operations.
House Leadership members will identify best practices, document performance, and foster innovation and agility in decision making.
The Envisioning Collaborative serves as a "think tank" comprised of delegates, subject matter experts, and industry leaders bringing forward emerging issues and trends that can impact the HIM profession.
The Collaborative charges are to conduct environmental scanning year-round by looking at our environment (internally and externally), gathering the data, consolidating and discussing the information, and validating the results. a robust exchange of perspectives, innovation, and ideas that will contribute to the strategic planning process and enable sound decision-making.
2011-2012 – Susan Parker, MED, RHIA, FAHIMA
2012-2013 – Kimberly Baldwin-Stried Reich, MBA, MJ, RHIA, PBCI, CPHQ, FAHIMA
2013-2014 – Jennifer McManis
2014-2015 – Laura Pait, RHIA, CDIP, CCS
2015-2016 – Elizabeth Delahoussaye, RHIA, CHPS
2017-2018 – Catherine E. Porto, MPA, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA
2018-2019 –Shawn C. Wells, RHIT, CHDA
2019-2020 – Christine A. Williams, RHIA
Task forces create a member focused objective. Task force members can be comprised of delegates, subject matter experts, and industry leaders.
Throughout the year, a call to serve will be sent to delegates on a variety of topics. Delegates may be reached personally depending on their areas of expertise. Ad hoc task forces will allow for more flexibility and agility in the completion of projects.
The AHIMA Foundation improves health information management by supporting the people, research and resources that advance the HIM profession.
Through scholarships and grants for HIM students, professional education and advancement programs, research, and a comprehensive HIM resource library, the AHIMA Foundation takes the lead in advancing the HIM industry.
The AHIMA Foundation, founded in 1962, is the 501(c)(3) charitable affiliate of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) dedicated to providing resources to support continuous innovation and advances in health information management. Today, the AHIMA Foundation is the pre-eminent foundation recognized for excellence in health information leadership, policy, education, and research for the healthcare industry and the public.
Learn more about the Foundation
AHIMA is a federation, which includes a system of component state organizations (state chapters) in every state plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Component state associations (CSAs) provide their members with local access to professional education and networking. CSAs also serve as an important forum for communicating national issues and keeping members informed of regional affairs that affect health information management. For more information on how to connect with colleagues in your area, click your state's name below. If you are an AHIMA member, please visit the Engage CSA Community.
CSAs support AHIMA by helping in recruitment and retention of members. Here is a CSA Member Recruitment flyer to use in those efforts.
District of Columbia
CCHIIM is an AHIMA commission founded in 1981, dedicated to assuring the competency of professionals practicing HIIM. CCHIIM serves the public by establishing, implementing, and enforcing standards and procedures for certification and recertification of HIIM professionals. CCHIIM provides strategic oversight of all AHIMA certification programs. This standing commission of AHIMA is empowered with the sole and independent authority in all matters pertaining to both the initial certification and ongoing recertification (certification maintenance) of HIIM professionals. Commissioners represent a broad spectrum of health informatics and information management professionals, and must be AHIMA-certified and meet certification, work experience, and leadership requirements in order to serve on the commission.
Learn more about CCHIIM