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Sandra Brightwell, EdD, RHIA, FAHIMA

Sandra Brightwell



Dr. Brightwell, RHIA, FAHIMA brings 30 years of HIM experience. Her undergraduate course work was completed at Illinois State University, and her post-graduate work and research on motivation was completed with Northern Arizona University. She is the Director for the CAHIIM accredited HIM program at Central Arizona College. She is the recent president of AZHIMA, and a long-standing volunteer for AZHIMA, ILHIMA, and AHIMA. Dr. Brightwell is the humble recipient of the AZHIMA Lifetime Achievement, Distinguished Member and Outstanding Service Awards, a CAHIIM Peer Reviewer, a mentor, and a member of the Equity Council at her college. Dr. Brightwell also volunteers for her children's elementary school PTA and is a Den Leader for Cub Scouts.

Hear from Sandra Brightwell

Position Statement Question

AHIMA’s mission is empowering people to impact health®. What distinctive expertise and experience do you have to contribute to AHIMA’s mission?

As a member of AHIMA for thirty years, I have engaged with the HIM profession as a first-generation student, a volunteer, a practitioner, a vendor, an educator, and as a consumer of healthcare. Additionally, as the caregiver and patient advocate for my mom who battled pancreatic cancer for 5 months, I realized that it does take a village to navigate one’s health journey, no matter how long it is nor how versed one may be in HIM. I was genuinely frustrated with the U.S. healthcare system and with 100% certainty know that my mother would have been at a loss trying to handle her diagnosis and care without me. My epiphany was recent, and it recalibrated my desire to truly embrace two words, empower and impact.

In addition to volunteering in HIM for most of my 30-year career locally and nationally, including serving as a Delegate for 9 of these years, I have participated in numerous events with my state HOSA association and have championed my local HIE efforts in a statewide advanced directives registry. As a HIM educator, I strive to foster a fire in my students to find their niche and embrace it, all the while cultivating the necessity of lifelong learning. Furthering my passion for paying it forward, being a CAHIIM peer reviewer allows me to continue to empower and impact HIM by aiding the delivery of quality HIM education.

Lastly, earning the Fellowship status of AHIMA and the responsibility I have to advocate for the HIM profession through sharing knowledge and innovation (AHIMA, 2023), is a role I take seriously. I will continue to mentor others who have similar desire, grit, and tenacity for the HIM profession.

Expanding my scope of work in these areas demonstrates my support of AHIMA’s mission and contributions that will help shape the future of and sustain HIM. Promoting the importance of quality data, SDOH, and advocating for affordable care for all, I am proud to continue to volunteer in HIM. I would be honored to serve AHIMA as the next Speaker-Elect.

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