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BUILDING A BETTER TOMORROW TODAY

Since its inception in 1962, the AHIMA Foundation has served the health information profession through research and scholarship opportunities. As we embark upon our broader social impact vision, we will continue to support current and emerging health information professionals in pursuit of associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in health information and related programs. In 2020, the Foundation provided $50,000 in scholarship support to qualified applicants. This year, we plan to expand our efforts to help more health information professionals to provide better health outcomes.  

 We cannot do it without you. Make a one-time gift or recurring donation to the AHIMA Foundation and help us build a better tomorrow, today.  

Here’s a look at how your donations make the difference. The AHIMA Foundation is proud to support the Class of 2020 Scholarship Program recipients. Thank you for helping us support health information professionals.  

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Negin Asadzadehzanjani is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the health Services research program with a concentration in health informatics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where she is a graduate research assistant focused on the application of machine learning and intelligent systems in healthcare. “I look forward to becoming an active member of the healthcare society and pursuing a career as a health data scientist,” Negin says. “This scholarship will help me to make progress toward my degree and enable me to fulfill my desires to help others and improve health. Thank you for your support and investment in my future.” 

Abbey Cook is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health information management at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.  She will complete her practicum at a family health center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I am incredibly grateful for this award from the AHIMA Foundation and excited to see the ways it will help me continue to succeed in my HIM education and prepare for my future career,” Abbey says. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of the donors and sponsors who have made this possible and allow me to continue pursuing my passion in HIM!” 

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theodora-ebosi

Theodora Ebosi is a student at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. “The AHIMA Foundation has been a vital source of information and inspiration for students like me. Having access to health information is essential in everyday medical decisions and health awareness. Everything this Foundation encompasses inspires me,” Theodora says. “It gives me hope for the future of medicine,” Ebosi says. “The AHIMA Foundation is a resource I will continue to utilize for my future needs as a health information professional.” 

Silvia Ruth Tomlinson, RHIT, is a student in the bachelor’s program at Herzing University. Silvia is particularly interested in the role of data management in patient care. “I know that words are only a small expression of gratitude, so I hope that my actions as a proper representative of AHIMA in the workforce will be living representations of how grateful I am to the American Health Information Management Association, and its associates and sponsors,” Silvia says. “May God reward you richly, as we all seek to preserve and maintain human information.” 

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kimberly-little

Kimberly Little has worked in medical coding for over twenty years and currently holds three AAPC certifications. She is a senior at DeVry University, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health information management. Her next undertaking will be a fourth AAPC certification, followed by a master’s of healthcare administration with a focus on healthcare leadership at Capella University. Kimberly works as the ambulatory coding supervisor for Asante Health System in southern Oregon. “I am grateful to the AHIMA Foundation for supporting me in my journey toward continuing my education and enhancing my knowledge as an established HIM professional,” Little says. “Thank you for helping me finally reach this goal!” 

Luke Sayers is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health information management at Western Governors State University in Salt Lake City, Utah. After nearly seven years caring for patients as a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT), Sayers sought to expand his marketability with a deeper understanding of health information technology and informatics. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude as this award will allow me to focus more on my school work with less concern over how I will be able to afford tuition,” Luke says. “It is most gratifying and encouraging to receive such meaningful support which will hopefully be repaid through contributions to the health information management profession in the near future.” 

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Jessica Hurley-Smith has maintained a 4.0 GPA during her bachelor’s program in health information management technology. Jessica’s education has always been important as she pursues her professional goals. “I am a single mother to an amazing eight-year-old boy. The financial award is very helpful to me and will help to limit my student loans,” Jessica says. “I am a new member to AHIMA and I am very appreciative to be a part of such a progressive and supportive organization. Once I graduate and become an HIMT professional, I plan to become an active contributor to AHIMA.” 

Autumn Holland is a first-generation college student at Texas State University (TSU) completing her bachelor’s degree in health information. She was recently admitted to the master’s program in public health education and promotion program at TSU. “I am so proud to be a part of AHIMA and to feel supported by an organization I will be active in for years to come. Now that you have made a difference in my life, it is my turn to make a difference in the lives of patients with the opportunities you have provided for me,” Autumn says. “I promise that I will do my due diligence in all activities related to healthcare.” 

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bridget-nixon

Bridget NixonRHIA, CHDA, has been a part of the health information management industry for more than 16 years. After learning on the job, she decided to return to school, earning a bachelor’s degree, and now pursuing a master’s degree, both in health information, from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Bridget plans to pursue a doctorate following graduation. “I would like to thank everyone involved in granting me this scholarship,” she says. “This not only helps me achieve my dream of obtaining my master’s degree but it also validates that my hard work is worth every minute.” 

Emily Granzow is a Dean’s List student at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan, currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health information management with a minor in healthcare information systems. While at GVSU, Emily has worked a part-time job and regularly volunteered.  I am forever grateful for this generous contribution towards my education. This relieves some stress and will help me greatly while I am out on my practicum full-time and while studying for my RHIA exam,” Emily says. “I am so eager to graduate and start my career! 

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shannon-miro

Shannon Miro, RHIT, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health information management. As a HIM MRN/EPI technician for five years, Shannon has experience in identifying and resolving duplicate records and overlaid patient records. “I enjoy what I do and can see the impact on patient care,” Shannon says. “I hope to continue to do so after receiving my degree.” Following graduation, Shannon plans to sit for the RHIA. “Thank you so much for this opportunity to receive the AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship,” Shannon says. “I am truly honored to be considered for this scholarship and will use it to further my education within the HIM profession.” 

Madison Blanchard will graduate from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan in Spring 2021 with a major in health information management and a minor in healthcare information systems. “When I found the HIM program, I knew it was a great fit for me because I always wanted a future in the healthcare field but not necessarily something clinical,” Blanchard says. “I am so grateful to have been provided this scholarship for my future endeavors in health information management,” Madison says. “I am so excited to begin my career in HIM once I graduate.” 

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emily-willitis

Emily Willits is a senior at The Ohio State University (OSU) majoring in health information management and systems with a minor in general business. Emily is a member of Delta Omega Kappa, an academic pre-health sorority, and works as a revenue cycle student employee at OSU. “I cannot express my gratitude enough to be a recipient of this scholarship from such a highly esteemed organization,” Emily says. “I want to thank everyone who had a part in making this scholarship possible to help support the education of emerging health information professionals like myself and my peers.” 

Nichole Russ, RHIA, earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Mercy College of Northwest Ohio in Toledo, Ohio. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in health informatics from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Nichole says that one of the most rewarding parts of the health information field is the ability to share knowledge and experiences in the field with students, colleagues, and people searching for a career. “It is a true honor to be recognized as a finalist for the AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship and I am humbled by your selection,” Nichole says. “I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and recognition.” 

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brandon-mackai

Brandon Mackai is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, where he is majoring in health information management with a minor in computer information systems and data analytics. Brandon is an active member in the St. Scholastica HIM community, where he serves on the HIM Faculty/Student Committee and is a member of the HOPE Clinic Project. In his free time, Brandon enjoys hunting, fishing, and playing his trumpet. 

Alba KuqiCDIP, CCS, CRCR, CICA, CSCM, RHIA, CSAF, is pursuing a master’s degree in health information management at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. As an experienced HIM professional, Alba’s background includes organizational documentation and instruction for physicians, nurses, allied health practitioners, and care managers — as well as compliance standards related to state and federal guidelines. Alba is multilingual (Albanian, English, German, and Italian). “I am honored to be one of the recipients of the 2020 AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship Award,” Alba says. “I promise that I will continue to gain knowledge and learn to aid me in being a great HIM Professional. Thank you for enabling this opportunity!”

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brooklyn-deemter

Brooklyn Deemter is a student at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health information management. During her four years at GVSU, Brooklyn worked full-time as an inventory auditor for Herman Miller. Brooklyn is a member of the Health Information Society at Grand Valley. “Thank you to the donors and sponsors of the AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship Program. “This money will be used in my last semester at GVSU for my practicum.” 

Matthew Firak is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago‘s master’s program in health informatics. While pursuing his graduate degree, Matthew works full-time as a laboratory information systems technical specialist in the neuroimmunology laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “In this position, I have recognized my passion for informatics in the healthcare sector,” Matthew says. “After graduation, I plan to continue at the Mayo Clinic in an informatics role supporting clinical laboratories.” 

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megan-morton

Megan Morton is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health information management with a minor in sociology. Following graduation, Megan plans to pursue a master’s in health informatics and information management. “As a mother of three and non-traditional student, returning to college has been a challenge and an opportunity for personal growth,” Megan says. Your generous support allows me to finish my degree during an unprecedented time. This scholarship allows me to continue my studies and propels me forward in my pursuit of higher education.”  

Alexandria Orndoff, CRCR, is Director, HIM operations manager, currently pursuing a health information technology associate’s degree at Marion Technical College. Alexandria earned a bachelor’s degree in health services from Ohio State University in 2015. “Since I have returned back to school, I am able to complete the HIT degree and sit for my RHIA, “ she says. “I currently lead a team of 8 associates, for two teams, in a large multihospital health system. The resources that AHIMA provides helps me grow personally and professionally. Thank you so much for your generosity. I am beyond blessed to be selected as a finalist.” 

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elizabeth-marshall

Elizabeth Marshall, RHIA, CTR, CCS, is pursuing a master’s degree in health informatics at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. With experience in management, coding, and cancer registries, Elizabeth says she has relied on AHIMA’s professional development and guidance since 1998. “The additional education I am currently pursuing will allow me to build on all I have learned and serve in informatics roles. I am so thankful I went into health information management,” she says. “Thank you for your generous gifts in support of my studies and in helping other recipients meet their educational goals.” 

Abby Biggs is a senior at Arkansas Tech University (ATU) in Russellville, Arkansas where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health information management, with plans to begin the master’s program for health informatics following graduation. Abby has earned Dean’s List honors since 2017 and currently serves as the vice president of the Student Health Information Association at ATU. “I am sincerely honored to be selected as a finalist for this scholarship,” she says. “Because of your generosity, I will have the opportunity to reach my goals and dreams to succeed in HIM.” 

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angela-couture

Angela Couture, MS, RHIA, is a clinical assistant professor and academic support manager at the University of Kansas Medical Center. In 2020, Angela began her post-graduate studies at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri, where she is pursuing a doctorate in health sciences with a concentration in leadership and organization. “Furthering my personal and professional development through continued education has allowed me to expand and develop my skill set while working in a rewarding field,” she says. “This award recognizes my dedication to lifelong learning. Thank you to the AHIMA Foundation donors and sponsors for their consideration and generosity.” 

Shauna Ward is a student at Bryan University in Tempe, Arizona where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health information management. With a background in criminal justice and the medical field, Shauna says she is grateful to the AHIMA Foundation for her selection as a Merit Scholar. “I want to thank you for your support and generosity in funding this scholarship,” she says. “This is a huge blessing to me and will allow me to focus more on my education and to be one step closer to my goal. I am very honored to be a recipient of this award.” 

Brandon Mackai is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, where he is majoring in health information management with a minor in computer information systems and data analytics. Brandon is an active member in the St. Scholastica HIM community, where he serves on the HIM Faculty/Student Committee and is a member of the HOPE Clinic Project. In his free time, Brandon enjoys hunting, fishing, and playing his trumpet. 

Milkie Vu is a PhD candidate at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Her research is focused on cancer prevention and control in migrant and Asian-American populations. Vu’s dissertation, funded through a National Cancer Institute F31 Fellowship, uses mixed methods to study the process of HPV vaccine decision-making for adolescent children of U.S. Vietnamese parents. With the goal of becoming an academic professor, Vu plans to research cancer health disparities in underserved communities and develop interventions. “I am delighted to be the recipient of the AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship,” she says. “Thank you for your generosity in providing me with this support.” 

William Gitler is a senior at Rutgers University with a 3.90 GPA. William aspires to become a member of the board of directors for a healthcare facility so he can help surrounding communities have access to safe and affordable healthcare. “I would like to thank the donors and sponsors of the AHIMA Foundation’s Merit Scholarship program. Your contributions lessen the financial strain endured by many college students including myself. This scholarship program also provides an incentive for current and future students to continue to do their best.” 

Brittany Manuel is a registered nurse currently enrolled in the master’s program for health informatics and information management at the University of Mississippi Medical. She is a recipient of the 2020 AHIMA Foundation Veteran’s Scholarship. In pursuit of patient wellness, Brittany is committed to ensuring proper documentation in the continuation of patient care. “Health information management is a vital aspect of healthcare,” says Brittany, who is grateful for the Foundation’s support. “As a working mother, this scholarship will relieve a lot of financial strain. Being a veteran’s spouse is an honor and being able to apply for this scholarship was a tremendous honor.”

Vineeth Munigati is a senior at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, Florida where he is majoring in health informatics and information management with a minor in health sciences/health administration and fitness training. Vineeth earned presidential honors for Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 and serves as secretary of the Student Health Information Management Association at UCF. This spring, Vinteenth will intern at Magruder Laser Vision in Orlando where he will work with EHRs and help develop key performance indicators. “This award will be very helpful for textbooks and materials needed to successfully complete my HIM classes in my final semester in the HIM program,” Vineeth says. “I am very thankful for this award and I hope to keep working towards becoming a great member in the AHIMA community!”

William Lakeman is a veteran with four years of military service and a 2020 recipient of the AHIMA Foundation Veteran’s Scholarship. Currently, he is a graduate student at Indiana University-Purdue University where he is enrolled in the dual-degree master’s program for health information management and health informatics. William’s professional goal is to improve healthcare interoperability and the exchange of information among healthcare organizations. “This scholarship saved me from getting additional loans,” he says. “Thank you so very much for helping veterans like me during times like this.”

Samantha Butler is a student at Mercy College in Toledo, Ohio. “Completing my degree will be an accomplishment to make both myself and my sons proud. I am a single mother who feels passionate about education and the field of healthcare and health information management,” Samantha says. “As a student in need of financial assistance, scholarships such as this are truly a gift that makes pursuing higher education possible,” Samantha says. “Without your support and generosity, I might not have the opportunity to earn the degree I wish to obtain. Please accept my heartfelt thanks and know it means more than words can say.” 

Mercy AduwoRHIA, is a student at the University of Maryland Global Campus where she is pursuing a master’s degree in health informatics administration. “I would like to thank all my mentors who are also fellow AHIMA members and have been very supportive from the beginning of my career until now,” Mercy says. “I would like to thank all the donors and sponsors. I hope that one day I will also be able to give back to the AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship.” 

Julissa Avila, RHIT, is enrolled in the health information management program at Texas State University. As an HIM consultant and health information management supervisor for the Center for Health Care Services, Julissa has an extensive background in electronic health record transitions, workflow updates, MPI projects, and deep knowledge of the release of information. She is the president-elect of the Alamo area HIMA where she has served for more than five years. “I am beyond grateful for the scholarship support and this generosity continues to inspire me to give back to my community.”  

Olivia Nunez is the first member of her family to attend college. She is enrolled in the master’s program for health informatics at the University of Denver. Nunez says she wants to help healthcare organizations better serve our communities. “I have realized how important care coordination, communication, health literacy, and technology are to our providers, patients, and payers.” Nunez is an administrative services coordinator for the audiology department at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  

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