President’s Message

Greetings! As I reviewed the meaning of the gem opal, I learned that one of its meanings is hope. I believe we are all very hopeful that we are returning to a new normal.  As I remember the past year and a half, I am reminded that we (MdHIMA) are strong, courageous, and resilient leaders.

AHIMA has updated their mission statement to “empowering people to impact health”.  The MdHIMA board will begin working on a strategic plan during the 2021-22 year. The Maryland board has been busy this summer attending the Leadership Symposium and House of Delegate meetings.  At these meetings, we have been discussing the rebuilding of our operations together.  To rebuild we will be calling on you to get involved.  When the nominating committee reaches out to you, say “yes” on getting involved

I want to thank the Board and Committee chair and co-chairs for starting to rebuild this past July.  I will highlight a few items here and please see the committee sections for more details on the committee’s activities.  The Credentials Committee led by Basirat Giwa in July began sending welcome letters to all new and transfer members for the month and letting them know how they can get involved. The e-Newsletter Committee is being co-chaired by Arlene Gioia and Anthonia Okeke. They have developed a schedule and will be producing the e-newsletter 5-6 times this year. I am excited that we can get this communication tool revitalized and distributed to you.  Bylaws/Policy and Procedures Committee led by Dina Smoker is distributing the current information to the board for updating and review.  Once updated, bylaws and procedures will be shared at an upcoming educational meeting.  The Advocacy Committee, led by co-chairs Sarah Allinson and Vicki Reynolds have been using social media to share emerging topics with you.  A few of these include the Maryland Telehealth Bill Summary, Living the Pledge Campaign, and the Surprise Billing Act.  The Social Media Committee is co-chaired by Lara Beck and Yessina Ramos. Please sign up to receive the social media posts on Facebook and LinkedIn.  A huge thank you to our delegates who have been participating in House of Delegate (HoD) and leadership symposiums in preparation for AHIMA21.  The delegates are Aerian Tatum, Kelly Randell, Sarah Allinson, Irby Hunter and me.  If you have any comments please reach out. 

Reserve the date of October 29th for an educational session.  The Education Committee is working hard to put together meetings filled with topics and information the members requested.  This committee is being led by Ryan Marnen and Carlene Hess.  Also, we have been having virtual happy hours which include a few hot topics, with the remaining majority of the time as an open forum for you to share ideas with the board.  The Data Quality Committee has been working on coordinating the ICD-10 CM/PCS update sessions; the committee is also the state liaison with the HSCRC and Maryland ACDIS. 

As I review where we are at the beginning of fall, resilience stands out.  To paraphrase Trevor Regan, challenges, obstacles, and struggles are inevitable in life. They’re going to happen. The bad news is we can’t choose what happens to us. The good news is we can choose how we respond.  I see tremendous hope as we continue to rebuild. 

Brenda Watson RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC, CRC, CPMA
Approved AHIMA ICD-10 CM/PCS Trainer and AAPC Approved Instructor
President MdHIMA 2021-22