Five graduates of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Health Professions Department of Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) took home honors from the Tennessee Health Information Management Association Foundation’s (THIMA) Honoree Celebration held last month at the Hilton Memphis.
The honorees are: Rebecca Reynolds, EdD ,RHIA, FAHIMA, department chair and professor, (Mentor/Educator Award/Volunteer Award); Seth Johnson, MBA, RHIA, adjunct instructor; (Visionary Award); Patti Gust, RHIA, HIIM alumna and director of HIMS and CDI at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; (Volunteer Award); shared with Dr. Reynolds) Chanetra Jones, HIIM alumna (2019 Outstanding Student); and current student Elizabeth McCandless, (2019 Natalie Stovall-Frady Memorial Scholarship recipient).
The foundation fosters the professional development of its members through education, representation, and lifelong learning.
Dr. Rebecca Reynolds
Dr. Reynolds has been with UTHSC since 2002. As a leader in academia, she has kept her department on the cutting edge of education techniques and HIIM content. Many graduates of the program have returned to further their education.
Dr. Reynolds has mentored and educated many THIMA members through speaking at local and state meetings. She has served THIMA in various capacities at the national level where her vision and expertise have shaped HIIM education in many ways throughout the country.
Johnson’s standing in the workforce goes beyond traditional health informatics and information management and technology. With every career step, Johnson has encouraged and promoted personal and professional growth to his colleagues and associates. His visionary perception of the symbiotic roles in the field has made him a leader and role model within the workforce and among his peers. He has and continues to build bridges between the two professions to improve the quality and delivery of health information for patients, caregivers, and policy makers.
Johnson committed himself to his professional associations early on in his career and at age 24, he became the youngest health information management professional in Tennessee to serve as president of the THIMA. He has also served the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) as a delegate and co-chair of the AHIMA Advocacy and Policy Council.
Gust and Dr. Reynolds voluntarily maintain “THIMA’s Legal Handbook” as an online publication which requires diligent and ongoing research and review. With the input and support of the THIMA Governance Committee, they have devoted countless hours reviewing, researching, drafting, collaborating, and finalizing updates to the “THIMA Legal Handbook.”
The “THIMA Legal Handbook” serve as a guide for health care facilities, health care providers, and others involved in the health care system including physician offices; attorneys; health information management professionals; privacy, security and compliance officers; and educators in the state of Tennessee.
Jones graduated from the Health Informatics and Information Management program with her Masters in December 2018. Prior to attending UTHSC, she earned her bachelors in health management from Baptist College of Health Professions. While completing her degree, she worked full time as health information management clerk at Regional One Health. Her career goal is to become an experienced coder and eventually a health information administrator.
McCanless is in her fourth year of the HIIM program. The Natalie Stovall-Frady Memorial Scholarship is given to veteran military service members from the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses of veterans or active duty military members. McCanless and other recipients were given a one-time award of $1,000. Her father was in the United States Air Force and her grandfather was in the U.S. Army and a World War II Purple Heart recipient. While in school, she is working as a health information management director and privacy officer.