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AHIMA Announces 2021 Board President/Chair, New Board Members

CHICAGO – January 4, 2021 – American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) members elected Katherine G. Lusk, MSHM, RHIA, FAHIMA, as president/chair of the 2021 Board of Directors. Her one-year term begins January 1.

A recognized health information expert and public speaker, Lusk is the former chief health information management and exchange officer for Children’s Health in Dallas. Under her leadership, Children’s Health received the AHIMA Grace Award, which honors healthcare delivery organizations for their innovative and novel approaches to using health information to deliver high-quality care to patients. Children’s Health was also named to the Hospitals & Health Networks Most Wired List, which recognizes information technology adoption in U.S. hospitals and health systems.

Lusk has served as co-chair of Epic’s Care Everywhere Governing Council and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s Patient Identity Work Group. A former president of the Texas Health Information Management Association, she received its Legacy Award in 2018. She also received the AHIMA Pioneer Triumph Award in 2012.  

“I look forward to helping AHIMA remain the leading voice of health information,” Lusk said. “This year has highlighted the importance of accurate, trusted health information. We will continue to embrace new opportunities for growth while ensuring health information remains accurate, accessible, protected, and complete at all times.”

AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, said she is looking forward to working with Lusk and AHIMA’s other new leaders.

“Katherine’s significant experience in health information will serve her well as president during this challenging but invigorating period,” Harris said. “I believe she and our other new leaders will help AHIMA continue to lean into the future and forecast where healthcare will move next.”

In addition to Lusk’s appointment, AHIMA members selected a president/chair-elect, three members of the Board of Directors (who each will serve a three-year term), and speaker-elect of the House of Delegates (who will serve a two-year term):

Tim J. Keough, MPA, RHIA, FAHIMA, will serve as the 2021 president/chair-elect. Keough has worked at the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) since 2006 and is its vice president of health information services. As a member of the NJHA’s executive team, he has participated in strategic planning and business planning, while also supporting a diverse group of members. Keough is a former president of the New Jersey Health Information Management Association, served as the finance chair of the AHIMA Foundation in 2020, and served on the AHIMA Board of Directors from 2016 to 2018. He is dedicated to finding innovative solutions where health information professionals can apply existing skills and develop new skill sets to expand opportunities.

Aurae Beidler, MHA, RHIA, CHPS, CHC, is the 2021 speaker of AHIMA's House of Delegates. A compliance and privacy officer at the Linn County Department of Health Services in Albany, Oregon, Beidler has published several articles in the Journal of AHIMA and Compliance Today. She also has served on AHIMA’s Privacy and Security Practice Council. She is a past president of the Oregon Health Information Management Association (OrHIMA).

Maria A. Caban Alizondo, MOL, MLC, RHIT, FAHIMA, will join AHIMA’s Board of Directors. Alizondo is the director of health information management services for the UCLA Health System in Los Angeles. She is a past president of the California Health Information Association (CHIA), served as a delegate in AHIMA’s House of Delegates, and was the chair of the CHIA Governance Committee and Technology Taskforce. She is passionate about strategic change, leadership, and developing the next generation of health information professionals.

Shawn Wells, BS, RHIT, CHDA, will join AHIMA’s Board of Directors. In his role of director of health information at the University of Utah Health (UUH), Wells led the organization through the ICD-10 transition and developed a new health information management team that focuses on data integrity, analytics, and information governance. He served as AHIMA’s speaker of the House of Delegates in 2019 has also been both the president and treasurer for the Utah Health Information Management Association.

Christine A. Williams, RHIA, will join AHIMA’s Board of Directors. Williams is the document integrity manager for UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, and has expertise in documentation completion, documentation solutions, and oversight of compliance auditing. She has served as president, director, delegate, nominating committee member, and interim executive director for the Wisconsin Health Information Management Association and was the 2020 speaker of AHIMA’s House of Delegates.

The AHIMA Board of Directors is responsible for setting long-term strategy and direction, governing the association’s activities, and fulfilling the organization’s fiduciary responsibility. It is composed of 13 elected members, including the president/chair, president/chair-elect, past president/chair, speaker of the house and nine directors at large; the CEO serves ex officio. A Board advisor also will continue to serve in 2021. The newly elected members join the following current AHIMA Board Directors:

  • Ginna Evans, MBA, RHIA, CPC, CRC, FAHIMA, past AHIMA president/chair and coding educator, Emory Clinic, Emory Healthcare in Atlanta
  • John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, former executive vice president, HIMSS (serves without vote as advisor to the Board)
  • Brenda K. Beckham, RHIA, executive director of health information management at Baptist Health in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Jeannine Pugh Cain, MSHI, RHIA, CPHI, speaker-elect of the AHIMA House of Delegates, business analyst, real world data at Ciox Health in Hoover, Alabama (serves as board guest without vote)
  • Sharon Easterling, MHA, RHIA, CCS, CDIP, CRC, FAHIMA, President/CEO of Recovery Analytics, LLC in Charlotte
  • Terri Eichelmann, MBA, RHIA, AHIMA secretary, and director at BJC HealthCare in St. Louis
  • Jennifer Mueller, MBA, RHIA, FACHE, FAHIMA, AHIMA treasurer and vice president, and privacy officer, Wisconsin Hospital Association, Information Center in Fitchberg, Wisconsin
  • Godwin I. Okafor, MSHI, RHIA, FAC-P/PM, program manager, US Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC
  • Jami Woebkenberg, MHIM, RHIA, CPHI, FAHIMA, senior director of health information management operations at Banner Health in Phoenix
  • Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, chief executive officer of AHIMA in Chicago (serves as an ex-officio member of the Board without vote)

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About AHIMA
AHIMA is a global nonprofit association of health information (HI) professionals. AHIMA represents professionals who work with health data for more than one billion patient visits each year. AHIMA’s mission of empowering people to impact health drives our members and credentialed HI professionals to ensure that health information is accurate, complete, and available to patients and providers. Our leaders work at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and business, and are found in data integrity and information privacy job functions worldwide.

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