To My Fellow HIM Professionals,
It is with great honor that I continue my tenure as President of the Kentucky Health Information Management Association. Since March, due to the worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19, we have all been forced to transition and navigate through an environment of uncertainty that we have never been expected to steer before. Outside of preparing for the effects of the pandemic in our personal lives, many of us were forced to plan or react to the effects it has had on our professional lives as well. Whether that has been restructuring your department to take on new pandemic related responsibilities, transitioning to working from home, adapting to the effects of having to furlough valuable employees or even experiencing and responding to being furloughed, none of these circumstances are considered to be facile.
As the incoming president of KHIMA and having been extensively involved with the association’s leadership and the Board of Directors for the last five years, I can tell you that the year of 2020 has been like no other. The predominant focus of the KHIMA board during these uncertain times has been to continue to meet the needs of the membership and to not place the distribution of continuing education on hold. After thorough consideration, the board felt that transitioning to a 100% virtual format for the time being would be the best approach for the health and safety of KHIMA members. With that being said, I want to say thank you for being patient with us during a time when we were forced to quickly restructure our approach to ensure the continuation of education for the membership. KHIMA is fortunate to have a strong dedicated Board of Directors who does not cease assessment and planning efforts until a viable solution is found. Thank you to each of them for their ongoing diligence.
Beyond the pandemic the HIM profession has consistently evolved over time, but present day it is evolving more than ever. The electronic exchange of health information continues to grow in various capacities, and HIM professionals are needed at the table. Health information is being leveraged for data analytic purposes, interoperability continues to expand, and a focus on privacy and security of health information is needed now more than ever. I encourage you to step forward, lean in, and rise to the occasion. If you are not invited to the table, I encourage you to invite yourself. Your knowledge, expertise, and understanding of the legal medical record and health information management in general is needed now more than ever.
Speaking of rising to the occasion, that is exactly what I will continue to do during my term as KHIMA President. I believe great progress is derived from consistent focus; therefore, I would like to prioritize three key objectives during the new fiscal year. The first objective I will work with KHIMA’s leadership team to achieve is developing and implementing a succession process that will promote future KHIMA leadership. This will involve mentoring and training one to two individuals a year to promote future KHIMA leadership. The second strategic goal the Board of Directors plan to prioritize is implementing a new website which will offer a learning management system for future virtual events. This is an effort that will also assist in eliminating the siloed systems KHIMA currently uses for communications, events, CEUs, and education. The third initiative is to increase the involvement of our upcoming professionals. The Student Engagement Committee and Board Leadership will be coordinating meetings with CAHIIM accredited programs throughout Kentucky to assess how KHIMA can better serve its student population.
Throughout the next year as KHIMA President, I want to surface the significance of the Kentucky Health Information Management Association, and what it means to health information management professionals. Pandemic or not, KHIMA is more than just a non-profit association. It is a band of HIM professionals that has been serving the HIM community for over 71 years. For many of us, it is the key provider for continuing education so that we can easily and affordably maintain our credentials, and it is most importantly a community for every HIM professional in the state of Kentucky. KHIMA cares about each of its members and we want to make certain that we are serving you in the best way possible.
I look forward to this upcoming year of progress. The good news is, we have already hit the ground running. I look forward to continuing to work with each of you and the newly inducted Board of Directors. I would like to close by saying let us continue to rise to the occasion on behalf of the HIM profession. There is endless opportunity awaiting and your input is paramount.
Katherine H. Woods, MHI, RHIA, PMP
KHIMA President (2020-2021)