AHIMA Foundation initiates Health Information Relief Operation Fund

Bonnie Cassidy

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Foundation has announced it is initiating the Health Information Relief Operation (pronounced “Hero”) Fund as an ongoing recovery source to assist health information management (HIM) professionals whose lives have been shattered by natural or man-made disaster.

The announcement comes as recent natural disasters throughout several states have led to chaos, destruction and death that have paralyzed communities and healthcare facilities in many parts of the country.

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“There are vast numbers of health information managers still struggling to deal in aftermath but it does not absolve our unbroken obligation to recover as much patient information as possible,” said AHIMA Board President Bonnie Cassidy, MPA, RHIA.

Through the generosity of AHIMA members and HIM’s greater professional community—and beginning with a $10,000 donation by AHIMA—the HIRO Fund will provide material relief to HIM professionals whose practice and personal lives have been thrust beyond the call of duty, said Cassidy.

AHIMA will continue extending the call for assistance to support this important initiative for colleagues in the HIM community. “This is not the last year something like this will happen,” said AHIMA Foundation Chair Lynn Kuehn, MS, RHIA, CCS-P. “But this will be the last year the health information profession will not be immediately prepared to answer the call of entire communities of our colleagues in need.”

Created in 1962, the AHIMA Foundation is a separately incorporated, affiliate organization founded and managed by AHIMA. The Foundation provides an infrastructure of knowledge, research and education in the field of HIM. Its role is to envision the future direction and needs of the field—and to respond with research, policy, strategies, and information that keeps HIM on the forefront.

Beginning in 2009, the Foundation has undergone a strategic shift to broaden its reach and impact, with the overall vision of “Better Health Information for All.”

[See also: Joplin, Mo. hospital to rebuild, bring EHR back online.]