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AHIMA Presents 2020 AHIMA Triumph Awards

CHICAGO – October 15, 2020 –
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) will recognize recipients of the 2020 AHIMA Triumph Awards during its annual conference in an online presentation. This honor is presented to members who have demonstrated excellence in their dedication and service to the health information management (HIM) profession. The AHIMA Triumph Awards are sponsored by 3M. 

“The AHIMA Triumph Awards honor leaders in the health information field, reward contributions that build our knowledge base, recognize excellence in preparing future professionals, and encourage fresh talent and new leadership,” said AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE. “I congratulate the recipients and nominees and thank them for their service to the profession.”

Distinguished Member Award

Patrice L. Spath, MA, RHIT, was named Distinguished Member, AHIMA’s highest honor. Spath is a partner, author, and educator at Brown-Spath and Associates. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and a part time faculty member at Pacific University in Oregon. Throughout her notable career of more than 40 years, Spath has continuously advanced health information to the next level. She is well known for her leadership and expertise in healthcare quality and safety improvement and has advocated for the importance of incorporating quality management within the practice of health information (HI).

Educator Award

AHIMA presented the 2020 Educator Triumph Award to Susie T. Harris, PhD, MBA, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA. Harris is a full professor and the program director for the health information management program at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. Harris’s teaching of both undergraduate students in ECU’s HIM program and graduate students in ECU’s health informatics program emphasizes hands-on experience. To help students establish their career paths early, she spearheaded a program in which seniors take the RHIA credentialing exam before graduation. With the support of the program advisor board and generous donors, Harris established financial support for students taking early exams through the Myra Brown Memorial Fund.

Innovation Award

The Innovation Award honors those individuals, groups, or organizations focused on moving HI into the future of healthcare. AHIMA presents this award to the Ohio Health Information Management Association (OHIMA). OHIMA is being honored for its accomplishment of stepping into the future and transitioning the country’s largest state association HI conference into to a virtual format inside of a single week at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. OHIMA’s innovative use of a learning management system served as a blueprint and opened the door to revolutionizing the way we deliver services and connect with members.

Leadership Award

Sharon I. Lewis, MBA, RHIA, CHPS, CPHQ, CAE, FAHIMA, received the 2020 AHIMA Leadership Triumph Award. Lewis is the executive director of the California Health Information Association (CHIA). This year, when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders across the country and most state associations were forced to cancel their annual meetings, Lewis showed the ability to think “outside the box.” Her innovation helped CHIA pivot from an

in-person conference to a successful virtual annual meeting within 30 days, offering new approaches to the annual meeting, from technology, financial, and participation standpoints.

Literacy Legacy Award

The California Health Information Association Journal Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) received the 2020 Literacy Legacy Award. Current and past members of CHIA’s EAB have contributed significantly to the knowledge base of the health information field through their leadership in publishing the CHIA Journal. The EAB’s commitment to publishing thought-provoking and informative articles, at the forefront of the HI profession, have provided members with the framework for further development of concepts previously advanced by others.

Student Award

AHIMA is proud to present the 2020 AHIMA Student Triumph Award to Germaine N. Miguez-Corujo, MS, RHIA, a graduate student at the University of Puerto Rico. Miguez-Corujo serves as a student representative on the Advisory Committee for the HIM graduate program in the School of Health Professions at the University of Puerto Rico. She is also a member of the board of directors for the Puerto Rico Health Information Management Association (PRHIMA). She served as moderator of the 2019 Annual PRHIMA Convention.


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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