President’s Message – June 2021

What in incredible year!

The world will most likely remember the past twelve months as the year of COVID 19, but this year’s VHIMA Board of Directors made the very intentional decision at our Strategic Planning meeting last August that we did not want COVID 19 to define us.  We have had an incredible group of board members who worked very hard throughout the year.  Most took the time to talk with me every month.  I am so excited to present the year’s accomplishments of the VHIMA Board of Directors 2020-2021.

2020-2021 Board Members include:

1st Year Delegate and 1st time board member:  Susan Lehner

2nd Year Delegate:  Lisa Whitaker

3rd Year Delegate:  Christina Upton

Secretary:  Angela Almond

Treasurer:  Heather Stebbins

Vice President:  Courtney Faison

President-elect:  Tonya Deborde

Past President:  Gloria Litton

Adjunct Board Member:  Dan Rode (volunteer without vote)

President:  Kim Spencer

This year’s accomplishments:

  • MEMBERSHIP: Amazingly enough, in the midst of the only pandemic (severe enough to close schools and most businesses) in my lifetime, VHIMA increased in members.  We are now an organization of 1,351 Health Information Professionals, representing a wide variety of career titles (this is an increase from 1,343 in June 2020).


  • BANK CHANGE: Our first meeting as President, President-elect and Treasurer unveiled a need to change banks and financial processes.  With approval of the board, we consolidated accounts and updated access policies to include Treasurer, President, and President-elect on accounts.  The new VHIMA account allows for online access to information, so we have three sets of eyes watching VHIMA accounts and the distribution of funds.  All three positions also have debit cards to reduce dependency on one key individual to pay bills. 


    • SCC: Complete filing of our proper name with the State Corporation Commission in the previous term meant that we were under a new name.  When it came time to reclaim funds that had been taken over by the state due to account inactivity, it meant re-involving Woods Rogers, PLC to provide assistance in finding legal proof that Virginia Health Information Management Associate is the same organization as Virginia Medical Records Association.  Our Treasurer, Heather Stebbins, had to be a diligent and determined communicator with the state when it came to reclaiming a significant amount of money (details recorded in board minutes).


    • AUDIT: Audit of finances has been discussed by each of the boards for several years.  Since it appeared to be over ten years since the last audit, this year’s board hired a CPA to perform a professional audit.  VHIMA received good reviews with only slight recommendations for future clarification of expenditures and additional verification of online payments.


    • ACCOUNTABILITY: Names of all members of the Board are listed on tax returns.  Since this was a surprise to some of the board, we added a statement of awareness to each Executive Board member’s written instructions.   Members of the Governance Committee worked tirelessly to complete instructions, increase understanding of responsibilities, and increase accountability. 


    • COMMUNICATION & EDUCATION: In our strategic planning meeting, the board identified communication and education as being key values our membership seek as part of our service and put several services into place.


    • MAKE ROOM TO ZOOM: Monthly Make Room to Zoom meetings were added to our schedule for the second Saturday of each month.  We had very good discussions about the direction of our profession, AHIMA, and services our membership craves.  Lisa Whitaker worked very hard to ensure the success of these monthly communications.


    • ZOOM: After almost a year of testing the ZOOM product for webinars and member communication, VHIMA selected ZOOM as the primary communication tool for webinars in June 2021 and used our new purchase for the first time on June 17th.


    • ADDITIONAL EDUCATION: In addition to the Coding Roundtables that already existed on the VHIMA website, we have added additional domains through our own sessions, and access to educational services other states are providing.  Currently, any domain our members need to maintain and enhance their credentials are available through our VHIMA


    • WEBSITE:  This year, the board did a complete overhaul of the VHIMA website.  Members now have access to the Articles of Incorporation, original Bylaws, and Legal name documentation – as well as – instructions & Policies and Procedures that are now tabbed out and easier to locate.


    • EMAIL ADDRESSES: Board member email addresses to VHIMA were added this year to protect privacy of the board and their employers.


    • ADJUNCT BOARD MEMBER / PARLIAMENTARIAN: The benefit of knowledge and detailed projects from those who have served before us is sometimes lost in the transition to new board members.  This year, the board agreed for Dan Rode to serve as Adjunct Board Member / Parliamentarian.  This position requires attendance of board meetings, research and offering of advice – but does not allow voting privileges.


    • BYLAWS: VHIMA bylaws were updated this year, turned in and approved by AHIMA, and are now ready for VHIMA members to review and vote on at our in-person meeting October.  Updated By-laws are available to all members on our Corporate Documents page of the VHIMA websiteDan Rode worked particularly hard to ensure that updates followed through and were approved before the end of the year.  Within the next few weeks, members can expect to also find a document detailing the bylaws changes and updates on the website as well.


    • TWO VP POSITIONS: Bylaws have been adjusted to reflect two VP positions:  VP of Communications AND VP of Education.  These are two very distinct and separate positions which call for very specific skill sets.  This could go into effect at the next voting, if approved by the members in October.  We are already beginning to hear from members who would like to run for the VP of Education office in 2022.


    • POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: We were quite busy at our Strategic Planning Meeting, and also identified that existing Policies and Procedures were not only outdated and no longer applied, but they were also too vague for the processes currently being followed as a corporation.  Each board member completely updated the Position Descriptions that are now available on our website and wrote specific detailed instructions that will help to ensure the success of our next VHIMA Board of Directors.  Detailed instructions are now also available to all board members.


    • BUDGET: It was noted that a detailed written budget had not been referenced and used in several years.  Budgets for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 years were created this year.  They are available to the board to be used as living documents with strict guidelines for board members to reference & review the budget as a standing agenda item at each board meeting.


    • LAST ITEMS OF THE YEAR: There were two final items that the 2020-2021 VHIMA board voted as approved during the board meeting on June 26th.


      • It was voted to add to Procedures for the board to earmark profits from the previous year (s) for specific services or products that will benefit the membership the following year. This year, the board voted to earmark $20,000 for educational services, and an additional $20,000 for membership services & benefits.


      • The VHIMA Board voted to approve updating VHIMA’s financial fiscal year to match the board members’ elected year to ease the transition of Treasurer and responsibilities and reduce reporting confusion.

    In closing, I would like to thank VHIMA members for selecting and allowing me to serve as the VHIMA President for 2020-2021.  It has truly been a highlight of my life and a real joy.                            

    Kim Spencer, BBA, CHPS, CHCO
    VHIMA President 2020-2021

    Having made significant updates and changes throughout the last year, the new VHIMA Board of Directors is eager and ready to begin a new year!!  Please join in congratulating the following board members for 2021-2022:

    Left to right:  Past President, Kim Spencer; President, Tonya Deborde; President-elect, Heather Stebbins; Secretary, Angela Almond; Treasurer, Norma Vinson-Jackson; Second Year Director, Susan Lehner; Third Year Director:  Lisa Whitaker at podium:  Gloria Litton, President 2019-2020; front:  Adam Wright
    (Picture compliments of David and Norma Jackson)

    President:  Tonya Deborde

    President-elect:  Heather Stebbins

    Secretary:  Angela Almond

    Treasurer: Norma Vinson-Jackson

    1st Year Delegate:  Kathleen Scott

    2nd Year Delegate:  Susan Lehner

    3rd Year Delegate:  Lisa Whitaker

    Past President:  Kim Spencer

    Adjunct Board Member / Parliamentarian:  Dan Rode