Last President’s Message


As VHIMA 2021-2022 year ends, it has been a busy one which made it fly by.  We accomplished many items this year. Reinstated the Finance and Audit Committees which involved more than one member (thank you to those who volunteered!). The Nominating Committee also had more than one member that was led by Patty Hall. Thank you to those who volunteered to reach out to members and were able to get candidates for the ballot.  We had 10 new people involved in Committees this year! Please think about volunteering to help with a committee this year.

The Governance Committee updated the travel reimbursement policy and the annual convention policy to include all board members to attend VHIMA Annual Conference for free. They were also able to create a retention policy that outlines destruction timelines for VHIMA documents.

The Membership Committee of one, Kim Spencer, sent out handwritten cards along with a VHIMA member pin to every new member. She and some Board Volunteer members also reached out to some of the members who dropped, to see if we could get a reason behind it.  A few members stated they didn’t know their membership had lapsed. So please check MyAHIMA often to see when you need to renew your credential or pay your membership dues!

We continued our Room to Zoom meetings. A few of the meetings focused on students and new members. In the September meeting, one of the student attendees was offered a part-time job that a HIM manager on the call created. How exciting that we were able to host that meeting where a new HIM professional was able to get their foot in the door at an organization! Reach out to us if you would like to help a new HIM professional to get their start at your organization! Also from this meeting, the first student Board liaison, Andrea Studivant, was chosen. Look for Andrea’s story soon as a member spotlight.

In January through March Room to Zoom meetings, we gave tips on resumes, applying online, and provided some interviewing skills. We tried to reach out not only to students but those seasoned members who were looking to change their careers within HIM. 

Gloria Litton did a great job of arranging the 71st VHIMA Annual Meeting at Wintergreen Resort. Thank you, Gloria Litton, for all your hard work and for picking that great location for our first in-person meeting since 2019. It was great to see many familiar faces, and it was so good to see new faces, who we hope to see in 2023. It was fun, educational filled with many networking opportunities and the rekindling of friendships. Polly Sellers, Program Chair, did a fantastic job getting many speakers to deliver current topics. Thank you, Polly, for all your hard work!  There are many more VHIMA members who raised their hands and said “I will be glad to help!“. Sharon Murphy-Dowd worked hard with the Exhibitors. Christina Upton and Tina Stevens greeted and registered our attendees. Thank you to all who helped this year!

At the Annual VHIMA Board Meeting, the membership voted and approved the updated Bylaws. Some changes were required to align with AHIMA. There were 2 new Vice President positions that were created. Each with a 2-year commitment. The first VP of Media and Communications is an old position with a new name. Sonya Lamberson holds this position until 2024. She will also chair the Media and Communications Committee. If you are interested in helping Sonya out, please contact us through our website. The new VP of Education and Programs will oversee the educational webinars and annual meeting programs for the VHIMA members. This position is a 2-year commitment. The VHIMA Nominating Committee will be seeking nominations for this position for the 2023-2025 term. If you are interested in volunteering for this position or being a member of the committee, please let us know by contacting us through our website. You can also read the duties of these and other Board positions in the newly updated VHIMA Bylaws.

As the new VHIMA 2022-2023 year starts, Heather Stebbins will move into the President’s role. She already has a list of items that need to be accomplished this coming year.  Please reach out to Heather at if you would like to help her and your fellow members! 

It has been a great pleasure to serve you, our valuable VHIMA Members, as President! Thank you for all your support!

Tonya Deborde, MS, RHIA, CCS
VHIMA President 2021-2022