In 2001, I began in the Health care field as an ROI tech at a physician’s office; during that time I thought I wanted to be a nurse so I became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and began working for the hospital as a CNA while going to school at Rose State. After completing my 1st year of prerequisites I began to question if I really wanted to be a nurse; I knew I wanted to work in the healthcare field but not really sure that it was the direct patient care level. One day I spotted the Health Information Management booth at the school and began reading about the HIM program. The more I read the more excited I became; this sounded like the perfect option for me. I knew that it was going to be hard as being a late in life college student I could not afford to quit my fulltime job so I continued working as a CNA while going to school. Let’s just say I don’t think I really slept for two years but it was all worth it in the end. The day finally came that I graduated with my associates in Health Information and 3 months later I received my RHIT credential; which for the first few months I signed my checks with RHIT proudly displaying my new credentials. Through my journey from CNA to today as Health Information Management Manager I have been blessed with the opportunity to have gained relationships with some amazing OkHIMA board members and OkHIMA members who have guided me to be the leader I am today. Because of their mentorship, I continue to grow in my passion for Health Information Management.
As I write this letter to all of you, I am humbled by the thought of how much we have grown because of the leaders that have come before us. Through their passion and dedication we have become a field that is ever expanding. As HIM professionals we have the opportunity to continue their legacy and do just about anything we set our minds to! They have paved a path of excellence that I am excited to be a part of and to share with all of you. As I reminisce over the accomplishments of the past 70 years, I know our past presidents and members would all be proud of the growth within the HIM profession. I continue to see amazing work at what use to be non-typical HIM areas such as those working at FAA, EMSA, OFMQ, CDI, Data Analytics, Coders, Custodian of Record, compliance, and so many other opportunities I could write pages and pages. The opportunities are endless; whether it be through mentoring, becoming a volunteer and/or expanding educational opportunities offered by OKHIMA and AHIMA. This year I challenge you to expand your expertise and knowledge by seeking out these opportunities.
This year my goal is to help continue the legacy and grow the knowledge of what Health Information Management is and how we impact the patient. Often times we have to “cliff note” who we are and what we do; wouldn’t it be easier if everyone knew what HIM was? My vision is to work with all of you and the OkHIMA board to continue the growth and knowledge of HIM. As our past president Diana Flood stated “Everything we are doing now is going to affect our viability in the future and that means being a champion today for the field we all hold so dear to our hearts” Health Information Management is near and dear to my heart, we may not have direct patient care; however, in everything we do in HIM we are “Saving Lives One Chart at a Time”!!
17 years ago I never dreamed that I would one day be representing OkHIMA members as the president; yet here I am working in a field that I love and am passionate about and representing an organization that has given me more than I could ever repay. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to be your president this year. I am humbled and honored to represent you and Oklahoma as the 70th president of OkHIMA.
Tressa Lyon, RHIT
#70 years of OkHIMA Excellence!!